Why not let me build a model for you?
So why do you charge more for commission build models than your Ebay models?
I get this question from time to time, so I thought I’d post an answer.
I build models all the time. It’s my hobby, but it’s also a part time job, providing income for my family and I. While it is something I enjoy doing, it is something I also have to do. Selling them allows me to stay in the hobby, but also to pay some bills that otherwise might not get paid.
When I build for Ebay, I’m building what I want to, just whatever strikes me at the moment I look into my stash of kits and think “what should I build next?” And I’ve also found that if I start the bidding very high- say $100 or $150 dollars- people tend to not bid on them. When I start at my usual $50, from that point on, the market sets the price. Sometimes I’ve had a model I thought was particularly nice go for $50. Other times I’ve had models that I thought were pretty basic go for two or three times the initial asking price. And sometimes I’ve had models I thought were really nice sell for really nice prices- $175-$250+.
Whatever they go for, though, it is the buyer setting the price.
With a commission build, I set the prices based on several variables- cost of the kit, complexity, special marking or detail requests, etc. But mostly I am charging more for my time, simply put. It reflects the price I believe my model work is worth. The difference is that I am building what you, the buyer, want, not what I want. (Though I am quite happy to do it!) And I take extra steps in painting and finishing to give the best possible result.
I hope this helps give some insight to my commission build pricing.
Thanks so much for you interest and your business!
I build a lot of models, 25-30 per year. And though I build models primarily for fun, I do sell what I build. It helps pay some bills, keeps the hobby funded, and keeps my shelves free of stacks and stacks of models collecting dust.
My rates are generally affordable for most models. Each build will vary, but generally I ask for $175-$350 for a model. The cost will vary, depending on kit cost, decal cost, additional parts that may be needed, difficulty of kit, and other factors.
Please note: I do NOT build World War II German or Japanese aircraft. I would consider building them if they were in the markings of an Allied nation, such as captured examples, or post-war examples in other markings.
I make no claim to be a “pro modeler”, whatever that is. I suppose in the strictest sense, someone who does something professionally simply means they make money doing it. So in that sense, I guess I am a “professional modeler”. Most modelers who claim to be “pro modelers” do so based on their skill and awards. However, I do not enter contests, so I have no awards. And I rate myself at best an experienced modeler.
And I don’t claim “museum quality” either. I’ve been to many museums, and I’ve seen many models. Some I only wish I could do half as well. Others I’d be ashamed to put my name to. So I’ve always thought “museum quality” was at best a gimmick.
I do try to deliver a high quality, nicely built model. I focus on basic building and painting skills. I do sometimes add additional aftermarket detail at the customers request, but to keep things affordable I generally build out of the box.
If you are interested in discussing a commission build, please fill out this form to request a quote, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I ask for a 50% deposit to get started, and I invoice using Paypal. A typical build takes between two and four months, though that may vary depending on the specifics of any model. Once the model is complete, I send an invoice for the balance, and mail the model out in a sturdy, custom packed box upon receipt of the final payment.
Here are some examples of my work: