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View Full Version : Rant: Comissioners Taking Money in Advance Without Beginning Costumes


kiratsukai
05-06-2011, 03:09 AM
Pissed off at commissioners in general.

When I pay you a 250 down payment in JANUARY and tell you my $500 costume is due in May. I am not paying you 5 months in advance to start the costume in May. I am paying you to start the costume AS SOON AS YOU CAN and take however long you need to finish it to my standards in the time allotted. If you can finish it in 3 weeks, awesome, give it to me in February. BUT STOP TAKING MY MONEY FOUR EFFING MONTHS IN ADVANCE AND THEN RUSHING MY PROJECT OUT THE DOOR THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT!!!!

If you aren't going to start my project until the 8 people who come to you AFTER me with nearer deadlines are through the door to maximize your profit, don't take my money so far in advance!!!! Because -I can't get it back after a month-.

Essentially this has become the default for commissioners here and it SUCKS. It sets everyone up to be ripped off, stressed out and disappointed no matter how early they started, how much they paid and how well they did their research.

I've now worked with five people... and only two have gotten me costumes on time. One of those was a rush job and partially incomplete.

I asked for all of these projects four to five MONTHS in advance, paid well over factory-rate, and got promised in-progress pictures only once. Give me a break!!!

-Begin projects when they are paid for, or don't take the money until you are ready to begin (or in the very least, purchase materials)-

I think I have been courteous and reasonable... but when someone is paying you to perform a service for them, that SERVICE matters nearly as much as recieving the product... especially if that service is meant to give you the peace of mind in knowing that that product will be delivered to you on-time in useable condition. Good service is not being shuffled to the back of the queue so people who have managed their time poorly can get their stuff on time while yours goes forgotten.

I do not mind joining a queue that has formed before me and waiting my turn. But that queue should not be jumpable for customers paying after I have unless I am asked ~first~ if it's cool.

Yuki Eiri
05-06-2011, 05:35 AM
I can't understand a commissioner that does that kind of stuff. I mean, I dont get many commissions myself so I usually have plenty of time to complete the projects, and normally start them right away, why? because rush jobs show. If a person is paying me good money to make them something I'm going to make darn sure they get their money's worth. I think honestly people are just putting too much on their plate.

I'm really sorry you've had such AWFUL luck with commissioners.

Moondemon
05-06-2011, 08:07 AM
You are preaching to the choir!!! At least you got your commissions at all. I am in the position right now where I paid and I can't even file a complaint with paypal cause it was back in February.

acostory
05-06-2011, 10:05 AM
People do this? That disgusts me. I know as a commissioner, I work as hard as I possibly can to please the person who commissioned me. That's what's most important to me, not the money.

Axelai
05-06-2011, 10:15 AM
Sounds a lot like Loserific... > n >

Who didn't start making my costume until two nights before it was due. Since she planned on giving it to me at the convention.

Then when things didn't go right, she just didn't do it. And apologized.

And now its been months. I wonder where my costume is. She supposedly shipped it.

kiratsukai
05-06-2011, 10:38 AM
It's more a general complaint. I've been queue jumped a lot in my year of adventures with comissioning and it seems that no matter who I approach and how early I approach them, my costume is not begun until the last possible moment (and a good deal of complaining and chasing on my part).

loserific...? Yes. I'm anxious.

But also JD, cosplaymandy, and TeL... ie. ~all but 2 of the comissioners I've ever worked with~

4 out of 6 not answering emails regularly, delivering progress photos they'd promised or starting on a project until the last minute after being given an average of 3-4 months to work on it would seem to indicate this is a problem with more than just one commissioner.

I do not mind waiting in a line... but I would appreciate knowing where in that line I stand and that other customers aren't going to slip in ahead of me while I bite my nails over a deadline that the commissioner seems to have forgotten all about.

Axelai
05-06-2011, 12:13 PM
Yeah. I know how that feels. I commissioned I-Sew awhile back, and she refused to start on the commission til I paid her the second payment. Even though we agreed I would pay that after she's done. But she started sending me hate mail when I reminded her of that, etc.

Needless to say, she's been exposed as a scammer since then.

Of the commissioners I've worked with, all have turned out to be scammers, or horrifically late. So I know I'm not commissioning anyone ever again.

sjxkhr
05-06-2011, 12:37 PM
Oh no. Now I'm thinking I should NEVER come to cosplay.com and ask anyone for commissions! It looks like almost all of them can't be trusted. :/

Seriously, I have had way better experience with Chinese commissioners. (For example, I commission them in February with a deadline in May, but the costume comes in March. ^^)

Axelai
05-06-2011, 12:42 PM
Oh no. Now I'm thinking I should NEVER come to cosplay.com and ask anyone for commissions! It looks like almost all of them can't be trusted. :/

Seriously, I have had way better experience with Chinese commissioners. (For example, I commission them in February with a deadline in May, but the costume comes in March. ^^)

^This.

I've yet to find a single commissioner on this site who has good quality costumes for a reasonable price and gets them done on time. It seems to be that you either get a good quality costume for a crazy high price (which is great if you can afford it, but I can't), or a good quality costume for a reasonable price but it ends up really really late or doesn't come at all.

Yet when I commission chinese sites, and make sure I tell them exactly what I want, I seem to be able to get a really nice dress for about $100, months in advance 8|

I understand the prices are high with non-chinese commissioners because of the quality. I understand that. So if I pay that much, I expect something good. Something better than if I'd just paid someone in a chinese factory. And I expect it to be on time.

sjxkhr
05-06-2011, 12:55 PM
^This.

I've yet to find a single commissioner on this site who has good quality costumes for a reasonable price and gets them done on time. It seems to be that you either get a good quality costume for a crazy high price (which is great if you can afford it, but I can't), or a good quality costume for a reasonable price but it ends up really really late or doesn't come at all.

