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Thread: Archive: "Review of ordering my tail from Adam Martyn"

  1. #1

    Archive: "Review of ordering my tail from Adam Martyn"

    This is an archived thread that was originally posted on, the predecessor to MerNetwork. For more information about, click here.


    Posts: 323
    06/26/10 06:32:59
    Hello everyone,

    I’m finally writing my review of Adam's Tails that many of you have asked for.

    I've stood by Adam for years but finally have to admit that I've been scammed and would like this review to serve as a warning to all, particularly in light of Adam's recent "urgent" advertising for his new cheap tails on the Seatails boards.

    I placed an order for a US+$2500 full silicone tail, which, as you all know, seemed like a great price at the time. I signed a contract and paid a deposit, then went through a lengthy process where I designed
    the tail and fluke.

    After awhile Adam said he needed the rest of the money and needed it fast, even though the contract stated I didn't have to pay until the tail was completed. I didn't have the money at the time so took out a cash advance on my VISA to pay and wire him the final payment. I paid all the fees and interest. Surprisingly things slowed down and he was "too busy" to finish my tail and I watched other peoples tails completed before mine. He has an unending supply of excuses, and emails that contradict both the progress on the tail and tales of his personal troubles. Adam used my mold and tail fluke design to design the new cheaper tail that he offered last year,
    promising that he would use the money from these sales to finish my tail. I consider that intellectual theft, as he used the design commercially and made money from it.

    After waiting for 2 years I demanded a refund and have spent the last 5 months receiving promises that the money would be in my account every week. I have just found out from Adam that he finished and sold my tail without telling me or refunding my money, so essentially selling stolen goods. I have photo's of my design and photo's of the other person holding my fluke if anyone wishes to see.

    I realize now that not being able to put a large purchase like this on my VISA but wiring via Western Union or directly to a bank account is a classic internet way of scamming people, but really trusted him.

    Please don’t make my mistake.

    I am now making inquiries via Interpol regarding theft, and would love to hear from any others that may be in a similar situation.

    Nothing to report. Adam seemed like a really nice person who did stunning work.

    I placed an order with Adam almost 2 and a half years ago. All I have to show for it is an inbox full of excuses and broken promises. That, and I’m out +US$2500, which I don’t believe I will ever see again. Oh! And the intellectual theft, that he’s made money out of. Oh! and the actual theft part...

    Customer Service:
    Haha! See above. Throughout our “relationship” there were always excuses, varying from very personal to business. Always a sob story present. I wouldn’t dream of airing this normally, except when a couple of us “customers” compared notes, we had all been sent the exact same emails several times about how hard up he was. Needless to say, we weren't impressed.

    Last Edited By: Selene 06/26/10 17:03:02. Edited 2 times.

    Posts: 250
    06/26/10 07:21:00
    thank you very much for posting this. I have been looking at his tails and it is true, they are magnificent work, but if he really has these types of ethics while making his tails, i do not think that i will be buying from him at all.

    Posts: 232
    06/26/10 08:59:20
    Salene, that is so sad to hear. I hope that there is some way you will be able to get your money back. Keep us updated.

    Posts: 540
    06/26/10 10:40:20
    Thank you for telling us what has happened. I was thinking about getting a tail from him a while back and I saw that you were still waiting for yours and it had been a year. I didn't think anything bad about him when you posted that I was just too impatient to wait a year for a tail, this is good to know because his deal is very sweet sounding but I'm not going to risk it.

    Posts: 139
    06/26/10 12:13:26
    Hi Selene! before you posted your story, I was looking at the tails but I just knew there was something amiss. I talked to other merfolk that were cheated by him before I knew your story-and yes I will use the word cheat. I didn't want anyone else to get tricked so I posted this response to what he was posting on Seatails about his biz partner cheating him and how he will sell anyone a tail for cheap. I kept it nice bc he could change his ways eventually. I believe all people are basically good, but I wasn't going to let any more of our kind get hurt like you did. This is what I wrote:
    "not to stick my neck out but I just asked a few merpeople about their tail experiences from you Adam. I was very interested in getting another tail at such a discount and I always check customer reviews first. Ur customers say they have given you the money but have not received their tails, nor their refunds-and some of them have been on hold for over a year. I am shocked and appalled. I hope you make things right with these merpeople, for the sake of your business, and for the sake of your bad situation. It's been my life experience that when bad things happened to me-it was bc I deserved it for treating others poorly. I've changed my life around and tho I'm not perfect-I understand that what goes around-comes around. I feel bad for your situation, but you can't expect it to change for the better if you don't fix your wrongs-you can run, and you can hide, but you can't outrun your karma. I hope to hear that you make good changes, and when i hear positive reviews and the wrongs corrected, I may be your next customer. Good luck!"
    Winged Mermaid

    Posts: 907
    06/26/10 20:35:30
    You know, I thought it was very odd when I saw the tail I knew was for you being sold to another, then a tail fluke that looked just like it being sold to yet another woman. I was going to message you about it (he posted the pictures on Facebook yesterday) but now I know what is going on. I'm very disappointed to hear about him mistreating his customers and business in this way. It always seemed he was such a great guy, and dedicated to something he was passionate about. His tails are amazing, and it looks like he always takes the time to do the job right. I was hoping to some day own one of his tails.. perhaps he will get things together one day.

