Just to make that clear: With F themselves, of course I don´t write or say that to a potential customer, that was paraphrasing but I think only. I would say in such cases: "Dear Sir or Madam, I appreciate your interest in asking me to work on your project unfortunately that is not gonna happen because of this and that.." However everybody is different and let me tell you: I work also for people with no upfront payment but 1). I am know them very good and 2nd) I know them for years so I have a strong relation to them and can assure they don´t screw me over about not paying me for my service. What you do or don´t is up to you guys, of course and I am know speaking of e.g. library music market and placement payment you have to wait for the money to come in. And I am not speaking here of universal, and Sony (they will pay you) but of small indy people who are hiring you guys. And you don´t know anything about of their reputation, even smaller indy devs teams? Sorry, I have seen a couple of times huge crap that people got screwed over and so I am saying: Be a bit careful. What you do of course is of to everyone self. And John G and some others: Asking for and upfront payment has nothing to do with beeing on a financial desperation...it is therefore to cover at least your own costs and worktime you put into something as a security option in case the projects bombs or is cancelled or the client decides something else. For nothing else but that. Having said that: People who I work on a constant base also ask me if I need some of the budget upfront. Yes that are relation which are gold imo. In such cases I often say: Thats fine..lets do the payment after I am done. I know that it is not easy to find reliable people just because people are not (unfortunately) reliable. In a perfect world that would be no question. But it is not.