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View Full Version : A discussion on cost...


LuckInSpades
02-22-2011, 04:30 PM
Briefly browsing recent posts in the commissioner review thread... I am seeing grade deductions for cost. Also as someone answering quotes all the time, I get people complaining about my costs.

Custom garments are not cheap. They will never be as cheap as a company that makes them in bulk (ie any cosplay "site" versus and individual person). Ever. Making a costume from scratch takes a lot of time from patterning to a person's individual body, cutting everything by hand, checking the fit, etc. Cosplay sites have made a bunch of patterns already which are just modified to an approximate fit per your order. This saves a ton of time, reducing the cost.

This especially goes for fabric. I live in LA close to the textile district, which is pretty much the best place to buy fabric on the cheap... and it can still be costly. Cosplay sites can charge less because buying fabric in bulk can reduce the cost by almost 50%.

Commissioners who live in your own country also have to charge for their time appropriately. I work as a professional seamstress besides taking commissions, and I still charge less for commissions than I get paid at my regular workplace because I am trying to keep my prices reasonable. Try and look up where the garments are made on popular cosplay sites. Not where the company is located... where they get their products actually sewn. If it doesn't say "genericcosplayshop.com makes all of their garments on site in Chestertonfieldville, OH" then there's a good chance their costumes are made overseas by darn-near slave labour at sweatshops/production companies. Even though its cheaper to get something that was made overseas, consider that you are sending your money out of your own country and therefore affecting your own country's economy.

By trying to explain all these things, I just wish that people will be more understanding about cosplay cost. Unless you definitely did not get what you paid for (items missing, poor workmanship, etc.) I beg you all to NOT deduct any points for cost. Even mass-production cosplay sites do less business than places like Target and therefore have to charge more than a t-shirt and jeans from there.

And I beg, if this is in the wrong forum, please simply move it instead of deleting. I think this is all important stuff to be understood by the community. Thank you.

dizzylizzy
02-22-2011, 05:09 PM
I heart your post.

Some also don't understand that shipping, especially a wig, can be high. I've had shipping costs $30-$40 on some things. Plus, you have to buy the shipping supplies. :( A bag of peanuts for me costs almost $10.

LuckInSpades
02-22-2011, 05:11 PM
Seriously. Many cosplay items are awkwardly shaped (props, wigs, hoop skirts)... I mean oiy! Thank you for your support.

lapseof__reason
02-22-2011, 06:42 PM
I totally agree. O: I think a lot of people don't realize that when they seek out commissions.

And speaking of commissions, I sent you an email the other day looking for some quotes. :o

Kildread
02-22-2011, 07:49 PM
Not all reviews are worded in an objective manner (Mine are also subject to this, my fault) --- it's more about opinion.

Problem is, as customers, we always expect more out of our dollar, oftentimes the lack of knowledge about construction methods, appropriate remuneration for labor ($$$/hour) makes the layman think they are getting scammed.

It happens in *any* domain -- I constantly get requests for quotes to changes in the software I develop and I'm told it's a 'Small change' by people who never coded in their life and don't even know the impacts their 'small change' incurs on other modules.

Some reviews are written with the good and bad things in mind, trying to keep an objective outlook on their transaction with the commissioner --- while some reviews are about what they got and what they wanted.

kiratsukai
02-23-2011, 04:08 AM
Just a suggestion -- but if there's that much strife over cost of materials and percieved cost of materials... why don't comissioners offer to include prices for and/or receipts of any materials purchased? It only takes a few minutes to copy or scan some reciepts. That way it becomes obvious to the purchaser how much of their money is going to materials and not the labor charge.

There's also a good deal of misunderstanding about what a "comissioner" is. A lot of these reviews for commissioners are reviews of Chinese factory-based merchants and dispatch agents. Many people think that when a costume involves a 2-3 month wait and a request for measurements they are recieving custom work, when they're recieving template-work in near-match sizes from sweatshops.

Out of 4 "comissions" I've personally received, I'm convinced two were also provided (at least in part) by cheap Chinese materials and labor. Implying that quite a few people representing themselves as domestic comissioners are actually fronts for foreign businesses.