    I am sorry you had to go through such an ordeal with all of this. I am grateful that you spoke up so others can avoid the situation you were put in.

    Posts: 56
    06/28/10 04:06:09
    Thank you for the warning. So sorry you had to go through what should have been a great experience of getting a new tail I am sure you will save many others heartache and money loss in the future with your warning.

    Never use Western Union or bank transfers for anything. And to everyone ever purchasing tails or any custom item or work remember you are the paying customer and they are working for you once a contract is signed. Not the other way around. If they demand more money and that is not in the contract, tell them absolutely no and they are in breach of their contract.

    Posts: 11
    07/04/10 08:14:46
    This really stinks- I'm sorry you're going through this. Thank you so much for sharing your review. What makes the situation even worse is that as far as communities go, mers are a smallish one. Anyone who has the ability to make tails, especially working with silicone, is a great asset to us, since there aren't a lot of tail retailers out there. To see one of those people flake out and essentially become an unusuable resource is very sad.

    Posts: 230
    07/08/10 18:36:39
    A mutual friend of Merman Nate and Myself, was also ripped off by Adam.
    Last edited by Winged Mermaid; 07-29-2011 at 04:31 AM.

  2. #2

    Posts: 139
    07/10/10 09:19:39
    adam just messaged me that he would make me the splash tail for a real steal....oh it's so hard to say no! i'm resting today for the show tonight and i'm, i could use the money i will make tonight and get me the splash tail....but i have to say no. it is too good to be true. i have to say after reading your comments selene, and those of quite a few people on seatails and now dear jesse had a friend ripped off that i can't send him my money. i should just save it for a rainy day. but his work is so good! that's such a shame!
    Winged Mermaid

    Posts: 907
    07/10/10 19:36:14
    I hear you, I've been looking at getting a tail from Adam for years now, even before his website. What I wouldn't give for a splash tail design (with alternate coloring)! If he ever gets things straightened out I may order a tail from him- his work is stunning and I can tell he cares about doing things right or not at all (in terms of the actual tails). Like I said on Seatails, everyone runs into financial issues sometime in their lives. He probably just mismanaged something along the way and got dug into a hole. The important part is that once he gets back on his feet he makes everything right with all of his customers. I just wish people on Seatails would be more respectful and professional than they have been. Just because you're on the net and don't have to say it to a person's face doesn't mean it's any better to be rude or say certain things. (I'm kind of glad the argument didn't fall on this forum.. oh the headaches that would have given me as an admin!)

    Either way, I would not pay him unless it was by way of credit card or paypal (which he tried to say he wouldn't use so that makes me even more suspicious about him) so that if something like this does happen it would be covered. Money wires/transfers are always a red flag for scams.

    Posts: 230
    07/10/10 21:32:29
    princesswizard wrote:
    adam just messaged me that he would make me the splash tail for a real steal...
    Key word "steal".

    I'm sorry but I would not buy a tail from Adam with HIS money.

    Last Edited By: MermanJesse 09/02/10 22:33:30. Edited 1 time.

    Posts: 24
    07/11/10 09:04:22
    Adam should be banned from this site..and any other's..I almost bought one Thing's didnt add up and my gut feeling was he was a con gut was right!

    Posts: 24
    07/11/10 09:14:52

    Posts: 139
    07/14/10 13:04:19
    you guys are right. have you ever really wanted something so bad, even if it is too good to be true, then took a chance? i understand why others will still give Adam a shot, and i hope it works out. I hope he gets his stuff together bc he makes beautiful tails-when he makes them. i'm not allowed to get one though. my hubby says no way, bc if Adam took my money and didn't get me a tail, well, it's nothing to my hubby to fly over and kick his you know what. i'm not joking at all about that. my hubby trained at a dojo with Dr. Pain....haha...anyways, I do though hope Adam comes through for his other customers!
    Winged Mermaid

    Posts: 907
    07/14/10 20:11:24
    I know what you mean, Princesswizard. Just wanting something so badly you're willing to chance on it. He may or may not be a "scammer" (I don't know or pretend to know all sides of the story so I reserve judgment), but there's no denying his work is stunning and phenomenal! Good or bad, I will drool over his tails for years to come.

