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Advice: Commission Prices

EDIT: Please note, I'm under the age of 18, so I can't take money commissions yet.

I've been getting people seeming to call me "greedy" or "crazy for having commissions for 400 points and more.

are people getting greedy right now and want more for less?
i think my art is really quite good so I take points commissions on DA for points all 10 $ worth or less.

yet people ask to take that and such to 100 points?
It bother me that people call me greedy for wanting a decen money for commissions? It's not even money, only virtual currency that's purchased for money but cannot be sold for money P:

I've only had people "satisfied with my prices" when I sold things for less than 40 points a year ago pretty much P:

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( 96 comments — Leave a comment )
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neolucky
Oct. 6th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
The reason I green-lit this post is because it's a really interesting topic. Points vs Cash commissions, or as I call it "monopoly money" work on websites that offer credits/points/virtual currency instead of money. I'm curious about it, as I refuse to take commissions like these. I'd like to hear a discussion on the general topic.

-----

In short, charge what you feel you should charge. 400 points sounds like an awful small amount for any sort of effort, and people will always complain about prices regardless of how cheap you are. Hold your ground, and charge what you deserve. I personally would stop using virtual currency in general, as it has a whole slew of issues (like no refunds) that cause it to be a hassle.
starcharmer
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
I personally would stop using virtual currency in general, as it has a whole slew of issues (like no refunds) that cause it to be a hassle.

The OP is the same person who posted the "am I too young to take commissions" post a while ago and was told to start by taking points commissions and doing pre-made work until they were 18.

For adult aged artists, though, I agree with you.
(no subject) - syrusb - Oct. 7th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neolucky - Oct. 7th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paradedemon - Oct. 7th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ljmydayaway - Oct. 6th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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jakejynx
Oct. 6th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, there are two possibilities:

1) Your art is not quite as good as you think it is, and people feel that you are overcharging based on this. Seems unlikely.

or 2) Your fanbase has a lot of younger people with less money. Since you're on DA, and the maturity level involved in calling an artist "greedy" is pretty low, I'd say this is probably it.

Charge what you want to charge. The people that want your work will pay for it. Everyone else doesn't really matter.
paradedemon
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
1) I think my art is worth enough, but maybe I overcharge? http://paradedemon.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5h2hwk <-- That would be a 10$ commission, so if it's to expensive or not I don't know?

2) I find that a problem sadly D: I've seen people willing to buy various prices though, but I'm thinking of standing my ground not going any lower.
(no subject) - otherscape - Oct. 7th, 2012 05:24 am (UTC) - Expand
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tanginello
Oct. 6th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Personally, I hate doing commissions for points or virtual currency, but I think a good rule of thumb for pricing is to convert the points into real-world currency and price accordingly. Always keep in mind how much time you put into a piece and think about how valuable your time is to you. Like, I make sure to charge so that I am making more than minimum wage when I work on art.

So, if I were to take points for commissions for a sketch, I would charge for at least $10 worth of points. A full colored piece would be more, etc, based on how much time I expect to put in. I always try and keep real money conversions in mind.
slyminera
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Seconding explaining the conversion rate to people (if you don't do that already, that is). I know most people that do point commissions have no idea what the actual exchange rate is, and so many artists end up underselling themselves and/or commissioners end up taking advantage of artists.
(no subject) - paradedemon - Oct. 7th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tanginello - Oct. 7th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC) - Expand
vauvakolibri
Oct. 6th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
I have to echo Neolucky that 400 points is really little (I mean that's what, around 5 bucks in DA?).
Though honestly I think people (especially younger kids) react to the number "400" (which in itself is a high number) without thinking how much the points actually cost in real money, causing the "greedy" insults.

Personally I wouldn't take point commissions at all. I mean if I want points, I can use the commission money to buy them instead of taking the points as the commission "money".
As for pricing, the most basic rule of thumb I've heard is to take the minimum hourly wage (in US about 8 dollars I think) add some extra for the tools/supplies and estimate how long a specific drawing would take and count it from that. Of course that requires you to know how long you generally take to draw something and obviously things vary, but it gives a rough estimate that helps you to avoid underselling yourself.

Edited at 2012-10-06 10:07 pm (UTC)
ljmydayaway
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
... pre-coffee math is probably wrong, nevermind

Edited at 2012-10-06 10:42 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - vauvakolibri - Oct. 6th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ljmydayaway - Oct. 7th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
celestinaketzia
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
400 points is only $5 usd. That is nothing. If you're not finishing the art in way under an hour, then you're not even being paid minimum wage!

It sounds to me like the people visiting your gallery don't have much experience buying art for realistic prices. Especially if they have the audacity to call $5 USD greedy.
paradedemon
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
May I ask what Minimum wage would be even? o:

I currently don't know what that is, and may adjust prices according to that.
(no subject) - otherscape - Oct. 7th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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aerotheacrobat
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
The thing with points on DA is the fact that most people buying things with points are under the age of 18 and do not realize what that translated to in real money and don't grasp the concept of value of things just yet. To them, 400 is a big number, but in reality, it's not worth much. I've been seeing more artist lately respond to people that complain to tell them what that is in USD.
dinogrrl
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
Like neolucky, I avoid taking points commissions, exactly because of this. Points have zero value to me. Even if they did have value, I'd have to charge so many points to come even close to what I'd charge in real life that I would have no way to compete with people doing commissions for the equivalent $.27 each. I literally can't afford to do that; I might as well just do requests and avoid the aggravation of points altogether.

That being said, you obviously feel differently about it. :p No matter if we're talking real-world money or virtual money, you can charge whatever you want to charge that makes doing art for other people worth your while. If you don't want to only get 10 points per piece, then don't price your work that low.
paradedemon
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
I price my work at 10$ of points for a full piece currently, and it's still feels kind of not worth it to work so low, but no one buys at higher prices even.