Yet when I commission chinese sites, and make sure I tell them exactly what I want, I seem to be able to get a really nice dress for about $100, months in advance 8|

I understand the prices are high with non-chinese commissioners because of the quality. I understand that. So if I pay that much, I expect something good. Something better than if I'd just paid someone in a chinese factory. And I expect it to be on time.

Hmm...then I wonder which commissioners are actually trustworthy.

It looks like loserific is not going to have my costume on time. This is making me so worried. I don't think I can open a dispute with Paypal since I paid back in February. I don't know what I should do. :(

angelbabycakes
05-06-2011, 01:11 PM
I am finding this as well. It's interesting that there are a lot of the same commissioners, but a lot of different commissioners too. I honestly chalk it up to people wanting to start a business, but have NO business experience. Cosplay is about fun, but when you start providing a service to people, it becomes exactly that...a service. At this point, you're dealing with business type things. You provide a service, we pay for that service. If you cannot provide it, don't offer it. I've stopped commissioning months in advance because as the customers...we're screwed if we don't get our items. It's been a year on one of my prop commissioners...and I'm still waiting on props and a partial refund. A full YEAR. Really? There's no professionalism on this site when it comes to commissions it seems. It's fairly sad.

sjxkhr
05-06-2011, 01:25 PM
I am finding this as well. It's interesting that there are a lot of the same commissioners, but a lot of different commissioners too. I honestly chalk it up to people wanting to start a business, but have NO business experience. Cosplay is about fun, but when you start providing a service to people, it becomes exactly that...a service. At this point, you're dealing with business type things. You provide a service, we pay for that service. If you cannot provide it, don't offer it. I've stopped commissioning months in advance because as the customers...we're screwed if we don't get our items. It's been a year on one of my prop commissioners...and I'm still waiting on props and a partial refund. A full YEAR. Really? There's no professionalism on this site when it comes to commissions it seems. It's fairly sad.

That's exactly how I feel. Business is about making promises to your customers, right? So if they agreed to make your cosplays, they SHOULD do it. Otherwise, like you said, they shouldn't offer it.

Wow. It's already been a year? Just what kind of business is that? -_-

Well, whatever. I sent an e-mail to loserific 2 days ago. If she doesn't respond within a week, I'm just going to go ahead and ask for a refund (and do what it takes to GET it). I can't take this anymore.

Michi
05-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Yikes! So I should really stay away from commissioners on this site. It IS better off to go to a Chinese commissioner. lol.

Whoa, let's not jump to conclusions or make grand assumptions! There are hundreds of commissioners on Cosplay.com. We have a rating thread for a reason. You can easily find the ones that have consistently done a good job and those who haven't in this thread:

http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=105758

Yuki Eiri
05-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Whoa, let's not jump to conclusions or make grand assumptions! There are hundreds of commissioners on Cosplay.com. We have a rating thread for a reason. You can easily find the ones that have consistently done a good job and those who haven't in this thread:

http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=105758

I'm going to have to agree with this. Do your research before getting a commission from someone! The commissioner review thread [and heck, this forum in general] is here for that reason, so that people are aware of who you should and should not take commissions from.

kiratsukai
05-06-2011, 09:29 PM
Actually, all of the commissioners I've had this issue with had perfect feedback with the exception of TeL (who had 30+ positive reviews to show me in tagalog). Loserific still has a perfect review score and three of us right here have late items and no contact from her.

When it comes to bad deals, most people give the comissioner the benefit of the doubt and wait until some sort of resolution has been reached before leaving bad feedback (or they lose their leverage over that costumer). This means bad reviews take a LOT longer to show up than good ones.

Good research or not, you won't necesarily get the same treatment that earlier customers have gotten in the initial push to collect good feedback for a growing business.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "don't commission!" But I WOULD say, don't commission without a credit card payment that can be charged back before your deadline.

As for Chinese factories -- you get what you pay for. Period...
I'll use some. I won't use others.
But it is always much more satisfying, personally, to wear something knowing that wasn't made by unskilled workers locked in factory buildings making a dollar a day.

I would rather pay a comissioner $200 more and wait 3 months for the same costume with the knowledge that it won't fall apart after one wear, come out transparent or have hideous sequined trim or cheap lace that wasn't included on the preview photos. -But only if I get it on time.-

angelbabycakes
05-06-2011, 10:19 PM
I'm going to have to agree with this. Do your research before getting a commission from someone! The commissioner review thread [and heck, this forum in general] is here for that reason, so that people are aware of who you should and should not take commissions from.

As been stated, even research is starting to fail. :( Sutie and Loserific and even cosplaymandy have good reviews. A few other commissioners do too -- perfect even, such as JD. Research all you want, but the majority of these reviews come up positive, yet customers are having issues with the commissioners with next to flawless ratings...and now, well now there are three or so people having problems. Hopefully, these commissioners aren't turning into scammers, but it sure looks that way (not all listed, please do not think that). I wouldn't stay completely away from commissioners here, in fact, I always commission here, however it becomes harder to rely on this site as a whole due to the supposed top notch commissioners and their sudden lack of delivering cosplays and keeping in contact. There are still great commissioners out there, no doubt. I think in general, the rant is saying that now it's difficult to know who to trust or commission from when so many commissioners whom have great reviews are now not meeting those expectations.

Axelai
05-06-2011, 11:01 PM
I would rather pay a comissioner $200 more and wait 3 months for the same costume with the knowledge that it won't fall apart after one wear, come out transparent or have hideous sequined trim or cheap lace that wasn't included on the preview photos. -But only if I get it on time.-

^This so hard.

