A guide to adoptables

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  Last updated: March 7, 2021
  Changes made: Updated some things and added extra tips here and there. Added "Boards" to the section What is a CYOP/Gacha/Egg/Board/Palette adopt?. Moved the section How should I make a custom adopt? to be under the types of adopt section. Added how to ask for payment in the section What do I do when someone asks to buy an adopt? What do I have to do after it's paid? New additions are marked with a New *
   Small update on March 10: Changed the topic "What sells the most?" to "What are the most common design types?" and changed some of the wordings on it. It was pointed out to me that it could encourage a lack of diversity if people only looked at the title of the topic and the list - something which I never even considered during all of these years. I'm still keeping the "Pale skin" part as to shoot some attention to the fact that about 80% (if not more) of the adopts you see around have pale skin. Draw black people you cowards.

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  Note: I try to be as nice as possible many times during this guide, but in some parts I might be a little harsh. Sorry about that, but yeah I gotta speak the truth to help you!
  Note²: This is an endless work in progress! Feel free to request anything.

  I decided to do it after helping a friend getting started in her adopts account. This will follow the same system as my guide to commissions, meaning it will be updated whenever I get more to add.
  Please note that I'm focusing more in character design here! There are other types of adopts that don't include drawings (such as a personality description) but I have no experience with these so I'm not the right person to tell you about them. There are also weapon/objects in general adopts, but not everything here works for these.

  • First things first: What even is an adoptable?
  To make it simple, adoptables are characters (or objects, or descriptions, or outfits, or any other kind of design you can imagine) made by someone who decided to sell them. They are designs usually made for the sole purpose of being sold. There are adopts of species made by people, adopts made to order (called "customs"), surprise adopts and many other kinds. Later on this guide I'll explain the different kinds of adopts that exist, how they are sold, and many other things.

  • Why do people buy adoptables?
  This is a pretty common question, and I can understand people outside of the adopt community being confused. "Why would you buy a character when you can make one yourself?", you ask. Well, there are actually many answers. There are people who use characters to write stories, people who can't really draw or design something they like, there's even collectors! Everyone has their own reasons to buy adopts. Sometimes you see an adopt and simply fall in love with it, you want to give them a backstory, you want to draw them/write about them, you just want to feel like that character is yours - and you can do it! You just have to buy them and boom, yours. Your kid now. Go be happy taking care of them.

  • How do I get started at adoptables?
  Its pretty simple. You basically just need to know how to design something interesting and to draw. You can use some F2U (free to use) or P2U (pay to use) bases if you're not confident about your anatomy yet. You decide what you're going to do; humans, dogs, aliens... It's up to you! Just don't force yourself to do something you don't want to.
  Unless you are already have some following (I'd say at least 300 watchers) you should start with something cheap. But, as I always say, DON'T UNDERPRICE YOURSELF. I recommend you to start with outfit adopts: they're very popular and easy to draw. Grab some pictures for inspiration, draw the thing and put it up for sale. Simple! Of course don't forget to put it in a lot of groups. Through this journal we'll explore in detail some of these aspects, so just scroll down and try finding what you want to know about!

  • What about the earnings?
  The most popular currency at DA is DA Points. However, it's faster to receive via PayPal - the most common currency in this case is american dollars (USD), but it's also common to see euro (EUR). You can accept other payment ways, such as bitcoins, bank deposits and art - but we'll talk about art payments later.

  • How do I price?
  As for the prices, this is something very personal. You see, it depends on a lot of things. This is what I usually use to decide my prices:
    • Flats (-)
    • Shaded (+)
    • Chibi (-)
    • Half body (+/-)
    • Full body (+)
    • Used a base (-)
    • Baseless (+)
    • Simple design (-)
    • Detailed design (+)
  As you can see, the fancier the more expensive. My full body, baseless, shaded and detailed designs are the more expensive ones I do. I charge about 50 USD for one of these. However, for the chibis that aren't shaded, have a simple design and are made with a base I charge about 5 USD, maybe even less. Please note that this is considering my art style. Someone on a higher skill level than me should charge way more than 50 USD for a design like that.
  But, again, DON'T UNDERPRICE YOURSELF. I've already given up on buying adopts because the designs were way too cheap, and it didn't really look ok to me to pay that little. If you want to sell things for cheap, do something that is worth cheap. A sketch, a simple, boring design is worth cheap, but that doesn't mean someone will buy it - it's boring! And cheap! And they it's not even well done! Even my mother can "design" something like this. People don't want simple and boring characters, they want something unique to use in their stories, to be their lovely OC! So maybe the best thing to do would be to put some effort in what you're doing.

  • Ok, I've made my first design and it's up to sale! But... Nobody came to claim it yet. What do I do???
  You probably didn't advertise it enough. My favorite thing about DA is that we have groups in which we can advertise everything we do. However, you need to know that 20, 30 groups isn't enough. For me this is the wort part: you need to advertise in at least 50 groups, I'd recommend almost 100. Yes, it can be boring, but the money is worth it. Try joining groups that have more than 1k members, and don't put your adopts only in adoptables/commissions groups. Your design is anthro? Nice! Put it in an anthro group. Is it cute? Put it in a cute group! There's a huge variety of groups, put your adopts in all the groups it fits. But don't forget to follow the group's rules! As a group admin I can say that we have a lot of problems with people that don't read our rules - even though they're in a very visible place in our page. If you only plan to use groups for adopts, the easiest way to keep track of their rules is to only join groups that allow adopts - that way you don't risk having it rejected.
  However, I have to be honest with all of you here. The reason your adopt isn't being sold may also be because the art is not worth the price you put in it, could also be that your design isn't appealing enough. But don't give up! There's a lot of adopt types (I'll list them on the two topics below) and some of them get sold quicker than others.

