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Dealing with young customers?
calicofeathers wrote in artbizfaqs
So I very much understand the liabilities that go along with dealing with customers under 18. In my ToS I say "By agreeing to these terms you submit that you are at least 18 years of age. If you would like a commission and you are under the age limit, I would be happy to work with your parent or legal guardian." But now that I'm actually in a position where someone under 18 wants to commission me, I'm nervous. How exactly should I go about being sure their parent is okay with it/overseeing the transaction? Pretty much any way of contact (email, phone, etc) is easy enough to fake for a resourceful teen. And I know I spent my childhood lying about my age on the net. Is an email "contract" signed by their parent enough to keep me out of trouble should things go south? Or should I just revise my ToS to state that I don't work with anyone under 18 period?

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A money order may be my best bet there, thank you for that suggestion.

They haven't necessarily come out and said they're underage, but they do have their age listed on their FA profile. My biggest worry is that age-old got-hold-of-my-parents'-paypal-password spending spree, haha. I'll bring up their age and look into a money order.

Yeah, I'd be wary of that too. Scams been going around a lot lately, and honestly the advise I've seen floating around (that using Paypal invoices protects you) simply isn't true. They may help, but they are definitely not lie-proof.

If they send you a money order, do insist on a tracking code and that they share it. That way they can't say that they sent it when they didn't and try to guilt trip you into doing art without pay. It also protects them as it shows that the envelope was delivered. I really love tracking numbers. Even if they don't prove what was in the package, it at least makes it more difficult to lie.

99.99% of the time, even kids are good, honest customers, same as 99.99% of artists are good, honest business people. I hate it that such a small number can make life so difficult and stressful for the rest of us.

Agreeing with getting a tracking number, its less stressful to everyone involved if they did pay and it does get lost which happened to me before I had a paypal and tried to get a commission quite a few years back, it got eaten by the mail and I was out a good chunk of money no idea how to recover it, no room to pay it again and no commission, it sucked all around.

The only way I know is to ensure it for the value of the money in it, at least with money orders.

Checks you can cancel, but cash/money orders are a problem if lost.

USPS money orders can be replaced for a fee if you have the receipt and fill out whatever form is needed. Western Union is interesting because you really only need the confirmation numbers and necessary information, and you can just pick it up where ever they have a branch. So there are some safety things regarding money orders.

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