Cheap, deceptively-marketted, low-quality factory work skews the perception of pricing across the board.

But chances are, until someone has had a positive experience with domestic labor or a real, skilled comissioner ~ they won't know the difference. The number of people willing to take the leap from $80 factory outfit to $400 custom work is pretty darned low. And when they DO dish out that money, some of them expect the comissioners producing their costumes to encrust them with diamonds hand-mined from little hand-dug caves in their back-yards. After all ~ if a whole costume with props costs $200 in China and the same thing costs $500 in the states ~ the $500 costume must be 250 times more amazing!!!!!!

Concepts like liveable wages, child labor, factory camps, and cost-of-living don't really factor into their wanting a cheap costume that lights up and shoots glitter cannons.

LuckInSpades
02-23-2011, 03:00 PM
Just a suggestion -- but if there's that much strife over cost of materials and percieved cost of materials... why don't comissioners offer to include prices for and/or receipts of any materials purchased?

That is something I offer in my contract, as a matter of fact. I offer both an up-front total approximate cost, and the option of paying labor and materials separate.

Cheap, deceptively-marketted, low-quality factory work skews the perception of pricing across the board.

Exactly. Which is part of the reason I started this thread. It is my goal to point out that custom, domestic work costs more, even for the same quality (unfortunately). I would love to point out to people looking to hire someone for custom work to look for credentials (I put up my training, since I do have it), actual individuals in the costumes when possible (versus a mannequin) and other similar features that will help to point out the increased odds for quality work.

PS: I want to thank you ALL for the dialogue running about this. It is very important to have many points of view and experiences.

JoyMason
02-23-2011, 03:35 PM
Amen to this.

I only recently got into doing props commissions, and I can't count the number of people who've inquired about something, but squelched at the price, even when I undercut my own wages.

For most of the commissions I've done, especially while trying to build my name/reputation, I've worked for less than minimum wage. It's a double edged sword, I can get folks to try me out, despite being fairly new to the scene, but then people may start expecting the lower cost, which I cannot do if I want to be a sane business woman. I have lost money on commissions as well.

Materials cost can be insane. I know a quote I gave on some work for a Vanille costume (namely her beadwork, plus some other accessories) seemed insane at first, but the materials alone were well over a hundred dollars, just for unique materials, not the stuff I keep on hand for general construction, like bead adhesive, paints, wear and tear on equipment, mold silicone, resin...I threw that in for free, but it all adds up when working on a piece.

But one the other hand, the clients who have opted to work with me, not daunted by prices, have been wonderful, understanding of a home shop's limitations and grateful for the work.

Attyca
03-18-2011, 05:11 PM
Ah this is all very true.
The major issue I'm personally faced with is shipping costs. People seem to be pretty ok with my prices and I like to think I give good deals on my quality of work, but being located in Canada really puts me at a disadvantage. Canadians generally don't commission much, we're so spread out and the population is lower, so compared to the states there is no business here. So when time comes I do get my commissions, I have to first package large props and make custom boxes which takes more time than I'd like and drive them down to UPS to ship them. Shipping for a large sword typically costs $70-$80 to a closer state from Toronto, which technically isn't too bad, but once you pin that onto the total price people aren't very interested. Prices in Canada are also higher so it's hard to make much of a profit.
Doing commissions for people is what we love to do, but sometimes the benefits just aren't there.

Axelai
03-19-2011, 02:44 AM
On the flip side, you also have to consider what people want and what they're willing to pay.

For example. I recently sent a commission request to someone for a prop. I told them I was extremely poor, this was for a small part of the prop I've already made myself, and to give me the cheapest, lowest quality thing they could. I just needed SOMETHING.

They proceeded to quote me around $150.

...after telling them I had no job, I was living off of $2 keychain commissions, and most of my food is cup o noodles. $150 could buy me groceries for a few months.

I do commissions on bikini tops. Custom. Made of beads. I tailored the price to fit the people. They cost me about $5-$10 in materials. I spent around ten hours making them. I price them around $40. That's $3 an hour. But I know if I priced it too high, no one would buy them. I can't complain. Getting ANY money for something I enjoy doing is good enough for me.

