Folksy Ltd

Commissioned order - Advice please

(Helen Healey) #1

I’ve had an e-mail via Folksy asking me if I can make 4 of one of my listed items in a particular matching colour. I’ll need to e-mail back and obtain a bit more detail, but after that, I’m not really sure how I should go about dealing with it all. I’ve done customised orders before but never through Folksy. Obviously, as the e-mail has come via Folksy, I want the order to go through Folksy so that they get the commission (only fair). What is the best way to go about doing this? Should I produce a listing just for that customer or is there some other way? Also, do people charge the full price up front even though the customer hasn’t seen what the item they’ve asked for will actually look like, or do you take an initial deposit, keep the customer updated with progress/photos and charge the remainder prior to despatch?

Any advice would be gratefully received. :smile:

(Sasha Garrett) #2

I would produce at least a custom listing setting out all of the agreed details (colour ways/ time lines etc) then eveything is in writing for the customer to double check before proceeding (and if they come back later and say this isn’t what we agreed you can say if you look at the listing I think you’ll find it is). This could be split into 2 listings, one for a materials deposit (non refundable), the second for the balance payable on completion, whether you let them back out when its finished is up to you - dependant on how confident you are that you could sell them to someone else. If you are not confident that you will be able to sell it to someone else because of their colour choice I’d ask for all the money up front and stress that you’ll only refund it if the manufacturing is defective. I always send progress photos regardless of how I’ve organised the payment structure with a client, people get excited by them and it reassures if it is their first time commissioning something.
You might want to post them fabric swatches just so that they can check that the colours are too their liking - with monitors being set up differently the colours might not be exactly what they think it is. This it might save problems later on and stamps aren’t that expensive.

(Angela Callanan) #3

I haven’t sold a custom order but I’ve purchased one. The seller created a custom listing for me. I also paid the price up front. They sent me pictures of the fabric I could choose from first and then a picture of the finished product with the option to cancel the order if it wasn’t to my liking.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #4

Firstly there is as difference between custom and made to order.

Custom is something that only the person ordering would ever buy ie you’d not be able to put it out as a general sale because for instance it would only ever fit that person or has a date and venue on it so can’t be used again. That also includes if you have to buy specialized materials to make the item.

That kind of order should be full payment up front.

If it’s simply made to order ie please can you make that teacosy in blue rather than the red one you have for sale. Then clearly that’s not a custom order as a blue cosy can go into general sale.

I had one where a customers wanted a item in another colour I didn’t take any monies upfront as I knew if the customer changed their mind it would just go into general sale.

But when I did the listing I made sure the title said custom listing for Customer insert customers first name. I then send the customer the link to the listing via email so they could pay.

(Helen Healey) #5

Thanks Sasha. Some really helpful advice here. Much appreciated.

(Helen Healey) #6

Thanks Angela. It’s really useful to hear a view from a customer perspective.

(Helen Healey) #7

Thanks Eileen. Yes I see what you mean about this not being a customised order. I won’t ask for a deposit. Thanks for your help.

(Christine Shephard) #8

I always ask for full payment in advance, whether it’s a custom order, made-to-order item, or sale from stock. If you offer made-to-order items in your shop, buyers normally pay at the time of order, so I don’t see this as any different. I also find this focuses the buyer’s mind and ensures they don’t change their mind halfway through the process!

I would create a separate listing, reserved for the buyer, with details of the order. If they want a fabric sample, I would send that out too. When they are happy to proceed they can order as usual. I don’t buy materials or start work until the order has been confirmed and paid.

As Eileen says, if the order is not personalised in any way, it should still be covered by the returns and refunds policy.

Make sure everything is agreed in advance, in writing (email is ok) and that the buyer is happy to proceed. Keep it professional and polite, but state your terms and stick to them.

(Roz) #9

When I do custom/made to order items I always take full payment up front and work to a contract. I usually state that x% of the payment is non refundable in the event that the customer later changes their mind or doesn’t like the product. Obviously the percentage is much higher for custom made items that can not be sold on easily although I do make it clear in the contract that should the customer change their minds that the product then becomes my property to sell/dispose of as I wish. So for example, a pet portrait I could then sell on as a generic picture of a dog if I wanted to.

(Ali Millard) #10

I would absolutely take full payment up front, regardless whether it is a custom order, a made to order, or an off the shelf item.

(Jacqueline Ostrowka) #11

Hi Helen, @PocketfulCreations , well done on getting your commissions, when commissioned through folksy I create them a custom listing with all the information including time scales, I charge a 50% none refundable deposit, this will cover materials and pre work ie working out etc, I send updates and work in progress reports with pictures to the customer throughout the possess, once item is ready for posting they are required to pay the remaining 50%.
In your case though send samples as @SashaGarrett said before taking the order, you can cover the cost of samples by saying you will have to charge xx amount to cover postage and material samples but that xx amount will be deducted from the 50% deposit.
Good luck x

(Melanie Commins) #12

I also prefer to take the payment up front because it means that there’s less chance of the buyer disappearing when the order is all made and finished.

If I’m making something that I would be happy to put into my shop for general sale then I will tell the buyer that I will send pictures of the finished item for approval before posting, with the caveat that if they’re not happy with the way it’s turned out then they can have a full refund (I’ve never actually had to refund anyone!). It seems to work well and most buyers are then really excited to get their item when it finally arrives. :smile:

(Helen Healey) #13

Thanks for all the advice. You’ve all been really helpful - I really appreciate it. Plenty of food for thought. :smile: