Author Topic: Is this a reasonable commission price?  (Read 732 times)

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Is this a reasonable commission price?
« on: May 05, 2011, 03:24:38 am »
$5 for a picture like this, this, or this. No one seems interested, I was thinking maybe I could get more if I were to lower the price.  What do you think I should do?

I appreciate the input, thanks! :)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 03:37:39 am by Rivet »

Offline TIGER

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Re: Is this a reasonable commission price?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 04:32:19 am »
I wouldn't pay $3.50 for it actually. I'd pay the full $5, maybe a little bit more.

Your work is definetly worth what you charge, I'm suprised you haven't gotten more customers ;__;
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Offline Meadow Whisper (Natasha)

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Re: Is this a reasonable commission price?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 05:31:22 am »
Let's see if I can type this out before my painkillers kick in and render me useless for the night.  I've got 15 minutes :-P

In a nutshell, pricing is almost never the reason for not getting commission.  In fact, I'd say both you and Mango are charging too little for your work.  The real issue is marketing.  In a community where the volume of art and artists is so overwhelming, you can't just put "I take commissions" on your FA account and expect customers to come to you.  It's like opening a clothing store in a busy mall that's already full of clothing stores, simply existing will not bring you sales no matter what your prices are.  Selling art is like selling anything else, you have to actively acquire customers.  So, aside from ensuring that your customer service is top-notch, which is the #1 thing that can destroy your business, a few ideas off the top of my head are:

-Draw gift art and art trades for popular furs.  This will get your name out there.
-Offer free art on the condition that people link to your account in their FA journals.  Unfortunately, so many people are doing this that the returns are diminishing, but it's still somewhat effective for now.
-Seek out people on various forums and websites who are looking for art, and make them an offer.  Even if they're looking for freebies, you can counter with "Well, I may not be free, but I'm cheaper than a trip to McDonalds, and I guarantee you'll be thrilled with what I draw for you", or something like that.
-Run special discounts/promotions/sales for specific themes.  This is great for seasonal art, and for attracting new subject matter.  For example, if you want to practice drawing dragons, offer 25% off dragon characters.  Unfortunately, this is more effective if you already have a large watcher-base, and I don't recommend it for anyone whose prices are single-digit, but when played correctly it can boost initial sales.
-Go to a convention.  I don't recommend trying to sell at a large convention when you're just starting out, there's just too much competition, but find a mid-size con that's nearby and set yourself up with an Artist Alley table.  The exposure alone will be well worth it, and most artists who do it get plenty of new business.  Large, local furmeets can be helpful for this too, since it's easier to really get to know your prospective customers.  And, you'll make new friends in the process.
-Find a niche.  This is exceptionally effective, and while it's sometimes interpreted as a bit limiting in the future, that's seldom actually the case.  Basically, just find a subject matter that not many other artists are drawing, and become really good at it.  This has been a career-maker for many artists out there, and while some of them still focus primarily on their niche, most broaden their horizons nicely once they no longer need the security of a specific community.  A niche can be anything, including species (especially oddball ones), themes, mediums/formats (example, Marci McAdam, the "badge queen" who draws hundreds of conbadges at every con), and even fetishes (if you're old enough and interested in that sort of art).

Wee, my pain pills are kicking in, so this is about as useful as I'll be tonight.  But, the main point is that, 99% of the time, pricing is not the problem, and whatever you're charging, someone will pay it.  The key is exposure, marketing, and selling your work.  The minute that money is exchanged, your commissions become a business, and if you want any semblance of business success, you can't be passive about it.

I'll offer this to you, as well as anyone else who's interested:  I'm no marketing expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have extensive experience with it, both as an entrepreneur and as a very analytical art commissioner, so I'd be happy to give private advice to anyone who wants it.  Again, I'm not the best, but I've helped artists become profitable, so apparently I have at least some semblance of a clue :-P

EDIT:  Oh, and to put on my admin hat for a sec, begging for art in a thread that's completely unrelated is a no-no.
EDIT 2:  Added one more little thing to the list.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 05:40:13 am by Natasha Softpaw »
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Offline EKG

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Re: Is this a reasonable commission price?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:41:06 pm »
My main slice of advice, to add to Natasha's huge post, is to talk to people. New people. All the time.

ALL

THE

TIME

Networking IS business.

I have gotten so many new customers just from talking to people, and watchers as well.

Activity on your page makes you attractive to customers...but I do disagree with something she said...you don't necessarily have to draw for popular people. Sometimes you can actually fall into making friends with them, and that I recommend as a better option by far.

Just by posting recent art--not a bunch of random funny stuff, but actual artistic endeavours of mine--I've gotten several watches from high profile artists.

I maintain a repoire with them, just because they're FRIGGIN NICE AS HELL and it's good networking!

Another thing I did to start getting commissions was say one thing: Pay What You Can.

Now, you'd think that you'd get really low commissions from it...but I actually started getting the prices I was expecting.

Sometimes people actually overprice it. IF they can't come up with a price, give them a base price and tell them you're willing to haggle.

But giving people that freedom makes them a lot easier for some reason--spending money on something that isn't made yet is a gamble!

I hope that helps, my dear!
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Offline Daniel A. Skirtandzy

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Re: Is this a reasonable commission price?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 01:59:50 am »
$5?
$5!

Who do you think you are, the oil industry?
That is practically highway robbery!


So, I think Natasha summed it up the best. Getting your voice out there is really important anymore, to get interest in your art.
You need yourself some good ol' fashioned pimpin'.
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