I'm not saying to make all your commissions super cheap. I'm saying to look at your customer and price accordingly. If someone tells you "My budget is $200", PLEASE don't quote them as more. Usually when that happens, I immediately don't want to commission them just because it looks to me like they didn't even read my email. And if they didn't read my email, how can I trust them to make the costume like I want it?

The better solution is to work with them on the price. "Well, for $200 I can make it out of this cheaper material, and maybe without the jacket" or something. Work with them. Work it out. Usually, if you're nice and such, they'll be more forgiving on price. I spent $100 more than planned on a recent commission simply because the commissioner was willing to work with me on it.

But of course, we always come across those people who say "I want this super amazing complicated costume for $100". That's... something we can't really ever avoid. But maybe be helpful to them. Work with them. Maybe something will work out. But just telling them "I don't make a lot of money, this is how i eat, blah blah blah" usually makes them feel like you're acting like they're stupid, and its a HUGE turn off. I asked for a costume for $200 or less once, and I got at least five emails back complaining like that. Needless to say, i chose none of them. And instead paid $300 to someone who was nice and willing to work with me.

I guess you can say I'm tired of commissioners complaining like this. I understand its frustrating. But complaining and bitching about it to the commissioners just turns them off from your business. Be friendly. They'll be more willing to work with you, more than likely. If they're not, then you probably don't want to do business with them anyways.

CapsuleCorp
03-20-2011, 07:59 PM
The problem isn't the customer's personal life and their budget, the problem really is that we continually get emails from people who want a costume that would be valued at $100 for $20, and are at the point that many of us are frustrated by that. If they tell me their budget is, for example, $200 and not a penny over, I would look at the design of the costume and tell them honestly whether I can bring it in at that price or not. It has nothing to do with who's eating cup noodles to survive.

If enough people in the supply AND demand segments of the commission market are willing to be open and honest about the discussion on price versus value (as this thread is doing), people will eventually come to learn the actual value of custom work versus mass-produced work, and adjust their own budgets and expectations accordingly. Commissioners can't compete with the mass-produced costumes in terms of speed and quantity, but we can out-do them on quality. It's up to the customer to decide what they want more - something fast and cheap, or something high-quality and accurate. Over time I'm sure people will come to understand the difference between the two, but right now we keep running into people fresh into the hobby who expect master-level custom work for Wal-mart prices. Sure, a lot of commissioners will be frustrated and vent to the wrong person occasionally that they can't meet that sort of price demand. Forgive them and move on to a commissioner who can legitimately meet your budget. Commissioners, don't take it out on the customers.

Personally, my rates are set and if people can't accept them, they're free to look for someone who will do it cheaper. My selling points are quality and accuracy, and my rate is set based on experience. If I wanted to rake in the dough, I would be churning out cheap knockoffs out of the crappiest fabric and gouging people on the price, but that's not what I'm in this business for. I'm here to make people look good and be happy with their cosplay. It's a little gauche to be so transparent as to give every customer your life's sob story about how poor you are and that's why you need to charge this much, so I'm sorry if you've had commissioners do that. It's not the best customer service. But in return, don't expect us to give customers discounts based on their sob stories. If you have to decide between cosplay and eating this week, choose eating! Cosplay will be there later, after you haven't starved to death. Costumes are a luxury item, not a necessity.

Axelai
03-21-2011, 02:27 AM
I think you really misread my post.

I forgot to point out, that I didn't just ramble my sob story to him. He asked in the email if I was a college student, what my income was, and anything else. Like, he was looking to give discounts. I just think its a bit unfair that after telling him that much, he gave me the "low price" of $150+. He could have said, "I'm sorry, anything I quote will be too high" and leave it at that. He actually expected me, after asking me about my income level, to actually pay something like that.

