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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #1
Please close this thread.

Thanks a lot,

Nick
 

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I agree you've got great props there and someone less creative than yourself would be chomping at the bit to get them. I personally think you're not charging enough for your time. If you're only making between $15-50 profit on them depending on how long it takes you to make them (and I think it would take a while) it might not be worth your time and effort. I'd figure out what hourly rate you'd be happy with and then realistically work out an estimate of how long each prop takes. Base your final cost on that. Now whether people would be willing to pay for your hard work - that would depend on how much they want it but at least you wouldn't feel like you're working for nothing when you could be building your own props. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I agree you've got great props there and someone less creative than yourself would be chomping at the bit to get them. I personally think you're not charging enough for your time. If you're only making between $15-50 profit on them depending on how long it takes you to make them (and I think it would take a while) it might not be worth your time and effort. I'd figure out what hourly rate you'd be happy with and then realistically work out an estimate of how long each prop takes. Base your final cost on that. Now whether people would be willing to pay for your hard work - that would depend on how much they want it but at least you wouldn't feel like you're working for nothing when you could be building your own props. Just my 2 cents.
Totally agree. You are short-changing yourself and time involved (and mess and cleanup ;) ).

If you really want to build them, I'd also check about ordering wholesale or in quantity to see about getting a price break on things like the skellies... just to see if you could pad a little more profit into the prop without raising the price sky high.

I think also that you need to check out the sales over on EBay and the like - specifically custom Halloween props - do the market research. You do have some great pieces there, but you don't know how well they'll sell since you're targeting two different sub-groups:

1. Those people that want the cool stuff, but may think that "home made" is not as good a quality (more willing to pay bigger money to the big name sites for the cheap mass-produced junk because they don't know any better). So you'll have to convince this type that your props are superior quality and worth the money you're asking.

2. The Halloween enthusiast that is getting into building their own props, or lacks the skills to build their own props and wants custom made stuff and can appreciate the effort and better quality. This group, you're targeting the lesser skilled prop builder - they might be a whiz with the mechanics, but not so good at the corpsing or finishing touches... which is where you'd come in.

See, when I was just starting out, those prices would have shocked me. I can't even remember what I would have thought would be a "reasonable" price, but it would have scared me off. BUT you really can't make this sort of stuff without charging AT LEAST what it cost you in materials and labor, and I realize that NOW, and think your prices are too low taking THAT into consideration.

So the biggie would be to try to reduce your materials cost so you wouldn't have to raise the prices over what you've got, but still account for your time...

Good luck!
 

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Hey Nick, first of all you do very good work. I have to compliment you because your props are very realistic looking. I don't think your prices are unfair at all to be honest with you considering the cost of materials. The only issue I see is finding enough people to have enough disposable income to spend that kind of money on props right now. So, whereas I think your prices are not unfair considering the quality, you still might have trouble selling them.

As for the skulls, I'm thinking the price might be a little high. I understand that the materials alone drive your asking price, but I personally probably wouldn't pay more than $35 for the prop at most. You might not want to make too many of those until you see if they actually sell.

Now granted, I'm very new to this and have only begun to check out Halloween decorations, so these might be underpriced compared to what's out there, and my expectations of prop pricing might be unrealistic. I'm just thinking as an uninformed newbie who's looking to buy some props. I have no talent or experience and don't think I could come close to the kind of quality your offering.

I hope this helps. I've been lurking for a while and this is my first post, but I wanted to comment because I really like your work! Great job!
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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I agree, you are not charging for your time. What you are creating are professional quality props. You should do the market research and see what the pros are charging. You're skeletons are beautiful. Your resident evil dog is gorgeous.

I also agree with Frankie's Girl. See if you can purchase materials for a better price. See what it costs to buy in bulk, order off the internet, etc. Don't be afraid to haggle with local merchants, too!
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone know of any places that sell props like these? I would love to see what the pros are charging for stuff like this it would give me something to compete with.
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #8
I found some places that sell similar props but the ones i saw (Skeletons) had more meat on the bones of their props than mine do, Anyways they were in the 400-700.00 price range.

I only saw one dog that could compare to mine and in my opinion it looked like total garbage. That was going for i believe 500.00

I saw the skull cluster like mine but theirs was made of foam and not hard plastic like mine. It sold for 30.00.

