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Selling someone else's doll?

Aug 20, 2009

    1. I know, you guys are all probably thinking "what? you can't sell things on DoA for other people! That's against the rules!" But I'm not talking about that...

      I came across in the 'problem transactions' thread about how commission artists/modders have had occasions where the person who commissioned them have disappeared... and left their dolls in possession of said commission artists.

      In that thread, someone mentioned that they used to work in some kind of repair shop, and if after 2 months, the person has not come to pick up their tools, it gets sold at the cost of the original repairs to schools.

      So the commission artist sent a pm and an email every week for 2 months and finally put the head up for sale at the cost of the commission and pm-ed the owner that if she finally replied, they'd send her the difference between the cost of the head and the cost of the commission.

      Another commission artist claimed she was in possession of someone else's head for 6 months with no contact from the owner... so here's my question:

      Do you think it's ok for the commissioned artist to sell other people's stuff if they fail to communicate? How long is long enough for this to be warranted?
       
    2. Whoa, weird situations!

      I'd say it would be in the "years". If someone sent me their doll for customization, and didn't get back to me, I would wait at least a year before contemplating selling their doll. And before that, I would try to find out what happened to them and get in contact if possible.

      But I'd say that the proper behavior would be to store the doll for at least a year following the initial transaction before considering selling it off!
       
    3. If someone sent me their doll, I would have their address on the box in order to send it back to them. If they sent it without a return-address label, I would probably just hang onto it for a while. Maybe not a year, because I know that in 10 months I'll be moving, but as long as I could. I'd probably ask the opinion of moderators as well.

      ~AK
       
    4. A year may be a bit much, but I think a long period of time attempting to communicate with the orignal owner is what needs to be done. Two months is too fast, 5 months or more makes more sense since situations that cut off a person like that are usually dire and rarely finish quickly. I think the artists taking the time each week to email and PM the commisioner to ask what's going on is correct.

      I also see little issue with selling it off if the original owner doesn't show for a very long time, but warn the buyer well in advance that this item's original owner vanished. Something like this can get very messy fast if the original owner does pop up wanting their stuff back. That's the only thing I ca see that could go horribly wrong.
       
    5. I would wait for at least a few months before selling it off. At least four, especially if it was during the school year. I've gotten so busy sometimes that I completely forget about the world around me during the school year. University can be all-consuming.
      I would say it's okay, as long as the commission artist notifies the seller at the time of the transaction that this is part of her deal. As long as it's clear from the get-go then it's totally fine. But to just pull that out after two months during the school year may not be wholly fair.

      I think this also underscores why it's important to get multiple types of contact information from someone you are commissioning for. With just PMs as contact all sorts of things can go wrong. Imagine if a user got a suspension for two months, was PMed multiple times and by the time she got back, her doll was sold off? Admittedly, people shouldn't be getting suspensions but to have her doll sold off as a result is just unfair. If I was trusting someone enough to have them do Sparrow's face or her body I would trust them enough to give them a cell phone number.
      Sarasham
       
    6. Before I took a commission I would get:

      PM
      IM
      Email
      Physical Address
      Phone

      If after 4-6 months and at least 6 PMs, 6 IMs, 6 emails, 4 physical letters and 1 phone call I had gotten no response, I would sell the doll.
       
    7. I think it's a bit much to ask for someone's phone number, Victoria Victrix. Not everyone wants to give that out- I know I wouldn't!

      I do think that at least email addresses should be traded, but if two months or more goes by without someone not responding, then obviously the doll matters so little to them that I don't think it really matters if the artist sells it off (at the commission price, of course). As long as they have tried to get in contact with the person- that's what matters. If the person has not replied to PMs and emails, then it's clear that they don't care.
       
    8. I would think that something (really bad) may have happened. Something so important/life changing that the person can't get in touch or has forgotten about the head. It would be better if the person doing the modding had said "if for some reason I don't hear from you, I'm going to sell the head after x months. Maybe he/she will do that for the next one.

      Reminds me of a friend of mine, really mad that her date had stood her up... turns out he was in a car accident! He lived, but couldn't get in touch.
       