And about the rest... my point was that if someone says their budget is a certain number, its extremely frustrating to get a response that is over that number. You can say something like "Well, I don't think I can go low enough for you. If you're still interested, though, I can do it for a higher price. Or we can knock off some details to lower it." If you just respond "That will cost *insert number higher than budget here*"... thats whats irritating. Then we know, like i said, that you didn't even read our email. So we can't trust you to get our details we want done correctly if you can't even read our budget correctly.

I'm not saying to lower your prices super low for someone poor. Anyone can "claim" to be poor. What I'm saying to do is to think about what someone would actually pay for that, as well as keeping their budget in mind. If they say a budget of $20 for something obviously $300+... I would be kind of irritated as well and tell them to look elsewhere. But if someone says budget of $200 and you quote them for $250 without even acknowledging their budget... thats a HUGE turn off from a buyer.

evaunit01berser
03-21-2011, 11:07 PM
If you are having to explain your financial situation to a commisioner, you need to reeval your life priorities

CapsuleCorp
03-21-2011, 11:33 PM
I find it very interesting and a little odd that the commissioner would ask for your income and life story before deciding on his prices. Not on your part, but on his. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. At least I hope that was a good way to figure out that he wasn't the commissioner for you?

It would be nice if more potential customers actually knew their budget and would tell me. I wouldn't mind having a number to aim for and work with! That also saves the ambiguity of "money is no object" when in fact it actually is.

UsakoLuna
03-21-2011, 11:51 PM
When I was looking to buy my keyblade I had a budget, and when I contacted a few people about commissioning it I told them straight out that I was planning on spending *this* much, not including shipping. I also asked what they usually shipped them for. I eventually went with a guy on eBay, who was less expensive than what I was quoted by others and had 100% positive feedback.
The person making the commission needs to eat, and as long as the "labor" portion of the price seems reasonable I've never felt the need to complain. I'd rather pay a little extra for quality. If I can't afford it, it's not the commissioners fault.

In short: carry on decent commissioners. You're doing fine. :)

Axelai
03-22-2011, 03:12 AM
I find it very interesting and a little odd that the commissioner would ask for your income and life story before deciding on his prices. Not on your part, but on his. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. At least I hope that was a good way to figure out that he wasn't the commissioner for you?

I found it odd too. I just was shocked that with the information he asked for, he still gave me an absurdly high price. It was like... whats the point of asking for my sob story if you're going to give me a price that can pay for a month's food?


It would be nice if more potential customers actually knew their budget and would tell me. I wouldn't mind having a number to aim for and work with! That also saves the ambiguity of "money is no object" when in fact it actually is.

I always give a budget. I'm willing to work outside my budget, usually, as long as they recognize I GAVE a budget. You have no idea how many commissioners I've told "no higher than $300" to and proceed to ignore that and quote me for higher, without ever acknowledging the fact I said that was my budget. Its aggravating. I wish they'd at least say something like "Your budget is a bit low for this costume. I can do it for this price, though, or use cheaper materials for this price... etc". Not "That'll be $800."


The person making the commission needs to eat, and as long as the "labor" portion of the price seems reasonable I've never felt the need to complain. I'd rather pay a little extra for quality. If I can't afford it, it's not the commissioners fault.

Yeah, I agree. I'll pay extra for quality, which is usually what I end up doing.

Sometimes, though, the labor thing gets out of hand. I asked for a commission once, where I knew the materials cost $5 or less. I got quotes for $40+ not including shipping. Now, I understand if this was a difficult job, thats fine. But this was cutting plexiglass in a fairly geometric shape. I would do it myself if i had the tools. Even without the tools, I tried sawing a chunk of plexiglass (but shattered it LAWL) on my own. Failed. Miserably. I was just surprised how high all the quotes were for a fairly straightforward job. And it ended up the person I DID commission for it missed the deadline and refused a refund. Go figure.

kiratsukai
03-22-2011, 03:56 AM
Sometimes, though, the labor thing gets out of hand. I asked for a commission once, where I knew the materials cost $5 or less. I got quotes for $40+ not including shipping. Now, I understand if this was a difficult job, thats fine. But this was cutting plexiglass in a fairly geometric shape. I would do it myself if i had the tools.

Then buy the tools and do it yourself.

