Name of Commissioner: cosblade.com / Michael Young
Website/C.com gallery: cosblade.com
Character commissioned and series/video game (please include if this was the entire costume, just a jacket, prop, accessory, wig, etc.): Healing rod for Garnet from Final Fantasy 9, blonde wig for Sailor V
Links to picture(s) of your commissioned item:
Have yet to receive them.
Photos of healing rod
Timeline (how long your order took to process): First contacted 10/22/11 about commission, took commissioner five days to reply saying he was busy with Halloween commissions. He finally got back to me on 11/02/11 and the paypal invoice was sent to me 11/03/11 and was paid promptly. As of today, it's been almost three months since I first contacted him about the wig and rod. I haven't gotten either yet. Though, he did say the rod is in the mail, but did not give a tracking number.
UPDATE (03-08-12): Staff received 01-26-12, the day I left for convention that staff was used for. 16 days after due date given.
Describe your Experience. Pros, Cons, Comments.: I contacted the commissioner in advance and gave a date of 01/10/12 as when I needed them by. He said he would definitely be able to do it in time and even thanked me for giving him such an advanced notice. After I sent the payment through paypal on 11/03/11, I didn't e-mail him again and he didn't e-mail me. I figured I'd let him work without me breathing down his neck. Well, that turned out to be a mistake.
As it was getting closer to my deadline, I started to get nervous and so I sent him an e-mail on 12/31/11 reminded him of what I had commissioned and asking how it was going. He replied the same day telling me that he had my deadline on his calender and he knew it was coming up. And that he would start making the rod next week and that his wife would start on the wig. Well, I let it lay at that, until the 4th rolled around. That was only 6 days before I needed to have the rod and wig. I sent him another e-mail, just saying that I hoped he wasn't having much trouble. I received no reply.
Finally, the 10th rolled around and I sent him an e-mail asked how it was going and reminded him that TODAY was my deadline. He e-mailed me back later that day and told me that the healing rod should be done by the end of the week and that he's still waiting on the wig to arrive. He also said that if he didn't have it by Friday, he'd give me a heads up. I e-mailed him back telling him that I was upset about not having the rod and wig in time for what I needed and asking for progress photos. It wasn't until the next day that he e-mailed me again, telling me how sorry he was that he missed my deadline and that he had mixed my deadline up with another customer. He assured me that he would bump mine up to the front of the line and get it finished as quickly as possible. He apologized again, but he still missed my deadline and I wasn't able to use them for what I needed them for.
I e-mailed him back asking when was the soonest I could get it and also asking what the status of the wig was. He e-mailed me back saying that he was pretty sure he could have the rod finished before the weekend and send it out Friday evening. But that the wig may not be in until next week. He said that if it wasn't, he will ship them separate at his own cost. He then sent me an image of the staff at that point and assured me that it would be done before the weekend. The rod looked okay in the image, but it wasn't completed, only the handle was done. It seemed a little off from the original, but it wasn't bad.
The next e-mail I received from him was the e-mail with the attached picture and that was on 01/12/12. I sent him an e-mail that same day saying that it looked good and thanking him. THEN on the 15th, I still hadn't heard anything from him, so I e-mailed him myself and asked how close he was to being done. He replied on the 16th telling me that it had been mailed on Friday from his work, but because of the holiday Monday, he wasn't sure when it would process. No details about how it was shipped, no tracking number. Just that it was shipped Friday. He did say that when he went into work the next day he'd find out for me, but I never got an e-mail about it. He also said that he was supposed to have the wig that same week.
Well, I sent him a reply on the 16th thanking him again and saying that I hoped the wig came in soon. I received no reply. I gave him a few days, then I e-mailed him AGAIN on the 18th just saying I was wondering when the wig would come in and informing him that I found another event to wear the wig to, but I'd need it by the 26th of this month. And I also told him that I was worried I wouldn't have it in time. That e-mail also went without a reply.
