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commission math

updated wed 23 aug 06


Elizabeth Priddy on tue 22 aug 06

I learned working production, that I can make about
300 mugs a day if I work hard.

That is 3000 retail at $10 per mug

1500 wholesale
750 after overhead materials and processing
325 after taxes

So on a good day of hard work, I am worth about $325.

It takes a day solid to deal with talking to clients
and pulling their teeth to find out what they really
want and then working out your personal details on it
and providing a presentation, however modest, and
offer to work and what you will provide, if you will.
And all of this is mundane, not especially highly
skilled artistic "work", but just good expediting
skills. So I offer a production wage for the work at
a discount to allow for the potential job opportunity.

So just the initial conference costs $200 for me. It
keeps freaks and time-wasters from my door. And I
give someone about 15 minutes of my time to daydream
about their project with me and then ask them if I am
on the clock for that project, cause otherwise they
are making me work in a social situation. I can do
this nicely and with humor and have never offended
anybody to my knowledge.

I have also stopped a woman from making me work at a
party, set up an appointment, had her write that first
check and proceeded to make her an $1800 set of
dishes, which I discounted by $200, because I am like

If we had gotten through all the conniptions of what
she wanted, I offered her the price, and then she
decided to wait...I would have kept the $200 with a
clear conscience.

I also asked for $500 up front for the materials fees,
as that would be non-recoverable costs.

I don't ask for half upfront anymore. I ask for
non-recoverable costs, which is all the clay and
firing and all that for their special project, as I am
out that much whether they are happy or not. That is
fair and people with money and/or business people know
fair when they see it.

If it was for a sink, for instance, I would charge the
$50 nonrecoverable charge for the firing and time on
drying racks and clay, but not the rest, about $450
until I delivered it. There is no set up on a sink if
they are asking for a copy of one I already made, from
a book. If it is a custom interior piece, back to
$200 to start talking.

This way, I am only out my money in at any given point
with no arguments, no money back, no hassle.

And if it doesn't work out, I still have the work and
the means to sell it, so no worries.

If the commission was so specific and weird that it
would only have value to one person, like a clay
portrait in a realistic mode, I would want half and
half pricing once we were past the initial $200.

Price like you are worth it and people will gladly


Elizabeth Priddy

Beaufort, NC - USA

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