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Old 04-07-2015, 01:26 PM
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hurricane7 hurricane7 is offline
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Question Going Rate?...

This is aimed mainly at the custom disc dyers, but anyone is welcome to comment.

I have been dyeing discs for about a year and a half now, and I am starting to get more and more commissioned dye requests. When I started dyeing discs, it was purely as a hobby. A way to have unique and personalized discs in my bag, and some for friends. As time went on, and people started showing an interest in having me dye discs for them, I would "charge" them a new premium plastic disc for doing one. Basically, send me two discs, and you'll get one back with your custom dye job on it. It was a great way for me to keep learning to dye, and a great way for me to try new molds.

I've reached a point now, where I don't really need any more discs, and I'm trying to figure out what a fair price would be to get for a commissioned custom dye job. I know each job is different, and I know that unless it is the most basic of jobs, there's no real "money" in it for me. (For example, I paint custom racing helmets, and they start around $500 for about the same time I could spend on a disc!) I'm just trying to balance what would be a fair rate for both me, and the customer. I've never had anyone dye a disc for me, and have never really asked what people charge before.

A big help would be for you custom dyers to post a photo of jobs you've done, and how much you charged for the job, that is, if you would be comfortable posting something like that. If you'd rather send me a PM, that would be cool too.

Thanks in advance, and as always... Peace!
-Jeff
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2015, 01:46 PM
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DatRedDude DatRedDude is offline
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Put them on ebay and let the market dictate how much they should go for.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:58 PM
Tjamesd Tjamesd is offline
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Start at what you think is fair. If you're getting too many requests, charge more, if no one is showing interest, charge less. It's not like you're setting one fixed price and have no way of changing it...

Edit: I do dye, but not a ton, nothing very technical. But if I had a very detailed/technical request of a dye job I wanted bad enough, I would pay more than 15, but less than 25 for the actual dying process (not including price of the disc).
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:41 PM
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BennettUA BennettUA is offline
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I realllllly like the idea of charging $500 like you do for your helmets, because it takes the same amount of time!

The biggest force keeping dyers from charging an honest price for time and work is the cost of a disc itself. You could dye the Mona Lisa on a disc, and people will still say it's only a $16 piece of plastic and only pay so much.

I know I vastly undercharge for dye work. The amount of time to design a cutable file in Illustrator(contrary to popular belief, you can't just take a jpeg and turn it into a cut file with a magic word) would price most people out if I charged minimum wage. Then there's the cutting/weeding/masking/set-up/break-down/cleaning. Then there's the cost of materials --- vinyl, plotter, software(yes, I pay for good cutting software), transfer tape, pans, containers, the dye itself, paper towels, water, cleaners, acetone, etc.

In the end, to give you an answer to the original question, I usually charge $8 to $20 depending on the number of remasks and work required including design time. I always charge for Priority shipping so the disc is insured and has a tracking number, I won't ship without it.

Even on the high end of my pricing at $20, it doesn't come CLOSE to what it's worth as far as time and effort required to do the work and do it right. I now only do them to really fill time and keep friends happy. I do still dye for people on here often, but I won't tackle the 8-color jobs, it's just not worth the time and effort, I can't charge what it's worth of my free time, and for what I WOULD charge, you can get a DyeMax done. I hate telling people that, but I wouldn't spend 10 hours doing anything else for 2 bucks an hour, so why would I for dyeing?
Hope that helps; it's an imperfect system because as you said every dye and design is different, but that's a rough estimate and explanation.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:04 PM
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goosefraba1 goosefraba1 is offline
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Wow... great post Bennet.

For awhile, I was charging $5 a disc. Now, I just do it occasionally in the VIP forums in exchange for a disc. I have less time now than I once did unfortunately... and my spare time is now more valuable than it used to... so now this is even more of a hobby than it used to be.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:48 AM
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roggenb3 roggenb3 is offline
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To Bennett's point, I tried crunching numbers once to figure out how many discs someone would have to be able to do in a day to make a decent living selling them for $30 each, and it's completely insane.

I still have not charged for any dyes I have done. Mainly because all the ones I have done that weren't for me were for friends, and the time spent on them would likely have been spent dyeing anyway. I always tell them that letting me dye their discs is payment enough because it keeps me from buying more discs to satisfy my addiction.

Personally, I would pay upwards of $50 for a dye if it was nice enough.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:23 AM
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simpletwist simpletwist is offline
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I have commissioned a few custom dyes. Here's another example of the passion we have for the game. I am well aware that like any other disc golf vocation you aren't going to get rich dying discs. My hat's off to anyone taking on anything that enhances my enjoyment of the game.