  • How does an auction work? What is a set price/fixed priceNew */OTA/NYP/DTA/WTA adopt??
    • Set price/fixed price:
      • Set price (also known as fix or fixed price) adopts are the most common ones. As the name says, you set a price (let's say U$15/1500:points:) and this is the price, like the price of a shirt in a store. The buyer may try to lower the price, and as the seller you have the right to accept/decline it. It's actually quite rare for people to try to lower the price, though.
      • A set price adopt batch example
    • Auctions:
      • Auctions are, after set prices, the most common kind of adopts. You have 3 things: SB, MI, and AB.
        • SB: Starting bid. The minimum value you'll sell the adopt for. I don't recommend putting the SB as an amount you wouldn't be happy to get, as you have no guarantee people will fight to the death of their wallets over your adopt.
        • MI: Minimum increase/increment. The minimum amount the bidder needs to add to the previous given bid. For example, someone bidded 10 USD and the MI is 1 USD. If I want this adopt I need to bid at least 11 USD in the bidding chain. A MI isn't always necessary, and it's value is usually 1-2 USD/100-200:points:. I recommend you to put easy to calculate amounts on this one, such as 1, 2, 5 and 10 USD. But keep in mind that higher MIs may scare people. Bidding is something exciting, the more you bid, more you want something! So yeah, a lower MI is a good option.
        • AB: Auto buy. By paying this amount the buyer can skip all the bidding and get the adopt immediately, as if it were a set price.New * The AB commonly gets an extra piece of art. The value is usually very high - let's say about 3 or 5 times the SB value. It isn't needed either, but highly recommended. You may put more than one AB (AB 1 and AB 2, 3...) to more options of extra art.
      • Auctions should have an end date and some bidding rules. I'll talk later about the usual rules, but for auctions something essential is to keep the bidding chain (one bidder replies to the previous bidder's bid - "reply to the highest bid". So if I comment like "10 USD!" the next person has to reply to my comment so I get a notification and all of that) and to have the payment in hands - as I'll talk about in the rules topic. The auction can last 24h, a week, 5 days... It's up to you. I recommend it to be X amount of time after the first bid is given, but of course you can set it to be X amount of time after you posted the deviation. Remember to put your timezone and that the auction may end earlier with AB. And remember! During daylight saving time your timezone changes name, so like Brasília time is usually BRT, but during daylight savings time it becomes BRST.
      • An auction adopt batch example
    • OTA:
      • Offer To Adopt. Please don't mistake it for NYP (the following topic), they're very different things. In an OTA, you get to choose what to accept: money, points, art, custom adopts, etc. An OTA should NEVER take only money currencies! Otherwise this is just a masked auction or a NYP. OTAs are pretty popular as people who don't have money can offer art for the character. Just like auctions, you can let it open for a certain amount of time and at the end of it chose the winner, but you can also end it earlier if you receive an offer you really like. Personally, I don't have good experiences with OTAs since most of the offers I got weren't anything I'd like (my designs at the time weren't that good tho). For these, I recommend you to put in more than 100 groups if you're really expecting to get some good art. OTAs can have AB and a minimum amount of money you'd be up to taking - sometimes it can turn into an auction, so keep the "if you're only offering money, reply to the highest bid" rule here.New *
      • An OTA adopt example
    • NYP:
      • Name Your Price. Not an auction, but also not a set price. You can have a minimum amount you'd accept and a minimum amount to get extra art, but you're going to accept the first offer that comes - even if it's the minimum amount. Otherwise this will turn into a masked auction, which isn't nice. You can also add options for extra art - either separated (just like you'd do in a set price adopt) or included in the price ("offers of U$X or more get extra art!").
      • A NYP adopt batch example
    • DTA:
      • Draw To Adopt. Like a contest, people will draw the adopt and the one who draws it better according to your judgement will get the character - and the right to use all the art of the other contestants. Unlike the other types, a DTA doesn't involve any kind of currency. Usually people do it as a celebration for something or as a way to get more popularity. The adopt maker often puts some rules such as only allowing finished/colored art, but there are some people who put no rules at all.
      • I don't have DTA adopts in my gallery and the only one I joined got removed from DA so here's the first one that came up when I searched for DTA adopt
    • WTA:
      • Write To Adopt. Perhaps the rarest adopt type, I don't recall seeing more than five of those. Like in DTA, the owner decides who gets the adopt + all the other works made with them. The adopt maker may put some limitations such as a word limit and a theme.
      • I don't have any examples of WTA adopts in my gallery nor know any good ones.