Sorry... but the cost of tools is still part of the factor in the cost of your work. A lot of this equipment isn't cheap and just because someone has gone out on a limb to pay for it doesn't mean everyone else gets to use it for free ^^;;;

***************************

If a quoted price doesn't strike you as fair, it's your perogative to move on. But in the end, it's up to the commissioner to decide what their time is worth and how low they want to sell themselves. They shouldn't get flack from it from potential customers. They are offering you a service. Until you pay them, they don't owe you a thing.

Commissioners are rewarded for lower prices and consideration with more work. They find out their prices are too high by losing business to competetors. Pricing reflects experience and is rarely alterable by customer opinion.

You don't go into a restaurant and then suggest a price for a meal. You can't walk into Walmart and tell them that their Chinese factory items are really only worth a fourth of the price and thus should be sold to you for half off. Why should cosplay work any other way?

Sure, some people will SAY they're willing to accept less on-the-spot work for less, but generally they aren't and will still review someone badly if they don't recieve the quality of work showcased in the portfolio they saw even if they are lowballing the price. I wouldn't take that chance. If someone isn't happy with the price, there are plenty of less-experienced people out there who will do the work for less, if that's indeed what it's worth and it really isn't all that difficult.

If someone is willing to work with you: awesome.
But recognize that this isn't their obligation.

The number of people out there who think they know what things are really worth and those who actually have a realistic idea of what they cost is like night and day. Until you're in the other person's shoes, you're in no position to do more than accept, counter-offer or refuse.

I don't commission. But I often get lowball offers on items listed in the marketplace, often multiple times after I've given the price and said it isn't negotiable. I will not sell an item to someone who thinks they can tell me what it's worth. I ~know~ what it's worth and 9 times out of 10 I'm already selling it for a lot less than that. If you can't afford it: I'm sorry, but it isn't my problem.

I'm not rude to those people who try to bargain, but if they try to do it more than once: I do ignore their emails without guilt.

Axelai
03-22-2011, 04:07 PM
Then buy the tools and do it yourself.

Sorry... but the cost of tools is still part of the factor in the cost of your work. A lot of this equipment isn't cheap and just because someone has gone out on a limb to pay for it doesn't mean everyone else gets to use it for free ^^;;;

I understand the tools cost money as well... But I ended up making it myself. Bought the plexiglass online for $2, brought it to a hardware store where they cut it for me, and then did the bend by holding the plexiglass over the stove and bending it by hand. Cost me almost nothing to make it. I don't understand why they'd quote something so insanely high for such a minimal amount of work > n > It probably ended up better when I made it myself anyways.

>and on the rest of it... I'm really not saying everyone should work within the budget the person puts, despite that being nice. I'm saying to not quote higher than it without acknowledging the budget and why it won't work. As thats a huge problem.

Saber-chan
03-22-2011, 08:07 PM
I am not the sort to deduct based on cost unless workmanship is shoddy. However, when commissioning an item, I typically place an ad for it first in addition to looking at other commissioners. I don't think I've ever asked for someone to stick to a budget, nor will I ask them to change their quoted price. I want to know what they'd charge for the outfit based on their skill and their work portfolio. If it's not my cup of tea, I simply move on. As time goes on, I seem to pay more and more for costumes because I want the best costume I can get for my buck at the highest quality I can find. As long as the product received is the quality I expected based on my research and their portfolio, then I am a happy customer.

Vicky.Bjorn
03-23-2011, 01:09 PM
Briefly browsing recent posts in the commissioner review thread... I am seeing grade deductions for cost. Also as someone answering quotes all the time, I get people complaining about my costs.

Well my first thought is that if people aren't happy about the quote, they should just ask someone else and not complain to the commissioner about it. But it could be useful if a commissioner placed an hourly wage and maybe mention the numbers of hours they work on a simple and more complex costume... so the potential customer can deduct this from his budget and see what is left for materials and decide if that is enough to get the fabrics and materials of his choice.
I would also like it if commissioners would give us the prices of previously made costumes they put in their ad in the market...but from what I see no one wants his prices to be public? Or is that to protect your customer's privacy (I understand it's none of our business what someone else has spent on a costume)?
Well anyway that would help both the commissioner as the buyer I think. The commissioner wouldn't get as many questions about quotes and doesn't have to go to all the trouble of calculating it so they can hear their price is too high and the buyer is going elsewhere. The buyers wouldn't have to contact so many commisioners to get something acceptable within his budget.
The first commissioner I worked with actually used this system... she had her previous work on her website with the prices mentioned + she told me what her hourly wage was too.