    9. well as far as I know, the thread I was looking at, that commission artist was the last feedback that the girl with her doll head sold off ever got... so she just, disappeared apparently O.o

      2 months I think is a bit fast... I was thinking that when I start doing commissions I'll get money up front. Then this situation wouldn't be a problem.
       
    10. Odalisque: You'd be willing to send someone something expensive, paying them a lot of money to do whatever work on it, and you wouldnt be okay exchanging phone numbers just in case one person lost internet, or something happened? ^^;


      I was in a....slightly similar situation a while back. I'd purchased a doll second hand, and when she arrived there was an extra head in the box that i wasn't expecting. It took me two months, three PMs, two emails, and one physical letter before i finally got a response as to whether or not i could do anything with it. Considering the situation (seller claimed she was leaving the hobby, had sent various other extras that i'd been expecting, and the head was very modded, basically beyond recognition of original sculpt) I was going to give her about a month after i sent the letter before i made any attempt to customize the head for myself, with a total of about three from the time i recieved it.


      If i were a customizer taking commissions, i think i would wait longer before claiming it as mine or selling it, and i indeed would make a point of getting various forms of contact information, including phone number. I hate calling people, but if it came down to it, i'd prefer having someone's number (or giving mine out!) to make sure theres always a way to communicate with the customizer or client.

      That said, i'd probably wait about six months or more. I honestly don't think i'd feel comfortable selling/keeping it either way, even if a few years were to pass. It just wouldnt feel right. I'd prolly keep trying to get in touch with the person, or at least trying to track them down to find out why they're not responding.
       
    11. Torren: Personally, no. That could just be me, but I don't like people online knowing any more than they have to about me. Blame my mother and her paranoia when I was little that seems to have sunk in a bit, but I'm barely comfortable with writing my address as a return address on the games I send out, and I've gotten a PO Box just to deal with people online before.
       
    12. I think if you were going to do something like that it needs to be clearly set out as part of the commission - something like "If there is no contact from the person commissioning this service over a xx month period, then I reserve the right to sell xxx item to recover my costs. If the person commissioning the service has made any payments towards the commission they will be refunded via the same method as they were paid (eg. refund to same paypal address) on sale of the commissioned item"

      I think in the end it comes down to being transparent in any transaction that is made. If I were taking commissions (which I hope to in the future), then I would at least require an email address or some form of non-forum contact, but that form of contact would be something that the person commissioning the service chooses to give out. Again I would have this stated in the terms of the commission.
       
    13. Legally, in the US and Canada, you can sell it after 3 months of not being paid, whether in contact or not, as long as you send a registered letter.

      So, if you do the commission, and you try and try and try to get in contact, I feel four or five months after completing the commission is more than fair enough before you sell.

      Yes, you're dealing with someones resin darling, but if it meant that much to them, they'd find a way to contact you within that time period no matter what the situation.

      And while multiple contact information should be exchanged, not everyone feels comfortable giving away more than they feel is needed. If someone refuses to give out that info, they take the risks that may be involved with it.
       
    14. I used to work in a toy store where we'd paint and customize various kid items. Sometimes we did have this problem and items were kept for several months. We always took phone numbers from people and even then it would be hard to contact some.

      The strangest incident was when someone bought an expensive wooden castle, left it at the store so that we could gift-wrap it while they went to the grocery store (which was in the same shopping center) and they never came back for it. I think it was over a year before it was put out on the floor again.

      Eventually I hope to be able to take commissions for face-ups once I get better, and I think I would require an address and phone number. I would really rather not be held accountable for an item worth a lot.
       
    15. Sure. Since the dry-cleaners get to do whatever they want with my unclaimed clothes, if I don't pick them up in X amount of agreed-upon time, I don't see why doll customizers/repairs shouldn't get to use the same policy. As with most things, it helps to declare this before the transaction, of course. "If you flake on me for X days, on Day X+1 your doll will be either be used as a dartboard or sold to the gypsies." Of course Seller makes all possible efforts to contact Customer first, via all the contact information they've given; but when time's up, it's up. Enough with the flaking awready.

      I also don't buy that line of "OMG, my life got so busy for 6 whole months that I wasn't ONCE able to get near a computer, telephone, or piece of paper to contact you & tell you I didn't forget about my precious doll", either. Total balls. If you are a customer, you make it your business to stay in contact with the person providing the services.