  • What is a CYOP/Gacha/Egg/Board/Palette adopt?
    • These are all adopt types unrelated to payment method. So, you can have a OTA and CYOP adopt, for example. Your adopt doesn't need to be any of those, it can just be a regular adopt.
    • CYOP:
      • CYOP stands for Choose Your Own Palette, those adopts are basically a lineart which the owner decides the colors. You can have the coloring set in the price (the buyer tells you the colors and you color it) or you can charge a bit to do it, but the owner still chooses the colors - unless they want it to be a surprise. If you're charging more to add coloring and the buyer opts to color it by themselves, it'd be nice to give them a .psd or transparent .png file so they can paint it themselves.
      • An extra personal opinion/advice would to make more detailed designs for those. Since you can't put any patterns/textures or use any color combination on the adopt, you'll have to add appeal with details to make the design interesting.
      • Some (pretty bad) CYOP adopt examples in the top of this batch
    • Gacha:
      • Gacha, gachapon, gasha or gashapon adopts are, as the name says, inspired by gacha machines - that ones you put a coin in and get a surprise toy in a capsule. They're really diverse, and for some reason some people do 100% custom adopts through these - which doesn't really make sense for obvious reasons. You can offer different options - 100% surprise, owner chooses gender and species, etc. These are really fun to do and are awesome for indesisive people (Like me! I like getting gachas sometimes, it's fun for when you only know one or very few traits for the character you want - like gender or species). Gacha adopts are commonly cheap and made with chibi bases, but can be baseless and more expensive too.
      • A cheap gacha example
    • Egg:
      • Egg adopts, as gachas, have many variations. Some people allow the owner to chose gender, species and such and then will do a design based on the egg, but I'd say that the true egg adopts already have something "inside" them. If the design is already finished it's not rare to have some information about it in the description, such as gender and species. New * Personally, I draw the characters first and design/post the eggs after, this way the egg "hatches" automatically after being bought. They're also called "Mystery Eggs" and can be made in shapes other than Eggs. I recall someone doing mystery potion adopts once, they followed the same principles as an egg adopt.
      • Mystery egg adopts example
    • Board: New *
      • I'm calling them "board adopts" here because there's quite a few types: moodboard, inspboard, aesthetic board, it goes on - though the one you'll see 90% of the time are aesthetic boards. The seller posts a board of images (usually nine) and the adopt is made inspired by them. A board adopt is similar to egg and gacha adopts, as in they can be fully a surprise or can be somewhat customized. If hte design is fully a surprise it's not rare to have a sillouette of it by the side of the board.
      • Board adopts started to get popular as I was leaving the adopt community so I don't have any examples I made myself.
    • Palette:
      • I remember hearing a while ago that some people were selling only the palettes, but this isn't how it's done. Basically, you put some palettes for sale and then design a character with it with the characteristics the buyer asks for. To be honest I have never made or bought any of these, they aren't very popular. You can do it a 100% custom or offer different options like in a gacha.
      • I don't have any samples of palette adopts in my gallery nor know any good ones.

  • How should I make a custom adopt?  
  Firstly, make sure you know what the owner wants before accepting the payment - which I always recommend to be fully taken before you even start sketching. This way, if they ask you to do something you'd charge more for you don't have to send them another invoice/ask them to pay more. Have a journal just like a commissions journal, with a form with details of the character. The form isn't necessary but I highly recommend it so you don't have to keep asking questions to the buyer. New * Some things you could put on this form:
    • Species
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Physical age (Remember that a character can be a 472 years old vampire that looks like they're 35!)
    • Body shape
    • Skin color
    • Scars/tattoos/birthmarks
    • Hairstyle/color
    • Facial characteristics
    • Theme
    • Color palette
    • Clothing
    • Accessories
    • Details
  ...And many others. You should change those to fit your style (for example, some people can't really draw many body shapes) and add more things if you think its necessary. Also, let things clear for the buyer somewhere in the journal: state what you would do and what you wouldn't do, what you'd charge extra to draw, etc. For example, I wouldn't draw an animal character design and I'd charge for close-ups and extreme details.
  As for the pricing, it should be more expensive than your regular adopts due to the work of having to design something. You can also offer different styles as you'd do with a fullbody commission, such as flat colored, cell shaded and such.

  • What is an advent calendar? How do I make one?
  Advent calendars are like a combo of mystery adopts. Usually the artist makes the designs beforehand, and then makes a calendar with a hint to each day's adoptable - usually there is only one adopt per day but very rarely you'll see two or more adopts per day. Sometimes there is no hint at all to the design - I personally wouldn't recommend it as it gives buyers no desire at all to get it unless they already like your stuff (it's important to always reach new buyers!).
  Advent calendars are common around holidays (such as christmas, new years and halloween) and all characters have a common theme. So in a halloween-themed advent calendar you'd expect to see some spooky themed characters, winter with snowy themes, etc. Not rarely advent calendars will be combined with palette adopts and other combinations. For closed species it is quite common to have multiple artists working on the adopts for the calendar - that way it can get done quicker and there'll be great variation between the characters.
  The calendars don't necessarily need to be a full month, they can be a week, 15 days, 12 days, whatever you like. The adopts remain secret to your followers (except the buyers) until it's their day. As with gacha adopts, sometimes they can be fully customizable. Sometimes they get discounts while in their "mystery form" - so let's suppose I make an advent calendar and you want one that will be revealed on the 23rd, and today is the 21st. You'd probably be able to get a discount on it as it's still a secret design. But make sure to check the artists info! Not everyone offers discounts and that's ok!!
  I personally only have experience with one week-long advent calendars, so here's my template if you want it, with some ideas of what you can say on it. Each color is a layer, and each day has it's own text layer for maximum customization. No need to credit me, just don't say you made it yourself haha

  • What is a YCH? What is the difference between F2U/P2U bases and YCHs?
  YCH stands for Your Character Here. It is like a base that someone makes and then sells as an adopt: the winner(s) have their character(s) drawn by the artist in that base. YCHs are commonly made in auctions, with the lower bids getting flat colored art while higher bids get shaded versions or even other versions with different clothing, though they can also be made like set priced adopts with extra options. Sometimes YCHs will be unlimited or have more than one slot available - so more than one person can win.
  The difference between a YCH and a F2U/P2U base is that the artist that made the YCH is going to draw the character in the base for the buyer, and a F2U/P2U base you buy, download and draw on it yourself.

