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Deth Muncher
2010-11-29, 01:12 AM
Hey y'all. So, I'm a pretty amateur craftsy person - I'm a really not all that good but quasi-knowledgeable woodworker, pretty crapriffic at sketching unless it's super cartoony or stickfigures (although, as we can all see, stickfigures can still get you major success), and can't sew worth a damn - but I CAN make things out of foam and fuzzballs, and I'm moderately good at painting things (which comes from 40k). Which leads me to my point:

I'm thinking I might want to do some selling of things at some conventions in my area - one of which being an anime convention and one of which being a sci-fi convention. Now, after having attended both of these a few times, I've got a pretty good idea of what could be sellable compared with what I can make - namely, altered Nerf Guns to look like steampunk/character props and/or be modified for better usage, and Katamari balls, as well as miscellaneous props for characters.

My more specific question is - what's the work/payoff ratio for people who do A&C for conventions? I mean, I imagine if you're really good/prolific (not the best word here, but you see what I mean) - i.e. you've got a comic, do prints, etc, versus...well, me, there'd be a difference. But let's say I put in 5 hours and $20 to make 100 Katamari balls. And let's say they all sell, each at $2 a pop. Is that worth it?

I apologize if I'm not quite making sense here, as it's late, and I may edit this for clarity, but hopefully you guys can see what I'm trying to ask.

Domochevsky
2010-11-29, 04:38 AM
Well, the math here is fairly simple in that particular example. By selling all this you get $200, minus $20 for making it, meaning you earn $36 per hour, not accounting the time it takes to sell them.

That's pretty nice, so the difference here is how much you value the time at the Con itself. (And how long it is)

Deth Muncher
2010-11-29, 09:45 AM
Well, the math here is fairly simple in that particular example. By selling all this you get $200, minus $20 for making it, meaning you earn $36 per hour, not accounting the time it takes to sell them.

That's pretty nice, so the difference here is how much you value the time at the Con itself. (And how long it is)

Ah, but the time to sell is rather important. Most conventions I attend are weekend-long (Fri-Sun), with the Artist Alley/Dealer Room (depending on the size of the convention if they have the room to split you up) open roughly 10AM-8PM, with the exception of Sunday, which is 10-3. So all told, that's 25 hours for sales. Assuming that I can sell out of everything each day (the optimal scenario), let's bump up creation time to thrice as long (15 hours) as well as the initial cost (now $60), and assume a Dealer's Fee of $50. So now, that's 40 hours of work, you're out $110 dollars in setup, and the total becomes 12.25 an hour. (The equation is (A - B - C)/D, where A = total money taken in, B is the Dealer's Fee, C is the Creation Cost, and D is Time.

So while it's more than minimum wage, it's not that spiffy.

Also, that's assuming perfect sales. Let's assume I only make half. Since B, C, and D are constant, we'll do .5A, and the total then becomes $4.75 an hour - which is depressing indeed. If we go for .75A, the yield is 8.50, which isn't GREAT, but is tolerable, as it is over minumum wage (here in the States, that is, if you hadn't gleaned I live in the US yet).

EDIT - Then there's the fact that I'd probably want to actually go IN to the convention itself, which means I'd have to have a helper - while I could always get my girlfriend to help pro-bono, there's the chance I'd have to get a hired helper to cover some time - at the very least for meals.

Domochevsky
2010-11-29, 10:37 AM
Well... that doesn't sound all that good anymore, but there's the question what else you get out of visiting the con. Personal gain that isn't monetary in value, like networking with other people. (Increasing your popularity and thus the odds of selling out.) Or maybe just fun.

Deth Muncher
2010-12-01, 05:33 AM
Well... that doesn't sound all that good anymore, but there's the question what else you get out of visiting the con. Personal gain that isn't monetary in value, like networking with other people. (Increasing your popularity and thus the odds of selling out.) Or maybe just fun.

Well yes, going to the cons themselves is fun times, but I've come upon the idea of actually trying to vend at one because often times, I find myself just bouncing around the dealer/artist rooms and not going to any of the programming anyway - so why not capitalize on that, I figure?

On a crafting note: I had this idea, and I don't really know if it's feasible or not...but I'm thinking I want to carve Pokeballs out of wood. (Hey, if Kurt can do it, I can do it.) What do you guys think would be the optimal way to go about it? My original thought would be to take a chunk of wood, make a sphereoid out of it, sand it, and paint it accordingly. But THEN, I thought: What if I made a sphereoid out of it, sanded it, then chopped it in half, chiseled out the inside, put a catch at the front and a hinge in the back and actually made it open? Yes, it'd be hard as crap to do, but I feel like the effect of a Pokeball that actually opened and closed as opposed to just looking pretty would be a neat idea.

EDIT: Other time-intensive ideas I've had include modifying Nerf guns to be props from games/movies - because who wouldn't want a 40k Black Templars scoped Bolt Pistol or a Needler from Halo?

EDITEDIT: Okay, so after a few hours of research, I've deduced that carving Pokeballs either requires a lathe to get the spheres perfect, or a table saw and a lot of patience. Both of which require a fair amount of skill as well, which I lack.

Deth Muncher
2010-12-07, 01:26 AM
Okay, question to the masses: What would you pay for a Pokeball that opened and actually had storage space in it? My mother tells me that small, hand carved boxes go for like $60 USD, which I find hard to believe. Would you pay that for a re-creation Pokeball? Or, let's say it doesn't open, it's just a Pokeball carved out of wood and painted. What would you'se pay?

As another note, for those of you who DO do woodworking for a living, how do you estimate what you should be selling your things for?

Deth Muncher
2010-12-13, 01:17 AM
Hey all. Minor update: So I've found a place online that sells premade 3" wooden balls for relatively cheap - so I'm gonna get a few, sit down with my carpenter friend and see if we can't bang something out. I'll let you guys know/post pictures when it happens.

Also, a question (in case anyone will actually read this thread) - there are a few Pokeballs which have raised designs - would it be better to just paint them on, or actually make them and attach them to the ball? If so, what would be the best for this? I'm thinking GreenStuff, but I don't know how well that works with wood.

EDIT: Okay, I know people are looking at this, but not posting, so here's a question to you non-responsive masses: Do you think it would be a good idea to make keychain-sized Pokeballs, so that people could carry them as such? Or also, small cloth pouches with belt attachers so that the bigger balls could actually be carried on the belt?