I have a regular buyer (42 orders in 2 years). The last 2 projects that were ordered have been much more complex and detailed than usual.
I’ve sent an extra both times, explained why it was required and asked to contact me before any new purchases. The first time it went well: the person apologized, the offer was accepted, the order was complete.
Except, of course, they didn’t contact me before ordering an even more detailed work for a standard price. Again, I’ve sent an extra, explained why, etc., etc. They asked if they could leave a tip instead of accepting an extra because the project was urgent and they “will have the money on Monday”.
I agreed. Not the smartest move on my part but, again, 42 orders completed successfully with no incident. And it seemed silly for the person to put an end to a working relationship over $40.
They marked the order as complete on Monday, now it’s Wednesday and no tip was left. I’m surprised and not surprised at the same time. The more I think about it and the more time goes by, the more annoyed I get.
I realize that a promise to leave a tip is not binding in any way. So my knee jerk reaction is to leave them a message that I won’t be assisting them any further and to find another designer. Good luck, thank you for the good times and so on. Because I suspect they’ll just keep on ordering and pretending the conversation about the custom prices and extras never happened. And I’ll have to cancel orders.
But there is also a small chance that they could have forgotten. A tiny one. But I don’t know if there is an ethical (and safe from the ToS standpoint) way to remind them that I’m still waiting for that tip we agreed on.
And before the replies flow in:
Yes, delivering before getting paid is bad, naive and stupid, don’t do it. It just seemed like a case where I could make an exception.
Yes, a longterm collaboration like this is rare and difficult to build and should be valued. But that’s unless you’re being lied to and consistently expected to overdeliver.