You might be 100% ready to jump into your first purchasing experience, but hold up just sec. It's definitely a hardcore buzzkill, but unfortunately not all sellers are as honest or as focused on your satisfaction as we might wish. It's really important to know what to look out for so you can avoid having a terrible experience (or worse, get totally scammed) especially if you're a first-timer.
Now, it should be stated in fairness that sometimes life smacks a person the face and they get into a situation that causes problems with their accountability. I have watched several artists fall into the NPS pit and work diligently to climb back out again to become 100% worthy of business praise. Just read up, be cautious, and use your own judgement.
The other explanation is that a seller has no portfolio to speak of because they're very new to making dreads. That's all fine and good, but realistically, they should be doing practice sets for friends and themselves ad taking photos of those for show BEFORE asking for your money.
(It should go without saying that the last one there doesn't apply so much if you're working through a language barrier).
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it's probably wise to count your blessings and move on. As we've stated before, if you can't communicate fluently with your chosen artist, it might cause a lot of problems down the road when you're expecting one thing, and you end up with something else. If they're just plain rude, inappropriate, or not able to get back to you in a professional manner/time frame, that says something about their professionalism and how seriously they take this job.
Sending payments through paypal as a gift completely waives your right to request a refund if your seller does not follow through. Anyone asking you to do this is acting illegally, and to their own benefit. Many sellers will claim it's because they need to avoid the fees, but any self-respecting seller should be simply adding those fees into the total of your order, and you should respectfully pay the extra, because it's what protects you as a buyer. Now, among friends, a buyer might offer to send as a gift, and that is between you all. Just understand that anyone proactively requesting this practice is acting unprofessionally and should be considered suspicious; you don't always know someone as well as you think you might.
- Inappropriate language or subject matters (this only applies on a website, business page or in a group as a representative of said business; if you are poking around someone's personal blog or social media pages, it's safe to say you've crossed that line of your own accord and what you find, you were asking for!)
- Photos of pets laying in or around a seller's workspace. We all love oohing and ahhing over fur babies, but it is extremely unsanitary and in fact, even potentially dangerous to their health to expose them to certain types of fiber. And of course, if you have any dander allergies, this is a dead giveaway.
- Poor photography, or mess and clutter in the background. Artists that truly value their work will go to great lengths to photograph it as professionally as their device can manage, and pay extra attention to presentation..
- The dreaded "toe-photos". I don't know about you guys, but I rrrrreally do NOT want to wear extensions near my face that were made anchored on some stranger's feet. Ewww.
Contrariwise, it's not exactly uncommon to come by a seller that is charging a very high ticket price, but the product or service just doesn't quite seem to match up. Do your research. If they've been around a while, have a large portfolio and a professional presentation and demeanor, they're probably legit and worth every penny. If anything feels "off", proceed with caution.
Again, this is a subject that straddles the line of normal/worrisome. It's really hard to pinpoint, as the range of pricing among sellers is SO broad nowadays. Take this info with a grain of salt, and compare it against the rest of the seller's qualities. If you are noticing other red flags in addition to this one, it might be a good idea to steer clear.
Are they super duper professional? Streamlined website? Fantastic and plentiful reviews? In this case, you probably have absolutely nothing to worry about.
In other situations, it's not quite as common a request, and could potentially be the warning sign of troubles ahead.
Remember: Filing a claim with paypal is limited to a period of 45 days from the date of the transaction.
Often times, a waiting period for a custom piece of art far exceeds 45 days. The common practice among synthetic dread artists is to take a non-refundable deposit which will cover the cost of materials at the time of placing your order, and then to request the remainder upon completion (and proof of) your custom design.
As usual, keep your eyes on this blog! Our next segment will cover: "Communicating with your artist: How to make sure you're getting exactly what you want." Don't forget to Stay connected with Imp And Petal for future segments, either. ;)
Additional questions and comments are welcome below. Thanks for stopping by!
Links courtesy of all the amazing oldschool dreadheads
who have been around, sharing knowledge and passion for over
a decade. You guys are the fuel to my fire!