So how do you avoid such trouble?
- Do you know the person who has approached you or you are buying from? Are they reliable with payment and/or delivery? Art they active? Check their previous threads or current threads. Does their ToS meet your personal preferences. Beware that some users include "will take this back" criteria. Others will state you cannot sell on a piece of work. It is down to you to know this! Breaking a ToS is serious and the administration often cannot step in to help.
- What is your claim to the art you wish to produce, trade etc? You need to establish that, make it clear in your ToS and stick to it. Don't abuse your ToS to get back at people through petty arguments - that puts people off dealing with you. DO use your ToS to excise your rights as an artist. Consider the art's origin, did you make it? Is the art of your origin? What is the original creator's ToS? Consider seriously how much "claim" you truly have. Is it right to claim you have control over someone else's art? Trying to claim you own something when you aren't sure if you really do is unfair, trading and selling of art is at its best when everyone behaves responsibly and ethically. Examples of unethical activity can include (but is not limited to): selling/trading/giving away without permission, advertising characters with art you do not have permission to giveaway/trade/sell, claiming back art (or characters) when you don't know who owns it, claiming something back because it "is not used enough".
- Keep a record of what you buy, sell, giveaway and trade, who it goes to and if you got payment. Screenshots are awesome and can save hassle. When buying artwork immediately screenshot your statements to include the transactions. This can save you a lot of hassle. If you make "special arrangements" for art, screenshot that too.
- Many artists see their art being sold on, and see their hard work being profited on by those who may not have even paid for the art! So consider where your art is going. You can put in your ToS that people must always come to you to trade/sell/giveaway your art. Don't let yourself fall foul of others.