In the past, I’ve received many inquiries about how much I would charge to make a cosplay. But sadly, once I quoted the price, the transaction didn’t go any further. I questioned myself: Did I really quote too much? Should I quote lower, just to get the commission?
My most recent commission and most recent inquiry was for the waistcoat of Jacob Frye. I quoted a price which sounded quite reasonable, all the while keeping a bit of profit for myself. Once I was done making the cosplay, I made the breakdown of the costs and the time I spent on it, and I realised I was still selling myself short. So how much did it all cost me? Let’s have a look at the materials first…
Alright, this isn’t too bad. I could have probably found a cheaper fabric online, but once you add shipping to it, the costs end up being all the same. It had the colour and the weight/drape I needed, sturdy enough to hold the fabric paint and yet having a rich feel to it. All other materials were bought using my judgement on what would be the best quality/price ratio.
Where it gets worse is when I started to calculate the time…
And to be honest, €10/hour is very close to minimum wage. Please note: I understand this hourly rate is way too low, but this is also the purpose of this demonstration: that even by putting a low hourly rate, I still end up not making up for the time spent on the costume.
What’s the grand total? Something between €144.93 and €164.93, I am actually pretty bad with calculations. There isn’t a single euro of profit for me in the end.
I’m not writing this to make my clients feel bad about the price I’ve asked them! I’m just writing this to make everyone realise that no, we can’t make you a full Cinderella costume for 50$. Or a cosplay of Ezio for €100-150, “depending on the amount of details you want on it” (as I’ve seen in a comment somewhere…)
What you are buying from us is more than the costs of materials, it’s the costs of labour. Making a costume may be a labour of love (yes, we do love making costumes!) but it is skilled work, and skilled work needs to be paid accordingly.