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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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Jun. 29th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Having also recently dealt with a pushy client (for FREE work no less *sigh*) I would a claus in your site or wherever you advertise that you DO hold the right to refuse anyone work. Just don't take on a dumb sparkle-dog character, unless you actually run across one that inspires you- aka you'll actually LIKE to do it. But for cases like that KEEP the + sign in the price and only take the client if they agree to the +, otherwise just cut communication cause some pushy clients there really is no talking to. :( Most people just don't get that art IS WORK and no we don't enjoy working for cheap or free just cause liek omg, their char is "so pretty and sparkly" or whatever.

Sorry, still a bit peeved over some attitudes recently. Talk about doing no favors- it kills your muse to be bitched at, huh? "Yes, this is a GREAT way to get the best work out of me... pester me until I am SO FED UP with you that I have to grit my teeth when typing replies just to try and remain civil in them." And then your work suffers, which they also refuse to understand.

I am sorry you're going thru this and I say modify your "rules" NOW- put in that right to refuse service and put in that rule about complex chars. If they can't understand it then show them the door.
Jul. 4th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
I don't have a clause; I am either "too busy" or "don't feel I am the best choice for your piece at this time (and wish them the best in finding a more compatible artisan)", or yank up the price until it's worth dealing with them (assuming they can't back out of paying, and I cover my materials up front).


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