Goldengate: Hopefully The Last Word
It's odd, but people still insist on paying artists up front with no time frames. I have two cover quality commissions being done right as you read this, they've been worked on for the last month and a bit, and the artist (via his rep) has insisted that he'll accept no payment until they're done, and even then if I decide I don't want them, well no problem. I'm more than happy with that.
It all comes down to one phrase; Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer beware.