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Topic: Labour costs?  (Read 1677 times)
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« on: January 28, 2012 10:43:35 AM »

Afternoon fellow crafty bods.
My apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere, but I need to pick your brains.
Last year I made a plushy pillow monster based loosely on the Mystery Critter pattern for a friend's toddler. His mum and dad loved it (as did the small personage), and now they've come to me with a proposition. Small personage's dad is a camp director at the summer camp I used to work at. His co-directors (and the majority owners of the camp) have decided that they want to give teddybears to the youngest campers this summer, and have asked if I would be interested in making 100 plushies.  I'm beyond stoked at this prospect. However, I have no clue how to put a value on my time. The plushies are pretty easy to make, and the materials are fairly inexpensive (fleece, felt, thread, fiberfill and reclaimed cotton knit from camp T-shirts), however, they're fiddly and time consuming as I machine embroider and applique all the critter's features. I haven't figured out how much time is invested in each one, but I would estimate around 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
This is basically a long-winded way of saying, how much is my time worth? I really don't know how to put a number on that, and would be interested to hear from other craftsters how much they figure their time to be worth when working out selling prices.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience!

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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012 02:29:30 PM »

There are a few different pricing options here:

But as far as how much your time is worth, if you have a full-time job, why not price it at the amount you get paid per hour there? If you don't feel like you get paid enough, raise it! 100 plushies is a LOT and you want to make sure you're getting paid enough so that the knowledge of the money you're making outweighs the boredom of making 100 of the same thing. Wink

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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012 01:34:28 PM »

Imagine someone was hiring you to work in a teddy bear factory.  What would you expect them to pay you?  At least minimum wage, for sure, and probably a good deal more.  You ARE highly skilled, after all.  And like jungrrl said, you want to make enough to stay motivated.  It sucks to be halfway through a project thinking you deserve more than what you charged.

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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012 01:12:26 AM »

As the biz owner you work on salary, not an hourly wage. You have to set a price for a bear you can live with, then slash it for a bulk discount of 100. Whatever the end price, you're going to make a profit off 100 bears. And of course get your customer to agree to it and pay half up front.

Chris in VT
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012 04:00:49 AM »

Definitely half up front. And the remainder upon delivery.
Make up a simple contract as to what is going to happn. You are going to manufacture 100 bears for a total price of x. You are to receive 50% down payment upon signing, and the balance will be due upon delivery. And you must agree to a delivery date.
And both of you sign it and each keep a copy.

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012 07:09:43 AM »

I am a professional seamstress for a small company that does concerts etc like lady gaga, and when I did a side job my mother in law told me to charge what I make at Atomic. I make $12 an hour in the state of PA which is pretty decent for seam stressing so I would recommend trying to find a local seamstress and finding out what they charge.

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