Ion
03-23-2011, 05:21 PM
I would also like it if commissioners would give us the prices of previously made costumes...

It is a bit of a privacy issue but it is also an issue of setting up expectations. Posting one's labor rate along with a rough figure of how long it took to complete said costume would be enough information to give clients an estimate. That said, there are many variables to factor in, even when talking about the same costume made for different clients. I made the same costume for 3 different clients: all 3 wanted different fabrics, were very different sizes, and wanted different pieces from "basic costume" all the way to "deluxe" with the best of everything. It would be easy to post a price and meet the price expectation if per se you have the basic setup of any of those Chinese cosplay factories: cheap and consistent access to materials, premade patterns for "closest match" fitting, and cheap labor.

Posting a price would feel misleading to me. The price is going to fluctuate with any change in variables, including price increases over time and postage. Displaying a price on something made in the past will give the buyer a price expectation and the idea that if you charge over that posted amount that you are trying to rip them off. I have just found it easier to not post prices but look at things on a per client basis and go from there.

Speaking of expectations, some people have them and they are crazy. If I made a costume w/ wig and props for myself that cost over $200 and posted such information in the costumes details, I certainly cannot make one for another person who is twice my size for $50 + shipping, nor should they expect me to have their costume done in a few days when I clearly state that I teach during the daytime. It is helpful to know client budgets so I can show them appropriate options for materials and may be able to simplify designs etc. but trying to bully me into accepting a commission for an amount that barely covers materials alone will never work.

Also, if you do not like the quote someone gives you, just delete it and move on. :) No one owes anyone anything at this point. Do you let yourself get offended if you see an eBay seller charging an absurd amount (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140506232977&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT) for something? I actually bought that same item from the seller last month for 99 cents. Am I offended? Nope, I think it is rather humorous. I laughed, said "They will never sell at that price", and moved on.

That said, mega kudos for making this thread. I hope that it will help people understand both sides of the transaction a little more. This has been a fascinating discussion.

CapsuleCorp
03-23-2011, 08:47 PM
Chiming in to ditto what Ion said, regarding prices of past commissions. I don't want to give someone the expectation that because I had a project that only cost $70 once, that means that their project is automatically going to also be $70. Not to mention, the final prices vary wildly. The only thing I can do is give an estimate on THEIR project, based on the reference pictures and any specifications they make about fabric choices, details, etc, and not take into account things like coupons and sales, me being suddenly really fast at something I used to need hours to do, etc. That way, when I do get to use coupons and be speedy, voila, lower price in the end.

I was looking over the page on my site from Eriol, his "do's and don'ts for commission buyers and sellers" he put up many moons ago, and he suggests a lot of the things that we're talking about here. Maybe a repost or a link to it would be good, for the sake of commission buyers who are getting excited and have different expectations than the sellers.

I do have to say, though, that I'm a little perplexed that someone reviewing a commissioner would give them low marks on price after they'd already paid it. If it was that much of a problem to them, they shouldn't have agreed to pay it in the first place. XD But they went through the process, received their costume, and paid the asking price...NOW they're going to complain it was too high? I can understand if it turned out to be of very poor quality for the price, that's only natural, but then you're critiquing the quality and not the price per se.

ElleZee
03-28-2011, 02:43 AM
Those who take commissions are what we would call Skilled Laborers, they have the skill to make something you cannot, thus they are needed by you. As a skilled laborer (Photography) I will quote you the price of my materials, time, and skill level. I do not care who you are or how much money you make, my quote will be the same for those who have all the money in the world or those who have no money. If my product and skill set is really what you desire, please do not insult me by asking me to make it cheaper.

