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Brett Cost




Location: Usa
Joined: 22 Jan 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2020 1:19 am    Post subject: How long is too long for a commission?         Reply with quote

So I sent out some work to be done on some swords I wanted customized. I had heard from numerous people that a certain craftsman was a reliable place to have work done. Sword groups and knowledgeable people said that he was a good place to go. After talking with him on price and space in his queue for him to do it, I sent off my swords and waited. And waited. And waited. About two years into it I got a little mad and had it out how upset I was that it was taking so long. I understand life can get in the way but how long is too long for waiting for a commission. I wanted him to just send what had been done if at all but he convinced me to just let him finish. That was about a year ago. He's since showed me work and it is almost done with the swords but not the scabbards which was the main commission. Now I'm just trying to get him to send me the finished swords and I'll wait for the scabbards though with better mindset as I'd finally have the swords at least. I'm not calling him out yet but damn if this hasn't taken forever and excuse seem to be a plague. It has killed any want of the sword community or buying or doing anything more with swords at all. If I get back what I sent I'll be happy.
So how long is too long? What are any recourse?
How long do typical customizers take? Like DBK or Fletcher?
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2020 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had several custom projects made on time to the quote or even delivered early; within a year. The makers that do this are few and far between.

I've had projects that were quoted at one year that took five years. I've had a project that was quoted for four months take three years. I had another that I paid the entire cost because I was told the parts were already in stock and it would take only a couple weeks to assemble that took two years to finally get to me. There is no norm in my experience.

The truth is that most makers are very bad at time management and estimates. This is an unfortunate reality. They're artists. Many are perfectionists. Many over-promise and are in need of money so take on too much work. Most are bad at business. There's a lot of reasons why delays happen.

The key is to manage your risk by managing the money you are willing to give up front. This limits your exposure and gives an incentive to the maker to finish the project and get paid. There's a balancing point to what is fair for both the maker and the consumer here. I think that's the key. Ideally, both parties end up satisfied at the end of every project.

My project with Christian Fletcher was done well within the timeframe he quoted. This was several years ago, but my experience with him was super professional.

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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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Reading list: 1 book

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Posts: 1,608

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have had a few projects completed within the time period quoted but, like Nathan, most have been very late- in the order of months or up to a year.

Customer service just doesn't seem to be the strength of arms and armor makers in general.

There are a few really exceptional examples out there though- folks who are prompt and clear with communication, and if there is a delay they let you know about it. And that's all most of us want anyway- if something has gotten in the way we are informed. People are pretty understanding that we are dealing with small businesses or one man operations.

Jeff Helms, Josh Davis of Davis Reproductions, and Leo Todeschini of Toddstuff are examples of smiths who really demonstrate great customer service.
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Brian K.
Industry Professional



Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 725

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2020 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How long is too long? This depends on the level of patience one is willing to give. But for me, I try to avoid ever having to test one's patience level.

Though my queue is long, there is a reason for it. My work is reliable, excellent, and timely with great customer service. When I first started my business my experiences with business in this niche field told me what I should and shouldn't do. I pride myself on quick responses, proper business to client etiquette, and the best possible work I can do. When I start a project it generally takes about two weeks, depending on the project. Extensive metalwork, design, can take longer. But I will always answer emails, and provide a fairly accurate estimate in time & money. I would say my longest commission was probably two months with most of that time waiting on metalwork to arrive back from the foundry.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Brett Cost




Location: Usa
Joined: 22 Jan 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2020 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All good to hear and makes me easier with the time needed.
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