Needy Customer

I’m worried I’ve got myself into a difficult order …

A customer messaged me a few weeks ago on Facebook asking about having a custom reborn made to look like it could be her and her husband’s child - I posted a customs sale and have had about 50 different messages, but only one actual order, so I didn’t think much of it! After about a week, she sent me some photos of her son as a baby, and I suggested some kits that look similar to him. She picked BB Frankie.

I was drawing up the order for her - explaining what she was ordering, the price, the down payment, etc. She then messages me and tells me her husband wants the baby to have full limbs. I explain that the kit she chose has 3/4 limbs, but I can order full limbs from a different kit of the same size. She’s happy with that answer - then asks me what the difference is. What? Why would you be willing to pay extra if you don’t know the difference? I show her an example and she confirms that she wants to pay for the full limbs so the baby can wear tank tops.

She wants to pay her down payment in two parts. That’s fine with me, I just won’t order any supplies until she’s paid the down payment in full. I explain that the arms available will depend on what’s available from BB when she pays, and she agrees that if there are no appropriately sized full arms available when I order, she’d like me to wait. I live in Canada, so the shipping isn’t cheap, I order all my supplies at once or I’d have to charge my customers a lot extra. 3 times before she pays her full down payment, she asks me if I’ve found the full arms yet. I explain 3 different ways that BB’s stock changes frequently and I need the full down payment to order the arms, each time she seems to understand, yet asks again.

She finally pays off the down payment (on time! :slight_smile: ) and Summer Rain’s arms are in stock, so I order those too. When I message her to let her know the supplies are on their way, she then tells me she’s still not sure if she wants rooted hair - which never came up before, we’d agreed on the price for a bald baby, and that’s what she paid for. I tell her as much, and she says she’d like to decide when the baby is done. I certainly hope she understands the hair needs to be rooted before the baby is assembled, but it’s alright. I tell her the rooted hair would take much longer, and she seems okay with this.

This woman then messages me 3 business days after I ordered supplies - ordered last Thursday, she messaged me Monday - and asks if I have any updates. I explain that the supplies may not even have shipped yet - she does know I’m in Canada and BB is in America. She says she understands, she’s just excited. Then she tells me she has a 7 year old, do I have any tips? I’m not even sure what that means - is the doll FOR the 7 year old? Are you raising the reborn like the 7 year old’s new sibling? Are you asking me for parenting tips? I don’t know!

Then today, she messaged me again asking for updates, and then again 20 minutes later to ask what a belly plate is.

She’s messaged me nearly every day since placing an order and sends messages more rapidly if I don’t respond within an hour - I work 8 hour shifts 4-6 days a week during random hours. I’m very very worried that this customer is going to become very difficult if I don’t spend every waking hour making rapid progress on her baby. I do tell customers, including her, that my customs can take up to 12 weeks to complete from the date I receive supplies, but I also let them know that it would rarely take this long unless I have many other complicated orders. I’m just worried!

Partially venting, and partially wondering how you usually deal with needy customers? I want to make her happy without running myself ragged!


I have been a custom artist for 11 years.I would refund her and save yourself $1000.00’s of worth of stress
as a custom artist, buyers choose you, BUT you have to choose your buyers to save your self!! JMO
Bol with whatever you decide xx


Agreeing with @NancyW

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The last customer I had that was even remotely like this, I promptly refunded. I sent her a polite message explaining that I was uncomfortable and refunding her. She came back with some kind of message making it sound like I was scared because I waz a bad artist or something like that… Sure lady, I suck as an artist. Please go find someone better. :rofl:

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Had a customer just like this last month.She changed her mind several times before I told her (a lie) that I had several other orders waiting and would not be able to get to her baby for several months.She was going to hunt another artist.I was dancing a gig when she said that.I was glad to be rid of her.I really only had 2 other orders to work on but she was going to be a pain so I got rid of her politely.

You should just write back " if you are that smart then you can reborn one for yourself "


Just asking because I’m new at this but she has to refund all of her money even though she has supplies coming to make the reborn for her?

One thing that stood out to me was: She wants full arms so he can wear Tank Tops------does she realize that the doll will have a cloth body which will show??? Maybe you should mention that to her just in case she doesn’t realize it and wants to give you grief over it later?!!

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So you will reborn it and sell it. Win, win, win… for you. I do not think this transaction will get any easier if you try to keep going.
You can always try to be bit diplomatic, and say that you will have to be working extra hours and will not have time to do it.

Eeeek! What a nightmare! This is one of the very reasons I haven’t offered custom work. A couple of years ago, I had a lady message me, asking for me to make her a baby that would look like it could be hers and her Husband’s baby. Strange coincidence!


I very rarely do custom work. Only have done a few for repeat customers or for someone that I have really felt out. What is working for me lately, and is becoming my preference more and more, is to talk to the person and make a baby I think they would like, with the understanding that they get first dibs. I take pics and send to them. If they want it, good, if not, fine, gets listed. So far everyone has bought when I sent the pics… It works so well this way without me chasing anyone around for money or anyone breathing down my throat, which totally sucks the joy out of this for me.


She could just be very worried because she spent a lot of money, and may not have commissioned work before. Maybe get on top of her and tell her you will email her when updates happen then send her pictures of the limbs or what not, to stop her from worrying so much. Explain to her that updates can’t happen every day, but when they do you will certainly let her know, and that she need to be patient so that you can work on the doll.

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And this is why i will never do custom orders… I can take as long as i want and paint it the way i want and if someone wants to buy the baby great…if not no worries for me…lol


I haven’t had this happen (Thank God) but could you tell her that you only check responses once a day and if there are any changes in her order you will let her know. Ask if she would like weekly updates and that you will contact her with them. If it works she learns how to treat an artist, if it doesn’t you lose her as a customer.

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I do that with my regulars too… it is a win/win, with no stress :slight_smile:

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