2 Juans- My worst Nightmare- Help!

I agreed to make two custom Juans for a customer. My first mistake…but I was feeling ambitious, and she had previously bought from me, and raved about how much she LOVED her baby. We agreed to the color in the BB photos of Juan for skintone, and she requested curly black hair- long for the girl, and short for the boy, and was okay with wigs. I showed her the preview today, and she hates them! These kits are already so hard to work with. I will probably never do another one, but now she wants a deep chocolate skin tone, and light brown hair. I just don’t even know what to do. I can’t even find wigs like the ones she is requesting, and I would have to hire someone to root, as I’m a beginning rooter and she doesn’t want to pay for that.
I told her I would work with her, because I want her to love her babies, but I am wondering if I can even do what she is requesting? And it’s not what we agreed on.
Do I issue a refund? Full or partial? I already bought all their parts, and put in soooo much time. I want to make sure that I handle it professionally. :confounded:


Ummmmmm…she can’t change horses mid-stream.

I don’t even know WHERE I ever heard that, but it seems appropriate to your situation. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.

She asked for a lighter skin tone, and BLACK hair…now she has changed her mind and wants darker skin tones and light brown hair.

You might try explaining to her that you’ve already done them per her instructions and if she’s not satisfied, she can move along. I hope you have a non-refundable deposit. She owes you that much at least, for the work you’ve done so far. Wigs and kits are not cheap and neither is the time you’ve spent.

This is why I quit doing customs. Grrrrrrrrrrr…:imp:


I agree with Karen that she can’t just change her order. Did you get a non-refundable deposit?


I’d be steaming hot mad if that happened to me…I agree with the other ladies hope you got a non-refundable deposit and just tell her that you made them according to her order and the wigs and time it took you to paint them cost a lot of effort and money. If she doesn’t want them anymore keep the deposit and sell them to someone who will love them.


As of last week I quit doing customs…they can be super frustrating.

How far are you in the process? Were you almost complete? I definitely would refund and if the deposit was made for kits or supplies that is definitely owed to you.


Thanks everyone. She actually paid in full since she loved her last baby so much. I am just concerned as I don’t have any type of contract- do you? And how much is owed back to her? My other concern is that as many people are friends within the reborn community that she will badmouth my work.
Would any of you try to move forward and create the deep skin tones, or just tell her that at this point, all these adjustments just aren’t possible? Thank you!!

This, does not equal this:

She wants it at least this dark. (top pic) To me this does not look biracial, but pretty mid-deep AA coloring.

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IF you got a non-refundable deposit and she did not pay though Paypal, you can tell her no refund on the deposit as per your agreement…If she did pay the deposit through Paypal, you still may not have to refund her depending if she can prove it was for the dolls or not…If it is noted on the invoice for the dolls, unfortunately, most likely she can put in a dispute and unless you can prove that you posted to her, she will most likely be refunded anyway so you would do better just to give her money back and be done with her unless you want to try to accommodate her ‘new order’…(it would be best to talk to a Paypal rep if that is the case…) She has no right to change her order after she has had you make them…

If it was me, I would probably just refund her and move on if you think she will be a problem but…

Here are a few options…

1 ; You can refund her, get rid of her and sell the babies elsewhere.

  1. You can tell her that you did the dolls as per her instructions and will not refund the money as it was a non refundable deposit but will be happy to apply it towards the purchase of one of the dolls…she can pick which one she wants and you can sell the other…

  2. You can tell her that you will refund the money but that you will have to sell the dolls first and once they are sold you will send her back the money as you work doll to doll and the money was already spent on the supplies to make the ones she ordered so you don’t have it to refund until you sell them…Then put them on Ebay or somewhere and tell her she is welcome to watch the auctions so that she will know when they sell (that will usually make them feel better so they don’t think you will sell and not tell them)

  3. I would not bother with this one if it were me but…you can tell her that you will do them how she wants but that you will have to charge her more for the new wigs, etc and will have to get the funds up front for those (a good faith gesture that she is going to follow through with the purchase) - Also it will help cover you for cost because Paypal will not normally refund multiple payments and if she did decide to put in a dispute, she will most likely only recover partial payment instead of the whole thing…

So sorry that this happened…I have been very blessed and never had to deal with this but I know I would be soooo mad, frustrated and disgusted if I had done a custom and had them do me that way…

I did have a lady back many years ago that I did a layby for and she paid 2 payments and disappeared for about 6 months…I had emailed her dozens of times and never heard from her… I finally gave up on her and sold the doll…then about 4 weeks later she emailed me, said that she had just totally forgotten about the doll and told me she was not going to be able to get now and wanted her money back…I seriously sent her an email that just said…“Hahahahahahahahahahahaha you’r joking, right?” - I never heard from her again…


And this was her dream baby, skin tone and all that she sent me reference of.


