I design and make custom Championship-level dance costumes. Typical prices range from $600 for a boy’s outfit to $2000 for an adult lady’s dress and I charge a $300 non-refundable deposit.
Client: I dance for [well-known dance school] and I’d like you to make me a dress.
Me: Great, I’d be happy to! Just pay the deposit, and if you could send me some ideas as to what you would like, we can start the process and I can give you a price quote as to what your dress will cost and approximate delivery date.
Client: I will. I look forward to the dress, I love your designs so much!
Three weeks of no deposit, but she does send her measurements and plenty of pictures of dresses she likes. Then an email.
Client: Hi, I just wanted to ask when the dress will be finished?
Me: …You haven’t paid the deposit yet. I haven’t started.
Client: What deposit?
Me: The $300 so we can get started. It’s in the contract you signed.
Client: $300 just to get started? But I can only pay $300 for the whole dress! You know I’m a student! Can you not do it as a favour? I’ll be a great example for your art.
Me: No thank you. There are already plenty of dancers wearing my dresses. Are you prepared to pay?
Client: Of course not, I don’t have that kind of money. You are a bad person for taking advantage of a broke student.
I figured I could live with that.