  • What do I do when someone asks to buy an adopt? What do I have to do after it's paid?
  Usually when people want to get an adopt they'll comment stuff like "I'd like to take it!", "Can I have it?" or "I'd like to get this character, please!". Now that you learned from the previous topics what the different kinds of adopts are, let's put in a list what to do, so that it's easier to find what you're looking for. I've also added suggestions on what you can say, in case you're still a bit lost or don't know English too much and the guide isn't in your native language/the translation isn't updated:
    • If you're taking more than one currency (usually dA points and PayPal) be sure to ask the buyer what currency they'd like to use. My usual go to is to simply ask "Points or PayPal?", and the more polite version "Would you like to pay with Points or PayPal?". After that they'll answer your question and then you can tell them how to pay - with points people usually receive through the commissions section of the shop tab on their profile page New * and with PayPal the safest way to you to receive your payments is via an invoice, so you'll need to ask for their PayPal email address.
    • If you have options with extra art (mentioned on the topic "What are the extra options you put into your adopts?" down below) be sure to ask if they'd like to get extra art. I usually ask "Would you like to get any extra art?" or something like that. If you wanna be pushy you can say "Would you like to get extra art of this adopt for a discounted  price?" . New * If you offer multiple extra options like I do and the buyer says they'd like an extra but don't specify which option ask "Would you like to get Option X or Option Y?".
    • If it's an adopt batch and they don't specify which character they want, just try not to get mad and say something in the lines of "Which character are you looking to buy? This is a batch, currently [all / only 5 / 1 and 3 / 6, 12, 13, 214 and 320 / whatever] is/are open to sale." if it looks like they thought that was the price for all the characters in the batch you can add "The price stated is per adopt, so I need to know how many you'd like to take to calculate the final price.". Sometimes people just don't read shit or just don't know how adopts work. You gotta deal with that.
    • When an auction ends you go to the highest bidder (assuming there was no AB) and just do as you'd usually do with a set priced adopt. You can start with a "Congrats, you won the auction!", and from there ask stuff for the payment.
    • When an adopt is Auto Bought you, again, just do as you'd normally do with a set priced adopt. It's always great to say "Thanks for the AB!" because, you know, usually they're pretty expensive. Not needed, but indeed makes you sound more friendly.
    • If it's a gacha or egg adopt and you don't have the design done yet (I assume a small amount of people have a stock of 100% surprise gacha/egg adopts done, but surely not everyone) collect payment normally and give them an estimation of when it should be finished, even if it's already written somewhere. "Thanks for buying! Your character will be finished in about [2 weeks / a month / 3 days / whatever]. I'll let you know if I need more time." This last part is important, mostly because if it gets past your estimative and they don't hear from you they may think you're scamming them. If you said you were going to take 2 days to finish it and it's the night of day 2 and you don't have it done yet, send them a note with a new "deadline". You don't need to explain yourself if you don't want to, just saying you were busy or had personal problems should be more than enough.
    • If it's a YCH, be sure to ask for enough character references. If you can't see important details well enough on the references they give to you, just ask "Sorry, I can't really see [important detail] in this [screenshot / picture / drawing], do you have any more references I can use?" if you're ok with it, you can also add "If you don't have any it's ok, a written description would be enough.". As almost always, receive payment as per usual.
    • If it's an OTA, do as in an auction, just pick your winner and receive payment normally. If it's an art payment it's probably going to work like in a commission, where you say what you'd like to get and they draw for you - in this case follow the artist's instructions.
    • For DTA and WTA adopts I can't say much, as I've never hosted such an event. From what I see people usually make a journal and put the winner + all the other art/writing in there. From what I saw it's also common to make a bit of a statement as to why you've chosen that particular piece.
    • To ask to receive point payments you can say "Please pay here: [LINK TO YOUR COMMISSIONS PAYMENT HERE].". If you don't want to/can't withdrawal your earnings to PayPal later, you can say "Please pay in the donations widget in my profile page." or, if you don't have it, "Please send the payment as a gift in my profile page". New *
    • To ask to receive PayPal payments and you use invoices, you can say "Please send me your PayPal email address in a note so I can send you an invoice.". If you don't use invoices (which I DO NOT recommend as it puts you on a risk of a forced chargeback) you can say "Please send U$X to this email: EMAIL[AT]SAMPLE.COM". New *For safety reasons, always ask for emails and inform your email only through notes.
  And now to what to do after it's paid. I don't suggest doing any of this before receiving payment. You don't need to do any of these, they're all optional - except the last one, for fuck's sake!!
    • I DO NOT RECOMMEND SENDING THE BUYER UNWATERMARKED VERSIONS OR .SAI/.PSD FILES. The only exception for the last one would be a CYOP adopt the buyer is going to color, but I still recommend merging your signature/watermark to the lineart so it's harder to remove.
    • If the size of the image you've uploaded to dA is smaller than the actual size of it, it would be nice to send via sta.sh the original .png/.jpg file. Sta.sh is DeviantArt's cloud storage system, it allows you to upload your files and send the link of it to the buyer. Usually the link is sent via note. People sometimes just send the file directly to the email of the buyer .
      • Sending the file directly via email is also a safety thing for PayPal, but people rarely do this (I don't either). If someone buys something from you via PayPal and proceeds to get a "forced refund", you can show PayPal you've actually delivered the product properly by sending the file to the PayPal email address of the buyer.
    • If the adopt is NSFW by dA's standard and you want to send a file of this adopt to the buyer for whatever reason, don't use sta.sh. Sta.sh goes with the same rules as dA, and you could get your account blocked even if no one besides you sees it. For those cases I suggest Dropbox or OneDrive - avoid using sites that dA blocks such as Hentai Foundry.
    • If the adopt comes from an adopt batch it's also good to send them a version with only the one they bought. If they buy more than one from the same batch it's still a good thing to send them each one separately. New *
    • Mark the adopt as closed/sold, this is optional but helps keeping things organized. If you're feeling nice remove it from all adopt groups you put it in. It's also great to have a folder in you gallery with only closed adopts, this way it's not only more organized, but potential buyers can also see how many adopts you've sold in the past - thus coming to the conclusion that you're reliable.
    • If the buyer asked for extra art just just DO IT!!! (Seriously, don't keep them waiting. Unless you have real life stuff you need to do or commissions/other extras/other custom adopts that were paid before, make that your priority. Try not to become one of those people with a 2 meters long to-do list of paid shit - think about your reputation!)

