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Handling complex commissions.

I wasn't sure where else this could be discussed, so I was hoping the people here might have some good input.



As some brief background, I make plushies and I have a pretty standard price that I work with. I make my prices outlined clearly on my page so that people are aware of them (and so that if there is ever a price increase people are aware of that, too.) I already make < minimum wage at the prices I work at even with simple commissions but would rather continue improving and getting more practice in before I raise my prices again like I have in the past. I feel like certain skill levels are also worth certain amounts of money and I feel that my prices reflect what I feel the quality of my work is at this point in time.

Anyyyyway, the issue is that -- furries being furries -- you sometimes get commissioners that come in with insanely complex character designs. Considering that all of my plushies are made stitch by stitch and in yarn, an extra tail or set of wings or limbs or something of that nature is not simply a matter of a few more lines drawn on a page or something. Sometimes it's hours and hours of more work. Not that I'm not willing to do them -- actually, a lot of the time I enjoy commissions like this as they are a challenge and I get a lot of great practice.

I've started putting things like "65+" for a large plushie instead of just "65" just in case someone pops up like that and I feel it is appropriate to charge more for the amount of work I'm putting in.

Unfortunately I've had people in the past get really angry about it and almost demand that I charge them the minimum price for their insane, many-limbed, special snowflake character, or that they don't understand why I should charge more if they want clothes, etc., etc., because their character "always wears clothes like that so its part of their design" or whatever.

I'm just wondering how you guys deal with situations like these and how its more effective to explain this concept to commissioners that might just not get it. I've tried explaining that it takes more time, that I have other commissioners waiting on things and how its not fair to them if I charge the same price for a crazy complex character plushie as I did for their simple grey wolf or something, blah blah blah.

Also, is it more effective to have a list or something of things that make prices increase and by how much, or to just do it on a case by case basis?

I just don't want to be taken advantage of and I already have more than one thing on my queue for which I was underpaid, and as it is extremely discouraging to be paid little for a complex project, it doesn't do any favors for me or the commissioner.

Although I'm sure a lot of this is just me having to be more assertive, too, which I am aware of and working on. :<

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Comments

bladespark
Jun. 29th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
I solve this one by saying "start at." "Large plushes start at $100 and go up from there."

No matter what you do there will always be some people who pitch a fit over your prices. But for me at least this cuts down on the problems. :)

Also, as far as a list of things that affect the price... I did that for a while, but the problem I had was that it made my customers feel like they had to TELL me all those details even when they didn't actually care. Like I would say they could have all fabric paws, or have plastic claws added, everybody felt they had to specify all fabric paws, even though that really should be the obvious choice. It made my customers go through a lot of trouble, and made me go through a lot of trouble too, I feel, since people who really would have been happy no matter what I'd done ended up giving me huge lists of details that I had to worry over.

And NEVER be afraid to say "sorry no." Remember that if somebody gets abusive at you, this is the internet and you can just block their e-mail/ims. :)

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