From a personal experience I've had with a custom jewelry order that turned sour ....I've compiled a few lesson I've learned and hopefully will help others out who may come across a similar experience.
#1. When talking to a potential customer, listen very carefully to everything that is said.
#2. Take notes, if it will help your remember what was discussed such as ideas, materials, prices, dates, etc. then jot it down somewhere, it may come in handy later on down the road.
#3. Before agreeing to make anything, take the time to sit down and figure out just how much it will really cost you to purchase the materials you need, (including shipping and/or miles), then factor in how much money you charge an hour for your time to make the project.
#4. Once you have figured out a total price for an item/project, make a little form for yourself. This can be done in Microsoft Word. Type up information such as:
- The date
- The customers name and contact information
- Details/Specifications of the project
- Materials to be used
- Provide a blank space to draw a sketch of the item
- The quantity to be ordered
- Color Specifications
- Measurement Specifications
- Material Specifications
- Project due date
- Delivery informations such as: Mailed, Picked Up, Delivered
- Total Price
- Signature Line For You and Your Cusomer
Once both you and the customer have signed this paper, make a copy for each of you to have. This is your final agreement, "written in stone" for say. So later on, the customer can't come back at you if anything changes or is wrong.
#5. Don't slash prices just to make the sale. Have a little pride in yourself and your work. Don't give your items away for practically nothing! (Unless of course it's a gift).
In conclusion, don't give up hope if you loose a sale, don't let others try to con you into or try to make a deal with you for your hard work. If they want your items bad enough, they will have to pay for them....do you think big department stores play "lets make a deal"?....Nope! So you don't have to give in either! And finally, Don't Sell Yourself Short!