Advantages to Fees

  • Fees can ensure that you make money regardless of whether the items sell or not, letting you take more risks with the kinds of clients you take on.

  • Fees guarantee you a certain profit threshold even when the item’s final sale price is low.
  • Compared to commission, they provide a steady and easy to predict income.
  • A flat fee for the job or hourly fee can mean higher profits than tying your fate to the final sale price of your items.

Disadvantages to Fees

  • Fees can be a client turn-off. Even the word “fee” itself is loaded and, psychologically, it’s often thought of as a penalty. Clients may balk at the flat costs or suffer from sticker shock seeing everything totaled in front of them when they’d likely be perfectly happy to pay more than that if the costs were spread out as lots of small commissions.
  • Setting realistic and profitable fee prices can be difficult, especially when starting out. It’s very easy to underestimate how much to charge, but high fees will immediately scare clients away.
  • Your profit remains the same no matter what you’re selling or how it sells. For instance, you might make the same $5 per item fee on a Barbie outfit that sold for $1.50 as you do on the designer luggage set that sold for $4,000.

The key to fees is predictability. It’s the assurance that you’ll always make something for your work. It’s just making sure that what you make is worth the money and that your rates are something the client will agree to, and that’s the real challenge.