I have just yet to find a commissioner who does that. Never on time, or is a scammer, etc. *sigh*

sjxkhr
05-07-2011, 01:27 AM
Well, I e-mailed Loserific on Wednesday and got a reply back from her just now. (Actually, I told her that I ABSOLUTELY needed it by the deadline, along with progress shots each week as well as a tracking number when shipping it.) She sent me a schedule, which pretty much breaks down how every week is going to go (getting the patterns done the 1st week, the fabric down by the 2nd, etc.). She also gave me specific dates as to when to expect the pictures and promised that it will be sent with tracking.

I hope everything goes well for me and for you guys too. ><

Axelai
05-07-2011, 01:54 AM
^Funny how she responded to you, and hasn't responded to me 8| /sigh

quizbowler
05-07-2011, 06:35 PM
I'm just disgusted that there's literally nothing I can do to get my money back at this point. I thought I was the one being generous by not getting upset about my deadline being missed, but instead I'm probably just being scammed, and my patience is just ending up getting me screwed out of money.

koi-ishly
05-07-2011, 07:18 PM
As been stated, even research is starting to fail. :( Sutie and Loserific and even cosplaymandy have good reviews. A few other commissioners do too -- perfect even, such as JD. Research all you want, but the majority of these reviews come up positive, yet customers are having issues with the commissioners with next to flawless ratings...and now, well now there are three or so people having problems. *snip* I think in general, the rant is saying that now it's difficult to know who to trust or commission from when so many commissioners whom have great reviews are now not meeting those expectations.

I agree with this. I ordered from a trusted commissioner, twice. The first experience was great. The 2nd experience was not up to par with the first. While it was worked out through some effort on my part, it should not be the job of the person who requested a commission to hunt down the commissioner to get what they payed for. It goes to show you that this is an "at your own risk" business when in reality it shouldn't be.

I understand that these are human beings with lives and issues that are putting time an effort into making our requests... but there is a huge difference when that interferes with the business. Or if there is a severe issue, then it must be communicated and things can be dealt with from there.

I'm not saying this to stop people from commissioning, but I doubt I will do it again. I do think that this is a good warning for those that take commissions to take this more seriously.

Yuki Eiri
05-08-2011, 08:25 AM
What I'm thinking this is is people's efforts to make up for the rising cost in living. Just a theory, but people are putting more-- Too much on their plate in order to get by, because perhaps they lost their job, or they had to make cutbacks elsewhere, and are drowning in commissions as a result..

Or they just don't know good time-management. Like I said, I haven't gotten enough commissions to have to worry about that sort of thing. Then again, I just make props and armor so huge, intricate costumes don't really come my way. XD

StHoly
05-09-2011, 01:01 PM
i'm sorry that you have to go through this.. :( i know how it feels!! it's absolutely horrible that these commissioners are taking money and not even starting their commissions..
i have had that, and now i'm pretty strict on progress pictures..
no progress pictures.. no money will be given.. (of course there will be exception..)

i've even had this payment plan.. by pay 1/3 at a time, 2nd of third will be due when i get the progress pics.. and lastly it will be when the commissioner is going to ship the costume to me..
of course, after certain incident, i've kinda left the cosplay.com community for a while.. loosing about more than half a thousand to the comissionner is pretty tough to deal with.. (problem is, the money is given by my parents! :( and i didn't get the $$$ myself.. :( )

this is my third time commissionin and i hope it ends well~ :) did i mention? my first time commissioning from cosplay.com was absolutely AMAZING!! though that person is not really a forummer over here in cosplay.com. :)

Axelai
05-09-2011, 01:26 PM
It sucks because since Loserific was horrid with progress pictures... she screwed up the costume in a part (that could have been EASILY avoided had she asked me my opinion, or showed me progress pix).

This is why I hate commissions.

Bitter
05-09-2011, 02:32 PM
Honestly, the best way to avoid being scammed is to investigate your commissioner JUST prior to commissioning them. Look at their reviews, then come into this section and investigate. Check to see if anyone has had any recent transactions with the commissioner. Even if they had positive reviews six months ago, they could have changed the way they do business. Perhaps they're behind in their commissions for some reason or suddenly stopped responding, but asking around just prior to commissioning them is always the best way to avoid being scammed. I have to thank Axelai and a few other people here for giving me the heads up on the Loserific situation, otherwise I would currently be in the same boat. Her positive reviews are very misleading and while it looks like she's done wonderful work in the past, unfortunately it seems like that quality and work ethic isn't holding true at the present.

Aces
05-09-2011, 06:28 PM
Same thing is currently happening to me. I didn't mind having to put so much money down, but the commissioner is literally taking her time and never responding to anything I ask her. Its been nearly 2 months since I set up this commission, and I need it for AnimeNEXT. As far as I know, it has yet to be started.

Pudding-chan
05-09-2011, 07:25 PM
ARGH! Stuff like this upsets me so much!

Commissioners like this give all commissioners a bad name! Some of them are very honest, hard working people, but because some of them act like this, people are weary of commissioning them. I know I am.

As a commissioner myself, I would never take on a project that I know is out of my capabilities, which I think a lot of commissioners do (optimistically believing that they can do it). Also, some of them just have bad customer service. My family owns a business, and if we treated our customers like this, we would go out of business!

dizzylizzy
05-09-2011, 07:43 PM
Me personally as a commissioner:

I open in January for the year. From there, people email me. I receive over a hundred emails a month (and honestly, I'm probably low-balling that number). I require a downpayment to secure a slot for commissioning. I then remove that calendar slot because it is taken for a commission. I'm able to track what commissions are set and ready to go and ones that were just an inquiry.

Because I'm a desired commissioner (I suppose), my calendar/slots will fill up fast. Right now, I'm booked until October. Yes, I have the downpayments and yes I have a schedule of when to start/finish commissions. The money stays in my PP account until it is needed. Usually materials, especially wigs, are bought on-line.

I know there are some jerks out there, but then there is someone like myself with good ratings and a system that works for myself and the costumer.

