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Rude buyer who is also a seller - working in the same field as me

Hi there!

I am an illustrator, have been working in the creative field for a few years now. Which is why I find this case extremely blood boilling, hence my buyer, who is also a seller, also works in the creative field too as a graphic designer. The situation contained red flags from the beginning, but honestly I just thought we sort of just had a language barrier.

He approached me that he needs an icon set designed with 4 icons for x budget but he needs free sketches first. I said no sorry, I can not do this for you for the budget you have, also I am not providing anything for free. Hence he needed more than one illustration I have decided to give a bit of discount in each, but still it’s double of what he offered. Suddenly he had a budget to pay for my rates and suddenly those free sketches were not that important anymore.

I have created the first illustration for him, he accepted the order, my package contained 3 revisions, he used all of them. So when he wanted to change the picture for the 4th time, I have let him know that he needs to pay for the revision. Also, while creating this he had the image made in 3 different artistic styles, while in the beginning he basically begged me to make this for him, because he like MY style so much.

We are having a second order in progress while this is happening. He also changed the brief, the second order were much detailed for the same price, I have agreed to make this, but told him with the next icons stick to the detail that was originally described.

He goes AWOL for days, so I ask if he still needs the changes and also feedback on the second order would be crucial. He answers me that he is willing to pay HALF my revision cost to make the changes. Not asking if that can happen, no, he is telling me that this what he will pay. After giving him this many discounts, I found this the rudest thing he could have told me.

At this point I have decided to ask for cancellation, knowing he is a designer too (a graduate in communication and design I might add), this behavior is unacceptable.

What is your opinion on buyers/sellers like this? How would you handle a situation if that happened to you? I’m actually curious, I was very fortunate that if we there was a problem with a buyer before, I could communicate what the problem was, and finished the order in good terms, because they understood. I just couldn’t seem to get that effect this time.

Thank you so much for your replies!


If you can’t reach an agreement after the order is completed and accepted, contact CS.
If you can’t reach an agreement for the gig as a whole, cancel the order. That kind of buyer is not worth your time and if they want your quality as much as they say they do, then they would pay for it. Cancel the order and get that kind of buyer out of your business.

They may even order again with specific requirements, now realising your prices aren’t for bargaining

Thank you for your answer, I have initiated cancellation indeed! The stress this whole situation is causing me is just not worth it.

Exactly, not worth your time. Time is a commodity and sometimes you have to stop an order before it eats into your life.

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I highly suspect this seller might be a reseller to his clients or using others work in his own for clients.

This is why I never, ever work with people who are doing the same work I do and in the same field.

I can’t tell if they’re a reseller and if they are a reseller, it’s likely they’re a scammer, too. If not a scammer, at least a super cheap person.

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Yeah, this might be the case. He claimes he works for a design studio but from that behavior I highly suspect that is true. He also basically begged me not to cancel, even though I provided every parameter I worked with so the next designer will know how to create something similar. After cancellation he also started messaging me to do another image for him for a higher price. I clearly stated in my cancellation that I do not feel comfortable working with him. I do not need higher prices, I need work connections built on mutual respect, so I do not sit down in front of my computer with fear every morning.

Thanks for your advice though, I will be aware of buyers like this in the future!