This is mainly a tip for new sellers since veteran sellers probably already know this and it’s been posted before but I haven’t seen it recently. I get reminded occasionally of the importance of this when a buyer tries to convince me to do advance work. My tip is simple: Don’t do work without an order already placed.
I’ve had buyers say all kinds of things to get advance work and some buyers are probably just new themselves, but others will do this very deliberately. The most common reasons I see in my own inbox are things like:
- “I’d like advance work so I can see a sample”
- “I’d like advance work but if you do it, I’ll place a lot of orders after”
- “I want you see proof you can do this kind of work”
- "I want the work in advance but I’ll pay you for it by ordering a gig after"
In my opinion, it isn’t worth the risk for any of these reasons. If you do decide that it is worth the risk for you to do advance work, at least realize up front that chances are high you won’t ever get paid for that work. If you are a brand new seller with zero sales and a lot of time on your hands, you could give someone a free sample just to try to get that first elusive order or two, but just don’t set yourself up for grief by expecting a guaranteed sale. I hope this helps someone to avoid a bad situation. Good luck with your gigs!