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  1. #1
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    Pricing your sculptures to sell

    Okay...well, this is probably a very ambiguous question, but I will go ahead and ask anyway...

    If you are selling sculptures, how should they be priced? As I understand, it is dependent on many factors such as:

    1) size
    2) material (sculpey, hydrostone, resin, etc.)
    3) level of detail
    4) demand
    5) hours of work involved
    6) original sculpture or a copy (limited editon?)

    If anyone have a "rule of thumb" to go by, I'd appreciate it if you could share...thanks!


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  3. #2
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    Personally i would only go with 2 of those:

    1) size ( this can be included in hours of work and materials )

    2) material (sculpey, hydrostone, resin, etc.)

    3) level of detail ( this can be included in hours of work and materials )

    4) demand

    5) hours of work involved


    6) original sculpture or a copy (limited editon?)

    However im not a very successful commercial artist but then im not planning on making millions either.
    Try this link

    http://www.thethrivingartist.com/

    Its helped me with a couple of questions i had, youll have to sign up ( for free ) to receive the starter lessons ( pay for advanced strategies ) they are a good start if nothing else basic and to the point and apply no matter what type or art/craft you do. Site looks a bit cheesy at first like one of those "you too can make millions " type of promotions but stick with it the starter lessons can be very interesting. You dont have to signup for the paying advanced lessons
    "The same thing we do every night Pinky, Try to take over the World!!"

  4. #3
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    This is one of those subjects that EVERYBODY will have a different method/process for. There is NO definitive
    way of pricing your work, and usually you'll work out your pricing guiddelines through a lot of trial and error. One
    of the keys to success though, if you want to be a freelance sculptor, is to remain flexible. Some jobs you may be willing to
    accept less for if it's a good opportunity to get more work, or get your work in front of the right people (meaning people who
    might be interested in comissioning you). Be careful though, this is also what many, many people will promise you in order
    to get work for free or practically free. As you get more experience, it'll be easier to feel-out which is a good opportunity and
    which isn't. Here's one of my all-time favorite articles on that exact subject. It's really worth reading: http://www.povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm
    (be sure and hit the "click here to read Next Column" link at the bottom of the article").

    I can't speak for anyone else, so all I can tell you is how I work. Nine times out of ten, I judge the cost of a job almost solely
    on the amount of time it's going to take me. Add in the cost of your materials and voilà! There's your price. It's doesn't
    really matter to me if something is smooth and cartoony or incredibly textured and detailed. One takes less time and one
    takes more, and I take that into account when I'm figuring out my hours. Initially, you will underestimate, but that's
    okay. Just pay close attention to the amount of time you actually spent on it and start making a log of some kind that you can
    reference at a later date for future jobs. Find the one that's similar and you'll be able to more accurately quote the job.
    Eventually, you'll be able to do it right out of your head. Come up with an hourly rate you think is right for you and as you
    become more in demand, you can begin giving yourself a raise. If you're not getting work, it's only one of two things:

    (1) You're charging too much, or

    (2) You're not good enough yet. Lower your prices and improve your skill level.

    Finally, come up with some kind of contract that both you and the client can sign off on. Include EVERY detail that the job involves,
    that way the client won't come back later and say "hey, I thought (blank) was included!" and it helps the client, so that if you
    missed something, they can have you refer back to the contract and see what got overlooked. Having something in writing is
    just invaluable in my opinion. Don't do it, and you are guaranteed to get burned at some point.

    Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!
    Troy

    http://www.themcdevittstudio.com
    --------------------------------------------------
    "It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what's cool." - Calvin, Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons

  5. #4
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    Thanks...those are good advice. I didn't really except an straightforward answer, just an idea of how to go about setting a price.

    I agree with Troyboy about pricing based on skill level and demand...if the sculptures are not very good or not a popular subject, then they won't sell. I think that the key to successfully selling sculptures takes trial and error, and also some research. Ebay is a good place to start, because you can make judgment on what sells or not, as well as idea for price range.

    I had an unfortunate time years ago when I first tried to get into sculpture as business. I made some cute bear sculptures, the kind that you'll see in gift stores for little old ladies. I made nearly a hundred casts of them, and hand-painted them. It nearly killed me. I priced them about $10 to $12 each, and I sold very few of them. To this day, I got a shelf full of sappy bears staring at me, reminding me of my failure. Oh well, I'll try again and put some on ebay and see what happens.

    It's tough when you invest a lot of time and money in a project and it doesn't sell like you hoped.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowwing View Post
    If anyone have a "rule of thumb" to go by, I'd appreciate it if you could share...thanks!
    There is no rule of thumb, but I think you may have left off one of the most important factors - reputation and name recognition. The unfortunate fact is that the same exact sculpt created by two different people are going to be worth different values if one of them has an established reputation and a following.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlamarche View Post
    There is no rule of thumb, but I think you may have left off one of the most important factors - reputation and name recognition. The unfortunate fact is that the same exact sculpt created by two different people are going to be worth different values if one of them has an established reputation and a following.
    Yep. I think it's called marketing.

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