Pay first or product first?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Tsukihime, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Celianna

    Celianna Tileset artist Global Mod

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    @Taien: I think you mean sample, not demo. A demo would mean the artist would have to create a map to show you how to use the tiles effectively. This would require a lot more time doing. I think you simply mean a sample, in which you show the end result of the work and put a watermark over it.
     
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  2. Jomarcenter

    Jomarcenter jomarcenter-MJM Veteran

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    I'm ok if I give the product first but with no receipt. Until they pay up I won't give them the receipt as evidence that they already pay. If they use my work without the receipt, I can sue them if I want to Since they have no evidence that they can use my work or pay the product in the first place.
     
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  3. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    Since this is to do with the payment of services/resources, I'm going to move it over to Commercial Discussion
     
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  4. cosmickitty

    cosmickitty Veteran Veteran

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    receipt? not sure i've ever given anyone a receipt.... did have one company request that I send invoices, but thats about it.  If you're worried about it, i'd do trasparent and then do a print screen, possibly at a higher magnification than the final.... no real effort and couldn't be easily stolen, since A. you'd have huge pixels, and B. transparent usually shows up with those boxes behind it so it'd be harder to erase
     
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  5. West Mains

    West Mains Veteran Veteran

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    You could always make people pay a small deposit, like $2 or whatever so that they've already commited somewhat. Then deduct that from their eventual fee. If peple were looking for a free ride, they probably wouldn't be willing to dump any sum of money, no matter how small, so you get a little peace of mind. And even if they do take you for a ride, you still get their deposit money, so you come out on top in the end.

    If you're buying and worrying about not getting a product, then use Paypal, they protect buyers to the point of almost unethical practises [ive heard they always assume that the buyer is right and claims of fraud/scams coming from sellers arent taken as seriously.] So if youre buying, theyre great.

    That's what I'd say on the matter.
     
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  6. Galenmereth

    Galenmereth I thought what I'd do was Veteran

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    Speaking from years of experience as a freelance designer and web developer, I highly recommend making a standard contract layout that you get clients to sign. You'll be surprised how effective this is at making people keep their word, and it also makes you appear far more professional. I do this if the client is someone new and someone I don't know and haven't worked with before; with recurring clients, I quickly gauge the level of trust and can usually forego the contract. But I always make detailed estimates with hours and price per hour clearly stated, and have the client accept this by written word (an email is good enough).

    I've never worked with deposits, but I do negotiate payment "plans" if the project is a bigger one. If a project takes three months to complete, I can't wait to bill the client until the whole project is done; that's business suicide. Usually I either:

    a. Cut a project up into stages and bill at the end of each stage (which are usually every 2nd week)

    or

    b. Bill for hours used at the end of every month

    To answer your main question, I'd say never deliver your work over to someone else without first receiving payment unless you have a solid contract or written agreeement. Unless you really really really trust that person. This might seem cynical, but there are all too many cynical people out there who have no qualms exploiting you for your work. Business is business; be very careful with trusting someone completely :) Of course, I also want to recommend showing your client how your work is progressing from time to time, so that they know how things are going and what they'll get. Don't treat your client like a bad person/company, just be vary that they might be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2013
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  7. cosmickitty

    cosmickitty Veteran Veteran

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    paypal protects on physical items like you'd buy on ebay but they won't protect against non physical items.... i know there's a better word for that but I just woke up :p ... also, $2 wouldn't even begin to be worth anything... paypal fees are almost that much.

    I agree with the above statement, i work in "batches" small when i first start with someone (like per char set) and get bigger as we go.
     
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  8. Shablo5

    Shablo5 Veteran Veteran

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    I've worked with 1 artist and 2 scripters so far within this community - the artist required payment before final product (understandable, without watermark you're hosed) and the two scripters sent the final thing before full payment. I did send them half upfront though, and I never asked - they just sent it.
     
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  9. Archeia

    Archeia Level 99 Demi-fiend Staff Member Developer

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    In my case, they made me try out demos and then I pay later. Mostly because I tell them in advance I pay at the end of the month (so they can take their sweet time) and being consistent about it.

