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comment by applewood
applewood  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 6, 2019

Hey, I've looked into this kind of stuff myself recently. The take away that I've got is factor in how much you want to pay yourself per hour, divided by how many you can make in an hour. Then factor in your overhead and divide that by how many items you expect to sell in a month (sell yourself short here). Finally, factor in the cost per item to make. Once you add those up, multiply by three, and you have your asking price.

So lets for example, you want to pay yourself $20 an hour and can make two an hour. Lets say your rent, permit fees, credit payments on equipment and supplies, and all other business expenses add up to $100 a month (if it something costs you anything, include it in this part of the equation) and you think you can move ten items a month. Then lastly, lets say it costs you $1 in materials each to make these. It would cost you $21 per piece to make, so your selling price should be about $65.

Also . . .

    Additionally, any suggestions for video games/pop culture things that might be of interest to people?

You should probably avoid selling stuff involving other company's IP, to protect yourself from any nasty lawsuits. Besides, you're a creative guy. I bet you could come up with tons of cool, original stuff.

flac  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey, thanks for the perspective, artist formerly known as rd95!

Going to mull that formula over for a bit...

I, uh, actually hadn't even thought of the legality of selling the video game stuff until now. I had this hazy memory saying "oh yeah, I've been to Cons before, people are selling fan art all the time. I guess this must be legal!"

Needless to say, seems I was wrong! I'll still probably sell the video game stuff through word of mouth to my nerd friends and their people.

applewood  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Glad to offer my perspective! There's a ton of conversations on this kind of stuff out there on arts and crafts forums. That said, I found this book in particular very helpful. It covers all sorts of stuff, but it's not exhaustive, so you might need to look at other sources, such as the local branch of The Small Business Administration, your local library will probably have model business plans available, and your state department of commerce will probably have resources on top of that. There's a LOT of stuff out their for entrepreneurs, and fortunately, a lot of it is easy to find.

flac  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Looks like a great read, thanks for the recommendation! There are a couple of small artist co-ops in town that I'm hoping to look into once I've been selling on etsy for a month or two, and I would wager lots of other local resources for teeny tiny business owners.

Out of curiosity you thinking of selling your drawings/sketches, or something else?

applewood  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes! Artist co-ops sound awesome! There's a few in my city, as well as various societies, guilds, and clubs. I haven't joined any, but I feel I need to just for the benefit of sharing experience and knowledge. Though, lately I've been thinking of turning to Hubski for that. There's a ton of really creative people on here, you included of course.

As for selling stuff, I've really, really fallen in love with book binding. I think I made about forty or fifty journals last year just for the joy of making something. For a while I was thinking about starting a business so I could sell them, but eventually came to the conclusion that commodifying them and trying to build a business around them would rob me of that joy. Now I just make them for the pure pleasure of it and I give them as gifts to friends and family. Funny enough, some of the people I gave my first books to I turned around and later gave them some of my more recent books, just because my first few were so flawed I honestly felt bad about them being gifts.

flac  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's awesome! Do you have any pictures of some favorites that you've made?

Re: building a business vs. the joy of doing something, I think that a major reason that this is the first of my creative ventures that I am actually attempting to properly monetize is that 3D printing is virtually zero effort, as far as production is concerned. Sure, it takes some time to make good designs, but I can just press "go" on the printer and more or less leave it be for the next 6 hours, and once I have a design I like I can just keep printing it for as long as people keep buying it. The actual labor is pretty much front-loaded. I don't have to worry about a day where I don't have the energy to make a product to sell like I would with sewing, or even music. It's just a matter of making sure the machine works.

It's funny, because with sewing or knitting I always enjoy the act of making things so much, but as soon as I have a deadline or a paying customer, it becomes torture and I wish I had a machine that could just do it all for me. And now I do (at least until it falls apart from overuse...)

applewood  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hmm. I think I might have one or two I've taken with my flip phone. This may sound weird, but the books I'm really proud of, I don't have anymore. As soon as I made one I really liked, I'd look at it and say "Oh! I bet so and so would love this." Next week though, I'll create a new imgur account and share some pictures of what I have sitting on my shelf and a few text blocks I've put together. There's a project I want to do, that I'll end up documenting to share on Hubski, and that's removing the cover of a paperback, reinforcing the spine using double fan binding with cord reinforcements, and then casing it in a hard cover. Sadly, I have to wait for warmer weather until I can do that though, because my craft room is not insulated and its too cold to work with glue at the moment.

I know I've said this before, but I really enjoy your sewing. That quasi-military style jacket you made was super sharp. I love it.