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e-bay-ing Your Puppets...

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Fozzie Bear, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Questions for sellers and buyers:

    Sellers, how lucrative are your sales through e-bay? Are you getting what you expected from the sales, or not? By the time you buy the materials and spend the time making the puppet, is it worth it? Do you put your puppets up there on reserve?

    Buyers, how often do you actually purchase puppets from ebay? Have you ever, are you planning on it, would you? Have you ever bid on a puppet (whether won or not)?
  2. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    i havnt done any selling on ebay, i dont think i will get what i know the work is worth., but thats just me.
  3. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I was about to make a deal with the Audubon Society, but they are backing down from it because they don't want to pay the value of the hand-crafted, production quality puppets for their educational courses.

    For example, they wanted a boy and girl, and that would be roughly around the $136 range each; but, they also wanted animals and while a brown bat would likely cost around $80 to make (materials and labor), they don't want to pay more than $150 per puppet, not taking into account that even though the bobcat they want might cost nearly $300 (materials and labor) that cost is off-set by the bat, snake, and hummingbird (which are cheaper and easier to build).

    Folks don't see the work that goes into our craft and, as they are by cartoon artwork for advertising, they don't want to pay the costs because they see something less than we know it is. I hate that.

    The appreciation of our craft is under-valued. :(
  4. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    they certainly dont, but i think u are totally undercutting your price man, i dont think i have seen any of your work, but i really think u are charge way to little,

    just my opinion though.
  5. puppetpackpepe

    puppetpackpepe New Member

    I've never sold any puppets on Ebay but when we started making puppets, that was our original plan. I have bought one puppet on ebay from Puppetsnstuff puppets, and it was an excellent deal. I believe I paid around 50 for it.
  6. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Member

    I've sold one Puppet on ebay that I bought off ebay, infact i think I made a 30 dollar profit. But I mostly buy Puppets off ebay..... each one ranging from $250 (a small old pro Puppet) to $560 and thorugh the the ebay transactions I have gotten pro builders who occasionally I order customs from usually ranging $500 and up. But I rely on ebay for my puppet collection. :)
  7. Keeermit

    Keeermit Active Member

    Well I have sold quite a few puppets on Ebay over the past few years, and i can say its not really something i can rely on to get enough money to survive on. The general idea of an auction is to get items cheaper than usually sold elsewhere - and the same goes for Ebay, my puppets usually go for alot less on ebay than what i would charge if it was designed especially for a client. Sometimes I sell my old puppets on ebay for some extra cash or sometimes I try and design a new stlye/character puppet and sell the prototype on ebay. I have two puppets on ebay at the moment - check them out one is a red head lady puppet and the other is a green monster called "Nud". Ebay is a great place to buy a good quality cheap puppet.
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Your opinion counts! :)

    www.picturetrail.com/muleythemule you can find photos of Muley. Don't think I have any other puppets up there, except maybe in the Portfolio section where I posted stuff which I DON'T own, but have either made for someone else or myself (I made ME :) a Mahna-Mahna because--well, I wanted one!! :crazy: And a Slimer as a prop/puppet, too.)

    I don't have any other characters there but Muley because he's the main one folks are interested in. Versions 2.5 and 3.0 are on that site of the puppet.
  9. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Further proving what Ravage says about me undercharging. Wow. Man, I've been CHEATING myself SOOOO badly!!

    I do charge $10.75/hour outside of the puppet construction to go get the materials, design and develop the puppets. The buyer buys the materials, also, so there's no money out of my pocket or time wasted.
  10. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    dude you are charging way to little for your time and effort, thats were all the reall work is.i think u need to look at increasing your price. $10.75 is almost nothing i was making that as a manager at a deli when i was in college.and when you are selling a one of a kind piece of art work you have the right to set your price, granted i do some projects at a lower rate at times , sometimes for fun, sometimes out of nessectity, but for the most part i stick to my guns about my rate , and how valuble my time is.
  11. Show and Tell

    Show and Tell Member

    Ravage is correct. For you as an experienced builder, you need to remember your time is your most valuable asset and that the time to design and build a custom puppet is worthy of much more than a little over minimum wage. Of course you gotta keep food on the table too so in the slow times "you gotta do whatcha gotta do".:smirk:
  12. PaulyPuppets

