Paid per pair sold

I’ve been offered a freelance work where they will be paying me a certain amount of money per pair they sell of my designs.

I’m in the middle of writing out a contract for them to sign but my biggest worry is how will i know how many pairs they sell?

Anyone know what kind of proof I can ask them for so as to make sure they are paying me the right amount?

Are you only getting paid by per pair sold? Wholesale or retail? any type of retainer or base fee to hold your services?

or is this a mutual investment on both your parts?

I would be more worried about getting paid by them on a consistant basis (quarterly, annually, seasonally etc.) then how may pairs you are getting a precentage for.

Make sure to negotiate a minumum amount paid regradless of how few they sell…If the dont sell any youy still get $xxxx. If they sell over xxxx amount you get %xx and if they sell even more your percentage goes up (if its a blockbuster you get more)

I would personally run a mile from any contract like this - the truth is - you have no proof.

I once witnessed a client of mine (I was charging him by the hour) do some development with a French designer and tell that designer he’d pay him commision by the no. of pairs sold. As this guy was in France he had no idea if any pairs were sold.

The guy didn’t get paid a penny, despite about 10 of his styles being adpoted and manufactured. My client seemed to think this was funny.

In a nutshell. Be careful. I’d agree with the retainer idea - that way you’ll get something.

A quote from my father (an architect) ‘Some people think design is a hobby and they don’t want to pay for it.’

I agree with the retainer idea.

Cover your basic costs with a retainer and then perhaps negotiate a per/shoe fee as a bonus.

When approached for this type of work I often explain to the client the fact that while design is important, it is just one of a number of important areas that can make a product a succeess or failure. As a designer you have no control over manufacturing, distribution, marketing, competition, and a host of other “business” things that will directly influence how many of the product are sold.

After reading all your comments I’m more and more convinced that i shouldn’t even bother with this company.

All the work started out as a favour and a little extra money on the side for me but now its seems like a waste of time.
Whenever i ask them to give me something in written they run from it or totally avoid the subject.

I’ve already finished the summer 2007 collection for them and they said that i can expect some money to be arriving in April when they start selling the shoes…and that’s why i wanted them to finally sign a contract so that i can really expect something in April.

All your points are extremely valid and i never even thought about the retainer!!.. at this point this will all be for future reference!