  • What are the most common design types?
  Again, I'm going to be very honest with you here. I've noticed some time ago that there is some kind of "formula" for the types of adopts that you see around more often. There's also almost always some sort of trend going on as for style, and depending on the time of the year some types of adopts are more common than others (if you've been in the adopt community during MerMay you know what I'm talking about.). This is not something you should follow for every single design you make if you're looking to be unique - everyone is tired of being things from this list over and over again. I'd actually say that if you want to stand out you should avoid using too many things from this list in your designs.
    • For humanoids:
      • Kemonomimi
      • Fantasy
      • Cute
      • Female
      • Pale skin
      • Thin
      • Pastels
      • Chibi
    • For animals:
      • Long tail
      • Fantasy
      • Dogs/Cats/Wolves/Foxes
      • Cute
      • Pastels
      • FLUFF
    • For outfits:
      • Whatever is currently trending irl
      • Fantasy
      • Loooong dresses
      • Typically female clothing
      • Cute
      • Harajuku fashion in general
  Some other common features are insanity (??), food themes (especially for animals) and sexy females (big boobs. And butts. And shitty armor/almost no clothes at all). I'll admit that even I do some of these sometimes - I draw mostly female designs - but keep in mind that just because those are common characteristics it doesn't mean your adopts will get sold immediately if you use them.
  Actually, I'd say to avoid some of those things or, if you're drawing only these, to try something different once in a while. I've been searching for a Victorian-themed male adopt for years and every time I see one of these it's sold - it's something uncommon after all! You can also take advantage of those "rarer" characteristics and make a niche of your own - people looking for that specific kind of design are much more likely to buy adopts from you more than once.

  • What are the extra options you put into your adopts?
  Extras are something very versatile and good to the new owner of the character. I usually offer two options: the first one is a full or half body drawing of the character and the second is the same, but with a custom outfit. This is nice because if the owner wants to change something in the character they can have it from the same artist that designed the adopt, making it a better reference. This is also nice if the owner wants to save some money, since the extra prices are usually cheaper than the commission prices.

  • What should be my adopts rules?
  This again something very personal. The base rules should be something that protect you, such as "no refunds". There should also be some information about holds and resells/trades/gifts. Here are mine (feel free to copy and use it!) :
    • ♡ By buying something from me, you're accepting my commission guidelines!
      ♡ Holds only for up to a week;
      ♡ Payment must be sent 24 hours after claiming the adopt, otherwise it'll be open again.
      ♡ After buying, the owner:
        ♡ Can change the design as they want.
        ♡ Must credit me for the character at least once!
        ♡ Can give/trade.
        ♡ Can resell for the same or lower price than brought (includes the price of other commissions you might have bought using this character)
  The "you're accepting my commission guidelines" is a good trick because it shortens the amount of things you need to put in this list.
  Due to some past problems, I really recommend you to put something about underage customers having parental concern to buy things from you. I've heard of a "scammer" that was going on which was underage and used their father's credit card to buy art without his concern.
  When sending a PayPal invoice, remember to put some of these in your "terms and conditions" - specially the underage buyers one. Put all of them on the TOS-ish section and the more important ones on the "notes to the customer"-ish section. I remember learning all of this from a guide, but I can't seem to find it anywhere... this will be updated if I ever find such journal.

  • What is an original species? How do I create one?
  I feel like I could make a whole journal just for this one, but since my experience with those is mostly from a viewer and not from a maker/buyer it doesn't feel right to do so.
  An original species is a species created by someone. They can be humanoids, animals or even something entirely new. They can be a "open species" or "closed species". In an open species anyone is free to create a character of that species. In a closed species however only the owner and very few hand picked people get to design characters of that species. My focus here will be the closed species, since they're the ones that generate most money - of course, you can sell adopts of an open species you created, but closed species are more likely to be sold due to their "exclusivity".
  On a closed species, only the person who created this species can create/sell designs, unless they give other specific people a permission or a MYO slot (if you don't know what's a MYO, simply scroll to the topic below). Usually closed species have traits - common, uncommon, rare, very rare, legendary, mutation and such - and most of the times these trains will define how expensive the character will end up as. Most of the "cooler" traits are in the higher rarity ranks, as less people will be able to obtain them - the rarer a trait is the more expensive a character with them will be. So a character with only "Legendary" rank traits will be much more expensive than a character with only "Common" rank traits.
  Creating an original species is easy, but creating a good and unique species is hard. The most important thing in an original species is the design (backstory is important too but most buyers don't seem to care) so you should put some thought on it. The best thing is to have something in the design that immediately makes you recognize that the character is from that species, like a Xynthii's eye, that can have many different traits but the same base. Some other species have this same eye (and there's a lot of drama around it) but it's a trait most definitely "claimed" by Xynthii, therefore this is what they're reminded/recognized for.
  Some things to avoid during the creation of a closed species:
    • Highly basing you species in someone else's. Besides being extremely unoriginal, your species will be forever marked as a generic of X species, without mentioning all the drama you'll get into. Of course, some people like the idea of a "rip-off" of a popular closed original species because they allow people with less money to own a character similar to those of the popular species, but in my opinion I don't think its worth all the drama.
    • Having the most important traits on the species being hidden, such as tattoos that get under the characters' clothes or psychological trais. Even though these are nice, people won't ever be able to recognize the character is from your species unless there's a more visual trait that is always shown. If you don't care about recognition go ahead though.
    • Making so many traits you don't even remember all of them. As the creator of a species, you should know what you're doing. Making a lot of traits not only will make you confused but will also make other people confused. Keep things simple, and remember that to have a unique species all characters must have something in common. Good examples of that are Mantibab's and Cinnadogs' anatomy, which are unique and shared by all characters of the species, even though some traits are different from character to character.
  Now the things I personally think you shouldn't do:
    • KEMONOMIMI SPECIES. These are SO HARD to be original. We see kemonomimis everywhere, and they're all the same. Changing the inside of their ears won't make them more original, neither adding a backstory: buyers care more for the design than everything else.
    • Food themes. After the Sushi Dogs gained that much popularity, many people have followed Chital's "secret formula", which seems to be animal + food themes + eyes always closed. Many species follow these rules, some changing to food theme for something else. You can still clearly see they were based on Sushi Dogs, though. It's just a theme we're bored to see.