KnightJeran
05-16-2011, 07:19 AM
I get what you're saying. My friend has paid for a wig to be styled, and then it took soooo long, when we reminded her, she's like "oh, I totally forgot!" and did it all in a night with a wig that she had lying around and shipped it. It was awful. Especially when she said we'd meet at a con and I looked for her for HOURS. I mean, she could have let me know that she wasn't done so I didn't waste my time. Stupid last minute peoples.....

Moonsong
05-16-2011, 09:08 PM
I'm going to have to agree with everything stated. I've recently had similar experiences with commissioners on here, and needless to say I am not pleased. I should not have to badger you for progress pics, or even updates in general. I should not be ignored 9 times out of 10 that I send you an IM.

Three friends of mine are currently going through the same issue with a commissioner that came extremely highly recommended. Bare bones communication, no progress pictures, and there are about three weeks left until the convention and they still don't have their costumes. It's really shameful.

If you can't commit to the service you promised to provide, for ANY reason, you need to grow a pair, refund the person, and suck it up instead of stringing them along and hoping you can get it done in time.

kuroi_shi
05-16-2011, 09:37 PM
I do comissions once in a while.. I've never missed a deadline.. But, I also won't take on more than one costume at a time.. I just don't have the time to do more than one, with a full time job..
I stop taking comissions all together when I'm working on my own costumes.. I won't do another comission now until Sept, because I have 3 costumes that I'm making for myself and my BF due at the end of August.

Yazoo_the_Kazoo
05-16-2011, 11:47 PM
This is my two cents as a commissioner:
I always feel self conscious about not sending enough progress photos, because a lot of the time I get super wrapped up in making the costume and forget to take pictures as I go along, so I'll have finished the costume for the customer without sending them any progress pictures at all. ^^;
Like just today, I had a client PM me asking for progress pictures, because she's worried that I haven't sent any, and I'm so close to finishing, I'm just going to take pictures of the thing tomorrow after I finish the last couple of details. And I feel terrible about that, because I made her worry. It's not like I haven't been doing any work, but I still feel bad.
For me, the money I take in advance is the cost of materials, and I literally order the materials the moment I get the payment into my paypal account. So it's not like I'm just sitting on the money, or spending it on something else. I also very strictly work on costumes in terms of due date. A costume due next month gets more attention than one with no specific due date.
Anyways, that's just what I have to add, take it as you will.

mixaka
05-17-2011, 03:26 AM
This is going to be a long rant. I think one of the biggest problems is that most commissioners who offer their services are simply not yet ready to be commissioners. Cosplay is a hobby until you start charging for what you do. Then, it's a business. You can have years of experience making your own costumes but that does not mean you are ready for the challenge of starting a business. I think many commissioners either forget or simply don't realize that when you take payment for your services, cosplay is no longer something you do just for fun, but something you do for pay.

As someone who has started a business based on a hobby not related to cosplay, I know the business side of things can ruin a hobby fast and lead to a lack of motivation to get things done. Time management becomes increasingly important as good commissioners will only get busier and busier. And not even with actual construction, but with answering inquires and keeping people up to date on their orders. It takes so much more time than people realize to quote and respond to so many people everyday. It always seems to me that good commissioners go bad when they start getting to much work and cant keep up. They need to start saying no before they get too busy to handle things. If a commissioner takes on too much work, all of a sudden, your paid for 6 months in advance costume that they say they can totally get to you by your deadline is either just not done or put together in a rush at the last minute. As more and more costumes become late, the work keeps piling as does the stress from disappointing people (assuming they care) and from being rightly hounded by people who have not received their stuff. It may not be that they want to screw you over by missing your deadline and what not, but that it what happens whether it was their intention or not and they need to take responsibility. Too many times they simply disappear or stop contacting people back instead of facing up to their failures and telling the truth about the situation.

From a buyers point of view, I think there is a big problem is with how payment works. Paypal is a really risky payment method because most costumes cannot be finished in less than 45 days. And even paying only half up front and half later still means you will be out money if you get nothing. Scammers can easily work that to their advantage and do. I'm curious if commissioners out there would accept a system where, before the 45 day period is up, a refund minus the cost of materials purchased up to that point (with pics/receipts to prove the purchase) would be returned to and then repaid by the buyer and then repeat until the costume is sent. Later refunds sent could also include labor cost, but only if previews that labor was done are provided. That is the only way I see to get around the 45 day problem. You also cant always rely on recommendations either as a person's work quality will vary from outfit to outfit depending on all sorts of factors. Many times, if a commissioner gets behind and their work quality changes or they start delivery costumes late or not at all, the complaints don't appear until its too late to help others considering getting a commission done.

All in all, its simply important to realize the huge risk that exists when commissioning. And, sadly, for some, the high risk means they will pass on the hobby or stick with Chinese factory work because, while you may not get quality, at least you get something.

kuroi_shi
05-17-2011, 07:11 AM
edit: crisis averted. I overreacted too quickly.

Fallnmemrys
07-01-2011, 12:01 PM
ok so normally some commissioner that ask for half payment upfront is so they can actually buy the materials....i know that it seems kind of wrong to people but without that money they honestly can't get started on it. Some people are just barely making it by with bills and all. So please try to understand that is why they ask for it. Now if they ask for the rest of the payment before they finish it then that is something you should worry about.

kiratsukai
07-01-2011, 08:45 PM
ok so normally some commissioner that ask for half payment upfront is so they can actually buy the materials....i know that it seems kind of wrong to people but without that money they honestly can't get started on it. Some people are just barely making it by with bills and all. So please try to understand that is why they ask for it. Now if they ask for the rest of the payment before they finish it then that is something you should worry about.

A good deal of commissioners are taking that money far in advance with no intention of purchasing materials or beginning the work until farther down the line. Some of them then use that money for their own entertainment or projects...

