Commission prices discussion

BeeBoy

Regiment CO
405th Regiment Officer
Hey members of the 405th, a fresh topics for mostly insights and brain storming.

Recently it have came to my understanding that individuals are setting the market rate for foam builds to be of $1000-1500 USD.

I will be really honest, that is very shocking and surprising to me. Coming from other armor costuming communities, that price range is definitely overcharging. Talking about ethically charging each other here. That price usually is the price quoted for Resin fiberglass/ abs vac formed armor.

So what makes me think or have the perception of these abs / fiberglass armor worthy of that price and not foam?

Generally individuals have to understand, to make a fiberglass / Abs vac form armor, one need to make moulds that's not an easy task and cost involved making them is also an issue. Also Abs and Fiberglass armor are durable, sure they ain't light as foam. But they can withstand troops without then getting creases or warped.

Foam on the other hand do not need need as much steps required and I could confidently say take lesser time required to recreate an armor of course many could argue it could take as long as making a mould, demoulding... Etc... But generally faster and cheaper for sure.

So how can one justify that the price set should be the norm? It's troubling as I am seeing individual thinking it's the norm and telling everyone that's the market rate when really is it?

Of course end of the day, pricing is up to the individuals to set. And this is just my personnel take on the situation.

And we all would love to make money, and profit from things but we are also a community that supposed to lookout for one another. Shouldn't we be apply ethical pricing to know where's the limit and what's too much?

Open to discussion and I would love to help myself understand why is this price being a 'normal' range set in mind /stone in our community.

My concern here is more of ethical pricing of product with reference to cost and profit margin comparable to other prices that's known to really be the normal pricing for a certain product.


Looking forward to hearing from you guys :)

Sharing is caring.
 
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WolfsParadise5

Jr Member
I'm guessing that it would be the detailing of the cosplay as the amount of time taken to work on that itty bitty can sometimes be very time consuming and would have sparked the massive increase of price. Granted there are options at $900 to below but detailing and accuracy to the actual things differs much more.

There are many reasons that one came up with tbh eventho its kinda a lil sad at the same time that the price is pretty high. But that's the way it is


Just my thoughts.
 
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Ashuraa

Judicial Officer
Division Staff
From someone who has made several suits. Foam and 3d print and a few true pepped helmets and armor at the begining. I also have a vac forming table. So i know what goes into the processes of all of those as well as having molded stuff too.

Foam is easier to work with in some ways.

One of the reasons that a foam suit is the same cost as a vac formed suit:

1. Foam suit is a one off. Meaning one is build to measurements. It is typically more custom in sizing.

Vs.

2. Vac formed and resin cast are a mass produced. This means that the out lay of the mold or buck can be spread over many peices so the cost of materials goes down the more pulls or casts you make from one buck or mold.

3. Foam is labor intensive every time. You have to make it from scratch every time.

Vs.

4. Resin / vac formed becomes less labor intensive after the buck/mold is made. Once the master is made, all you are doing is reproducing it exactly.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I think it comes down to the math of builders valuing their time, materials and unique skill sets.

$400 in materials (foam, adhesives, paints, plastics, fasteners, fabric, consumables)
200+ hours of work in at a reasonable rate (in Canada a lot of places have a minimum wage of $15 which works out to $12USD currently)
+shipping since most people look for craftsmen based on skills, not on geographic location

So for a $1000 suit delivered by the cheapest possible option even at minimum wage that gives ~40hours of work on the suit, or based on the actual amount of effort for a suit you'd be making less than $2.50/hour which is rather low for a wide skill set of a costume maker.
 
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Asgardianhammer

Identity Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Bear in Mind also BeeBoy that this is in the U.S. not in Singapore. As TurboCharizard has stated cost of materials and time in hours is pretty spot on. My last suit was 200 hours.

Your Comment:
"My concern here is more of ethical pricing of product with reference to cost and profit margin comparable to other prices that's known to really be the normal pricing for a certain product. "

Assumes that we in this community are overcharging for our work at 1000.00 for a full suit commission. This would net the builder again as TurboCharizard has said very little for the artist being commissioned.

Out of curiosity, how much time BeeBoy do you think it should take to build a full suit, cost of materials, added strapping, sealing, paint base and detail and then to ship it? How many hours do you think would be involved? How much per hour USD do you think someone should be paid as a living wage to do their craft?
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Bear in Mind also BeeBoy that this is in the U.S. not in Singapore. As TurboCharizard has stated cost of materials and time in hours is pretty spot on. My last suit was 200 hours.

Your Comment:
"My concern here is more of ethical pricing of product with reference to cost and profit margin comparable to other prices that's known to really be the normal pricing for a certain product. "

Assumes that we in this community are overcharging for our work at 1000.00 for a full suit commission. This would net the builder again as TurboCharizard has said very little for the artist being commissioned.

Out of curiosity, how much time BeeBoy do you think it should take to build a full suit, cost of materials, added strapping, sealing, paint base and detail and then to ship it? How many hours do you think would be involved? How much per hour USD do you think someone should be paid as a living wage to do their craft?
Living wage is a very different question than minimum wage. Minimum here still means mandatory roommates in a small apartment which makes it difficult to house the tools and equipment required to make quality suits. Yay housing crisis.

Quite a few commissioners have costume building as their side job so having a low net pay for a suit isn't often appealing for the amount of effort required.
 

SpartanProps

Member
I agree with Turbo. You have to take in mind the cost of materials and what is your time worth as well? Personally for me, my suit took me about 6 months of time to build so if I was building for someone else and it took me that long or longer to do, I would say $1000 is a cheap suit. Pricing is always a sticky issue, especially when you consider pricing out 3d printed items. people dont understand how long it takes to print something and most people will charge per hour of printing to make up for their material costs and maintenance costs on the machines themselves.
 

BeeBoy

Regiment CO
405th Regiment Officer
Hmmm great insights guys.

Asgardianhammer with regards to your question, generally I would say a complete suit would take less then a month if one is familiar with the ins and out. But I think I guess everyone here have explained the reasons why the price is justifiable, as Ashuraa mentioned, is the one off piece that bring the pricing up. Also I guess material like foam in the US is a lot more expensive. It's rather affordable here in Asia. And also the minimum wage concern (wish we have that here in Asia.)

I guess that concludes the reasons why it's slightly more expensive to get it commissioned there in the states then in Asia.

In Asia we tend to see foam as a lower tiered prop/armor comparing to ABS/resin parts.. Thus pricing wise we dropped it down lower there. Also due to material wise foam and contact cement is way cheaper then resin / plastic. Maybe it's the opposite there in the states where resin is cheaper (boy I'm jealous) haha.

Other then material wise, In Asia we take into consideration of the item's lifespan. Foam due to its properties of flexing and creasing after which the paint cracks etc which fixing it isn't easy compare to resin / plastic.

But good insights never the less. We could see how cultural differences between each country varies ;)

Thank you for helping me understand how everything works out on the other side of the world.
 
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