  • What is a MYO?
  MYO means Make Your Own. It's something an owner from a closed species does to let people create their own character of this species. MYO slots can be for free (usually in a contest, in which the winners get to keep their character) or paid (with a base price for only common traits, sometimes few free rare traits and/or a charge for rare traits). MYOs are nice if you don't have money to buy the adopts or to order a custom (they're usually cheaper than both, depending on the artist's popularity). Some species owners allow the trading/selling of MYO slots, so even if there isn't any MYO event going on or there's no MYO tickets for sale you might still be able to get one.

  • Wait.. but like... can't I just create by myself a character from a closed species without the owner knowing it??
  Just because you can doesn't mean you should. It's disrespectful. And also the owner may actually have actual real legal trademark over it. Did you know sushi dogs are trademarked? Do you want to spend money with a lawyer for creating a food-themed dog character with closed eyes and a swirly bandana?? Also. The drama.
  Just don't. Someone may do this to you? Yes. Good luck, I don't know how to deal with this kind of stuff - who do you think I am, some sort of adopt expert? lol

  • And can't people steal designs?? Someone could just reupload my adopt and use as their OC! Or even sell it!
  It happens all the time. Just sign it. The more popular you are the more likely it is to happen. This thing we do is based on trust: trust that people will pay you, trust that they won't chargeback, trust that they won't just use the character without paying for it. People also resell a single character multiple times to scam others. It's a risk, but hey it's worth it in my opinion.

  • How do trades for adopts/art payments work? 
  Adopt "trades" can mean many things actually; you can be trading designs (like you give a character to a person and they give you another character) you can trade a design for art, a custom for a custom and so it goes. My thing about those is: be careful about who you trade with, and, if required, do your part.
  Many people will offer art as payment for adopts they can't afford. Accepting it depends on you, but only give them the rights of the character or the bigger file once they finish what they promised to do. If they don't, send them reminders (don't do it too often, though!) and, if too many time has passed (maybe 1 month? Depends on your patience) tell them kindly that if they don't finish it you're going to sell it to someone else/put the adopt open again.
  Before accepting art payment from someone you don't know, google their username like "zeryuo scammer". If they happen to not finish their part on trades, its very likely someone already made a journal warning people about it. Also, check their profile page carefully. Do you see a lot of hate comments? A blocked list? A "people you shouldn't trust" or a big "people who owe me art" list? If you do, be careful! Those are huge warning signs that yell "don't trade with this person!"
  I think I got a bit out of topic on this one but hey, take care, that's the message!

  • What are some DON'Ts of adopts?
  This is mostly some pet peeves of mine, but still. Some of these are just... please don't.
    • "No collectors!"/"You MUST use the design otherwise I'll take it back from you without a refund!!1"
      • I've seen many people only selling adopts if the new owner promises to use them (collectors most of time don't) and this is something very, very silly. You see, you're like the owner of a store. You can't sell someone a dress only if they promise to use it! Also, taking back isn't nice. Even if the person who bought it is now inactive, it's none of your business! If they paid, it's theirs. Same thing if they just paid for the adopt and one day later they deleted their account - if they ordered extra art, do it anyways. It'd be rude not to do something you were paid to.
      • I'd say this can be reasonable only if it's a free adopt. But, still, I don't like the idea of taking back just because the person didn't use them - people have more to do with their lives other than just draw/write.
    • "You can't change the design!"
      • Again, it's none of your business what the new owner does to the adopt. You have no idea how many times I've given up on an adopt just because of this! Giving a personal touch to a character is something many people like to do, and being unable to do this just makes us give up. The character has blue hair and I'd like it to be orange? Who cares! I want to change everything at the design? This is rare, but hey, who cares! If I change the design too much I'm actually just paying you for nothing - I could've drawn it myself and instead I'm choosing to pay you just for the base design.
      • I'd open an exception of these for closed species, in this case I recommend putting "if you want to change the design please only do so with my approval" or something like this, to avoid people getting rare traits or free.
      • No, this isn't an OTA. This is a masked auction. I hate this. It bothers me so much that I made a topic just about these, scroll down a little to find it.
    • "Auction ends whenever I feel like it"
      • Um, no??? That sounds like you're expecting someone - maybe a friend - to bid and win. Even if you aren't, please don't do it; it's rude.
    • "You MUST watch me to adopt this character!"
      • Ruuuude. Very rude. I'd say this is only acceptable for free/raffle adopts. Otherwise this is just a silly way to get more watchers/attention. People are there for the design, not for the person who made it. If they like your art they are going to watch you anyways.
    • Using ridiculous watermarks. Seriously, don't. Some people fill their adopts with their username (like writing it several times in black or white and then just putting it all over the character with like 50% opacity) and that's VERY annoying. Yes, I know, you don't want to have your adopts stolen, but I want to see the adopt! I want to know what that is, and I can't do it if your username is all over it! Just use a simple watermark or sign it. Seriously, people who steal adopts want easy money, redoing all the lining and coloring just to erase your watermark/signature is too much work!