    Posts: 323
    08/07/10 20:16:04
    I'm sure most of you know that I have a thread over at Seatails, where most of the drama has been occurring unfortunately. I've just posted my update there. I don't believe the thread will be around for much longer due to seatails shifting, so if you wanted to check it out, here's the link:
    Winged Mermaid

    Posts: 907
    08/08/10 19:52:26
    I've actually saved the pages from those forums. Seatails may be shifting, but I believe it's important for everyone who wants to order from a maker to hear all reviews they can, and read both sides for themselves before making an educated decision. As that forum had many customers who had signed contracts with Adam, I thought it was important As soon as I figure out how to post the files for public download, I will do so.

    Winged Mermaid Iona

  3. #3

    Posts: 323
    09/01/10 20:13:37
    Hi Guys,

    If you've been having some problems with Adam and you haven't heard from me today, please contact me
    seatails Seatails Policy w/ Respect to Tail Makers and Customers

    Posts: 4
    12/10/10 18:17:22
    The thread of a conversation on the (now defunct) Seatails Ning board has been brought up here, and I felt it was worth weighing in on it.

    Six years ago, there was essentially only one tail-maker of any repute, and that was Thom Shouse, who has been doing tails for Hollywood productions for years and had developed a good reputation for solid, albeit expensive tails. Since then, the field has expanded to include more than a dozen different tail makers of various quality, but in almost all cases this generation is young - most are under thirty (for the record, I'm forty eight, so I feel entitled in calling all of you "youngsters" :-)

    I have helped people make tails, and understand that for the most part such tails fall more into the category of works of art or bespoke tailoring than they do commodity items - in part because they usually have to be made to a person's specifications, in part because the material involved are neither inexpensive nor easy to work with. This means that I am more inclined to overlook lengthy development times than many, and also to understand that in most cases the margins on such tails may be scale thin. Of course that has implications - if you want a quality tail, it may cost a couple of thousand dollars to make it worthwhile to do it. If price is an issue, then usually something - materials, paints, level of detail - will have to go down as well.

    Now, running a bespoke costume business is always risky, but when your primary product is something like a mermaid tail, then all it takes is bubbles in the polyethylene, a bad cut, or a mismeasured hip to ruin it - you might be able to salvage it, but that can influence your reputation as well, and the sunk costs and low margin can create a positive feedback effect that can be difficult to recover from. That's why I'm always willing to give a tailmaker the benefit of the doubt .. so long as they work to keep the customers informed, and recognize that such things happen (and likely need to be priced in when tail prices are too low) then I'd be careful about casting aspersions.

    On the other hand, poor customer service, shoddy workmanship, substituting low cost materials for high ones that were paid for, and even antagonizing customers and distributors will ultimately end up in chasing away customers. What I've heard of Adam is that he does the tails as part of an active prosthetics shop, and that his biggest problem is on over-committing on orders and then having something go wrong that causes a production shortfall. The answer to that is usually to hire one or more assistants, with the understanding that at some point you could be training your next competitor. Adam has struck me as being an accomplished artist, but is still trying to find his balance as a business owner, and I have urged him in private correspondence that he has a production problem and needs to expand. As a small business owner myself, I know how hard this can be, and he will either survive or fail on how well he makes that transition.

    The other problem child, Eric, is a little more problematic. When the controversy erupted on Seatails, his response was not to wade in and defend himself, but to demand that I take the offending post down. I run and moderate a number of sites (Seatails being the only fantasy one) but among them are technical sites focusing on companies that make billions of dollars per year. I regularly have had cease and desist letters from lawyers representing these firms when I report on issues that aren't favorable to the company in question, but in most cases such are simply scare tactics - they will not hold up in a court of law. I know it, the lawyers know it, and typically my response is to allow representatives of the company in question to defend themselves within the same forum, and most choose to do so. I made this offer to Eric. He did put up a short defense, but did not follow through in using the forum as a vehicle to talk with his (unhappy) customers. This, coupled with anecdotal evidence I've picked up from others, make me feel far less charitable towards Eric than towards Adam.

    That having been said, I have not purchased tails from either gentlemen, and as it is unlikely that I will be buying tails from anyone (I'm more along the physique of an elderly Poseidon than a fit merman, sad to say) I do not have first hand experience. I will continue to promote anyone who develops tails, both here and on, but will not be shy about warning people off who develop too negative a reputation in the community.


    Posts: 862
    12/10/10 18:48:48
    Raven has already demonstrated how it's possible to make a realistic mermaid tail for under 200$ and honestly I just dont see either of these guys as being the type that deserve pity. Eric did the same thing here threatening legal action and didnt count on any of us knowing how that actually works. With you (seatails guy!) you're the owner of your forum, you can set your rules. Even though our posts do not break yuku's rules eric still contacted them and they removed them. To me anecdotal evidence is more word of mouth without any actual physical evidence. I think raven's photos and my videos are pretty strong physical evidence of his problems with tails.