That's what the complaint is about.

If enough people do this, the practice of paying in advance itself becomes undesireable and a good way to get ripped off.

I'm out $187 because I paid for "materials" that surely didn't cost that much on a costume that wasn't begun until months after my deadline.

I have no problem with paying for materials... but in light of this shit going down. I expect to have a realistic estimate of when my costume will be begun and recieve pictures of materials and progress soon after I pay for it.

I'm no longer willing to pay someone up-front, in the dark, for a costume 5 or 6 months in advance. Because I know from experience that I'm likely not to see a single progress photo until a week before my deadline -- if I recieve a costume at all.

I'm ready to stop using commissioners I don't know personally.
Buyers don't have enough leverage against them in the current system to see that anything is done about fraud. The time periods involved are too long, the contracts too vague and ~always~ worded by the comissioner to protect the comissioner.

Every transaction I enter should not be a high-stakes gamble.

I don't think it's unreasonable to pay for materials in advance.
I think it's unreasonable for that money for materials not to be spent on materials soon after I provide it. That, after all, is the deal. I would appreciate a photo or some receipts to prove that materials have been furnished ~before~ the paypal protection terms are up. From now on, I'm not going to deal with comissioners who can't do this for me. I can't afford to be ripped off again :/

evaunit01berser
07-01-2011, 10:02 PM
I'm ready to stop using commissioners I don't know personally.




this one line is the solution to this whole problem.

uniquecreator
07-01-2011, 11:01 PM
Everyone has an opinion whether to work with a commissioner or not, but the reason a outfit is commissioned by a customer is usually because the customer can't do it themselves or in some rare cases, they do not have the time to make the costume. There are commissioners that have given the designer/seamstress/commissioning trade a bad name by taking customers money up front and then not fulfilling their responsibility to make the costume or piece they commissioned to do. For those commissioners that have done that, then those you have to be careful with. You can't put those that are responsible into the same category, that is stereotyping the person. When you commission a person and you send a deposit, this deposit is like a signature that binds a contract between you and the commissioner so that the customer is saying that he/she is serious about going on with this project and on the commissioner's side -that he/she will be responsible to make this costume on time for the customer. The deposit also guarantees that the space on that commissioner's schedule will be held for you, the customer. The commissioner can purchase fabric in advance and work on the costume in portions, sometimes at the same time as he/she is working on other costumes, that is their choice. The reason you commission in advance (months prior to the deadline) is to give the commissioner time to make your costume without rushing. Normally, the customers that have problems with their costumes are those that wait until the last moment (sometimes a month is not time enough to put an outfit together) or those that are constantly bothering the commissioner about getting pictures. Taking pictures and sending them out takes time and especially if you are working on other projects, it seems like a burden. I have been responsible and serious with all my customers. I work hard to get all their costumes done on time and my steady customers have learned to book in advance or if not, I may not be able to help them. Quality workmanship requires time and dedication. I take pictures of a the final costume, when it is finished, ironed and looks great.

Taking pictures prior to finishing brings problems because sometimes you have to deal with an undecided customer that is PMing you or emailing you a change of design or complete outfit everyday. This is a problem. Changes, bring delays and confusion. Once you decide on a costume and you go over it with the commissioner, I personally do not want to accept a deposit until all the designs are finalize and accepted by both the customer and myself. Once decided, you go on straight to the project to get it done.

So the advice is to do your homework, research the commissioner, work closely from the beginning with the commissioner to explain your ideas and what you want. Give the commissioner good reference pictures and details. Any changes have to be done at that point, not later. Be serious about getting the costume done. Negotiate price, send a deposit only when you are ready to get the project started and just send a communication to the commissioner now and then, but not to hound them for pictures. Good communication normally results in quality work.

Wishing you the best with your next commission.

Stormraven24
07-02-2011, 11:51 AM
^ This is why contracts and a clear understanding of what is expected from both sides are integral to a smooth transaction. The buyer should not be demanding changes to every little thing unless the commissioner has done something so far out there that it needs to be said. On the other hand, the commissioner shouldn't take on a commission/take money until they have a clear understanding of what is expected from their client.

You said it in your last paragraph; it's a two-way street that both parties need to be aware of what is expected from the other. With progress pics, you can see what's going to work and what's not and it can be changed before it's too late (i.e. when the costume is done).

her_oathkeeper
07-04-2011, 04:21 PM
It's like. My thoughts were posted in this thread exactly.

I commissioned for a Charles Grey costume to be commissioned early spring (February/March) about 2 months before the con. It was considered a rush-order, I know. So I sent in my first payment of over $200. And it was all going swimmingly, at first. I got emails that were usually a few days apart, but I figured that was normal.

o__o But by the time the con came by, the vest was the only thing finished. So I was like, OKAY I can deal with that. That's okay, it was a rush-order. So I said I wanted it ready for a con in July (since the con is 8-10). Since then, I sent $80 more dollars, since I wasn't seeing a lot of progress. Anyways, I showed that I was ready to send payments when needed.

The emails are less frequent and I'm not getting as many updates. In fact, I haven't seen anything else but the vest finished. And I've been emailing consistently, asking for updates.

I just want my costume done. I really do.

Missha
07-07-2011, 11:11 AM
I have also had better luck with Chinese sellers, and everyone gives them crap for being rip-offs? =/ I ordered an outfit from cosplay-fu.com, they told me when it would get here, kept me updated and it even arrived early! And it was sewn well and looks great!

I will never work with cosplaymandy, blackmoon cosplay, dream-angles.net or a few others ever again. I'm paying you to do a job, so I expect it to be done on my terms, especially if you agree to those terms! >.< so don't give me a ton of excuses, don't ignore my emails for months and months, and don't take all my money and then just work on it last second, because I'm not paying you for a last minute rush job, and I'll be furious if that's what I receive in the mail.