MischaU
04-01-2011, 04:14 PM
Itty bitty jobs like that can be a pain in the ass - it takes the same amout of time to go throught the transations, communications, postage and set up as a larger more lucrative job.

Attyca
05-10-2011, 01:01 AM
I wish coscom had a 'like' button.

When it comes down to it....you ask for a quote...you get a quote...you either accept it or carry on.
Every situation is different, so if it's not worth it to the commissioner, they don't have to do it, and if it's out of your budget...then whatever, you can ask someone else.

Yuki Eiri
05-10-2011, 09:15 AM
I, personally have been having trouble myself landing commissions because of price. I'm new in the prop and armor field and have been, essentially, charging nothing but materials and shipping costs, because I'd like to get a sort of portfolio of my work going before I take a larger number of commissions. I offer people several options of different materials and then explain the cost of each material, but almost always the material costs alone are greater than what they wish to pay.

That being said, you cannot expect something that costs $20 to make to be $20. Labor and shipping have to be considered. If the object is cheaply made and you wish to have the price that low, you may wish to investigate how to make it yourself before asking someone who makes a living or even a side-job out of commissioning to make it for you. If it's out of your skill range to make, obviously that persons' work is worth more than the material cost and the cost of shipping.

Eternal.Pain
06-08-2011, 01:14 AM
Well, to all the artists out there. I have to say, you guys do what you love. Most people really can't understand the aspects that goes into making something so complicated ( I've had to stay up with a good friend of mine for at least 40 hours and help her to the best of my ability. I admit, I can't sew to save my life. xD) But, I agree with everyone that people want to make a profit for their work. I just can't understand why people on eBay have to price gouge people, charging unreasonable shipping costs, because eBay charges a listing fee when the items sell. I'm all for good work, and I am willing to pay whatever it takes to get work done. I just want to thank all the artists for doing what they do! I know the current economy sucks, but I know a lot of people out there are doing honest work. Just keep doing what you guys do!

lunaladyoflight
06-08-2011, 02:33 AM
Those who take commissions are what we would call Skilled Laborers, they have the skill to make something you cannot, thus they are needed by you. As a skilled laborer (Photography) I will quote you the price of my materials, time, and skill level. I do not care who you are or how much money you make, my quote will be the same for those who have all the money in the world or those who have no money. If my product and skill set is really what you desire, please do not insult me by asking me to make it cheaper.

THIS

I usually charge within a certain range for different styles of wigs. When someone gets all angry at me because "so and so" can do it for half the price, I just tell them to go to that person then. If you come to me I'm giving you the same quote that anyone else with that same wig request is going to get!

I get sob stories and butthurt replies sometimes when a quote is "too much." I don't know if people think I'm living in a jeweled palace with servants and piles of money for costumery. It's definitely not the case. I'm a hardworking person and student with bills to pay just like anyone else. My taking commissions has nothing to do with it!

kiratsukai
06-08-2011, 06:45 PM
*twitch*

I really wish people wouldn't feel the need to leave comments on the marketplace for costumes sold at significantly lower than actual posted cost as being too expensive because Chinese factories offer similar designs for cheaper.

The price is the price.

If you can get it for cheaper -- don't tell me you can get it for cheaper... just GET IT FOR CHEAPER!!!

Why are people so seemingly offended by people asking them to pay ~what things actually cost~ ???

Axelai
06-08-2011, 08:30 PM
*twitch*

I really wish people wouldn't feel the need to leave comments on the marketplace for costumes sold at significantly lower than actual posted cost as being too expensive because Chinese factories offer similar designs for cheaper.

The price is the price.

If you can get it for cheaper -- don't tell me you can get it for cheaper... just GET IT FOR CHEAPER!!!

Why are people so seemingly offended by people asking them to pay ~what things actually cost~ ???

^This

Though I hate it more when someone posts an item they have used (not mildly used, but... actually used at cons and such) and post it for a higher price than the original. Like a girl on the Marketplace selling a wig for $5 more than its actual price in the store.