      QFE.
       
    16. I'd give it four months or so at least. Six is not too little IMHO. Two is though. If the person already paid I would send it to the address requested originally (and I would definitely at least have that!). I do think it should be assumed by anyone that after 6 months or so of no contact you should not assume the artist stored things for you! If they did, great. But if you left them no address etc, and hadn't paid them yet...It all depends on the situation.
       
    17. Personally I'd hold onto it for a year if I could... things can come up, people move, internet gets disconnected, etc. I could see someone being out of communication for 2 months or maybe even 4, and in such a situation their doll head probably isn't the #1 thing on their mind. 6 months is probably where I'd start to think the owner has just given up/abandoned/doesn't care about the doll/doll hobby (but I'd hold onto it longer anyway, as long as I'm not moving house or something like that). Of course you need to make real, serious effort to contact someone before giving up and selling their abandoned goods (not just send off one or two PMs), but I honestly think it's ridiculous to expect someone to hold onto something abandoned FOREVER. It's standard for any kind of shop or service that will hold goods for someone to eventually claim, sell, or discard abandoned goods.

      Actually this reminds me of a call I took at work... I work for a printing company and a man called in saying that some years ago (I can't remember how long ago now but it was a long time- 10 or 15 years) his father was going to have a book printed through our company, but some legal issues had come up and he had to cancel the printing. The plates had already been made so he was charged for the plates but the book was never printed, and at some point in the intervening years the father died. So the son called up to ask for the plates, 10+ years later! Aside from the fact that I doubt a 10 year old printing plate would even be usable, it's just ridiculous to think that we would hold onto them that long! At some point a line has to be drawn, even if there's no specific clause in your original sales information.

      Can you imagine getting a phone call 10 years down the line from someone saying "My mother sent you a doll head to paint, she died last year and looking through her papers I found your details and I want the head back now please"?!
       
    18. Well, I would say that as awful as it sounds, yes, a customizer who is left with a doll and has had no contact from the owner by all means has the right to sell the item. They did take on the project in good faith with the understanding they'd get paid. If the owner can not be found, they deserve compensation for their time, which in this case is selling the doll.

      HOWEVER, they need to make every attempt possible to make contact and as stated, a registered letter needs to go out saying that if no contact is received, your item is being sold. PMs through DOA are not sufficient attempts at contact. I have to agree with those that discuss getting contact info outside of DOA. Almost any service these days includes exchanging your phone number. And while I don't want everyone on the internet to know where I live or how to get a hold of me, if I trusted someone enough to ship off a doll worth a couple hundred bucks, I'd give them complete contact information so they could find me in an emergency.

      I once "disappeared" from DOA for over 9 months - with a disabled daughter, things come up and real life takes a front seat. In that time, a Group Order arrived and the girl with my items actually held onto them. I was surprised she still had them. They went through a move with her - she knew something drastic had happened, and just figured she'd get me the items whenever. I, on the other hand, had no expectations that she'd still have the items nearly a year later. While this was appreciated, it is not normal behavior I'd expect from every person who take comissions or runs a group order.

      ~Shannon
       
    19. I say at least 6 months. It's better if you have a warning on your page, just so if they do contact you after that time period, you can say they were warned. Sometimes life can get busy, so I would feel bad doing it any faster.
       
    20. LOL! I work for a printer, too, and we have some jobs sitting around that have never been picked up. Some of them were paid for, too. They're small ones, so they just got moved to a storage area eventually I think, but they're going to eventually get thrown out. Especially the birth announcements for the kid born in 2001. If they're still here in a couple years I might wrap them and send them to the parents on his 10th birthday.

      If I was doing customizations I think I'd set up front a limit of 6 months before I either claim the doll as my own or sell it. I'd also get plenty of contact info up front, and make many multiple attempts at contact including physical (registered) letters. My house is TINY, so storage space for my own dolls is at a premium. I know that if I had a doll away for customization I'd be anxiously checking PM's every day to see when it was done because I'd want it back as soon as possible. For something to keep me out of contact for over 6 months it'd be big and bad enough that losing a doll would be minor in comparison.