I have now seen/listened to 3-4 people in the last two weeks on being scammed by terrible commissioners or clients. With the growth of cosplay there is a rise of scam commissioners waiting for unknowing suspects to get your money.
This list of ways for how to be safe while getting cosplay commissions can be used by potential cosplay clients, but can be good help for commissioners as well. Although I’m not a big commissioner myself I do web design freelance on the side and have learned that the same tricks can apply to cosplay commissions.
Abuse google: find out more about your seller
One of the nice things about the cosplay community is that we really communicate with each other, a lot. If someone gets burned by someone (be it client or seller) then its going to be posted somewhere with issues. Always google the name or online name of the person you’re interested in with ‘cosplay commission’ added in there to find positive or negative reviews.
Establish a contract
Contracts between the two parties establish the pricing, work to be accomplished, and the timeline it is to be done in. By having this both client and seller have a full knowledge what to expect in the process.
Commissioner should have an estimate at this point for cost of materials and hours that will be needed in order to accomplish this. The combination of these become the original quote.
Pay up front
It is proper to pay for work to be done instead of the final product for a commission. The reason for this practice is that more often than not, a product is sent and less or no money is given for the work. However, a client should not be expected to send the total quote up front for the product. This is the following methods I use:
- Send a down payment for the materials needed. Wait for proof that they have been bought.
- Pay for the first 1/3 of the hours and establish a date that hours are to be reached or that proof of work must be sent. Seller works the hours paid for- no more and no less.
- Pay for the second and third 1/3’s of the payment in the same manner
- If the amount of time needed for the quote is shorter, the rest of the payments are not needed. If it goes over, then another payment should be sent for the final hours required by seller.
Advantages and disadvantages Paypal
- 45 Day Buyer Protection
- Quick and easy to work with world wide
- The Buyer/Seller protection cases can go either way. Sometimes it’s very iffy
- Anything over $100 tends to be taxed by Paypal. The seller may boost their price to cover this so beware
Establish dates and demand proof of work
Making a timeline between client and seller is the best way to ensure that work is completed efficiently. Once the seller has established a final date that it could be done by, timeline markers should be made for when hours are expected to be completed and the next payment should be in. It should also be established that proof of work is important and that before each due date photographs of WIPs should be sent to the client to ensure that the process is running smoothly.
If you are also using paypal, be sure that the first hour date falls within the 45 days that the payment goes through. This ensures that if you do face an issue with a seller that a ticket can be opened up to get a refund if the seller refuses.
However, do not open a ticket against a seller that has purchased materials and completed some work. They have earned that money by that point and it is unfair and unjust to pull the money from them even if you decide to break the contract.
If problems arise they should be noted immediately and not around due date
A big issue that comes up time and time again is that when the due date comes forward, the seller states ‘oh well I was sick these weeks so it dragged me behind.’
Be sure that in your contract and your date decisions that it is said that the seller is responsible for informing the client if any RL issues come up immediately. Delay excuses for RL issues should never be a reason for missed proof of work on the date in question.
Your iffiness is justified. Get out now.
If you ever have a moment with a seller that you feel unsure about them due to a missed date or lack of proof, your feelings are completely justified. Being nice and lenient will not ensure that the work gets done.
Do not send other payments to the seller the moment you decide to cut the contract. Inform them that you are going to be seeking the work elsewhere and have them mail you the materials purchased and the work done and cut all ties with the seller. This way you at least have some of the work and something to start with in case you find another seller.
If you have anything else you’d like to add to this PLEASE feel free to in a reblog and I will edit my OP!