How are you dealing with returns?

Hi all! I have a weird situation and would appreciate an advice. My first sale here happened this month/ person saw my painting at the coffee shop, loved, bought through DP. And I delivered it in person the next day. But there’s no happy end for this story.
It was framed on display, but all description and price was taken from DP and there was no word that frame was included. There was no return for this item too.
So now buyer wants a free frame or refund talking to me like I’m a fraud.
I didn’t reply anything yet.
What would you do? Or share your experience of dealing with that kind of things

I think if you’re going to sale on DP, it should state what the amount includes (frame, matte, etc). It seems like a logical assumption that what they saw is what they were getting. I no longer use the pay link on DP but when I did, I always mentioned what was included. Just my opinion, but if you don’t want to give them a frame, you should pick up the painting and provide a full refund. Bad reviews can haunt you. Not worth the aggravation.


Thank you for advise! in description it was just a painting/ should I write exactly ‘‘frame not included’’ everywhere?
Does it work the same way when you display at galleries?
I’m a beginner in the artworld and it’s the first time I have a private exposition. Probably I should change all labels there…

I used to include a matte, so I’d say “white matte included - (fits a standard 12 x 16 frame)”. Because they contact me directly before buying now, I give them more options via email and include price of frame if they’re local.

Eventually I found is was not helpful to have pricing on my website. I sell much more from my Facebook page and at shows. DP really tries to promote, but the internet just isn’t a great place to sell.

I’m not sure what you’re saying about your exhibition. Were there no prices on them and you referred people to the website? I guess that’s another side of you’re argument to the customer if you had a different price in person that included frame.


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It appears your purchaser is relatively local to you. To preserve your local reputation, I would explain that the frame was not part of the sale, but since that fact was not specified in the shop/gallery space, I would frame the piece for delivery and not charge extra. I’d consider this a learning experience and be more specific as to what is included in the future. Satisfying a customer, specially a local one, could go a long way towards future sales.


I too indicate that prices listed on DPW are for unframed works and how they ship. I also have paintings that are at local galleries listed on DPW, and indicated as such (I.e. they need to buy from the gallery so they get their commission). If someone sees a painting in a gallery, where the listed price includes a frame if any, they have to buy it there. That is a quick way to also ruin a relationship with a gallery owner. It may be better not to list pieces in a retail setting on the site unless you are making these distinctions. I can see how this could happen id you are not careful.

I do communicate with my galleries that have framed works that I can remove the frame and reduce the price accordingly if they want to select their own frame.


Thanks for advice. This time frame goes to buyer for all other paintings will be a more detail description.
In my case it’s a coffee shop, not a gallery and I got lucky with the owner that doesn’t take a commission so I just put a link to DP. Lesson for the future


That is interesting fact buyer asks for full refund if frame is not included. Looks like they buy frame not art lol
For the future, my advice - if you display art at coffee shop, framed, please price it if frame is included. Most people go with by default option.
And for those who don’t like your frame you can mention on your dpw site you can opt out the frame for discount.

In galleries, if art displayed framed, it assumed price includes frame.

Congrats with your first sale!

My thoughts exactly, Julia. The price with the physical art work should state whether it includes the frame or is unframed. If I saw a piece of art in a restaurant or gallery, I would assume that the price includes the frame if not stated otherwise. I think with gallery purchases, the price includes the frame by default.

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If your painting was framed when on display, where your customer first saw it, and your sale page did not clearly state that the frame was not included - you should include the frame.
I agree with some of the others - consider this a lesson learned and move on. Digging in your heels will only alienate a customer and create bad press. Be gracious, explain your situation to the customer and give the frame.

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Just give them the frame and apologize (even if you don’t feel like it) for the misunderstanding. Do be gracious (excellent advice). It will be worth it in the long run: a good investment in your reputation and experience as a seller.

In my descriptions I put: No frame, no mat, just the artwork.

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