I fear that one because I'm afraid someone will buy hers and lose money 8|;; When they could get the exact same item brand new for cheaper. In that case, I do leave comments like that in hopes they'll remove their listing or fix the price to not rip off people.

But if you're selling it at market price of better quality than a knock off, the comment they're leaving is stupid 8|

noctiluca
06-08-2011, 10:57 PM
That's the one thing I really don't like about this hobby... low resale value D: People care about the price tag more than the actual product. People often don't realize, for example, how good a deal $150 is for a $400 product, because they think "I could get a new one on ebay for cheaper". But if they think chemical smells and flawed fabric is a better deal... okay then.

At least with lolita fashion I could usually get back a fair amount, or sometimes even all the money I spent on a dress (depending on demand)... :S I mean I can see why cosplay is different, because a character costume is such a specific thing... but still. From an ex-lolita point of view, sometimes people seem downright delusional when it comes to the price of quality and skilled labor.


Anyway, if a commissioner's prices are unfair, then either keep looking for other options, or "save up or give up". Unless of course it's a scammer or someone who doesn't know what they're doing, in which case they don't deserve a cent. But for the real deal, you have to be aware of costs.

shortsheik
06-09-2011, 03:33 AM
That's the one thing I really don't like about this hobby... low resale value D: People care about the price tag more than the actual product. People often don't realize, for example, how good a deal $150 is for a $400 product, because they think "I could get a new one on ebay for cheaper". But if they think chemical smells and flawed fabric is a better deal... okay then.

This. I don't think people realize how much costumes of good quality cost off the rack. $100 for a costume is pretty damn cheap, especially if it comes with a wig or shoes. Sometimes it feels like you have to pay people to take your costumes around here!

lunaladyoflight
06-11-2011, 12:46 AM
I agree. Most of my previously worn costumes got bites right away. But the one (http://www.cosplay.com/marketplace/showproduct.php/product/38343/cat/500)that's $100 (that I paid $500 for and comes with a wig and shoes and wore twice) hasn't gotten a SINGLE offer.

kiratsukai
06-11-2011, 01:03 AM
If I had the stomach for it, lady, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

But I don't :(

lunaladyoflight
06-11-2011, 01:27 AM
Hehe it's okay. It's definitely a bold costume. ^.^ <3

Gypsyangelf4i
06-11-2011, 10:04 AM
One thing I may have missed by reading this thread, is that buyer's also have to keep in mind, that it's the commissioner's reputation also on the line. If you request the item to be made of cheaper materials to keep costs down and then If you receive something that you perceive to be a cheap piece of crap. You are then going to rant all over the internet and cons to anyone who'll listen, about what a piece of junk costume you got from "so&so". Obviously omitting the fact during your rant that you specifically requested the product to be done cheaper.
Also the longevity of the cheaper products may not live up to your expectations. A cosplay that falls apart and has to be redone or repaired after just a couple cons, is also going to put a bad taste in your mouth.
This may keep some commissioners from offering the more cost effective versions. It is THEIR name on the line afterall.

Please also note that I am not a commissioner. I make my own cosplays and props and while nowhere near the professional level, am getting quite good at spotting short cuts and inferior stitching. It's these two that most do a cosplay in. Especially the stitching. XD

I do however give congrats to anyone who has obviously given it a go at making the cosplays themselves. I love to see home made work where the cosplayer has put their time and effort into it. Kudos!!

But when it comes to buying cosplays, the old adage "You get what you pay for" usually still stands true.

Formalhaut
06-11-2011, 01:08 PM
I commission viera ears for a rather affordable price of 15 dollars, since after all they are just a pair of ears. I was recently asked to make a FULL holo tail and ear set for 30 dollars. um...yea right. the ears take TWO HOURS TO MAKE, since I hand sew them, mold them and glue them, let alone a big bushy tail that would take god knows how long, not to mention the materials alone would cost way more. I dont understand how people try to low ball hard work. I told them for labor and mats, I would charge them AT LEAST 100 dollars, and thats not including the shipping. they got suuuper upset. well, Im not sorry. I have a full time job, I make costumes and ears in my free time, and I dont have that much of it.