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KikiAbraxan09
06-14-2012, 03:00 PM
Sorry if this is in the wrong area, I wasn't sure where to post this, so the mods can move it if they need to. I thought maybe it might fit here since other people are selling things, and might have the answers to my questions.

I'm thinking about starting my own business, taking commissions on costumes, props, stuff like that. But I'm not sure where to start. How do people who take commissions on costumes, props, fursuits, get their business started? And how do they deal with the copyright since they don't own the characters and designs?

Maybe links to websites I should read?

BruisedBlood
06-14-2012, 03:27 PM
try posting you business is the Commissions for Hire forums
you can post what you make/what you specify in you could also provide pictures of already done props/costumes and whatever else

If your looking to sell you post in the for used costumes section
you post what your selling,prices,pics :3

KikiAbraxan09
06-14-2012, 03:36 PM
well I don't have an actual business yet, lol. I was just wondering how people get their actual commission business started. Do they just tell people, "Hey I'll make your costume" and then make up a random price? Or how do I plan everything out (prices, percentages, etc)?

And how do people make and sell things that are of copyrighted characters?

Ninbri
06-14-2012, 03:40 PM
Generally start out at a low rate ($5/hr) to get started and get your portfolio filled with more examples. This way you also get more reviews of your work at a quicker pace. Basically, make a run-down list of every item you will need to make the costume/prop/whatever you make, price of it all, and the total price for materials. Then, multiply 5 by how many hours you will honestly be working on the project.
You can also give discounts and offer payment plans if the total comes out too high.
Remember, its materials+labor+shipping.

As for the copyright of characters, I think only Disney required permission, but I could be wrong.

KikiAbraxan09
06-14-2012, 04:21 PM
thanks! That answered some of my questions. Oh I was also wondering when the customer usually pays for the product? Like should they pay up front or after it's finished? I'm a Junior in college, so all my money that I'm making from my actual job right now is going toward tuition and stuff, so I wouldn't really have a lot of money to pay for supplies right now if I were to start taking commissions. Would it be okay for the customer to pay up front so that I have enough to pay for the supplies of the commission?

Ninbri
06-14-2012, 05:34 PM
Usually its 50% up front and the rest when its ready to ship.

Mykaios
06-14-2012, 05:39 PM
Definitely build a portfolio. Start with costumes you've made for yourself and then try to make some costumes for your irl friends and branch out from there.

I calculate my price by getting their measurements first then picking out fabrics and getting the prices of them and estimate how much of what fabric I would need - along with any other materials. Then I add in shipping and the costs for my time.

As far as payment goes, never ever start a commission without some sort of down payment (you don't want to pull money out of your own pocket for someone else's costume only to have theme change their mind and not want to pay for it). You can choose to take full payments or installments. If you go the installments route, just make sure your calculations are correct and request enough to cover fabric costs and go from there.

Also, with work and school going on, make sure you don't overbook yourself.

KikiAbraxan09
06-15-2012, 02:13 AM
Wow, thanks for all the great tips! (lmao Im super appreciative of tips cuz Im a waitress sometimes XD ) Yeah I really dont want to use my own money for the commission cuz I probably wont even have any spending money for college the way it is, lol!

I thought about only making small stuff right now, being in college, cuz I wont be able to keep a ton of that kind of stuff in my dorm. I thought maybe stuff like sock paws, hand paws (for fursuiters who cant make them), and maybe jewelry and small props. Stuff that wouldnt take very long to make, since I'll be studying, going to tailgating parties and games, and just spending time with friends or going to Anime Club.

Mykaios
06-15-2012, 01:26 PM
Wow, thanks for all the great tips! (lmao Im super appreciative of tips cuz Im a waitress sometimes XD ) Yeah I really dont want to use my own money for the commission cuz I probably wont even have any spending money for college the way it is, lol!

I thought about only making small stuff right now, being in college, cuz I wont be able to keep a ton of that kind of stuff in my dorm. I thought maybe stuff like sock paws, hand paws (for fursuiters who cant make them), and maybe jewelry and small props. Stuff that wouldnt take very long to make, since I'll be studying, going to tailgating parties and games, and just spending time with friends or going to Anime Club.

I'm a waitress too~ And most people don't realize that most of us get paid like $2something an hour. We don't get health benefits, our hours are not always the same, and our paychecks are never the same. If it's dead, it HURTS us greatly, because we can't pay for rent/bills/school supplies/necessities/etc. I can't go to school because I can't afford the time off of work, so I'm glad that you can. Earlier last week, i had this couple spend at least $50 (my service is great mind you) and all I got was a $3 tip. Imagine if that was the only table that night (and sometimes it does happen with sporting events and weather).

ThakYuki
06-16-2012, 12:33 AM
Just to throw some advice in: do not start at a low hourly rate, start at at least minimum wage (in Texas it's $7.25). Start at minimum wage then increase your rates as you get better and get more business. Raising your prices is one of the hardest things to do in a business, and you'll start underpaying yourself if you start off too low.

Take the time to calculate pricing of material, and estimated amount of time it will take you to complete the outfit. You can determine the price however you like, but make sure you don't undercharge for your exquisite work. Many starting artists of all mediums make this mistake, and it's harder to raise prices.