I just go through my friend Renee now, she's the only one I can trust with my outfits anymore.

Also: The review thread honestly does sh*t for me anymore. I find people with A's and they're still very horrible commissioners. Like blackmoon? I wanted a Rinoa wig done by her, she had all A's so I was like "perfect!" Well, she showed me a picture of the base wig she FINALLY got (even though my wig was due at the end of June...-grumble-) it was almost blonde! It was light light brown. She thought we agreed on a dark brown and they sent her a bad wig -shakes head- I said, "No, like I've told you before, I said I wanted BLACK with reddish highlights, apparently that was missed, even when I sent about 8 pictures of how I wanted it to look." She said she was going to fix it in time for Otakon but I'm not holding my breath...especially since it's looking to be last minute...ugh!

Sirius-chan
07-08-2011, 09:47 AM
I've had okay experience on this site but of course I always did a contract that showed what happened if they don't deliver the product. Right now I'm under two people without a contract (and one other that is under a contract) one is Sutie who I have not heard from since I sent her the money. I check her account after the last time I PMed her (last week) and she hasn't been on and I can just hope that she comes through. Another person says that I there are other people in front of me and that I will get my item by August which I hope because I need it for painting (have to match my armor colors to it.)

In the past people that were under contract did send me photos, costume a little late (because I allowed it to be, always set my due date about a month before the con just in case) One person gave me a refund of course took the material cost out of it which I had no problem with.

Needless to say I had problems with a scammer in the past and due to that years ago I didn't commission people for a while. I made my own but due to the complex of one costume I needed to get my other cosplays commissioned. Plus I dont' have a sewing machine anymore due to my move, my mother took it.

Me and my brother were scammed out of a total of $280 and I'll tell you if you pester paypal about it and explain that costumes take more than a month at times they'll give you the money back. Also you can talk to your bank if it comes out of your bank and they'll be more than happy to get your money back for you.

As far as Chinese seller go I never had the problem of the costume "falling apart" I still have my first one I ordered and still looks like it did when I bought it. So people need to stop giving them so much crap.

With emailing your commissioner over and over some don't like that and they see it as being pushed and not giving them the space they need to work. Even in one of my past contracts I got "please don't keep sending emails the time it takes me to email you back I could be using it to work on your costume." so I suppose I can see why some stop emailing but a simple. "Hey this is bugging me" works just as nice too.

x-Steffi-x
07-08-2011, 11:20 AM
I have also had better luck with Chinese sellers, and everyone gives them crap for being rip-offs? =/ I ordered an outfit from cosplay-fu.com, they told me when it would get here, kept me updated and it even arrived early! And it was sewn well and looks great!

Yeah but just because a couple of people have had good experience with Chinese sellers, others may not. It's the same with commissioners, for example, Limebarb, some people like them and others avoid them.

I've had nothing but positive experience with Chinese sellers also, but that doesn't stop me from being weary for the next time.

lunaladyoflight
07-08-2011, 11:59 AM
As a commissioner, I do require full payment up front. This is because I (usually) don't have the extra cash to buy the client's supplies. I'm a student and I'm working as many hours as I can, but I don't have a million dollars. I've never scammed a client, they've always received their product. The majority of my clients have been happy, when only a very small percentage have been unhappy.

You can't say that ALL commissioners who take money first are trying to rob you. We're people too with bills and lives and jobs. We do commissions because we love creating things in our spare time.

Sirius-chan
07-08-2011, 09:52 PM
I always give my commissioner without a contract a benefit of the doubt. I do want to trust them at all cost, there is a lot of trust. I'm not jumping to conclusions with Suite or the other two that are contract less right now. The point is not to jump to conclusions before the due date. They are indeed people.

Fireflyhikari
09-20-2011, 05:59 AM
I'm a commissioner but not starting a project and taking someone's money is just wrong... I don't start the projects until I get payment but that is just because someone had changed there mind after I finished making it... I don't know why you would want to steal someone else's money not only is it wrong but then you loose commissions because of that! Not only that but it will give the store a bad rep...

supergeekgirl
09-20-2011, 09:02 AM
I stopped doing commissions for many reasons, and this is one of them.

Well, this and the fact that commissionees often don't want to pay the second half of the money in order to get the costumes they commissioned (I always did half up-front because I didn't want to start on something and have no money for supplies... but you know what? Often I would never charge the second half or only charge part of it because the commissionee would refuse to pay the rest, and I wanted the costume off my hands.)

The issue, oftentimes, is that a commissioner thinks he/she will have more time than he/she has and waits until the last minute. You'll probably see that they do the same thing with their own costumes. I was like that for a couple of years though I generally did my commissions far in advance and my own costumes the night before... meaning that my own costumes were horrible while my commissions were passable. One night, I stayed up all night to finish my own costume because I had been doing commissions for half the people in my college anime club. That's when I decided I would never do commissions again. I wanted... a life, I guess? And I also didn't want to be responsible for every time something dire came up and kept me from finishing a project for someone else.

Anyway, the point is that most people who do commissions really shouldn't. Most of them are under-selling their time and not budgeting their time well so that they can finish both projects for themselves and for others. If any of you who don't yet make your own costumes ever start making costumes, think long and hard before you start taking commissions. Think about how many hours you will put into each commission, and price it so that you get more than you would at your normal job per hour. Remember that if you start doing commissions on top of a full-time job and hobbies and a social life, that you will end up exactly like the commissioner being discussed in the OP.

Mr. Tofu
03-10-2012, 10:56 AM
I'm having issues with my commissioner currently as well. :/

I paid half of my commission upfront in August 2011. She had a few other's going on and asked nicely if it could be delayed which I agreed to since my con wasn't until April.