I think i might try ebay and see if my items are even a hit. If they are i will push more for trying to sell them. With the Economy the way it is now i'm sure you guys are right about people just not having the money to spend right now.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Nick,
I am a great admirer of your work, as you know and I agree with all the previous comments in that I really don't think you are considering charging enough for what amounts to a quality, limited piece of artwork. Just take a look at the sites and see what they are asking for cheap, mass produced rubbish.
May I please offer one small piece of advice? If you start selling, please do not compromise the quality of your pieces for volume of sales..it's very easy to let that happen, especially if the orders start to come in at a rate.
I personally would prefer to sell one piece of great quality than 3 or 4 pieces that do not come up to my standards.
Another thing to be aware of..When it starts becoming work, it can stop being fun.
Please don't let that happen.

Wishing you the best of luck.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Last year I saw some corpsed buckies on the local "classifieds" site for $300.00. I got an email today that talked about $400 3 axis skulls, with movable eyes... Both prices seemed way to high for me, but when you break down all the materials you need and your time those prices start sounding reasonable....unlesssss you have a lot of time to spare.

skulltek
 

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livin Halloween every day
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I also totally agree that you should charge more but i also agree with everyone else about finding people to pay for them. I also am comsidering selling props and face the same problem. Not sure what to charge to make it worth my time to make them and cheap enough to be able to sell them. That is exactly why i took the step to learn to make my own stuff. It seems all the pro prop makers charge so much for thier props that i for one wont even consider buying one, i would much rather make my own for way cheaper and way better quality.
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #12
I can honestly say that i will never let quanity become a higher priority then quality. I don't mind doing the props especially since i doubt i will be selling a lot of them i am just looking to do this for a little extra pocket/halloween money. If it becomes a hit (doubtful) then great.
 

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As a quilter, I have this rule of thumb.. well, it's pretty general, actually. For your basic quilt you should charge a base of 3X cost to make it. This is just generally, because the more difficult the pattern and more effort you put into it would also raise the price.

Now we're talking about your props which are remarkable. And the price you're thinking about charging is ridiculously low. It's not like you're using a cut up blucky that's $8. It's quality.

Starting out it may be tough to get a name for yoursef but once you do you're gonna do very well! Just hang in there and remember your time and talent are worth it!
 

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OMG I just had a BRILLIANT IDEA!!!! And if anyone wants to do something with it, let me know. lol I want in.

I was just thinking there are some sites out there to sell crafts on. There's a few for quilters I look at. Anyway..I digress...

Create a website specifically for buying/selling halloween stuff. Everything on one site where haunters can see a ton of stuff and buy whatever they want.
 

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Hey Nick with your skill of corsping I think with a little glue,carving and hacking. You could make one of these look good.

Plastic Skeleton

I've seen some incredible corpses made from these. You can save a whole lot on shipping them because of the weight difference.
 

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Open up and say "Aaaaahh"
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Last year I saw some corpsed buckies on the local "classifieds" site for $300.00. I got an email today that talked about $400 3 axis skulls, with movable eyes... Both prices seemed way to high for me, but when you break down all the materials you need and your time those prices start sounding reasonable....unlesssss you have a lot of time to spare.

skulltek
My guess it's my skulls that you got Emailed about..I should chime here as I too have only recently started selling my prop skulls..I started out charging for materials only and giving my labor away for free. I soon discovered that my free labor was in high demand, but my time was in short supply. Basic economics came into play and I soon discovered that I needed to charge something for my time. I played around with pricing and went as low as 250.00 per skull. People told me it was insane to charge so little. My wife just rolled her eyes. I calculated how much time it took to make the prop, and how much skill was involved, then came up with an hourly wage I would pay someone to build it for me and came up with the 400.00 price tag. If you use a similar formula you will hit the right price.
 

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I agree with everyone so far, time and quality are the easiest to over look. But they are the only way to turn a profit. Your R.E. Dog looks great, that could be a good seller. Reselling Bucky skulls and skeletons (no matter how good they look) will be a challenge. At least on any Halloween related forum. Just like you, most would rather just purchase the skeletons/skulls and corpse it them self’s, saving the extra $100.00 you would need to charge to turn profit. And remember, shipping is a major factor. That adds another $30 bucks or so to the final cost of the prop. So, if you could sell a corpsed skeleton at $200.00 + $30.00 for shipping, you have exceeded the price of someone buying two plain skeletons shipped to their door. I am not trying to discourage you, just giving you my thoughts. I make skulls from real human skulls and I am very aware of what the market is willing to spend. Welcome to retail it can suck a little sometimes. LOL.
 

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OH! And also wanted to add..on one of those quilter sites people put in requests for certain things and give a price range. Then the artists put bid in to do the work, just like construction. lol It works really well.
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #20
I believe there is already a place online that you can sell halloween related material only on. I forgot the name of the website though.

I may try ebay and see what happens there. Really get a feel for what the market is willing to pay for some of my stuff.
 
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