I just spent a whole day and a bit making a little doll for my bear to hold. I liked doing it but it made me think that in that time I could have, if not totally completed, made a good start on another bear.
I actually don't feel justified in charging much extra for this and I know that many artists make companions for their bears. So I wonder what other people think?
I often see folks using accessories that they have not made which is obviously less trouble...but if you spend ages making a 'friend' or a dress..or whatever... do you charge extra?
In this case I added about £15 to what I would normally charge for my bear...but if I sit and think about the time she took I think it's not worth the bother.
Got to agree with you Jenny - it's very frustrating! I always think that whenever I knit a sweater for a bear. The time and skill involved is fairly significant, but all I ever do is build the cost of the materials back into the overall bear price. That's why most of my bears aren't overly accessorised!
By all means charge more for a bear with the handmade doll! 15 pounds is probably not enough, Jenny. I am sure whoever buys it will just love the doll and will be happy to pay extra for it.
I must admit though, that is why I don't make friends for my bears, I am not at the level where lots of people want my bears yet (but someday... ) Your bears, on the other hand, sell like hotcakes so I say that you should make a companion if you think your bear needs one. I am sure the doll is beautifully made and up to your outstanding quality!
If the accessories are store bought the cost is added into your pricing, so if you're creating them yourself it should be as well. As a collector it's an added bonus to know that the accessory is just as much of an artistic one of a kind or original design as the bear itself. Your doll won't show up with any other bear out there...that's a selling point and a big collecting point. If you were to list the doll alone on ebay what would you sell it for...what are others like it being sold for? I'd start there and then, like Aerianna said, by all means expect to include that in your cost and pricing!
By the way...she was adorable! I do little "rag dolls" myself, making their dresses and all so I know the time and care that goes into it all
Just a thought... may not be a good one, I haven't done this personally so haven't put it to the test BUT...
Could you, when pricing this 'set', state something like:
"Bear: $250 Handmade doll: $75 Sold only as a set."
Somehow break the pricing down... when folks see "handmade doll" and a separate price they might better understand that they are getting TWO handmade pieces by YOU for one great price yet you will feel better knowing you are getting the money you deserve (or close to it) for the time and materials that went into that doll without seeming like you've simply overpriced the bear. Providing the price breakdown might help a customer see just how much that doll is worth, thus the price you've charged.
I've seen many artists make a small companion for their bears much as you have and yet I know they aren't charging near enough for all the time that went into that little doll or bear, etc. Jenny, as it's been said, you're bears sell like hot cakes and for excellent money and I can't imagine any of your collectors hesitating on the price if they realize you've also made the doll!!!!
Just my 2 cents... I've only been up a few minutes and haven't had coffee yet... so I might not be making any sense!
By all means, charge appropriately for the time you put in, or it may indeed not be worth the effort. When I occasionally make a handmade ornament to go with one of our bears, we factor in the cost of the ornament materials AND the time it took to make it at a rate per hour. These are special ornaments, I emphasize that they are just as one of a kind as the bear. It usually winds up adding another $100-$150 to the cost of the bear these days. The same holds true when my mother spends a long time adding clothing, something that doesn't happen often but we hope to see more of in the future. We have a bear here with a handmade cloak with handbeaded accents. Yup, the cost will be added onto the bear. A more expensive accessorized bear doesn't always sell as fast as a less-expensive bear, but sometimes it's nice to push into new frontiers a little.