It is now 3 weeks until my con and I have heard very little but excuses of why things have gone the way they have. I asked that it be done before March and here we are Mid-March almost. She says it will be to me before my con, but I am so stressed, I don't even feel it's worth it.

Ugh.

ZypherDragon24
03-11-2012, 05:32 PM
I can't help but agree to most of the stuff here as well for I too had my issue with a commissioner and the only thing I regret is not coming here to these kinds of threads to keep a lookout for people I should watch out for. I can't very well do much about my situation since mine happened years ago and I'm out of a good amount of money for props dealing with a commissioner and after learning what happened beforehand with others and the excuses the person gave, that just made me pissed to believe his word. For me, if I were to take a commission from someone, I rather meet them up front at a convention or something. That's how I got to know Athel so well and she's a wonderful commissioner that I'd gladly go back to.

As for places like cosplay-fu and cosplayhouse, I had no troubles with them and I can understand some people may have had bad experiences from them in the past but to each their own. I haven't gotten much of a bad cosplay from either of those places. Maybe a little tight around the waist since I tend to go by their size chart but other than that, nothing too over the top.

thunderfirewolf
03-16-2012, 05:15 AM
That's exactly how my first (and only) commision went with Cosblade / Michael Young. I was so furious through the whole thing. The guy took ALL of the money up front, no progress photos, no communication. NOTHING. I wrote a review for him in the commissioner review thread, but I had so many negative and ridiculous things to say that I actually went over the character limit. Fury. I actually got the rod and it STILL smelled like paint even though I had commissioned it AND paid for it at the very beginning of November and he had assured me he could have it done, ready and at my front door by January 10th. It was so obvious that he had rushed to get it made RIGHT before he shipped it out. >:C So much pent up anger. /end rant.

Oh, I forgot to mention. He also completely forgot my deadline. I actually emailed him remind him of it. Done.

thunderfirewolf
03-16-2012, 05:46 AM
The reason you commission in advance (months prior to the deadline) is to give the commissioner time to make your costume without rushing. Normally, the customers that have problems with their costumes are those that wait until the last moment (sometimes a month is not time enough to put an outfit together) or those that are constantly bothering the commissioner about getting pictures.

I don't like how you worded that, because you make it seem like it's the customers fault that the commissioner took on a project they couldn't complete in a deadline they knew about. If you're a commissioner, you need to realize how fast you can make something that is still top quality. It's the commissioners fault for taking on a project with a deadline that's too close for them. I say 'them' because some people work great under the pressure of a tight deadline.

Ahza_miracle
03-20-2012, 02:50 AM
DAMN reallly, XD... i start to think i really charge soo cheap 0-0, i hear bad things about to many cosmakers, but no sure, i dont like to much the chinese sellers i find the fabric they use the most cheap fabric ever XDD, and yeahh i ask like half of the payment when the person want a cosplay, more because i really wanna be sure the person want the cosplay and dont let me down after i buy everything for the cosplay TT^TT(happen to me firts time i made one) i start to get to many request and i have to work on them all by my self >-<... anyway ^^, show u my fanpage guys 0-0, no to much to see i just made it, but its someone need something let me know ^^ <3
facebook.com/ahzamiraclecosplay

tehkukikookie
03-20-2012, 03:45 AM
I only ask for the materials up front, then they pay the rest when they want me to ship it.

However, if they want it AS SOON as it's completed I expect full payment as soon as possible so I'm not looking for them for the shipping and labor fees.

reddragonomega
04-26-2012, 01:42 PM
So here is a point of view of some one who takes commissions. For me If I know I have some time to get the prop made I will take half of the payment in advance and it is because some times it can take a couple months to find/order the materials that are needed. But what really annoys me is when people assume that you are in the same country as the person you are commissioning. I made a very large prop for a girl and had no idea what the shipping was till I was done and when I told her the cost of shipping she decided she didn't want to pay for it. So I'm stuck with a large prop in my work shop because she assumed we were both in the u.s.a. She is also wanting a refund but I did use all the money to buy the materials to make it so it is gone. So here are some tips for ppl that want to commission large props. 1. Make sure you are in the same country. It is not the job of the prop maker to check that you know where they are based out if. 2. Once a prop is made don't expect to get a refund on it. It takes time and skill to make a good prop and that is also what you are paying for. Unless you have a arrangement with the prop/costume maker to get a refund once the item is done.

Sorry I went on a bit of a rant there.

maggietron
08-29-2012, 11:49 PM
On this site I had one commission that took almost a year to make. I had to keep PMing her about it, till she finally finished it and send it out. Another one i was scammed out $100 ( thank god I didn't pay full)
I have commissioned 2 Chinese commissioners and had great contact with them, kept me updated on what they were doing ( with pics ) and they are the 2 best costumes I own.

I only state this cause of some of the comments i read about Chinese commissioners.

ViolentEvo
10-17-2012, 07:12 PM
I'm a relatively new commissioner to this site, but not a new commissioner. Normally i required half when i start, half when i finish. If I have a backup and can't get to something right away, i only require a small deposit (usually 30-50$) to lock your place in line and show that you are serious, then the rest of what would be half when i get to your place in line. People not being serious is becoming a big problem, especially off of this site. I had a table at a con a year or so ago for props, armor and sculptures, I walked away with 30 potential commissions, ranging from 80$ to 7,500$, didn't even think of doing small deposits, and in the end, not a single one worked out. A small deposit shows your seriousness, and proves that you aren't potentially wasting an artists time. If they end up backing out of the deal, they are only out the small deposit. My next table in dec, will be small deposits required.

One thing ive noticed, specifially here is commissionee's budgets for certain things. I think i saw someone a few days ago looking for a full suit of spartan armor for a budget of 250$. I bring this up because the fact that peoples budgets tend to be so low, someone has to be accepting it. This drives down the price of the services as a whole, meaning more commissioners are spreading themselves quite thin. While this is a problem, this is absolutely not excuse for a lack of professionalism. Replies to correspondence is required for any type of relationship, especially in business and services.