    PaulyPuppets New Member

    I actually do pretty good on Ebay. I've been supporting me and my family primarily building and selling puppets on Ebay for about 3 years now. I'll do an occasional acting or writing gig once in a while. And now I just became a Realtor, so I'm hoping to stop having to build puppets. I spend about $400 - 500 a month on this business between supplies and Ebay fees. But I build and sell about 10 -15 Ebay puppets per week. Most of the time, on EBAY, they each sell at auctions end for the minimum I start them at ($46). But many times they sell for 2 sometimes three times that amount. Plus I get a few orders from my non EBAY site, www.puppetsnstuff.com . I have it down where I can build one puppet in under an hour, but that does not include the hours I spend driving around getting my supplies. I try to stock up on supplies twice a month, and schedule the shopping during big sale days (at JOANN FABRICS). It can be done. You just have to know all your personal limits, physical, mental, financial, etc. .....Pauly
  13. Show and Tell

    Show and Tell Member

    Good grief! Your trying to get out :confused: and I'm trying to get in. :eek:
  14. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    for me a custom build can take up to 100 man hours, thats designing, patterning/sculpting,dying fabric,hand sewing, and machine stitching, building arm rods,costuming ,making eyes, finding the right materials, consulting with the client back and forth, shipping prototypes for approval,

    all that not nessarily in that order, often times while i am working a day job at another design studio,
  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I never realized how much I was underselling myself. I was talking to a friend last night over milkshakes (which make me sick, but I love shakes!) and he started thinking about a friend he'd known who was marking prices up really higher than they should be so the other people could 'chew him down,' and another guy who has a list of base rates from which he won't change.

    So, it's half-n-half over those who sell on ebay if they get their money's worth or not, and those who buy from there typically are pleased with both the price and quality of the puppet.


    I sell a few puppets on ebay but DEFINATELY DO NOT get the time that I have invested in making them-the materials are covered but those are mainly Jo-Ann's sale prices and wholesale LARGE quanity prices we buy.
    The aspect that really bugs me about ebay or anywhere else is the fact that people can purchase the "manufactured" puppets at a MUCH lower price than those made with BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS(and love, in there somewhere). People just don't want to pay for quality-they want the "Wal-mart" prices. And I guess they get what they pay for but it does erk me at times. Thank you for letting me blow.
  17. Phantom

    Phantom New Member

    I've placed my first one for sale on my website which honestly only gets 9 or 10 visits a day. I figure in about three weeks, if no one has shown any intrest, I may e-bay him or donated him to my church.

    There's no way that I can charge for time invested (no puppet pedigree), but I figure I enjoy what I do so I can take some solace that I may be able to generate some income from that. (I'm getting out of debt....every little bit helps.) I think I build a really good puppet and that they have lots of character.
  18. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Well, the Audubon Society guy said he'd found a puppet builder who'll build the puppets for $125 each. I told him to "rock on!" I'd rather NOT get the money and NOT build the puppets rather than undersell myself to someone, thus causing the prices other professionals ask for to be dropped as well.

    The underselling of artwork or cartoons or puppets or costumes underminds the entire process of creativity, and also undervalues the worth of the work we entertainers put into our projects!
  19. Phantom

    Phantom New Member

    Maybe I can someday become a professional builder then price my work accordingly. It sounds like you don't approve of my undertaking, Kevin.
  20. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    You mean you're the one who got the Audubon gig when I refused to go cheap? Good for you! :) Or, that you're simply starting out inexpensively to get the much needed recognition? Nah, do it however you wish to do it. It's not for ME to approve. I'm just one person. Do what feels right to yourself, but don't de-value YOUR work or YOUR worth!!

    My lesson in underselling myself (and basically others) came from a major cartoonist here in town. I allowed free use of Muley Comix comic strips in a local publication, and then when others were trying to sell strips, they said they had a free one, why pay?

    When I realized after he explained that I wasn't just underselling myself, but decreasing the value of my craft, as well as the hard work of others, I withdrew my strip, and then offered it to them for sale. They declined. Now, there's a high-school kid doing those strips for free. Exposure ain't what it's cracked up to be, gang, so when you hear that, DON'T let it fool you. You can't feed yourself on exposure (unless your a stripper at a club).

    Anyhow, sure, start out light and easy just to get yourself known, but start kicking your prices to where they should be as time passes by.

    I am curious to see the work of the builder that the Audubon guy hired. I took actual puppets with me to the meeting to show him my work.

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