I don't sell the cakes that I make but I'm a Graphic Designer. I'm sure with designing and selling cakes you guys can relate to how it feels to put everything into something to just get ripped off in the end.
I'm a Graphic Designer but design Business Logos and such on the side for much lower prices than normal. My prices are affordable so that it allows everyone a chance at a professional look whether you are a business owner or hobbyist. I trust people and don't ask for a deposit or contract up front. I've designed this way for years on the side and have never had a problem. My customers understand that my prices are hundreds, even thousands of dollars cheaper than they should be paying and are thankful for that. Some even go out of their way to thank me which really is kind of them, but not necessary. My work is professional and the people I design for on the side could not otherwise afford it. I charge just $65 for a 100% unique and custom logo this way when I charge anywhere from $80 to $200/hr for my business. Its basically a give away.
Anyway, I designed a logo for someone but should have seen the signs early on that something wasn't right. I went ahead and did it anyway. She came to me requesting two business logos. I sent her the proper order form and such and she promised to return it for weeks. I knew what she wanted anyway so I went ahead and designed her logo. This was something that would normally cost $200/hr. being hand drawn, custom everything, etc. Well, to make a long story short once I sent the logos she replied a just a few times. One was saying that she loved them and the second that her computer crashed and needed them again and such. Two weeks later I asked if she had decided on the final so that I could change or add anything she needed. No response of course. Now over a month later I finally send her the bill since my work was completed and I haven't heard from her since. Finally she emails me back immediately complaining that I billed her and she has never even seen the logo. Did she forget she told me she loved them? Did she forget she sent me an email stating that she lost the examples I sent and needed them again to view once more before finalizing? I sent her back each email she sent me as proof that she has received them. Now since I sent her those emails and proof I haven't heard back from her again...of course! I just hate that I do this on the side to help people out and then I get ripped off.
Sorry I just needed to vent this frustration!
I'm so sorry you got ripped off. That is just wrong. The logos you sent her would she be able to use/copy them? I hope not.
I hope you get your hard earned $$ back.
Send her an invoice via certified mail saying that if it isn't paid within one week you will take her to small claims court.
when u send ur proofs to be okay'ed.... sen dthem with a watermark so they can't use them until you get paid....
it's hard to see you do something to help someone and they just take advantage.... not too nice...
Don't send anything "usable" until you get your money....
I would also send a certified letter stating you want be paid in 1 week or you will contact a lawyer.
I agree with dalis. I'd watermark everything that went out of my office just like photographers do.
My husband and father-in-law are in business together and when we have our logos made for our company vehicles we're required to pay 50% of the total when we choose our design. These designs are also watermarded by the company that does our design. The other 50% is due when they're completed.