As for the progress pictures portion of this, it's easy for me, because of what i specialize in. Every step is significantly different than the previous. Sculpt - send picture, mold - send picture, cast - send picture, paint - send final pictures and request final payment. I don't do cloth related commissions so i shall claim ignorance as to the steps, but more progress pictures should be sent than just "hey look its finished, i hope its what you wanted"


2cents

AnimaCirque
10-29-2012, 01:12 PM
Interesting you mentioned JD, cause I had that guy commission a costume for me last year and I got up to date photos but when I recieved the costume (from overseas at the time), tried it on, not only did the top not fit correctly the piece that buttoned in front fell apart b/c it was poorly sewn. I mentioned all this too him and he said he'd fix it for me but it would've been too late for the con I needed it for. Plus, I would've had to pay shipping and wait another 2 to 3 weeks....no thank you. So disappointed, now I don't know what to do with this thing and I couldn't get my money back either cause I also made a complaint to Paypal. What the hell?!

It's more a general complaint. I've been queue jumped a lot in my year of adventures with comissioning and it seems that no matter who I approach and how early I approach them, my costume is not begun until the last possible moment (and a good deal of complaining and chasing on my part).

loserific...? Yes. I'm anxious.

But also JD, cosplaymandy, and TeL... ie. ~all but 2 of the comissioners I've ever worked with~

4 out of 6 not answering emails regularly, delivering progress photos they'd promised or starting on a project until the last minute after being given an average of 3-4 months to work on it would seem to indicate this is a problem with more than just one commissioner.

I do not mind waiting in a line... but I would appreciate knowing where in that line I stand and that other customers aren't going to slip in ahead of me while I bite my nails over a deadline that the commissioner seems to have forgotten all about.

ichigo_m.
10-29-2012, 04:00 PM
I ask for half in advance because yes, I do get started on costumes way ahead of time. But sometimes life happens, or you have other commissions that need to be done before that one.
I just started college so all of my commissions are on the back burner, sure they're gonna get done in time, but not as efficiently as I like.

I understand being upset if they do nothing. But commissioners usually have another job as well.

ViolentEvo
10-31-2012, 07:43 PM
I am my own fulltime business. If the budget is too low, or the time frame is impossible i decline the job. If my quote is too high, they decline the job. But this is what people expect. Yes, everyone has real life issues, but when you accept a commission, you need to do everything possible to finish it by the deadline. Even if you aren't a business, your commissionee expects you to act as such, no matter what the budget. If you agree to it, you are bound to it. If it is actually a rush job, the customer must accept certain situations (weather knocking out power, or you loose an arm) but a standard commission should have no excuse for a failed product, or the product being late. If you have a problem with time management, start a customer list. Take a tiny deposit to hold a spot in line, and when its their turn they pay the ACTUAL deposit, minus the tiny deposit they already had.

MaryWesker
11-22-2012, 08:49 PM
Pissed off at commissioners in general.

When I pay you a 250 down payment in JANUARY and tell you my $500 costume is due in May. I am not paying you 5 months in advance to start the costume in May. I am paying you to start the costume AS SOON AS YOU CAN and take however long you need to finish it to my standards in the time allotted. If you can finish it in 3 weeks, awesome, give it to me in February. BUT STOP TAKING MY MONEY FOUR EFFING MONTHS IN ADVANCE AND THEN RUSHING MY PROJECT OUT THE DOOR THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT!!!!

If you aren't going to start my project until the 8 people who come to you AFTER me with nearer deadlines are through the door to maximize your profit, don't take my money so far in advance!!!! Because -I can't get it back after a month-.

Essentially this has become the default for commissioners here and it SUCKS. It sets everyone up to be ripped off, stressed out and disappointed no matter how early they started, how much they paid and how well they did their research.

I've now worked with five people... and only two have gotten me costumes on time. One of those was a rush job and partially incomplete.

I asked for all of these projects four to five MONTHS in advance, paid well over factory-rate, and got promised in-progress pictures only once. Give me a break!!!

-Begin projects when they are paid for, or don't take the money until you are ready to begin (or in the very least, purchase materials)-

I think I have been courteous and reasonable... but when someone is paying you to perform a service for them, that SERVICE matters nearly as much as recieving the product... especially if that service is meant to give you the peace of mind in knowing that that product will be delivered to you on-time in useable condition. Good service is not being shuffled to the back of the queue so people who have managed their time poorly can get their stuff on time while yours goes forgotten.

I do not mind joining a queue that has formed before me and waiting my turn. But that queue should not be jumpable for customers paying after I have unless I am asked ~first~ if it's cool.

This has happened to me three times in the past two years, all from commissioners I found on this site. It's really frustrating. I didn't even get two of my commissions! (They wait till paypal won't cover you anymore to tell you it was 'lost' or they're fixing it and just never send it out; this happened with two props I ordered back in March)

And the other one; the commissioner had 6 months to work on it in total when I placed my commission. And got my measurements wrong (after I sent everything she asked for and made a special note of some of them.) it didn't fit so I sent it back (shipping came out of my pocket) and she had an additional three months to fix it...didn't bother till a week before my deadline and said she didn't have time to fix my commission after a convention....after I'd paid her. I actually had to threaten to report her to get the dress finished...and it was so half assed in how it was 'fixed' I couldn't wear it. $250 in the hole for an outfit I couldn't wear.

Just so nobody else makes this mistake; the two I'm talking about in this post are DevilCosplaysxCO (on deviantart, the prop that never made it) and http://akino-atelier.com/ (she's here, facebook, deviant art and etsy. This was the badly repaired dress) Just a heads up to those who still trust commissioners; I don't recommend these two; horrible experiences.