It's because people waste their time.
I've had one custom order that has been pending since September. They came over on September 20th, asking about me making scatter guards for their cage, and were coming over here to get some other stuff. They said when they were here, they would show me what they wanted. Apparently I had made this stuff before for them, and wanted new ones.
Ok, so they come over, show me. Maybe a week or two goes by before I get to their order and cut the scatter guards. We had agreed that I'd charge the same as what I charged several years ago, even though prices of everything else have gone up, with the thought that they would be using the same bolts from the previous scatterguards. That alone would save them a bit, as the bolts and hardware are now about $1 per set. So, I would just need to build the wood part and drill the holes, and they would use their existing bolts.
So, once I've cut the wood, I send an email asking how many bolts were there per piece of wood. Some of the pieces were smaller than others, and if there was only one bolt, I didn't want to drill two holes (as this is a good size bolt, probably 1/4" or larger). About a week passes, no response. So, I send another email. No response. I have other orders, so I figure, I'll come back to this. This is early October, mind you. I keep working on my other orders, figuring I will get a response eventually, and we fast forward to December 7th, when I send another email, detailing that I've sent previous emails asking about the bolts, and that I can't finish the scatterguards without knowing how many bolts. They respond right away, sorry sorry, they tell me, two bolts per piece of wood. Ok, so I respond back, immediately, and tell them, I will have the scatterguards done that day (cause remember, I have the scatterguards done, I only need to drill the holes for the bolts), and ask when they'd like to come pick up their scatterguards.
No response, so I email again on December 15th, saying that I have them ready for pickup, and wanting to know when they're able to come. The ask if I'm available Monday or Tuesday. I respond (Monday early morning, the 18th) saying that I'm available both the rest of that day and Tuesday, and ask when works for them.
Don't hear back, naturally. I send another email, January 2nd. I'm even nice about it:
Wanted to check in with you and see when you can come to get these, thanks.
Don't hear back, so I send another email, on the 10th, trying just the slightest bit to get a response... I explained, I'm trying to clean up the shop, and I keep running across her scatterguards (which mind you, one piece is like 3' long, so there's nowhere good to store the thing), and I need to know when she's going to come and get it.
I get a response (on the 10th):
I’m so so sorry. I actually lost my job middle of last month like a week before Christmas. Things have been super hectic but most importantly it’s set me behind on every single one of my bills. I can come and pick them up I just need to figure out payment! I’ll let you know as soon as I can manage. Also what is the exact cost again? I really don’t remember.
I responded, they're $21. I have not yet heard back. Every time I see those pieces of wood, I get irritated. It's $21 not $2,000.
I should not, SHOULD NOT, have to chase anyone down for payment. Either you want your order or not, and yes, I get it, she clearly doesn't care that much, or want her order anymore, to pay the whopping $21.
I just mention this, because I hate to be that person that requires deposits for every custom order, ever... but this is a perfect example of what happens when I don't. I am now sitting on wood that I would not have bought (it's 4" wood... I usually buy 8"... so I had to even make a special trip to get it) and chances are, my best bet with these scatterguards is just to cut them up and use them for scrap... which is absolute bs, considering I took the time to measure and cut her scatterguards, and now, likely for nothing.
So, when you wonder why I'm in a perpetual state of irritation.... keep in mind, there's a lot of people like this.