I apologise for asking this AGAIN, as I've already done the search & checked the index, so I know you've all been asked about this a dozen times before, BUT, I have a quick question on pricing.
I know the rule is to add up all materials, and then factor in your time, compare with other bears on the market and take it from there. However, as I have to put together a business plan to go with the funding applications I'm currently working on, I need to give them a short and simple idea of how I will price my goods (in relation to the costs of the materials I have listed).
Now - I know there is an 'old guide' which says that you factor $10 to the inch (for bigger bears at least - rubbish for the minis, as has already been noted). However, the thread I first found this on is about 10 years old now, so I figured inflation might have factored into it. $10 comes in as just under £7 at the moment, which would make a 6 inch bear about £42 ($60) - does that still sound right to you guys? In my experience I hardly ever see bears for much under £80 on the market (this is usually though dealers etc though) and I would expect to pay at least £50 for a mini - obviously I buy from more established bearmakers than myself, so I expect my own prices to be lower, but I don't want to sell myself short either.
My reason for asking is just that this 'guide' seems the simplest way to come up with a quick and simple formula for the application assessors, given I have not designed the bears yet, so have no idea what size they will be, or what materials will go into them. However, I want to make sure I'm working from an up to date price sheet before I go ahead.
Unfortunately I've never had the funds to be as extensive a collector as I would like, so I only have a very small collection of artist bears to draw on - my lasting impression of bear prices is generally 'more than I can afford' (which is why I started making them in the first place!), so I could do with the insight of wiser and more experienced bears than I!
Lauren, I'm assuming you checked the library for information on pricing? There are several threads under the heading "Selling" that have more up-to-date info in them. $10/inch is not the going rate these days. I sold my last bear at $14/inch and it's probably even higher now.
I think Bearpile is an interesting microcosm where you'll find the gamut--from people just starting out and selling a bear for $60, to others with a well-known name and a distinctive style selling a bear for $600 or more. It's a complex market, and it may take some time to find your niche in it. Meanwhile, you might look for bears similar to yours and see how they're priced...and whether or not they sell.
I think the best way is to test the market. Well...it's the only way. Until you have a product ( sorry to define bears in that way ..eeeek) you can't know it's worth.
When I started I did a local fair and I sold my bears for £75 up to £120 and the all sold. That told me that my pricing was probably fine but there wasn't a profit there after my time was accounted for.
I started to increase my prices over the time accounting for time , detailing, etc. It's impossible to put a value on it in the same way as a manufactured product. So in the end it's what some one will pay. How aspirational is the work that's being created. If you put a £ value on any bear it would be similar....all mohair costs the same..eyes, felt etc. So by that criteria each bears should be the same..and yet bears have sold for $10,000. There's a doll on eBay and it's price at the moment is $66,600 ..with 2 days to go.
So my advice to everyone who asks is test the water...make a few bears...see if they sell..they might fly..but the might not. It's a massive thrill when you sell to someone other than friends and family and can be crushing when they don't sell. I would be a liar if I told you all my bears fly because they don't.
So my advice is that there's no formula...you just have to see what happens.
Thanks for all your help guys! Funding application is now in, so no more stupid questions from me! I know pricing is something that can't be worked out simply - it's just conveying that in a small box on an application form that is difficult. Hopefully they will be satisfied with what I have said based on the examples of other people's work & their pricing that I have also submitted.
And now I just wait! Two weeks until I get the results apparently. If they don't fund me it will not be the end of the world - but a big chunk of money just to spend on my bear supplies stash would be brilliant! Fingers and toes crossed!