Finally, last night I e-mailed him and this time I was stern with him. I asked if there was a tracking number for the staff because I had yet to receive it. I also asked what was going on with the wig. I tried to be as polite as possible, but this is just beyond frustrating. He missed the deadline once and now it looks like he'll miss it, again. Which means that I will have to put out more money to buy a wig at the convention and, honestly, hope that they have what I need in a wig.
Three days later on 01-23-12 I emailed him again, I asked if everything was alright, just to make sure that nothing serious had happened to him or anyone in his family, that way I wouldn't look like a total jerk for yelling at him. I also told him that I feared it wouldn't be here for Thursday when I needed it and I went on to compare my situation to my boyfriend purchasing an item that was shipped from the same state and was guaranteed there by Wednesday and it had shipped at a later date than what he said my rod and wig had shipped at. I also asked to make sure the shipped address was correct because of how long it was taking.
He replied to me the next day (01-24-12) and went on to say that he was sorry for not replying to me, he gave me the excuse that he wasn't able to get on the internet at his house and did not elaborate (I still am unsure if this is true or not, just for the fact of the next things that happened.) He then went on to say he was on a friends computer and that my staff had come BACK to him. He double checked the shipping address, which was correct. I then found out that he was using his employers UPS account to ship my item (He did say that he had permission), but then went on to say that maybe one of his managers saw it and didn't recognize it, so they cancelled it. I'm unsure if I believe him at this point in time, but he goes on to say that he will ship it out USPS tomorrow. He then tells me that the wig is not there and will not be there in time because it is shipping from China.
He then tells me that if I have found a place that can get me the wig I need in time, he will be happy to refund me the money I need to purchase it. So, I give him props for being compliant with that and understanding, but at the same time it IS his fault and I believe the refund was what needed to be done. He ended the message by giving me his cell number and saying that I should text him confirming the shipping address and that it would be the best way to get ahold of him.
The rest of the conversation for the night took place over texts, unfortunately I no longer have the phone that holds the texts. But from memory, I can say that I had him refund me 65 dollars so I could purchase a wig at the convention, he did comply and refunded me the 65 over paypal as he rightfully should have. He found a USPS way to ship that was guaranteed two days. I paid no extra, though I would have been furious had he demanded extra for shipping when the whole issue was his fault. He shipped it Tuesday afternoon, sent me a text confirming it. I thanked him and on Thursday I received my package, just a few hours before I was set to leave on the 3 hour drive to the convention.
So, in short:
Pros: Relatively cheap, I'd say.
Con: Missed deadline, actually forgot deadline. Wanted full amount at one time. HORRIBLE communication. You're left in the dark for long periods of time.
Personally, after this, I would not recommend him. Or, if you're going to use him, make sure that you e-mail him constantly, don't pay him all up front and constantly remind him of your deadline. Again, though, I would not recommend him.
Cons of product: When I opened the packaging for the staff, it smelled like the paint was still wet. Which, to me, said that he never did ship it prior to the final shipping that got it to me the DAY I was leaving for the convention (Far after my deadline). I actually just unpacked it tonight for photos and the smell is completely gone. That reassures me that it was freshly done when shipped to me.
The product quality is terrible, itself. He did get the measurement right and made it 43 inches (I gave the measurement of at least 40 inches) and I do give him props for using medical tape to wrap it instead of painting white around the staff, since it was a Healing rod and looking at the pictures I believe it's gauze, but that's about all this rod has going for it. The painting is terrible, if you look at the photos you can tell that it was rushed and has unfinished parts. He also simply used an ink pen to draw the hearts on and it looks nothing like that part of the rod.
Another issue with the craftsmanship is that there is visible glue where the foam ball he used was glued to the rod. I find it disgusting and it looks like snot.
The end part that is simply screwed onto the staff also is an issue, it doesn't line up perfectly and as you can see, it's obvious that he put the screw hole in at the wrong point and changed it, all this did was make it wobbly and impossible to screw tight.
Final Grade: F