    Though for not so close people, it's still product first but I get an encrypted demo and then after I tested it and cleared out all the bugs, I pay afterwards. Tbh, for commissions people should pick the SERVICE tab and calculate the tax and whatsoever that is involved in it. Paypal covers this as digital products are seen as a service too especially with Art. Gift option is there for a cheaper way but it's not safe (and IIRC against paypal's terms, but once again, something you guys would need to discuss).
     
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  10. Clord

    Clord Nya~ Veteran

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    I pay in advance when there is evidence that an artist is trustworthy for that. It is really simple as that. Someone with a good artistic skills would not really benefit from scamming others anyway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2013
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  11. Scythuz

    Scythuz Explorer Bot *beep beep* Restaff

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    In my case (this is for music but could be applicable to other types of commissions and paid work) I tend to offer a free sample track first to build trust.  I feel the building trust part is very important no matter how you end up doing it.  

    Sometimes (and this is definitely applicable to everyone) I get the person I'm working for to send me the smallest possible amount of money on paypal.  After all if I can't get proof that they will use paypal (or a similar service of course) then how do I know I'm going to get paid?  As I and others have mentioned though, it all seems to come down to trust. Hopefully that helps.
     
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  12. cosmickitty

    cosmickitty Veteran Veteran

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    Based on everyone else... Maybe o should adjust my practices :p but ive never had anyone fail to pay me. I usually complete a sheet send the finished png so they can test and then get payment
     
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  13. Diego2112

    Diego2112 The Gaming Gamer Who Games Veteran

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    Heh, ran my own business for years, worked with my da in HIS business before that-it was always we perform our task FIRST, THEN we get paid.

    If we get stiffed, we get stiffed.  Ain't nothing can rightly be done, unless there is contract law in play.

    More'n once I've been stiffed on a job-and I tell ya, it hurts when you need that $150 to pay your lights up, yeah?  

    I guess what I'm saying is, there are d*cks in this world, BIG ones, what's more-but every transaction I've ever dealt with has been the customer gets theirs first, then I gets mines.
     
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  14. Galenmereth

    Galenmereth I thought what I'd do was Veteran

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    I don't mean to be rude, but even if that's what you used to do, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Quite to the contrary; unless you have a few months of "spare change" on hand to weather a stiffed paycheck, that happening just once can cause you serious problems. So like I said earlier, I'd recommend making a contract, or using a deposit system (half up front or even a third up front; something that will weed out most people out to cheat you). Of course, if you do work for people you've been working with multiple times and that you trust, it's safer to skip such formalities. But it's not something I would do with absolute strangers.

    Of course, it depends on the size of the work; if we're talking a job that I'll charge 30$ for, then creating the paperwork will probably cost me more in work hours than just winging it and taking a chance.
     
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  15. Taien

    Taien Veteran Veteran

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    So far all the artists I've been fortunate to work with have been amazing, very talented. I've had no problems at all with them, and I have and will recommend them to anyone who is looking to hire others. Nobody I credit in my thread or game will be unreliable, or unprofessional (Very important) from my experience. Being professional is not so much a skill you can acquire as much as a way of working, how you speak about others and having some consideration for them. - i mention all of this as it related directly to the thread subject.

    I've never paid 'before' a demo was given to me. You can call this a sample if you like, but if its exactly what i need, as I've requested it, its a demo to me. Watermarks, greyscale, or redmarked, all the same to me.

    Most of my experience is from coding or prototypes: 
    This is where i take the word demo from.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2013
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  16. Diego2112

    Diego2112 The Gaming Gamer Who Games Veteran

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    Funny how "not to be rude" statements normally come off as such-just like "With all due respect" is usually followed by the most DIS respectful statement that can be made in that situation...  Heh...  Oh well, that's life, right?

    Try running a service business where you ask for payment up front.  

    The art and commissioned music world may work differently, but when you're wiring up people's houses, installing plumbing, or doing a massive landscape job, they're NOT going to pay you up front.  Hell, even when I was in a band, we didn't get paid BEFORE the show.  We had to perform, and we'd dayum sure better put on a good show!

    Sure, once in a while you'll get a fella like the guy my da and I installed a security system and lights for-paid us CASH after our first day of work, for the value of the entire estimate, and said "If it runs over, come see me."  You get 'em like that-but the fact is, in THAT kind of industry, when you're charging per hour of labor plus costs of materials...  

