I just need to vent for a moment. I’ve been selling erotic fiction here for little over two months now, and in all that time I’ve come across buyers who’s request often strays from the beaten path. I don’t really mind writing things that are out there, or a fetish that may be hardcore. (I list a few things I don’t write about in my Gig description just to be clear, and to cover myself in case someone presses if I refuse).
I haven’t come across any buyer who was rude or asked for something outside of my comfort zone; the one time it even got close, I requested to change the details of the story and he accepted.
That being said, today I came across a buyer who was not only pulling the “what can I get for $5” stunt, but also requested the details of the story be revealed AFTER the Custom Order was made; currently, I only have one package set to my lowest price ($10/500 words) so that I can discuss word counts with clients - I found a lot of people were either buying my lowest package or out-pacing my highest package so I decided to make it easier on everyone and foster communication in that regard to easily create Custom Gigs for potential buyers.
Well… I figured I could offer 250 words for $5, not so difficult, right? Wrong. I won’t do that in the future and have thoroughly learned my lesson. The following interaction was demanding and, quite frankly, raised a ton of red flags for me.
He immediately launched into describing a scene that involved a woman slipping and falling, and wanted me to detail the event closely. I advised I wouldn’t write about blood or anything like that (I’m not comfortable causing characters bodily harm outside of specific scenarios) and he agreed. I told him I would contact him when the story was written so I could deliver it.
Then, he continued to pressure me to send snippets of the story as I wrote, through our messages, and send the PDF through the Delivery portal later. I politely declined, repeatedly, as he pressed the issue multiple times. I had read stories on the forums before of scammers, and this felt eerily similar to a few I had read. For context, my lowest package does not offer revisions, so I do not send drafts like I would for larger projects.
So, I explain this all to him - as professionally as I can because now I’m thoroughly angered - and tell him it will be a few hours until I am able to deliver his order. Note: it’s been 20 minutes thus far since the order started counting down. He then began rapidly asking questions about the story, such as “does she get hurt,” “can her body hit the ground,” etc. I consider canceling the order right then and there, but I haven’t canceled anything before and honestly, wasn’t sure how/didn’t want to negatively impact my analytics.
I tell him again, more directly, that I will let him know when his order is ready, and leave it at that. Less than a half-hour later he starts to send “Is it ready yet?” messages, and presses for the snippets again.
At this point, I just consider chucking my computer entirely to be rid of him. I respond politely, and let him know that the 24-hour delivery window can range from a few hours to an entire day (I never tell buyers if I have large orders, but I do have a few currently, and that’s why it was taking a while), I do not have an “x amount of words in under an hour” special, and he didn’t ask anything to the effect beforehand. I let him know again I’d inform him when I was finished so he could accept the delivery.
Finally, he let it go. I sat down and hammered out his order, and spent the next few hours tweaking and editing since I had so few words to work with - I genuinely still wanted to give him something he’d like in order to hopefully get a good review, while not battering a poor girl for his enjoyment. His “is it done yet?” messages continued throughout the process.
Soon after, I finished and sent the delivery. I messaged him back to let him know it was posted and then POOF! He was gone. He went from messaging me every few minutes to taking an hour to respond and confirm the delivery after I politely reminded him. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to be done with a project…
How do you stay sane in these moments? I feel less inclined to work with a haggler, even if it may be someone looking for a small taste of my work in order to gauge my ability (I do offer samples upon requests).
If he ends up returning the charge, is there anything I can do with CS? I’m still a little suspicious he is a scammer and wanted to lowball me so he only had to pay $5 upfront in order to get the work done.
If you leave a negative review on a buyer, do they see it before they give you a review or does it work the same as when they review me?
How to you deal with difficult buyers? Particularly those who want to come in under the lowest package you offer?
I’m so thankful this interaction is an exception and not the rule, and I feel a bit better now having gotten this off my chest. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great, stress-free day!