    To me it's just 2 guys who started off with good intentions and wanting to create- wrapped up in making money and taking whatever they can. Im glad you didnt remove his posts on seatails


    Posts: 540
    12/10/10 20:31:14
    Honestly I dont expect any tailmaker to be perfect. I'm sure I'm going to make a few tails that don't fit or have mistakes (Of course I will do my best to avoid them but I know it happens) the difference is, I'm going to try and fix my mistakes and own up to them instead of blaming the customer. Im extremely sick of seeing tail makers that do NOTHING to help their customers.

    Posts: 347
    12/11/10 17:54:56
    Is it me or is his website down?

    Posts: 145
    12/11/10 23:14:55
    i think it's really gone O.o

    Posts: 862
    12/12/10 11:00:55
    he posted on the mer yuku facebook
    Winged Mermaid

    Posts: 907
    12/13/10 00:24:06
    I actually posted on his wall a few days ago asking if everything was alright, since I saw the site was down. Guess this is my response.

    Adam Martyn Just a quick message for everyone who is concerned with their orders, and those who are still waiting for their tails: I am not some drugged-out crook, I am dealing with a financial meltdown and finance problems and time to make the tails that are in the making right now. I cannot make these things fast enough and to produce crap that is being seen in other tails out there right now. I can understand the anger from some, others I cannot understand their venting for what they agreed to in the contract itself, if they wanted modifications in their contract for the usage of the tail and design creation they had the opportunity to do so. I was very open about that. other than that, I am very late in my work getting the tails finshed, nothing more! I can only blame my situation for not getting on the work sooner.

    Thank you.

    Adam Martyn All orders will be completed and all will have their finished tails, those who asked for refunds will also get their refund. Thanks to everyone who has shown support in this time, everyone has had a tough time here and I hope everyone can continue to see that time can heal any damage done. Fantasea Creatures is down fo...r the time being as it needs to be updated and improved. NO orders will be taken until the current tails and refunds are resolved.

    Thank you.
    Last Edited By: Winged Mermaid 12/13/10 00:26:10. Edited 1 time.

  4. #4

    Posts: 323
    12/13/10 17:06:44
    Thanks Iona. Interesting that he posted those messages now. He knew that I am taking legal action (I emailed him to give him a final chance).

    Kurt - It is not my intention to argue with you at all. I just wanted to respond to give my understanding from what Adam has told me many times to these few sentences. It's not really directed at you, more to go on the record.

    "What I've heard of Adam is that he does the tails as part of an active prosthetics shop" - Not to my understanding. When I first placed my order, he was making them in a room. 2/3rds of the way in, he had rented a warehouse where he launched his spfx company. Then, as I hear it, his partner in the company screwed him over and it has since dissolved.

    "and that his biggest problem is on over-committing on orders and then having something go wrong that causes a production shortfall" - I agree, he takes on more than he can handle. The thing, again, to my understanding that goes wrong is in the money management sector. On seatails he posted something along the lines of "borrowing money from peter to pay paul" work management style. Taking on another order so he has money to "complete" the one before. This and the excuses that stem from it are the biggest problem to my eyes, but as the customer, we shouldn't have to deal nor hear, and especially shouldn't be blamed regarding his poor business management.

    "The answer to that is usually to hire one or more assistants" - I know he has hired assistants in the past. I'm only speculating, but my guess would be that if, we go with what he tells us anyway, he has no money for materials, he would definitely have none to pay an assist.

    Kurt, as you did not post once in my thread (for whatever reason- by choice or you weren't on the forums), I haven't posted an update on the new seatails. While I would like to in the hopes of helping others, I don't want to bring drama to the community, which it did last time when Adam asked Venus Day to sign up to seatails and defend him. That resulted in the pair of them agreeing that the board is nuts and members are tools. (I'm not actually referring to me surprisingly, most name calling has been done in private) Might seem petty to bring it up, if it does, I apologize, but it does pertain to Seatails.


    Posts: 323
    12/28/10 19:10:07
    I finally have a small update to post! I'm waiting for a small payment (US$500) of the money owed that is due mid January, followed by set date payments which Adam has agreed to. This has happened numerous times before, but if he defaults this time my lawyer is poised to proceed with several ramifications at once.

    Fingers crossed he actually follows through on one of his promises.


    Posts: 1
    01/02/11 09:38:03
    o god...i really wanted one of his tails. That was going to be my christmass present( i have no christmass present for years , just because i was saving money for the tail) :/ . I used to trust him a lot! All this story is an absolutely chock for me! That`s so sad, but i hope everyone who payd get the tails, and live happy forever rsrsrs!
    Stay posting, i wanna know the end of this history( Cruising fingers for a happy end!!!)

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