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How to price your puppets

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Buck-Beaver, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    A made this up after the subject of pricing things came up in a thread at Puppets & Stuff...it's an excel spreadsheet that provides a method for pricing your work. Pricing is really tricky - as I'm sure most of the people who sell puppets here know - and a lot of artists don't know how to price properly. There's a number of factors to consider, including:

    • The cost of your product or service
    • Your sales volume
    • Your competitor’s prices
    • Your company’s competitive/creative advantage
    The spreadsheet will work best for someone who's making and selling puppets on a regular basis and either it is their primary source of income or they want it to be, but it can be applied to pricing in almost any type of business. Here's the instructions for using it:

    Step #1 - Calculate Your Fixed Expenses

    Fixed expenses are expenses you pay no matter how much you sell. Examples would be:

    • Telephone/cell phone (if it's for business only)
    • Office supplies
    • Web Hosting fees
    • Insurance
    • Anything else I've missed
    You should also include in your fixed expenses a salary for yourself - what you pay yourself should not come from your profit (more on that below). You should determine a realistic salary that you would like to earn every month.

    Once you add up your fixed expenses next you have to figure out how many products (puppets, workshops, or whatever) you can realistically do in a month. Then divide your total fixed expenses by the number of products you can produce in a month. The result is your fixed expense per puppet sold.

    Step #2 - Determine Your Variable Expenses

    Variable expenses include anything you pay per puppet you sell (foam, eyes, etc.). Don't include shipping costs because they should be added on top of your selling price. Add up your variable expenses for one puppet and add them to the fixed expense per item sold. The sum is your True Cost.

    *Once you calculate your true cost, you can't sell your puppets for any less than this amount...otherwise you loose money every time you sell something!

    Step #3 - Determine Your Selling Price

    Once you know how much each item you sell costs (your True Cost), you can determine your actual selling price. Basically, you have to decide how much of a profit margin you want. For example, in the spreadsheet the true cost of each puppet is about $585. If I wanted a profit margin of 10% then my selling price for each puppet would be about $645 and I'd make about $58.50 in pure profit after every puppet sold. That doesn't sound like a lot, but remember I've already calculated a monthly salary for myself as part of my monthly expenses.

    The puppet price in the spreadsheet varies according to the profit margin you enter.

    Calculating your profit margin is more art than science and it usually takes some time and experimenting to decide what will work for you. The really important thing financially is that your profit either goes in the bank to be saved or gets re-invested in the business, make your salary one of your expenses!

    The spreadsheet is for excel and compressed in a .zip file. Thanks to Shawn over at Puppets and Stuff for hosting it! Please let me know if anyone has any questions.

    Andrew's Puppet Price Calculator (.zip file)
  2. Jivepuppet

    Jivepuppet Member

    Once again Buck hooks us all up with awesome info.
    Round of applause for you, bro!
  3. hennesprod

    hennesprod New Member

    Very nice! Thanks for the tool Andrew!

    Also, there is another factor....vendors or distributers. For example, someone wnats to sell your puppets on there site for a price or percentage. What is that percentage? I am learning this thru some other products that I am creating. So lets say you want $400 per item to cover costs and profit. The vendor want 20% of the sell price. Here is where it gets fun, they are either going to have to raise the price per unit, or you are going to have dig into you profits to pay the vendor the 20%. Make sense? So, bottom line give yourself some room to move...... Plan ahead.


  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    That's a good point...the spreadsheet is intended to calculate your sale price, irregardless of whether you sell wholesale or retail so you need to add an extra % if you are selling through wholesalers or distributors.
  5. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    If you're referring to the figures in the spreadsheet, they're just more or less made up to serve as an example. The pricing method is the same no matter what kind of puppets you're selling, but it's more realevent to people building or selling puppets full-time (or those that want to) because someone who is a hobbyist or builds puppets in addition to a "day job" has another primary source of income and different economics are involved.

    Personally, I don't like the term "Professional Puppet" because I don't think it means anything (for anyone interested, I wrote up some thoughts about that awhile ago).
  6. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    Yeah, but for those selling on eBay, it's helpful to use "professional puppet" in your title because the audience your targeting (and hoping to entice) will use those terms when doing a search. ;)

    Oh..... did I muffin the thread? :halo:
  7. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    It would be interesting to see if that's true and the % of people searching for puppets on ebay who use the term. When I have time over the next day or two I think I'm going to check the keyword stats for "professional puppet".
  8. rtgentry

    rtgentry Member

    These are the term I search for:

    mup* puppet*
    Pro* puppet*

    That seems to bring up all and any "pro Puppets"
  9. Puppetplanet

    Puppetplanet Member

    I would be curious to hear about your findings. I hope you'll share. :D

    I also use "Pro Puppet" in my titles when selling on eBay as well.


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