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Did I handle this well?


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I had a buyer who wanted a week’s worth of completely original recipes. This was not part of my gig so I added an extra to cover that. (Later I’m going to make it a separate gig on its own as I think it’s a good idea). I also sell the rights to reproduce all of my recipes whether original or from my “stockpile” of them.

In one of the buyer’s messages, I missed that they wanted to post them on their blog. I thought they only wanted to make sure that if they Googled them, they would not find other copies on the web. So I told the buyer to add the extra for originality. While working on them, I realized they wanted to post/reproduce the recipes as their own on their own blog. That is fine with me, but I have a $5 “release”. (Cheap, I think!). When I brought this up, the buyer responded that it was not what was agreed upon and they would get a refund. They also said they would run them through Copyscape (as a warning about originality to me?).

Well, if you want a refund right now, there will be no delivery. Then a third message stated they thought I was trying to take advantage of them. For $5? Come on. The rights are clearly laid out in my extras.

I responded with:


It was an oversight of mine. My apologies. I will issue you an immediate refund. My intention is not to take advantage but to fairly charge for my work with appropriate add-ons.

Thank you for your time.


Then I cancelled the order.

What are your opinions, if any, about how I handled this situation?

Would you have done the same?

Would you have “sucked it up”?

Talked more with the buyer?

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I’m not in your shoes and I’m not sure I understand the sequence of events regarding the communication … but two things jump out at me. You said you “missed” they wanted them for their blog and you said “It was an oversight of mine”.

For me, that’s case closed. You probably should have taken a breath, bit your lip and just given the Buyer what they want and move on.

We all make mistakes or act hastily in the heat of battle, but when we see we’ve overlooked or forgotten something, I believe we have to own it and make it right for the Buyer. Opposing views welcome. 😉

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This is an interesting question. I think what makes it most interesting is that it’s asymmetric.

Did you do anything wrong? – NO.

Did you do anything right? – Probably Yes.

Did you do everything right? – Probably NO.

Since you were making the extra small, it probably would have been financially and socially wise to do as VOW said above. However, you absolutely have the right to expect to get paid for all you work.

That is, if I hire a contractor. They think I’m saying remodel my small bathroom 100 ft^2 and I mean my master bathroom 225 ft^2. It’s totally understandable the person will be like. Oh, I have to charge you more for everything–labor and materials.

If I order a burger with Kobe beef (something VOW and I wouldn’t do as vegetarians) and you quote cook for me the regular burger and ring it up at the regular price. When I complain to return it, I should pay for the Kobe beef.

Where I think you may have wanted to flex a little was you were asking for so little for the rights that it probably wasn’t WORTH the fight.

I suspect you lost more than the $4 you stood to gain. Of course, you also didn’t have to do the work LOL

Anyway, I hope you next sale is smoother!

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OK, maybe a bit more of an explanation is warranted. My first gig extra for the rights/release has always existed. The new (2nd) extra was for originality.

The buyer sent about 6 messages prior to ordering which led to the creation of my 2nd originality extra. In one of the 6 messages I missed the blog posting bit so I told them to order the 2nd extra if they wanted new recipes. After realizing my oversight, I asked about the extra for the release. This was their oversight as well. They stated they wanted to reproduce them it did not order the extra for it.

The buyer placed the order before contacting me to explain what they wanted. This sent me into “avoid a cancellation” mode. this accounts for my “speed-reading”. Lesson learned! But they never ordered the release which makes me wonder if they didn’t see that I offered it (I should make it clearer?) or if they never intended to pay for it (I’d like to think they weren’t wicked like this).

I, too, wondered if $5 was such a big deal and if I should have kept my mouth shut. 🙂

The point where I backed off was when they said I was trying to take advantage of them. Not true. I was saddened but not maddened by that.

Oh well, it’s done. Thank you all for replying! The different perspectives are enlightening since I can’t possibly look at it from all angles. I’m revamping my gigs to avoid future miscommunication.

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