To the OP's ? I recently paid $35 for a 3 color dye that included a glow disc and shipping. And I am commissioning 3 more where I supply the discs. The cost is $20 per disc. None of these dyes requires more than 3 colors.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:36 AM
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Chromezero Chromezero is offline
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While I'm not in the business of selling dyes, I find it hard to believe that anyone is really making any profit doing dyes by hand. Some of the dyes I've seen you guys do should be worth well over $500, based on the time invested and the shear talent I've seen here. Unfortunately, I think very few people in this community would actually pay that much for a dye.
Honestly, I think anything over $50 is going to be tough to sell. So, I would figure what your time is worth to you and calculate what your maximum allowable time investment will be. If you want to make $20 an hour, that limits you to 2.5 hours of work per disc. If it takes you longer then that, you're losing money. Conversely, if it takes you 1 hour to do the dye then you could charge $20.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:18 PM
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hurricane7 hurricane7 is offline
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Man! Thanks for all the replies everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BennettUA View Post
I realllllly like the idea of charging $500 like you do for your helmets, because it takes the same amount of time!

The biggest force keeping dyers from charging an honest price for time and work is the cost of a disc itself. You could dye the Mona Lisa on a disc, and people will still say it's only a $16 piece of plastic and only pay so much.

Yeah, that's a big part of it. For the most part, this is a "cheap" sport, and I'd have to say that the majority of people that play it are also on the "cheap" side of the scale (myself included), and I have certainly accepted that fact. Conversely, many of the people I paint helmets for own collections of rare vintage race cars, and are on the other side of that scale. When it comes down to it, you know what jobs I'll be taking. Still, the Mona Lisa had to fetch more than the worth of it's canvas!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BennettUA View Post
I know I vastly undercharge for dye work. The amount of time to design a cutable file in Illustrator(contrary to popular belief, you can't just take a jpeg and turn it into a cut file with a magic word) would price most people out if I charged minimum wage. Then there's the cutting/weeding/masking/set-up/break-down/cleaning. Then there's the cost of materials --- vinyl, plotter, software(yes, I pay for good cutting software), transfer tape, pans, containers, the dye itself, paper towels, water, cleaners, acetone, etc.

You just about nailed it all right there! If you count all of that up, it's a wonder why any of us would do it! I was lucky enough to get a very serious (but old) plotter/printer from a friend for nothing! It does a great job, will cut 24" rolls, and print CMYK on vinyl! Got lucky!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BennettUA View Post
In the end, to give you an answer to the original question, I usually charge $8 to $20 depending on the number of remasks and work required including design time. I always charge for Priority shipping so the disc is insured and has a tracking number, I won't ship without it.

Even on the high end of my pricing at $20, it doesn't come CLOSE to what it's worth as far as time and effort required to do the work and do it right. I now only do them to really fill time and keep friends happy. I do still dye for people on here often, but I won't tackle the 8-color jobs, it's just not worth the time and effort, I can't charge what it's worth of my free time, and for what I WOULD charge, you can get a DyeMax done. I hate telling people that, but I wouldn't spend 10 hours doing anything else for 2 bucks an hour, so why would I for dyeing?
Hope that helps; it's an imperfect system because as you said every dye and design is different, but that's a rough estimate and explanation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goosefraba1 View Post
Wow... great post Bennet.

Thanks for all your insight, Bennett! I was secretly hoping you would be one to chime in on this!


Quote:
Originally Posted by goosefraba1 View Post
For awhile, I was charging $5 a disc. Now, I just do it occasionally in the VIP forums in exchange for a disc. I have less time now than I once did unfortunately... and my spare time is now more valuable than it used to... so now this is even more of a hobby than it used to be.

This is the main reason for my OP. TIME! With a family, home, full time job, side jobs and all the other stuff in life, I want to find a balance that allows me to continue doing it as a hobby. I know it will never be a money maker, but there is still a challenge, experience, or the look on someone's face when they get their disc that makes it rewarding for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromezero View Post
While I'm not in the business of selling dyes, I find it hard to believe that anyone is really making any profit doing dyes by hand. Some of the dyes I've seen you guys do should be worth well over $500, based on the time invested and the shear talent I've seen here. Unfortunately, I think very few people in this community would actually pay that much for a dye.
Honestly, I think anything over $50 is going to be tough to sell. So, I would figure what your time is worth to you and calculate what your maximum allowable time investment will be. If you want to make $20 an hour, that limits you to 2.5 hours of work per disc. If it takes you longer then that, you're losing money. Conversely, if it takes you 1 hour to do the dye then you could charge $20.
I've probably got an hour into each dye job before any dye hits the plastic!


Again, Thanks everyone for chiming in on this! It's people like you guys that make this forum so great!

Peace,
-Jeff
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2015, 08:37 PM
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Puckstopper Puckstopper is offline
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Jeff,

I'm nowhere near your level of skill and patience (based on your avatar), or that of Bennett, Goose, Dyeing to Play, Dan Howard, or many of the other absurdly patient and talented dyers on this site (sorry to anyone I didn't name by name, no disrespect intended). I would never do even the simple, lower quality dyes I am capable of for money. I don't spend nearly as long as you guys, and I'd feel cheated, and get even more frustrated than I already get with how cheap disc golfers are. $20 is nowhere near fair compensation for many of the masterpieces I see in the dye of the day and competition threads.

My take: Charge what you think is fair, and let people take it or leave it. If no one wants to pay what your time is worth you'll still have the best looking bag on the course, and your friends can still count on the occasional sweet gift.
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