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Etsy - Custom Orders

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Feb 18, 2012, 4:30am   #1
km8282's Avatar
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km8282
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Hello,
I've never used Etsy before, and have a question about custom orders...

I'm wondering if anyone here has ever asked an Etsy seller to make a custom piece for you, and if so - do you offer a retainer, or something up front so they know you are serious about buying the finished product?

Or, if you are someone who sells handmade pieces on Etsy, how do you feel going about something like this with a buyer would be appropriate?

Is it fair to offer to pay for the materials up front? Or, maybe 50% of the cost?
I want to make sure I am being fair to the seller, but also want to know to look for any red flags so I can protect myself on my end.

I appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thank you!
Feb 18, 2012, 7:01am   #2
Hemlock's Avatar
Hemlock
Member
I have done this several times. I custom designed necklaces for grandparents and godparents with one seller. I also had a ceramic cupcake jar done as well (different artist). I paid upfront for everything. That was the policy for both sellers. I didn't regret it though. Everything turned out amazing.
Feb 18, 2012, 7:09am   #3
km8282's Avatar
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km8282
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Thanks so much for the info!
Feb 18, 2012, 11:35am   #4
TheDesignerGirl's Avatar
TheDesignerGirl
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Originally Posted by km8282
Hello,
I've never used Etsy before, and have a question about custom orders...

I'm wondering if anyone here has ever asked an Etsy seller to make a custom piece for you, and if so - do you offer a retainer, or something up front so they know you are serious about buying the finished product?

Or, if you are someone who sells handmade pieces on Etsy, how do you feel going about something like this with a buyer would be appropriate?

Is it fair to offer to pay for the materials up front? Or, maybe 50% of the cost?
I want to make sure I am being fair to the seller, but also want to know to look for any red flags so I can protect myself on my end.

I appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thank you!
As a jewellery maker, I always ask for 100% upfront payment, very occasionally 75%. I have a wide portfolio showing my work so people know the quality to expect. The materials used if you're going to a quality seller will be expensive to source and may have been sourced especially for you.

If you feel worried as a buyer, let the seller know this and ask if you can see more of their portfolio, and ask what the procedure would be if you were unhappy with the item.
Feb 18, 2012, 11:38am   #5
km8282's Avatar
Thread Starter
km8282
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Thank you for this. I appreciate hearing the perspective of a jeweler on Etsy.

Would it be fair to ask to see the actual materials they would use to make the gloves before I give her the upfront payment?
Feb 18, 2012, 1:17pm   #6
TheDesignerGirl's Avatar
TheDesignerGirl
Member
Originally Posted by km8282
Thank you for this. I appreciate hearing the perspective of a jeweler on Etsy.

Would it be fair to ask to see the actual materials they would use to make the gloves before I give her the upfront payment?
Absolutely. Just sending a message saying 'would it be possible to see the materials for my peace of mind?' would be perfectly acceptable. The seller is getting full or almost full payment beforehand so you deserve to be kept well informed. Just let him/her know that you're new to Etsy and while you're excited to make your first custom purchase, you're also slightly wary and I'm sure they'll understand
Feb 18, 2012, 3:14pm   #7
KimmyAnne's Avatar
KimmyAnne
Member
The seller may already have their own rules/guidelines in place for custom orders. There's nothing wrong with inquiring (can I see examples of past custom work, how long will the process take, etc); most sellers will welcome the business and be glad to work with you :)
Feb 18, 2012, 3:43pm   #8
cheetah_pita's Avatar
cheetah_pita
Member
Originally Posted by km8282
Hello,
I've never used Etsy before, and have a question about custom orders...

I'm wondering if anyone here has ever asked an Etsy seller to make a custom piece for you, and if so - do you offer a retainer, or something up front so they know you are serious about buying the finished product?

Or, if you are someone who sells handmade pieces on Etsy, how do you feel going about something like this with a buyer would be appropriate?

Is it fair to offer to pay for the materials up front? Or, maybe 50% of the cost?
I want to make sure I am being fair to the seller, but also want to know to look for any red flags so I can protect myself on my end.

I appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thank you!
I've done several Etsy custom orders, on anything from jewelry to mini drawstring bags to holiday cards. It depends on the seller, some of them will want to make the item and show it to you before you pay for it, and others will ask you to pay 100% beforehand. You can definitely tell them you'd like a specific material, or I've even bought some of the material (a specific sterling silver wire) and sent it to them to incorporate into the item.
Feb 21, 2012, 10:29am   #9
Skye00's Avatar
Skye00
Member
I've purchased a ton of items off of Etsy, many of which have been custom orders.

I think it depends on the seller as to if you pay for the custom order up front. It may say in their policies, but it's also to protect them. Not that you would do it, but some people may go thru the trouble of ordering a custom order and then turned around and never purchase it, so the seller is out time and money. If there's something wrong or you never get your item, you can dispute the charge through Paypay as well.

Hope that helps and good luck!
Mar 15, 2012, 4:00pm   #10
c
carlamdg
Member
I bought custom photos from Etsy, printed on metal or acrylic, obviously seller demanded front payment in this case, but everything in my order went fine and was satisfied from my order.
Mar 16, 2012, 4:16am   #11
oceansportrait's Avatar
oceansportrait
Member
I've made customs orders 4~5 times and all required up-front payment, though there were some who offered refunds if I wasn't satisfied w/ the finished product (they sent a picture).
Mar 18, 2012, 5:21pm   #12
lovemyangels's Avatar
lovemyangels
Member
I have purchased several times from etsy before, including existing or custom made items. I checked seller's rating first. I paid up front and got my items super fast. So far my experience with etsy is much better than dealing with eBay.
Mar 19, 2012, 12:45am   #13
onesong's Avatar
onesong
*.:playin forever:.*
I have requested and received a handful of custom made items before. I tell the seller an idea of what I want, they make it, post the images of the finished product on a separate custom listing, see if there are any alterations that need to be make, I pay for it and I receive the package. Love the creativity on Etsy~
Mar 29, 2012, 11:06am   #14
b
baglady1029
Account Deactivated
My first experience on Etsy was terrible. The seller took $600 for custom bracelets that I ordered and ceased communicating. That was a year ago and I just placed my second order for a coupon binder. Fingers crossed.
Mar 29, 2012, 2:02pm   #15
QueenLouis's Avatar
QueenLouis
Member
I did a custom order from an Etsy seller for some keyring/bag charms. I had previously bought from this seller, so I wasn't worried. In this case, I sent him what I wanted, he requested payment up-front, he had my items ready with pictures in less than 24 hours. - But since it was a seller I had already bought from a few times before, I was already comfortable with him.
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