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Discussion Starter #1
I was just curious as to how many of you supply your customers with a "sneak peek" at their custom designs before they purchase it and also do you charge a nominal fee that can be applied to the balance if the decide to purchase it?

What sparked my interest for this questions was...I recently went onto one of my frequent customer's website and I noticed that she is charging her customers a fee to see a proof of the design before they purchase it. The fee will be applied to the balance if the decide to purchase the design and if not she gets to keep the money. Something else that I saw is she is posting the dotted images of the designs that I send her in her store with her watermark but she has never purchased that actual design from me yet.

I use to watermark all of my images that I sent her but she recently started asking for images without my watermark images so that she can show her customers the design. Which I can understand that but it also opens the door for her to shop around for different pricing for the design I created.

The part that bothered me the most was she is collecting money for a service that I am supplying so I'm wondering if I should be doing the same????

I appreciate hearing how you all handle your custom design requests.
 

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Now that the horse has gotten out of the barn, it might be difficult to get her to pay for those designs. I would absolutely BILL her for the design she is presenting on her website and in the future ALWAYS charge a design fee that may or may not be applied to a future order.

I used to be the nice person and spent a couple hours with one customer that wanted 20 or so jackets that he would order through me and have his logo embroidered on the back. After designing a rough logo with him sitting there, he asked for a printout. No problem, or so I thought. He took the design to a friend of a friend who gave them the jackets at cost and embroidered them for way cheap on a home machine. I was angry and I never do design work without an upfront fee.
 

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I do art work for free up to an hr worth. After that you need to get paid for your time. As far as what you are going through, I'd charge her 50% up front with the watermark and 75% without. If she doesn't like it, let her know how she's making money off your work and you don't see a dime of it. Is the work copy righted? If so I'd demand my money now and tell her st op using the art work. She's using you.

I wouldn't even give it with a watermark. You can take one off if you really want to.
 

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I charge for that... I let them know its a professional graphic designer who is doing the designs. And if you do it and they expect you not to charge, Let them know in some different words that you can't work for free. with the line followed up with, " I have bills to pay as well and have to put food on the table just like you"
 

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I was just curious as to how many of you supply your customers with a "sneak peek" at their custom designs before they purchase it and also do you charge a nominal fee that can be applied to the balance if the decide to purchase it?
I know this is the Rhinestone forum and we don't do Rhinestones but I do feel compelled to answer....IMHO to pay to see a proof or custom design made for a client...is well bad business, if your charging for the design that fine but to charge just to look is BS.

What sparked my interest for this questions was...I recently went onto one of my frequent customer's website and I noticed that she is charging her customers a fee to see a proof of the design before they purchase it. The fee will be applied to the balance if the decide to purchase the design and if not she gets to keep the money. Something else that I saw is she is posting the dotted images of the designs that I send her in her store with her watermark but she has never purchased that actual design from me yet.
This is wrong IMHO and on top of that now she is going to take credit for your designs.

I use to watermark all of my images that I sent her but she recently started asking for images without my watermark images so that she can show her customers the design. Which I can understand that but it also opens the door for her to shop around for different pricing for the design I created.
You are correct, never supply artwork that hasn't been paid for in advance to anyone without a watermark or copyright, if you do then you might just as well do it for free and give your hard work away.

The part that bothered me the most was she is collecting money for a service that I am supplying so I'm wondering if I should be doing the same????
I wouldn't.....it's a bad business model in my opinion, look at it this way if you went to a site to buy something and they charged a buck to look at their offerings, but didn't have what you were looking for just how likely are you to go back to that site to look the next time knowing that it's gonna' cost you just to look.

We tons of custom printed artwork, we charge for the custom designs, all proofs sent to a client for approval are copyrighted and watermarked so there is no confusion as to who created the artwork and who owns it, anything less and your opening yourself up to confusion as to who owns what and the opportunity for someone else to capitalize on your efforts.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the responses....Now I'm more confused than ever. I definitely hate the thought for working for free but do not want to discourage customers from purchasing custom designs from me. I would be happy to apply the fee collected upfront to their purchase but if they decide not to make a purchase then all of the time I have put into the design is worth nothing.

We tons of custom printed artwork, we charge for the custom designs, all proofs sent to a client for approval are copyrighted and watermarked so there is no confusion as to who created the artwork and who owns it, anything less and your opening yourself up to confusion as to who owns what and the opportunity for someone else to capitalize on your efforts.
I can tell you that I get numerous emails sent to me asking me to price a design with watermarks on them. I think some people purposely like sending these types of pictures because it makes it easy to track down the original owner of the design. I think they are hoping that I see the original price and I will sell it to them at a lower cost just to make a sale. I will not copy any designs if I see that someone else has done the work already. I may offer to make them an alternative design if I can but never copy the exact design.

So by just watermarking a design is not protecting my image from being copied it's just making it easier to make for the person that is willing to copy it.
 

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I definitely hate the thought for working for free but do not want to discourage customers from purchasing custom designs from me. I would be happy to apply the fee collected upfront to their purchase but if they decide not to make a purchase then all of the time I have put into the design is worth nothing.
But you will have gotten paid. You don't have to charge for the full price of the work, just the art work. Make it non refundable. Plus you will learn that if someone is going to buy from you, the price will not scare them off. If you hide the price, it will have you working for free because when you tell them the price they will run. Not all people, but the dead beats will run. If someone is playing games about want you charge, they will play games the whole way through. Stick to your guns and don't short yourself. If they don't like what you charge, let'em walk, bye, see yea, have a good day.
 

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So by just watermarking a design is not protecting my image from being copied it's just making it easier to make for the person that is willing to copy it.
You are correct, it all comes down to who is approached and what they are willing to do for profit, any design can be copied, any artwork can be stolen, it's up to the individual to weigh the risk vs rewards of stealing other peoples work.

I don't know how it works with rhinestones, but in my mind artwork is artwork, someone put their thought and effort into the design, is it unique? who can say but if it's a concept of yours, and you started with an idea regardless of where that idea came from, and you didn't take another piece of artwork and modify it to suit your purpose, then in my mind it's original, it's yours, you own the rights to it, therefore you should protect it, a watermark is a good way, but all original artwork is automatically copyrighted when it is created, adding a copyright to your original designs is the first step to protecting your hard work.

Hope this helps.
 

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I do not charge for a quick mock up. The software knocks it out with the click of a button so it takes no time at all and I usually have them send me the design in vector format which reduces the time from having to convert a jpg file. If they give me a file that i actually have to do some work on then yes there is an artwork fee. The design I send them is large enough for them to see but not large enough for them to do anything with and I always place a watermark on it even though there are ways to get around that. Once they enlarge the design it is very pixelated so they actually have to put in work to do anything with it which is fine by me because if they want it bad enough they will get it. Now I will supply the customer one but I will not keep giving the same customer free ones over and over if they are not actually buying. I had one customer that gave me 9 designs she wanted done, I did the mocks then sent prices and I found she was using the info to sale the motifs on her site. From that point forward I would not do anymore designs for her without an artwork fee. She has moved on to someone else I guess.
 

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LOL this sounds so familiar..now that I have been doing this a while Id like to chirp in.
Chirp
Chirp
Chirp.
Thank you I feel better.:D
 

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You own the copyright and if you provide the proper use rights to her, if she shops your design, you can sue her for abuse of the copyright. I wouldn't tell her that, but I would certainly make sure she acknowledges the copyright ownership and her rights of use.

And you can do this by including the notice on the order sheet that she should sign acknowleding that she's engaging you to create a design on her behalf.
 
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