    But I tell ya this-we followed a set model, and it worked dayum well-only had one business and one individual ever stiff us-the business is now OUT of business, and the individual, who cares, as he lives half a state away anyway?

    Anyway, as is generally the rule, take everything I say as my opinion on the matter-your mileage may vary, you may find a different system that works, yada yada yada...
     
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  17. Galenmereth

    Galenmereth I thought what I'd do was Veteran

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    I don't see how my post was disrespectful. In this thread we're discussing payment up front in relation to art (games, illustrations, music, et al). It doesn't work like plumbing; you're dealing with people whom you've never met, most of the time communicating with them through the internet. Which means the barrier to fraud is much lower. It's a completely different world. That's why I stated that even though you had been doing it successfully, it's not a good idea. I should've specified that I meant that in context of this thread, but I thought that was obvious :) And again, I didn't say you should ask for payment up front; I said it's a good idea to sign a contract, or ask for a deposit amount (half or one third of the payment, for example). Not that any of these guarantee your final payment, but they improve your odds considerably.

    I run a service business myself; I program intranet and internet systems, from standard websites to closed company management software. I also do graphics design, including logo, profiling, print and digital. And I don't ask for payment up front; I get clients to sign contracts. And I bill as I go at agreed upon intervals, per hour spent. For some clients, whom I have worked with for years, I skip contracts because I trust them, which means less paperwork for both parties.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2013
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  18. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    Sure it's the same - it doesn't matter what the business is. As you say, you're dealing with people you've never met, and you don't know what their service is going to be like. But I'm not going to pay an electrician or a plumber or a carpet cleaner to do a job until they've done the job. Likewise, I'm not going to pay an artist or a scripter until I've seen what they've come up with (this doesn't mean I have to have it in my hands - it means I have to know what they've done and know that it meets my needs and be confident that they're going to fill in any shortfall).


    Whether over the internet or in the real world, you get the goods or the service first, and then you pay. This might not be the case for mail-order type stuff like Amazon, where you pay when you order then the goods are shipped to you, but that's their business model. An individual can choose to follow whatever business model they want. If you want your money before you provide the goods, it's entirely up to you. You might lose some customers that way, who prefer to see what they're getting before they part with any money, but that's a decision you, and they, will make at the time.
     
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  19. Galenmereth

    Galenmereth I thought what I'd do was Veteran

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    It matters because when a plumber has been in your house, and performed the job, it's pretty hard for you to say "nope, not gonna pay" to their face. When that work is delivered digitally over the internet, then that's possible. But you argue against that one premise – paying before getting the product. Like I said (and I repeated it three times), I don't argue for that; I argue for a contract, or a deposit solution. And I don't say this because it's fun to argue – I say it because I know plenty of artists and designers who've got screwed over badly through the years. The story was the same for all of them: It went fine until it didn't. And when it didn't, some of them really got into financial trouble. In one instance, it was five week's worth of work and a payment of over 10,000$. The work was given off, the payment was not received. Sure, court was an option, but without a contract, it would cost my friend a ton. The client was a big business, and they could afford the lawyers. So court ended up being a non-option, because practically it wasn't doable. And like it or not, that's a reality that can happen to anyone who doesn't take business seriously. Sadly.
     
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  20. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    Do they really expect you to pay the moment the service is done? Is that standard practice in Norway? That hasn't happened to me for years. Everyone here just logs it in their books and in a week or so you get an invoice, which they assume, on good faith, you will pay within 14 days or so. I actually had a call from someone who did a job for us last year, saying he was preparing his taxes and I hadn't paid for the work he did. He'd sent an invoice and I'd completely forgotten about it because I didn't take care of it straight away. As soon as he rang, I looked up my bank records and saw he was right and paid it, but there was the possibility that I would not pay, if I were that kind of person. And unfortunately for him, it probably would have cost him more to have it followed up, than he would have gotten in the end. So the worst that might happen is that he might tell others and I might have fewer options when I needed work done in the future (which is also the case with game resources - you don't pay, you'll never get that artist/musician/programmer to work for you again, and you may well find others will shy away from you too).
     
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