Originally Posted by Tigress
When requesting any kind of service requiring a specific skill set, be it a plumber, electrician, doctor, lawyer, computer technician, etc., you are not just paying for the person's time. You are also paying for the time they invested in acquiring their knowledge.
The same goes for a cosplay commission. While you do get an end product (instead of an intangible like good health or your stuff still works), you are not paying for the end product. You are paying for the commissioner's time and knowledge that creates the end product.
For a lot of people, this is a difficult concept to wrap their heads around. But let's think about a prom dress or a wedding dress. Would you demand to get a wedding dress for less than $150? Generally not. So why is a custom-made costume any different?
Buying my wedding dress was frighteningly similar to buying my car with all the games played at the sales level.
Speaking of weddings...at my sister's a few years ago, I paid about $120 to have my bridesmaid dress altered.
Why? Because the seamstress in the store we bought it from was either overwhelmed or really didn't care. She didn't didn't sew the hem on my (other) sister's dress high enough but waved it aside as "good enough". We took our dresses and went elsewhere to finish the job. This guy loved what he did and was really proud of his work. Really...he would not let us go until he was satisfied. He even offered to come in to do some work Christmas Eve if my dress was not to satisfaction (my dress should have been ordered 2 sizes bigger to accommodate a pregnancy...it wasn't).
Yeah $120 is a lot of money. But it was well spent. This was his full-time job and what he did to my dress took time and a bit of tailoring magic. I had never seen such a desire to make other people happy before.
This is kinda the reason why I'm dipping my toes into commission work. For all my adult life people have told me I should be a professional knitter and go to craft shows and all that. But then these same people admit would not pay more than $25 for an earwarmer when a similar one for a LOT less money can be bought at Kmart.
I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all
. People want to save money. I'd do the same thing if I had the option. I admit it. That's why my listing includes a link to where you can buy uniform sweater vests. I just can't compete with that.
But when I WANT a personal touch instead of a mass produced one. When I want custom work done to create something that does not exist
out there. Then yeah...I'm willing to pay more for that.
Maybe when I was in high school/college I would have thought it overpriced too. Maybe it's only easier to swallow because I'm an adult with a child and a mortgage and the husband and I have no one to depend on monetarily so I understand that time is worth an awful lot (I'm giving up quality nap time here! :P). Maybe it's because I've made stuff by hand...I don't know. But I find the higher cost of commission work easier to swallow. In turn, I don't sell my services below minimum wage unless I receive some other benefit from it that I value as being worth the deficit. I'm ultimately in this to make people happy (seeing people get excited over progress pics is the best part!) but I'm not Santa Claus.