I would take Money Commissions VIA paypal, but I cannot do so currently.
(no subject) - dinogrrl - Oct. 7th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
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chronidu
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
If anyone is telling you charging $5 for your work and time is greedy, then I commend you for not telling them right the hell off from the moment they're fingers hit send on that message.

You should never have to be selling your art and time for pennies as it is. Everyone who's whining can just take their business elsewhere and take advantage of another artist who is more than ready to completely under price themselves. Guilting an artist into underselling themselves completely is disgusting as it is, and I can't imagine wanting business from such people anyways.

That said, you are not being greedy, at all. Unless you are literately selling 2 minutes worth of work in MSPaint, there is NO reason to be selling your art for 100 points.

If anything, the people saying you are being greedy are not only being insanely greedy themselves, but utterly tactless and rude.
ansitru
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
I get messages like that all the time, ranging from "rip-off" to "money-grubbing" to "greedy" and the likes. It takes so much effort to not smack them around verbally. :I
syrusb
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
People will always come along and say things like 'you charge too much.' Especially if they don't understand the value of time.

Personally I would refuse any "non-real" currency as payment for work. If I did, and that's a BIG IF, I would make sure to value the points-to-cash conversion so they were of equal value.

Otherwise they can shop elsewhere.
dripbat
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
I've posted some adoptables on there and I always say *dollar price* or points equivalent. And people seem fine until they ask how many points that amount is. Then they back off like I've tripled the price. Its like for some reason even though the points cost a certain amount people put them at a higher form of currency and just ignore the exchange rate for them.

Just charge what you feel like you should be getting, and if you'd like point out to people the exchange rate. Maybe they will understand better once they hear the amount. Though likely not, I'm guessing some use points because they can't use dollars. Its hard to tell. Either way, good luck and hold your ground.
ljmydayaway
Oct. 6th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Just ignore the people who say "OMG IT'S TOO MUCH!" or politely remind them that 400 points is only about $5.

The DA points things have caused a weird hivemind effect. For some reason, people think they have a much higher value, and I really don't understand it. @ _@

I think it's the lack of decimal points that make people think it's worth a lot more than it really is.

Edited at 2012-10-06 10:43 pm (UTC)
duster
Oct. 6th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
I work almost entirely in non-real currency on virtual pet games with one paying virtual pet game job. I don't know what the deal is with DA points but I do know that "YOU CHARGE TOO MUCH" entitled attitude very very well.

Charge what you think it's worth and don't cave into them. The people demanding you to change your prices are usually nightmares to work with.
paradedemon
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
I refuse to cave into people who Complain about prices, as it bothers me, A LOT. Especially when they've stated: "I've never seen someone with 400 points!"

I'm planning on sticking to my prices, or possibly raising them, but not any lower.
grandioze
Oct. 6th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
For people who aren't familiar with DA's point conversion system, here it is:
1 DApoint = 1.25 cents
80 DApoints = 1 dollar

So 400 points = 500 cents ($5)

Really, I wish that DA had made a DApoint worth $1 or 1¢ just to keep the math simple, but noooooo. However, it looks like they might have done that intentionally to account for their own "send to Paypal" fees (DA charges 20% if you send the points over to Paypal, so 100points = $1).

But back on topic, you should ignore the people who say "That's too much money!!! *whine whine whine*" In the art world there are ALWAYS people who think that art should be free or incredibly cheap because "art is fun" (ugh). If you plan on becoming a professional artist, it's very important that you learn how to ignore or decline these people early on.

My advice: maybe you should try doing life studies to improve your artwork before you try to sell it. Someone mentioned that you're underage too. If I were in your shoes, I'd wait until I was 18 so that I could take PayPal commissions instead, but that's just me.

Here are a few advice posts from Noah Bradley that I recommend you check out:
http://www.noahbradley.com/blog/2012/charge-more/
http://www.noahbradley.com/blog/2012/savor-the-freedom/
http://www.noahbradley.com/blog/2011/when-in-doubt-return-to-the-basics/

And this video:
http://www.theartoffreelancing.com/
(Note: it isn't super exciting but the information is GREAT. It starts at ~3 minutes in. I really recommend that anyone seriously considering an art career go listen to it.)

Edited at 2012-10-06 11:42 pm (UTC)
otherscape
Oct. 6th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
I love Noah Bradley. That guy is a wonderful fountain of advice.
(no subject) - grandioze - Oct. 6th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
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kaelstra
Oct. 7th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
I had to go look up what the points/cash conversion was. $5? That's nothing. You are probably really undercharging, to be honest.

The short answer is: People are greedy, and want more for less. People being reluctant to put out $5 for a commission are really being stingy though, seriously. I don't know many artists that even bother with anything less than a minimum of $10, and that's really high quality work they put out for that cost, too. I've only seen a handful do buttons or avatars for $5, and it was really rushed work.

Basically, stick your ground. $5 is a pittance. If people want you to do work for 100 points, tell them no. They either accept your prices, or not. 400 points isn't even what I'd consider "decent money" for the effort probably put into the work you're giving them, to be honest.

People can and will take advantage of you, so you have to put your foot down. Just say no if you're unhappy with the price. They can either accept it, and you get paid, or they can decline, and you don't waste your time.
paradedemon
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Sadly people are Greedy D:

I had decided to put my foot down the moment the person started to complain, I can't stand people wanting me to work for so little. I made the mistake of charging 40 points Maximum for a full piece for a few weeks, I'm never doing that again.

They actually shut up the moment I stated: "Why do you complain on a beginner artist's prices that is barely known, when not a single person makes a statement against the more well known artists?" (Obviously not as fancily and well thought out stated, but same jist)
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