Firstly, I hope I'm putting this in the best thread. Feedback or advice would be highly appreciated. I got a call from a gentleman about going an elaborate, customized scene with two muley bucks. A very sentimental piece to the client. I didn't ask for a deposit before working on proposals with him because I really did not foresee him backing out. We hit it off real swell and were in contact almost daily about the project. We spent 4 weeks bouncing ideas back and forth, trying to pin down exactly what he wanted. A dozen proposals were passed to him. We ended deciding on a final proposal what would have been around $1,700- two mule deer peds, custom aggressive-interaction poses, two large tanned capes, hand-made cabinet display base, prairie fence habitat scene, detachable mount features, the whole big set-up. I talked it over on the phone with him, sent him (he is out of state) a copy of my contract to review, copy of quotes and estimates and job summaries. Basically setting things in stone. We discussed making the down payment and all was in the clear. 4 hours later he contacts me and says "I took the proposal to my taxidermist buddy and he says he'll do it for $100 less. He says you're way over charging me. I'm gonna go with him instead." The other taxidermist had told him that I should only be charging $30 for large tanned buck capes, and that my quote of $125 was a rip off. That is the literal price of the capes, nothing tacked on. Excuse me, but I've never seen a top-grade tanned 24" mule deer cape for $30... So basically he just lead me around for a month, wasted my time and resources, stole my job outlines and details and took it to a cheaper taxidermist. Is there any way that I can prevent him from using my plans and proposals? That has to be along the lines of illegality. You don't have a contractor create blueprints for you on a large job, then take it to the cheapest contractor you can find. Deposit or no deposit. Hoping someone has some advice. Either way, hard lesson learned.