  • What are those "masked auctions" you've spoken of?
  I've never really seen anyone talking about those, but this is something that bothers me a lot. You see, as I explained before, OTAs shouldn't accept only money currencies, otherwise they go against what OTAs are meant to be. "But why do you get so pissed off with this??" Because OTAs attract more attention than any other kind of adopt. Why? Because they give people the opportunity to pay with other things than money, which isn't something everyone has. So, as I said before, you're actually doing just an auction under the name of OTA when accepting only money. And this isn't nice! You're lying to people when you do this. This is the same thing as announcing requests and actually doing only commissions.
  I never saw this happen to NYP, but, basically, as I also said before, in a NYP you take the first offer that comes, otherwise this won't be a NYP, but an auction.
  In summary, it's fucking rude. Don't do it.

    That's it so far folks! This guide receives updates about 2-4 times a year. I haven't been active on the adopts community for a while now, but feel free to leave questions in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them. If you somehow ask something I don't know how to answer I still have friends doing adopts that I can consult if needed. I've highlighted some questions below that I think may be useful for other people but didn't make to the guide yet. Good luck and have fun! o/
© 2016 - 2021 Zeryuo
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ThickyNickyMickie's avatar

hi, i had a problem with some people. i was the highest bidder on a adoptable. the person who posted the adoptable said i won and ”closed” the adopt, but still said to other people they can still bid/ab until i reply. so, two people decided to mix their offers and co own the adopt [while i was having a peaceful deep sleep since it was 10pm/22:00]. [they were also my favourite designer, so im kind of mad] is this allowed?

ThickyNickyMickie's avatar

(Oh yeah, and the person who posted the adopt put a [the cs servers currency here] ab thats 3k to get more money [since i offered 1.5k and 69rbx]. Is this valid/ok or does it sound like they’re money hungry?)

Zeryuo's avatar

I mean people are free to price things at whatever they like, it's not rare to see famous designer's adopts go for over 1k USD, if it sells for that much good for them I guess. Now, the bidding continuing while you're asleep is very messed up. Usually what happens is that if the winner doesn't pay within a certain time frame (most of the times listed with the adopt/bidding rules) then either the bidding will be open again or the second-highest bid gets the adopt. I don't have any context here but it could be the bid kept going because there was a possibility you wouldn't pay, and in that case those people would win the adopt. If they still got the adopt even though you won and replied in a timely manner, then there's something sketchy going on.

There's not a set of things that are "allowed" in adopts, anything goes really. Designers can organize bids whatever way they like and can charge as much as they want for their designs. From what I have here the only thing you can do is talk to the designer and mention how unfair it is - why even have a deadline if people can continue bidding after it?

honeyko15's avatar

Thank you so much for the guide! It's so complete and very helpful for me who want to start an adoptables

hey, first off I just wanna say this is a pretty good guide, but there is one thing that i'm still wondering, if I bought an adoptable and I wanted to commission some art of them but the original person who I bought them from said that I should credit them, how would that work? should I tell the commissioner to put somewhere that the base is by someone else? Am I even supposed to commission art of them in the first place?

Zeryuo's avatar

The character is yours so you can make and commission any art you'd like using the character. If the creator used a base on the design, they probably mean that you need to credit the base creator (which may or may not be them) when you upload the original art somewhere else, think like toyhouse or your own gallery. The "always credit me for the design" rule is one that people often forget about, unfortunately. I'd say that here the best solution is to ask the artist that you commissioned to credit the designer when they upload the final piece to their gallery - but if they refuse or forget to do it there's not much need to worry, I think we're all used to people forgetting about that one. If you upload the commissioned piece to your gallery, toyhouse or other website then make sure to credit the artist, as you have power over that upload as opposed to when the commissioned artist uploads it to their social media.

Straeh-Evol's avatar

Are the rules still applied to an adoptable if the artist deleted the drawing later on (months/years) after you purchase it?

Zeryuo's avatar

Definitely yes! It's a bit complicated if the artist deleted everything in their gallery and you don't have their rules saved anywhere (happened to me once) but in those cases I'd say you're safe to assume you're allowed to trade the character for the same value you bought it for - and if you don't remember how much you paid for it the safest option is to not resell it, just trade for art and/or other characters. If the artist is still around you could send them a note asking about their rules, but if they just deleted the deviation it may be because they're trying to keep their gallery organized or they just don't like their old art anymore.

VinylEsto's avatar

If I regretted selling an adoptable to someone because I liked the design more than I anticipated afterward, would I be able to get it back by giving the person I sold it to a full refund? Would that be considered acceptable?

Zeryuo's avatar

I think just straight up giving them a refund and taking the character back would be very rude. The best solution here is to politely ask the buyer if they'd be willing to "sell back" the adopt to you for the same price they bought it for. If you feel like the buyer really likes the character, you could offer to exchange it for another adopt you made or maybe even for a custom. As long as you don't forcefully take back the character I don't think there's any problem in wanting it back, it happens to all of us. Just keep in mind that the buyer might not want to trade it, in this case just accept it and move on, there's nothing you can do about it - taking it back forcefully would really hurt your reputation and credibility as an adopt maker.

Zeryuo's avatar

Taking back is more of a social thing than a legal thing, if that makes sense. 99% of adoptables don't have their ownership transferred legally, so taking them back legally doesn't make much sense either. Honestly if you're not attached to the characters I'd say to give them back just to avoid the drama/harassment, but that's personal. Unless you involve something like toyhou.se where you can actually keep track of who owns the character it's just between you two. Your former friend can ask people to go and harass you (and that may or may not be effective depending on how big their following is) but generally that's about it, they won't be able to sue you over it or anything like that.

ZestyIceBerg's avatar

Wait, what happens to the adopts when they are closed??

