Custom Question

Hi ladies and gentlemen,
I know many of you do customs…I have a question about pricing your custom orders. A customer who previously bought a doll from me decided on getting another one. She would like a custom girl this time. I would like to create a set rule that I use for my future customs so that every customer is treated fairly and I make some profit. What is your system for pricing custom doll before it is completed? How do your payments work? Do you take deposits? Also, if you have any tips for me then I would really appreciate them. This will be the first time I will do customs. I hope it will all go well. :grinning:
I will also add that I make very high quality, expensive dolls from quite expensive sculpts if this information is needed for your response.
Thanks a lot!

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When I used to do customs I always took a non-refundable deposit that covered the cost of the kit, shipping to me and the supplies it took to make it; especially with a high end kit - I didnt want to get stuck with the cost of the kit if they backed out. If I was painting a BB kit I took a non-refundable deposit of around $100-150. Prior to doing this I had too many flakey customers who wanted the kit right up until the end and then an unexpected life expense came up and they could no longer afford the reborn - often after hours of work went into it. Taking that deposit really weeded out the serious from the non-serious buyers.
Calculate up the expenses of all the supplies and your time and charge accordingly. A BB baby, more often than not, will cost less than a kit that cost you $150 blank. Also, sparse hair will cost less than a fully rooted - both in mohair and your time. Only you can decide what you would charge for a custom. I also offered different box opening prices. If they wanted a standard box opening (blanket, brush, pacifier, 2 outfits) it would be included in the price. If they wanted anything more extravagant I would charge accordingly for that as well.

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When I do customs I charge enough of a non refundable deposit to cover the kit and cost of all supplies-kit, body, eyes, hair, paint, glass beads, polyfill and clothes. If the customer buys the kit and has it shipped to me, I deduct that much from the deposit. For my customs, the customer chooses gender, skin tone, eye color and hair color. I will add a birthmark, mole in a certain spot, etc. The rest is up to me. For this reason, I charge what I do for my regular babies. I send a photo of the finished doll prior to shipping. I don’t send multiple WIP pictures because they can be problematic. People who don’t know the process can’t envision the finished product and want to keep changing things. Some people are not reasonable and want WIP pictures of just about every layer. I do stay in touch by email so they know I’m working on it. When the baby is done, I let them know and send a picture and an invoice. If you want to do payment plans, it’s totally up to you how many payments you want to break it down to. For me, that depends on the customer and the cost of the doll. Sometimes it’s 3 payments, sometimes more.

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A lot of people have stopped doing ‘customs’ cause they can be very problematic. I would do what Jeanhai suggests: let the customer pick the gender, skin tone, eye color and hair color and leave the artistic license up to you. I think that would cause a lot less problems and I also agree with her about NOT sending constant WIP pictures. In the end, they either Want the baby or they Don’t. Pricing is up to you but if you just let them pick the above listed aspects of the baby, you should be able to sell it at a more reasonable price and hence get yourself More sales!!

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