Just new to this, and I have a large order of two hundred cookies. We discussed what they were looking for - theme, text, concept - and I said I would let them see what I was doing when I had some cookies created. I was surprised when they said ok to the pix, and then said "Ok, we will decide which style we want". Had done 100 cookies at that point! Fortunately, they said that was fine, go ahead, but what should I have done differently or what is the wording to use to indicate that from the givens, I will go ahead and produce. Typically does the customer need to approve? Concerned with endless delays and constant tinkering with details in that scenario.
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Just state your terms and working conditions upfront when the order is placed. I can see why they might have been confused here if you said you were going to show them work in process - perhaps they interpreted that to mean they would have some choice. Anyway, when I had my shop, I would do custom samples but they were charged out as a regular order - never given away for free, and always done well in advance of production of the actual order. Otherwise, I wouldn't allow any choice. I stated these terms clearly in written contracts for large orders.
Ok thanks. But for the moment i am not working with contracts. So to avoid the impression that showing a preview is implying choice, I could say they will be ready on x date based on their description. ? Basically, how do I say you will get what I design based on what they described?
I would recommend putting large orders in writing (even if via email) so there can be no misinterpretation. That's probably the reason for the confusion.
Just say what you said: I will design based on design discussions; customers will not see advance designs or get pre-approval of designs unless they pay for advance design work.