Thank you all for the suggestions and ideas. I had no idea that things were going to be this way, seeing as how much she loved her other baby. :frowning: I will have to take all of your suggestions, and figure out exactly what I need to do. But I greatly appreciate your help! If she agrees to keep the skintone as is, is there a place to purchase wigs that look similar to this style? I realize rooting would be better, but that just isn’t happening.


What constitutes a non-refundable deposit? A contract? Do you use one? Is there a standard one, or would I need to have one drafted by a lawyer? Do any of you have business insurance?

And then I keep both dolls?

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I know that you don’t want her to walk away without being satisfied but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, either :slight_smile: Someone can’t order a specific skin tone and then after the painting is already done say, “You know what, actually…I think I would like this skin tone instead.”

I feel like she can either take it or leave it, honestly. You don’t owe her a full refund in my book- I would offer her half a refund. I think that’s fair, because you’ve already ordered everything and finished (I presume) painting the doll. Sure, you don’t want her to be unhappy, but your work is worth something and since it’s a custom I feel like you deserve to be paid for the time you spent and supplies you put money on.

If you could darken the dolls’ skin tones without too much trouble I might try that and see if she’s at least then satisfied with the painting. I would explain to her that since you already agreed upon the darker wigs that you will send the babies with those and if she wants lighter wigs then it is her responsibility to go purchase them and apply them herself.

I probably sound harsh but I don’t like “takesies backsies”.

In the end it’s all up to you, and if nothing else I feel like you should at least keep enough money to cover the cost of the supplies. I guess that would constitute as a non-refundable deposit. I hope you can work something out to your benefit, whatever you choose to do. :heart:


Do you mind sharing the progress that your made on your Juans so far. I tend to show WIP of AA’s or ethnic babies to my customers when they are like 80% complete now because they don’t understand how much goes into ethnic babies and the process.


My layaway or payment policy is very simple

I require $150-50% deposit on custom orders depending. Once supplies and kit are purchased payments and deposit become non-refundable. For payments they must be paid 2-3 weeks after the previous. I give SPECIFIC DATES when payments much be paid. Balance must be paid in full once your reborn is completed and ready to ship. I will not ship unless balance is paid in full.

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What a nightmare and how stressful. I’m so sorry for all the frustration this has caused you. Being that I’m fairly new to reborning and to the forum I honestly don’t know much about how to handle your situation. To me it sounds like the customer is being overly difficult and unrealistic asking you to change the skin and hair. JMO. I bought the Juan kit a few months ago and when I received him I decided that I wasn’t experienced enough to try reborning him yet…I was surprised how big his head was. Right now he is sitting with my stock pile of kits I really love the Juan but now that you mentioned that the Juan kit is difficult to work with I’m thinking maybe I should sell him…It sounds like I probably won’t be good enough to reborn him for a very long time. I hope that you and your customer can work things out but if not I’m sure you could sell your Juan’s without a problem. Maybe I’ll buy one instead of trying to make my own. I do love the kit!

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I agree, and think that this definitely the way to go, but is there some sort of contract involved? What happens if they decide to take you to court?

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Court would cost a ton of money… I so doubt anyone would take you to court over a doll but even if they do if you, at the very beginning of the process, have told them your terms and they agreed on paper (or email or whatever), then you should be covered.


Yeah, I figured that, but I am still wondering if anyone in the reborn community uses contracts, and has business insurance? Having worked in commercial photography, we always had things set up legally to protect ourselves. People want to cause trouble over every little thing these days.

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I’m so glad to have this community! That you for helping me feel more prepared in dealing with this situation. :heart_eyes: