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Rush Fees?

Hey all, I'm in need of some advice and don't much know of a better place to turn.

For those who offer items in a rush, how do you determine the rush fees that are associated with them?

In my particular situation, someone is wanting some custom fursuit items, but with my commission list and a convention coming up, I'm really strapped for time. And they want the items by Memorial day weekend (so I'd have to finish and mail it off in about a week). They'd have to be bumped in front of seven people currently waiting. :|

I thought of doing $10 per person that they skipped in front of. Is that reasonable?

EDIT: Thanks guys! A percentage seems like a good idea. :)

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
That seems a very strange way of doing things

If you are CERTAIN you can get everything done on time, and other people on your queue won't have missed deadlines, the simplest thing is probably just to charge a flat percentage of the value of the order. Something like 20 or 25% would be reasonable.
May. 17th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
In the graphic design world, it's double the price. Sometimes triple.

And like you imply, you only say "yes" if you can do it without screwing up your other clients' work. "No" is always an answer. Always.
May. 17th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
I've seen people charge by the slot that the person is moving up. If I allowed for queue jumping, I think charging $10 per slot seems reasonable, especially for something like fursuit stuff.
May. 17th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
Won't that be affected by the size of each skipped order? I can make 50 tails in less time than it takes me to do one full suit, so if someone was skipping ahead of a lot of tail orders they'd be paying a lot more than someone skipping one fullsuit order even though the time taken would be the same. Maybe charging per day or week would make more sense.
May. 17th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
These are all for small item orders. Full suits/partials/heads don't get rearranged. :3
May. 17th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Hm, you have a point. I don't do fursuit stuff, so I didn't consider the various parts that can be purchased. :x
May. 17th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
I recommend what fatkraken had mentioned, and only if you have the time. I had to mention to a few folks that I wouldn't be able to take any orders unless it was for after June.
May. 17th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Only consider this if you know you will be able to make time. I've had gigs come in last minute that I knew I couldn't finish in time, however they were pro jobs and I felt that I didn't want to turn them down. I knew I'd have to pull a few all-nighters, so I considered it sort of like double and triple overtime. How much is your extra time worth?

Also consider a few other things. Some people want rush jobs and don't care if it's sloppy. Some want rush jobs of quality work. Which takes you longer? I know quality takes me much longer, and again this factors in to the amount of time I will put in (which for me almost always means... all-nighters. Ugh). Be polite, but up front... quality/speed/price. A client can have any two!

One final word is beware making sloppy work on a rush job. This often has a way of coming back to haunt you, in more ways than one, even if the customer is told that it might be sloppy.

Whatever you decide, I hope it goes well!
May. 17th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
This is probably the best advice of the lot.
May. 17th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
with things like tails (unless they're airbrushed or something) fortunately a rush job and a regular job are done the same way. There's a set order of stages you have to go through to make the product, you can't skip any of them or really change how long each one takes, so the final piece is pretty much unchanged. With painting or sculpting you can skimp on the detail or spend less time perfecting form and symmetry, but with sewing to a simple pattern, it's all or nothing
May. 17th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Ah, that does make sense! Thank you. :)
May. 17th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Pick Two. If you want FAST and GOOD, it ain't gonna be CHEAP. If you want FAST and CHEAP, it ain't gonna be GOOD. If you want CHEAP and GOOD, it sure as hell isn't going to be FAST.

Factor that into what everyone else remarked (especially on getting it done, on time, in a quality you are satisfied as representing your product.

(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - May. 17th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 17th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
I'd go with fatkraken's suggestion on the percentage, and maybe taking your hourly rate into account and figuring how much overtime you'd be making.

In my business classes, we were taught anywhere from a 20-30% flat charge was the way to go, depending on the project and how little time they needed it in. YMMV.
May. 17th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
If you can do everything, make all your deadlines, and not loose quality, then I'd go ahead and accept the commission with a 25% mark up for the rush.

[edit]...this was all already covered. >.< My bad, though my advice still stands. Haha.

Edited at 2011-05-17 04:16 pm (UTC)
May. 17th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
I know you've already come to a resolution, I figured I'd just put this here for future reference for anyone else reading this. :)

My simple tails - the ones most commonly sold on Etsy, to parents for plays, etc. - take me a little under an hour to produce, so getting a "rush order" for those is never usually a huge deal. What IS inconvenient to me is my getting out the door and down to the post office with enough time to get in today's mail pick-up so it will arrive in a timely fashion. Generally, I charge $20 for a rush fee (for a SINGLE SIMPLE TAIL, mind) and clients always are okay with that. This is on top of what I already charge for shipping. (They pay for either Priority or Express depending on how quickly the tail is needed.)

Were I to be approached for a rush job for a set (say, tail, ears, and hand paws) I would personally probably charge $20 per item (hands count as TWO items). It all takes time, especially to get the quality you want to represent your business, so don't be afraid to CHARGE for it!! If the customer thinks your rush fee is too high, you can always negotiate it if you think the project is one you'd really like to take on. But generally, $20 extra per item isn't too much if they're already shelling out for a set. :)
May. 17th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
My opinion differs slightly from the rest..

Here's how I see it, a home business is just like any other work. You work your hours each day and then go home and play X-Box until the next day where you work your hours again. If the boss asks you to please stay in past your shift, you get overtime.

A rush fee is overtime. It is what you get paid to overstay your shift and get more work done over the course of the week rather than going home and playing X-box.

I stress this because when you accept a rush order it means NOT pushing anything back and working the same hours per day but in actually working on it during your 'off-time'.

That all said, normal overtime pay is time and a half or doubletime if it is a real inconvenience to you. Ie 150% to 200% of your normal price.
May. 17th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
Ah! That's a great way of thinking about it. :D Thank you for this insight.
May. 17th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)

That said, I'd still emphasize how it may effect the quality of your other work. Staying up late to finish a rush job will impact your ability to do your regular stuff to some degree. This is why it is OK to say "No". You are not obligated to work overtime, unless you have bills to pay with it.
May. 20th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Yes this! I didn't want to say anything, but the talk of moving ahead slots was kind of putting me off. Rush jobs are something you'd do on top of the work you have scheduled, hence more, not more for cutting in line - that hurts the other customers and the artist profits from it.

(No whether you end up pulling an all-nighter for the rush job or the commission after that may vary, but the rush job pays for that overtime. The original commission still needs to be on time.)
May. 17th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
A percentage is the way to rock.
The rush fee should be X, where X = the day of this year you would have taken their commission and been able to get it done with minimal hassle. Move foreward on the calendar to the day you agree on the commission. The number of days = the % hike. I think that's pretty fair.

Me, I charge 4 bottles of Bawls + 20 bucks per day I'm going to lose sleep. Stupid last minute Anthrocon commissions XD
May. 18th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
I usually charge however much extra it is worth to me to stay up all night and work on it until it's done. So my personal rush fee would be at least $50 for a medium complexity project.
May. 18th, 2011 06:54 am (UTC)
This whole post has been really eye-opening, even for those of us who just do digital art. I think that asking for a percentage may even wind up being CHEAPER for my clients than what I was doing -- I was just adding a flat fee on top, not taking into consideration how many places a person might skip, or if I would be doing any "overtime". Thanks for asking this question, and thanks to everyone for offering insight so those of us who lurk here can learn things. :)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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