Happy October, everyone!
While I didn’t plan on having a spooky theme for our first post this month, I wanted to talk about an issue that has popped up with commissions – ghosting. Basically, ghosting is when someone requests a commission then disappears without sending payment or indicating that they are cancelling. In essence, they vanish without a trace.
We’ve had some mixed opinions from furries on social media about this issue. Some sellers have said that getting requests for commissions then neverghosting takes up a good amount of time:
Understandably, many content creators want to give business to people who love their creations. Someone who requests a commission then ghosts can take up those precious slots.
However, some creators view this as part of business:
Someone asking for more information on commissions can be seen as a future business prospect; a buyer ghosting a creator may eventually return and purchase something.
With either view, though, ghosting can still create problems if not taken into consideration. Creators have a few strategies that can help, and we at Furry Network are taking some ideas into consideration for future development.
Strategies for Creators
If you do find that you’re spending a large portion of your time dealing with ghosting customers, there are a few things you can do that will make things easier for you.
Create a schedule for buyers. This can either be made public or private, but consider making a schedule for when you’ll open for commissions, how often you’ll send reminders to buyers, and when you’ll drop an unresponsive buyer. Having a standard schedule will make it easier to decide when to end the commission process with someone ghosting.
Have some backup buyers. In some cases, you may receive more requests than planned slots. Because of that, you may consider informing some that requests have been filled but, in case one of the buyers disappears, you may let them have that slot. This isn’t always practical, but giving a slot to someone who initially didn’t get one will often make them happy.
Possible Strategies for FN
At the moment, we’re still discussing whether or not we should step in to help avoid or resolve ghosting – this is generally a personal issue, and sellers may have different ways they combat this themselves. Here are a few things we are considering:
Limit the number of open commissions for new buyers. Most new users will purchase a commission or two at a time; someone signing up and sending out multiple requests may end up ghosting several of those. Limiting the number of commissions until the buyer is established on the site may help avoid that issue.
Track buyer history with reviews. We will be implementing a review system where both buyers and sellers can leave reviews for each other. As a part of that, we may include the ratio of purchased commissions to the number of requests sent. This way, the seller can quickly see if this user has a history of disappearing after requesting a commission.
Include a custom message for requests. Right now, when a person clicks the button to request a commission, they are shown a generic box to include information. We may allow sellers to include custom text for buyers, especially for critical information for those specific commissions. Having that information in front of the buyer would likely lead to more serious customers.
Thank you to everyone who discussed some of these problems on social media; we hope the upcoming commission features will help resolve some of the common problems currently seen in commissions.