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Sure, I know what I'm doing! *Sweatdrop*

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  1. I honestly didn't even notice the watermarks, and had you not mentioned adding them, I would have been oblivious to them. It's fine to take payment after (though yes, you should stick to your practices) but if you do, make the watermark very clear. I would also advice the watermark say, as well as your username, "unpaid" prominently so that it can't be posted around without people pointing it out and questioning the poster.
  2. If you paid through PayPal, you should be able to find the transaction and (assuming you didn't pay through Friends and Family) can open a dispute for not receiving your order.
  3. It's possible your original interaction came off in some way that either upset the artist or made them feel uncomfortable. Impossible to know without a (heavily censored) screenshot of your conversation. But as Xaila said, assume this was how it would have been if you had sent them money and move on to a new artist.
  4. To rephrase it more clearly in case my ramblings were unclear, I don't send through PayPal but the email connected to the buyer's PayPal account. (The one that PayPal uses to notify them of invoices/payment receipts/ect.) PayPal prefers direct links to the PayPal email for communication in order to verify it was, in fact, the PayPal account holder. (Their logic is that anyone could use a third party social media site and pretend to be someone by giving an other's email as part of a scam/theft.) Because of this, we should all be using only email for commission communication, but there's still the issue of NSFW discussion threatening our accounts. A step below that is my suggestion of having proof that something was sent to the buyer, as a lot of scammers will claim nothing was sent to them at all. I can't tell how this buyer actually paid you, but I would further recommend sending an invoice with an attached ToS, making sure "shipping info" is set to not required and specifying the payment is for digital goods/commission work. While I hope PayPal decides to pay you back out of their own pocket, I would start prepping for a lose just in case.
  5. I'm sorry this happened to you, and I hope you talked to the right person in PayPal because they rarely take third party screenshots are acceptable evidence. You also need to be careful of PayPal seeing anything NSFW, as that's against their ToS and could close your account. Something I've been doing for a while now is send an email to the client's PayPal email with the files attached/a link to the final renders via mega.nz if the files are exceptionally large/NSFW. The email basically explains that I'm sending over the final product and to back up the files because I do not guarantee to have copies if they lose the larger sizes. That way I have a solid proof of delivered product for PayPal in case of a chargeback.
  6. While the car accident is tragic, that's really no excuse for the previous months of ghosting beforehand. In future, if you're being ignored for more than a month without response, start expressing the desire for a refund if communication/deadlines won't be met and hold to that while still under PayPal's protection window.
  7. This is one the worst kinds of clients, who approve linearts only to request line changes after coloring, or sometimes even shading. I looked at that ref sheet and my (also ADHD) brain started swimming at the differences in front and back views. (My biggest issue lies with the drastic differences between all the elbow areas.) Aside from that, I would recommend adding your ToS to invoices and send those to the client over using a pay link. It removes the "I didn't see your ToS" which, to be fair in this case, wasn't shown to the client before payment.
  8. If the maker is incapable of standard communication, they either need a manager who can be their communicator for them, or not take commissions. Communication is a standard. It's not optional. The tweet guilting you for asking for basic updates? Not acceptable. Ghosting when they've taken your money and not delivered the product? Not acceptable. I don't know much about Etsy's policy, but I would try to get in touch with their customer service about an undelivered product.
  9. This is a good example to avoid getting multiple art pieces from the same artist when the first art piece hasn't been produced, yet. I really hope this beware can also reach the artist to stop piling on work and to focus on clearing their queue.
  10. If they aren't responding, then that is a bad sign. Unfortunately, the refund window with PayPal only extends 180 days, so it sounds like you've passed it. The only thing you can do is keep asking, and if they continue ignoring, to post a beware on them so others are aware.
  11. If you sent the $8 through friend and family, you're going to have to rely on Blue's word that he will pay for Pink's scamming. I'm hoping you sent it as a business purchase and can file a claim on if it Blue ends up ghosting as well.
  12. I, personally, see nothing wrong with refusing a commission with someone who isn't fluent in English. It can be stressful and when things go sour, they go really sour due to this difficult communication. You're a freelancer, you are free to refuse any work you don't want to do. If this commission is causing you stress, you are at full right to say "I no longer want to do this commission, here is your money back. Good day."
  13. Always watermark unpaid WIPs so they can't be used like this.
  14. Ghosting to this degree is never acceptable. Though it sounds like you're past the protection window, I would advise bringing up a refund after month two at the latest when an artist is ignoring you, and filing that chargeback before the 180 day deadline. Terribly sorry this happened to you and I hope something will get resolved.
  15. Nothing to add, just backing up what RTKobold and Bornes have said.
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