I have a client who wants to purchase an artwork. After three weeks of questioning about my artwork finally he is convinced to buy it. I have offered him discount after his multiple request and 15 days of payment time in invoice. Now he is asking for payment extension. I think that he might ask for extension again! I'm actually tired of him because he is not paying and wasting my time. How to deal with it? Your expert opinions are appreciated.

I have not mentioned late fee or due date interest fee in the invoice.

  • 3
    Have you already delivered the item?
    – quid
    May 2, 2016 at 17:01
  • Thanks for your prompt reply. No i haven't, I have mentioned in contract that artwork will be delivered after full payment.
    – Amir Dora.
    May 2, 2016 at 17:04
  • Then the issue is that the item is unique and you're holding it for this buyer? If so, request some sort of good faith non-refundable payment (maybe 10% of the agreed price) to hold the item for 30 days. Then you get something for removing the item from the market and he gets his two 15 day extensions up front.
    – quid
    May 2, 2016 at 17:09
  • This question might be better suited for workplace.stackexchange.com rather than personal finances. I see questions on there a fair amount from people in similar situations.
    – BobbyScon
    May 2, 2016 at 17:13
  • 1
    I would honestly just, simply, totally forget about this client. it's likely just a scammer trying to get your goods (whatever they are) and then never paying. If the person bothers you further, simply reply: "The items is still available for sale. Please forward $_ _ _ to this address, including shipping. We will ship it when funds clear." Just endlessly resend the same message if you are bothered further. "Joke clients" like this are a total waste if your time. If you're just getting started in business, might as well accept they are a part of life.
    – Fattie
    May 4, 2016 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


In the event that payment is not made by the due date on the invoice then the transaction is essentially null and void and you can sell the work to another client.

For your particular situation I would strongly suggest that you implement a sales contract and agreement of original transfer of work of art for any and all future sales of your original works of art. In this contract you need to either enforce payment in full at time of signing or a deposit at signing with payment in full within (X) amount of days and upon delivery of item.

In your sales contract you will want to stipulate a late fee in the event that the client does not pay the balance by the date specified, and a clause that stipulates how long after the due date that you will hold the artwork before the client forfeiting deposit and losing rights to the work.

You will also want to specify an amount of time that you provide as a grace period in the event client changes their mind about the purchase, and you can make it zero grace period, making all sales final and upon signing of the agreement the client agrees to the terms and is locked into the sale. In which point if they back out they forfeit all deposits paid.

I own a custom web design business and we implement a similar agreement for all works that we create for a client, requiring a 50% deposit in advance of work being started, an additional 25% at time of client accepting the design/layout and the final 25% at delivery of finished product.

In the event that a client fails to meet the requirements of the contract for the second or final installment payments the client forfeits all money paid and actually owes us 70% of total quoted project price for wasting our time. We have only had to enforce these stipulations on one client in 5 years!

The benefit to you for requiring a deposit if payment is not made in full is that it ensures that the client is serious about purchasing the work because they have put money in the game rather than just their word of wanting to purchase. Think of it like putting earnest money down when you make an offer to buy a house.

Hope this helps!

  • Thank you for the detailed answer, it is really helpful. But i have already sent him a contract. The artwork which i am selling is already designed and it is present in my online portfolio. The client wants to purchase the artwork so i sent him invoice along with contract with full payment details and 15 days time. He is asking for extension, what do you think is appropriate reply! I don't want to sound rude yet make a solid statement so that i get my money in time! I can give him another 10 days extension.
    – Amir Dora.
    May 2, 2016 at 18:11
  • If your contract specifies when payment is due then the client has to honor that contract, assuming of course that the contract is signed by client and yourself. If your contract does not specify the things I mentioned above (payment terms, deposit with payment terms, non-payment terms and grace periods) then you need to seriously overhaul your sales contract and add these. If the client does not pay by the due date however, the sale is null and void because they haven't met the terms! You are not obligated to give a client payment extensions - they want to buy, you provide invoice, they pay! May 2, 2016 at 18:17
  • Also, if you are going to be in business for yourself and expect to sell your works and be profitable in doing so you will need to have the ability to be firm with clients who present themselves as this client does. Otherwise you are going to have clients that continuously walk all over you, say they want to buy and never pay and in the mean time you might lose actual sales because you're holding items for deadbeat clients. Be firm, assert your terms and close sales, otherwise offer to other clients. May 2, 2016 at 18:20
  • Thank you for expert advice, I did not specify due date in my contract and i'll consider adding the terms and conditions for my next client. I am sending this client a final email asking for a non-refundable payment to hold in the item for 15 more days. I think after that i have to move on to other clients! Some clients are hard to understand.
    – Amir Dora.
    May 2, 2016 at 20:05
  • Glad I could help. If you accept my answer I would appreciate it. And I completely agree that some clients are hard to understand. Good luck in your ventures, hopefully your future clients will be better! May 2, 2016 at 20:12

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