How to price your puppets

Buck-Beaver

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Hi everyone,

A made this up after the subject of pricing things came up in a thread at Puppets & Stuff...it's an excel spreadsheet that provides a method for pricing your work. Pricing is really tricky - as I'm sure most of the people who sell puppets here know - and a lot of artists don't know how to price properly. There's a number of factors to consider, including:

  • The cost of your product or service
  • Your sales volume
  • Your competitor’s prices
  • Your company’s competitive/creative advantage
The spreadsheet will work best for someone who's making and selling puppets on a regular basis and either it is their primary source of income or they want it to be, but it can be applied to pricing in almost any type of business. Here's the instructions for using it:


Step #1 - Calculate Your Fixed Expenses

Fixed expenses are expenses you pay no matter how much you sell. Examples would be:

  • Telephone/cell phone (if it's for business only)
  • Office supplies
  • Web Hosting fees
  • Insurance
  • Anything else I've missed
You should also include in your fixed expenses a salary for yourself - what you pay yourself should not come from your profit (more on that below). You should determine a realistic salary that you would like to earn every month.

Once you add up your fixed expenses next you have to figure out how many products (puppets, workshops, or whatever) you can realistically do in a month. Then divide your total fixed expenses by the number of products you can produce in a month. The result is your fixed expense per puppet sold.


Step #2 - Determine Your Variable Expenses

Variable expenses include anything you pay per puppet you sell (foam, eyes, etc.). Don't include shipping costs because they should be added on top of your selling price. Add up your variable expenses for one puppet and add them to the fixed expense per item sold. The sum is your True Cost.

*Once you calculate your true cost, you can't sell your puppets for any less than this amount...otherwise you loose money every time you sell something!


Step #3 - Determine Your Selling Price

Once you know how much each item you sell costs (your True Cost), you can determine your actual selling price. Basically, you have to decide how much of a profit margin you want. For example, in the spreadsheet the true cost of each puppet is about $585. If I wanted a profit margin of 10% then my selling price for each puppet would be about $645 and I'd make about $58.50 in pure profit after every puppet sold. That doesn't sound like a lot, but remember I've already calculated a monthly salary for myself as part of my monthly expenses.

The puppet price in the spreadsheet varies according to the profit margin you enter.

Calculating your profit margin is more art than science and it usually takes some time and experimenting to decide what will work for you. The really important thing financially is that your profit either goes in the bank to be saved or gets re-invested in the business, make your salary one of your expenses!

The spreadsheet is for excel and compressed in a .zip file. Thanks to Shawn over at Puppets and Stuff for hosting it! Please let me know if anyone has any questions.

http://www.puppetbuilding.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/puppetpricingcalculator.zip
 

wes

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Bravo Thank you Buck for The Price Calculator, I think you just helped alot of people out inclueding myself. If they were Giving away award for the Best Puppeteer of the Year I think you would get it!!:smile:

thanks again!!
 

Melonpool

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Yeah -- it's very good info. I'll be sure to use it in the future in both puppet building and art.
 

Fozzie Bear

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Buck, you're always a genius. Thanks for that info!
 

Buck-Beaver

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Glad you guys like it.

Foz, I accidently posted to two threads about this. :embarrassed: Maybe you can merge this one with the other one if you get a chance?
 

gfarkwort

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There's not enough money in ebay....plus it isn't really a place for an artist to sell several pieces of custom art.......at least I don't think so.....
 

puppetmancan

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it gets your face and work out there to be seen. I've made so many contacts that way, works awesome. look hiw many have seen my kermit, over 500. The money does vary, but if your stuff is beyond same old same old, the money does go up. you just have to work for it.
 

ravagefrackle

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true , people may see your stuff on Ebay , but you cant very well be selling knock off muppets as a pure source of income since the Lawyers for the company that owns them will eventually track you down, and put a stop to it,

and Ebay is were people go to find things for less.your really only going to get a bidding war on something that is rare and in high demand., building custom stuff for individuals (or selling your own line of originals) is going to be more in line with what Bucks spread sheet is dealing with,
 
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