Zeryuo's avatar

A closed adopt is a sold adopt, so the character now has an owner and doesn't belong anymore to the person that created them.

keary's avatar

This was very, like, very helpful. I really want to start on making adoptables on my own. Thank you so much for this!! I'm totally giving you a quartz badge for it, it's amazing!!! :dummy:

Zeryuo's avatar

Glad to know it was useful! Thanks for the badge! :la:

Ayalis-Adopts's avatar

Hello! First, I'd like to say that your guide is very complete and helpful (I finally understood what "gachas" are thanks to you haha) so thanks a lot!

Can I ask you to explain me the utility of the PayPal invoice ? I sold some adopts by the past and never used these invoices (I didn't even know there was such a thing). I'd like to go back to adopt-making but I really wonder what's the pros and cons of these invoices, comparing to a simple PayPal payment ?

Zeryuo's avatar

At the time I wrote this guide PayPal didn't offer any digital goods protection, but in the last year or so they implemented a policy that protects sellers of digital goods. A lot of the times you see people asking buyers to send the payment as "friends and family", this method puts the buyer at risk as it doesn't allow them to receive the payment back in case the seller doesn't deliver the piece (it was never available here in my country so I never got to use it though).

Anyways, to the point you asked. Sending invoices allows you to have a TOS that the buyers accepts as they pay for the invoice (things like "you're not going to receive your piece immediately after paying", "this is a digital good", "you won't receive anything in the mail", etc). It's good for both parties: the seller can dispute in case the buyer gets a forced charge back with some silly excuse such as "i didn't receive my package" and the buyer can also dispute if the artist doesn't provide the piece after a reasonable amount of time (which is why it's good to include something like "your piece will be delivered via e-mail within X time" in your TOS, preferably with a "there is a possibility it will take longer, in which case you will be notified" to go with it, just in case.). One thing to keep in mind is that PayPal is unlikely to take DeviantArt notes/comments as proof in case of a dispute, so after they pay it's good to send the adopt file to their PayPal e-mail in case anything happens - just remember to not do that if it's anything against PayPal's terms, like NSFW content. Also notify them via e-mail as a formality if you think you're going to take longer than stated on the invoice. This whole e-mail thing is only really necessary for new buyers tho, I don't do that for people that have been commissioning me for years, at that point I already trust them enough that I don't think they'll ever get a forced charge back. Still a good thing to do with everyone, not just to keep everyone equal but to appear more professional. Speaking of which, another small bonus that invoices have is that you can put your logo on it, it's pretty neat, looks more professional as well. You can also make a template so that every time you send an invoice the same info will be there, and there's even a checkbox that allows the buyer to tip you if they feel like it.

As for cons... there's not any, really. Maybe the fact that you have to ask people to tell you their PayPal e-mail in a note, at worst it takes them some hours to answer and that's it. Recently I had someone pushing me a bit to send them a paypal. me link (those aren't even available here lmao) but then again it's like. One person in almost seven years of selling over 200 commissions/adopts.

In short: It's super useful, safe for both parties and takes you like 2 minutes to set up after you're done with your template. Worth it!

Hopefully this helps! If anything wasn't clear enough feel free to ask me :D

Ayalis-Adopts's avatar

Thank you so much for this quick and complete answer ! I understand better the utility of the invoice now ^^

You said "A lot of the times you see people asking buyers to send the payment as "friends and family" " and that's indeed what I was doing then. But if I remember it correctly, it was essentially a way to not pay the PayPal fees. Is it the same with the invoice ? Or maybe there isn't PayPal fees anymore ?

Zeryuo's avatar

Completely forgot about the fees, my bad! Yes, you do have to pay fees with the invoice. It's a set value, depends on your country and if the payment is national or international. If I recall correctly it's something like X[currency] + Y%. Usually I end up losing about 5+ dollars per sale with my commissions, it's the biggest downside of using PayPal instead of other options. PayPal still in the most widely used one, especially since some other options such as Cash App and Venmo aren't available in all countries. If losing part of your payment is a problem you could allow other options as well, but not using PayPal could result on losing buyers instead. I don't know how things are currently but on the past when you transferred points to PayPal no fees were applied, so if you're ok with waiting 14 days to withdraw that could be another option. So yeah I lied when I said invoices have no downside, sorry lol

Ayalis-Adopts's avatar

You liar =P

So, PayPal is still a greedy bastard as I can see... I would totally use something else if I could but as you said yourself, not using PayPal would just make things more difficult for me. I am awaiting the withdrawal of some points so I'll see if there is fee or not when I transfer them to PayPal, I can tell the result you if you want ^^

But still, I can't understand how something that takes so much money from its users can be this famous and used worldwide...

Zeryuo's avatar

If you don't mind taking your time to tell me it would be nice to know about the point fees! I could probably add most of this to the guide at some point, the info on invoices really isn't too clear as it is now. I'd say the reason we all still use PayPal is because it's available in so many countries, I can't really think of an alternative that is this common worldwide. A few years ago there were quite a few people moving to google pay, but guess what - it's not available in all countries either (I wanted to be part of the move but nope, not available here orz).

But honestly? If you sell adopts for cheap and wouldn't mind losing a few dollars like once a decade, stick to family and friends payment. But for more expensive adopts or things you spent too much time on, invoices are your safest option. In the end I'll always advise for invoices, but it's really a personal preference to be as safe as possible, even if it has a price.

Ayalis-Adopts's avatar

Hi, I'm back as promised :D I withdrawn the money I received thanks to the commission widget and I got all the money on my PayPal account, without any fees.

In conclusion, if you're a Core Member, you can convert all the point you receive with the commission widget to USD on PayPal without loosing anything in the process PTP - Parappa Thumbs Up

Zeryuo's avatar

Good to know at least that hasn't changed to the worse lol Thanks for taking your time to tell me! I will be adding this info to the guide later this month :D

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