Client: Here at [WEBSITE] we believe in paying contributors for their work and have a Patreon campaign for this. The amount raised each month from our patrons is divided evenly between all articles on the site that month and 100% of the money from Patreon goes to the writers. As such for each article published on the site our writers receive between €4-6 per article.
"Client" posts an ad looking for a comic artist for a large scale job, maybe 70 fully-finished pages.
Me: Hi! I'd love to apply to your listing. Here are my rates.
Client: I love it! But I don't have the money any more so I can't pay you.
Me: That's a shame! Well, let me know if you come into the money, I'd love to help.
Client: It was supposed to be a gift for my aunt. She has cancer, you know.
Me: I'm sorry to hear that.
Client: She just really wanted this, but I can't afford to pay anyone. Why isn't anyone charitable?
Me: Well, I'm asking for commissions to help support my family. Our grandma died a few days ago and she was the lynch-pin of our family.
She stopped messaging after that.
I'm not sure why her aunt needed 70 full pages.
Client: So we'd like to pay you on a sliding scale of $800-$1600 depending on how much we like the music you compose for us.
Me: Part of my fee includes revisions to make sure the music I write meets your requirements and is to your liking, so no.
Client: Tell you what - why don't we call it $1400 and if we REALLY like your music, we'll throw in that last $200 as a bonus.
A man contacted me about doing a full day's worth of photography for a conference he was hosting in Jersey City. My general day rate is around $1250 for event coverage.
Client: Would you be willing to barter? I could hand out your business card at the event?
I'm a make-up artist. A client messaged me with these requirements:
Client: Hey! I know this use last minute but I need you to come do my make-up TODAY. I'm about an hour away in a neighboring town, and I'll need you to volunteer your time. But I can give you some photos as payment!
When I told her I don’t do “for trade” work she said “too bad”.
I started a job a few months ago. I received a 50% down payment with the balance due upon completion. Scope creep inevitably occurred:
Me: I'm happy to add these features, but I'm going to charge my hourly rate in addition to what we agreed while implementing them.
On Monday I sent the final invoice to no response, then sent a follow-up email today (April 5).
Client: Oh. We didn't respond because we thought that ridiculously high invoice was an April Fool's Joke.
Before I begin, I know I made some mistakes here and have learned from them.
I was just starting art commissions when I had a problem with my PayPal. Unfortunately, I had agreed to do some work already, so I explained the issue to my client who said it was no problem. They were fine paying once I got everything all settled. I felt bad for the delay and let them have the work early.
I had a lot going on, i.e. moving, so it took me a lot longer than expected to get my PayPal issues sorted out than I expected but I finally got it ironed out.
Me: Hey! I'm just letting you know I got PayPal together so I can accept payment for that commission now.
Client: Oh wow, it's been a while, haha. I'll get on that.
I thought everything was good. A week later, no payment. I messaged him again, no reply.
This went on for a few weeks. I kept messaging, he didn't reply until finally after weeks:
Client: (upset) Look, I know the payment is important to you, it's just tough getting it to you so long after I was supposed to pay you.
Me: If this moment is difficult for you, I understand that. Do you know when you'll be able to pay me?
I gave him a month and sent him a message.
Client: It's hard for me to pay at the moment. Anyway when you buy something it should happen right then, not when I need the money for something else.
Me: You agreed to pay me when my PayPal was back up. If you weren't comfortable with that you could have said no.
Client: Well it's your fault for taking so long! I don't want to pay for something this long after I get it!
Eventually, I realized the issue wasn't that they were experiencing "hard times," it's that they just didn't WANT to pay me that long after the fact.
I asked the client to take down my art and never got paid. I learned a lot at least.
Client: I saw your advertisement for 3D modeling services. Can I see your past work in Blender?
I linked to my portfolio.
Client: Do you work with Animate Games?
Me: No, I haven't animated before, sorry.
Client: No, ANIMATE_GAMES! They made games on Roblox like One Piece!!
Me: No, I haven't.
Client: Can you make stuff like these?
Me: Might take a while, but I can do that for you!
Client: How much do you charge? Or is it free?
This was a huge red flag for me. I post prices in the advertisements, and this guy doesn't seem to understand how much time things can take.
Me: About 20$ an hour, pretty cheap if you ask me.
Client: I know better people than you, and they do it cheaper. I guess you can't work for me.
Me: All right.
At the time I was working as a solo attorney. I knew this guy who owned a few small businesses, who would often post about people in our ethnic community "not supporting each other" or "always trying to get something for free." Imagine my surprise when I received this Facebook message at two in the morning:
Client: If you have a minute and won't charge me $$ like my lawyer is by the minute right now, I was wondering how serious is this language in a contract
He then pasted a large non-disparagement clause from some contract.
I didn’t respond because I don’t work for free, especially not at two in the morning for someone who didn’t even pretend to plan to pay me.
Later the next day, I got this message:
Client: Hey not sure if you got a chance to think about it, our lawyer said we should be good with it. Thanks anyways.
I was hired to market a vacation rental home on Facebook and a small business for someone who was a financial professional.
He asked me to market the vacation rental home on Facebook, even though I told him I think a website would also be helpful. His restaurant was a small diner in a scrappy part of town. The website of the restaurant was terrible and he had barely done any marketing for it.
Client: I am paying to keep my restaurant open with credit cards, but don't worry, I still have money to pay you.
Me: Ok... thanks for letting me know.
Client: I really need you to market my vacation home on Facebooks so I can earn more money.
Me: I don't know if that would work, but we can try. A website could help, and you might want to do e-mail campaigns as well.
Client: Whatever, OK. I need this to work. How about Facebook ads? No one knows about my restaurant. I might need to change the menu, the prices, and the website for that. Oh god, I don't have time for any of this.
Shortly after that conversation, I quit. Did he need the help? Oh yes. Was it going to be an awful job from start to finish? Also yes.