Deposits for bespoke or special orders

Hello Folksy folk,
My son Jamie started Th3W3irdCrafters just over a year ago. He came out of college and couldnt get a job that suited his passion of working with wood, so he took the brave decision to start up on his own. Its been a real struggle trying to navigate a new small business in very uncertain times. Being part of the Folksy community has been a life saver in many different ways. Thank you!
( I am Karen, Jamies mum and assistant! )
Th3W3irdCrafters seems to be moving to commission/made to order gifts rather than having a stock sitting in the shop. We are struggling with the set up of this on the dashboard. We would like to be able to take deposits before going ahead with works.
Is it or could it be possible to have a facility where we can create a listing for a customer, put in the quantity of one, then the price for the item, then have another box with the amount of deposit they have paid. This could then leave a balance outstanding and after the work is completed the customer just pays the balance???
Its a real struggle for us to navigate this at the moment and he has had to start commissions with out any deposit or real security that the customer will honour their commitment.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
Thank you Karen x

Any commissions I get the full amount including postage up front.

The way you could do it is add variations with amounts so Deposit X amount then another for full amount. The customer then has the option which to select.


Hi Karen,

Like Caroline, I always take full payment in advance for commissions. I’ve heard too many horror stories from other crafters who have made bespoke items, only for the customer to disappear. I’ve never yet had a customer who wasn’t happy with paying the full amount in advance for something that was being made specially for them xx


It’s tricky on Folksy to do off the bat. I usually get payment up front.
create a bespoke listing in parts. Specifically addressed to the client. I.e part 1 or initial listing to secure commission with a set amount then part 2 for the completed work and any balance that remains to be paid.

Variations on listings is an option but they can be missed entirely by customers

It’s a bit messy with multiple listings but does satisfy the need for taking deposits etc. And is. Imo a little bit clearer for for clients as to why and what they are paying for

1 Like

I normally get full payment before doing commissions. There have been a couple of exceptions to this when I had some larger orders for a regular customer who I know would pay. I did it as 2 listings, one for a 50% deposit and a second for the remainder plus postage. The items were not sent until I received the final payment. Here is an example of the 2 listings.

1 Like

Thank you Caroline, I know its very risky the way we have been doing it. Thanks so much for your reply x

Thanks Helen, I think we have been lucky so far, but it certainly is not the way forward. The variations are confusing for me! they scare me a little, but I will have a look into this as an option. Thanks for your help its really appreciated x

1 Like

Thanks for your answer, I like this option and didnt think of it. It would be nice if Folksy did have a set up for deposits, I think a few shops would benefit from it. Thanks for your help x

Kim, thanks for this. I hope you dont mind I have printed off your examples. I like this idea, its a simple fix, and one I didnt think of. I take it we would incur 2 selling fees from folksy? but Iquess we could just add that into the price. Thanks for your help. it has really helped.
Karen x

I agree that it’s best to charge the full amount up front so you know the customer has fully psychologically committed to the purchase and doesn’t feel they can back on on a whim. As long as you’re clear and realistic about the timescales for completion and delivery, customers should be fine with this.

I don’t do a lot of these (like the freedom of making whatever comes to mind when the fancy takes me) but I agree that commissions are a great way of avoiding investing in excess stock and could increase orders, as sales are not as restricted by stock levels. Any time in the last few years where I have done one, I’ve taken the money up front then made the item and sent the customer a photo of it to agree it before posting, just in case adjustments were needed - this would only really be necessary if it’s a bit different from the listing photo or they’ve asked for bespoke elements.

If someone pays and there’s an issue e.g. you know there’s a delay in being able to source materials, you can always contact the customer to let them know and check they are ok with it and if they’re not you can refund. As long as you’re doing this quickly and explaining you should be able to avoid upsetting customers.

Best of luck with this and hope it goes well.

1 Like

Thanks for this, some really good points. We never really intended to offer commissions because its quite stressful and Jamie does like to go with his feelings for a piece of wood and have freedome to experiment, however it seems folks are finding his work, then asking for a piece something like it, which is great, however each piece of wood is totally unique so will never really look like the other but will have the same shape or colour. I think I also need to consider the disclaimer for this. Your input has been really helpful thanks so much.I have posted pictures of these two chopping boards. Both are wood and purple resin but you can see how different they are. I really think I need to think about how to explain this!


Reckon you could really big up the one of kind, unique, no one else will have the same etc. When you send them a photo of their purchase for final agreement might be a good idea to tell them a ‘story’ about what specifically is unique and different about their item and what influenced the artistic decisions made during crafting so they really understand and buy into it - I’m pretty rubbish at doing this myself but I know it really helps people buy into the ‘vision’ and feel good about their purchase. They are both beautiful btw :grinning:

More cheese has just come back to me… it’s about taking them on the journey, creating an experience and helping them invest in your brand!


Thanks for your advice! yes more cheese please but I am also totally rubbish at that! It sounds great. A real proper business plan is whats needed! OMG Iam just a mum!
Really really appreciate your words of wisdom, and I will take it on board xx Karen xx

Although you would pay 2 selling fees to Folksy, it would not work out any more expensive as they charge a percentage. 1 selling fee on £180 would be no different than 2 sellings fees on £90. The only extra would be the transaction fees on Paypal, you would be charged 2 of those but it’s only an extra 30p so on a larger sale I’m happy to absorb that. On lower value sales I get the full cost in advance.

Thanks so much. The selling fees are acceptable now that you point it out. I have just received my first commission and have followed your example. I hope that’s ok. I couldn’t have done this without your help. Xx very much appreciated xx Karen

1 Like

You are very welcome. I’m happy to help :blush:

1 Like

Thanks very much everyone! We have got our heads round this now, and got our first job!
Customer was very happy to pay a deposit for part one. With final payment in a new listing for part two. Thanks so much, its given Jamie more confidence to be able to accept jobs and manage the paperwork side xx really appreciate your feedback xx