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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » Charging??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

musicgutbucket
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South east UK
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I've not done too many engagements doing balloons. I don't think working fo tips would work were I work. So what is the rough going rate for balloon models. I kind of do hats mostly.
Perry D Winkle
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Bucket,

This depends largely on where you are located and what people are buying. What I mean is, while the local inflation will play a part, you need to remember that what you are worth is largely dependent on your personality. People like that patter when you are twisting. When you twist for an event, I would start asking 30/hr if you are passable and just starting out.

This is what I plan to do. That said, I know a clown that gets 250 for a childs party. Of course, that's a lot more than just balloon work.
Skip Way
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Thirty dollars/Twenty Euro an hour? Have you priced balloons lately? Determine what it's worth to you to provide your service with an image. Look at your costs and what your time is worth to you. Consider the level of balloon work you've reached and it's overall "Ooooo" factor. Are your sculptures the same ol' simple thing everyone does or are they works that will make people say "Oooo, I have to get one of those" as they see them carried down the street? The greater the "Oooo" factor the higher your fee should be.

Make it fun! If you're a guy who stands in one spot and simply cranks out balloon after balloon you'll earn far less than the guy who takes those balloons and presents a fun & lively Show! Develop a colorful performance character or personality that enhances your balloon repertoire. Engage the crowd. Make it interactive.

If you enhance your sculpting with a fun & interactive show you should be able to charge at least as much as your area's comparable clown, puppet and party magician counterparts. The best show attracts the dough!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Perry D Winkle
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Quote:
On 2008-06-26 09:08, Skip Way wrote:
Thirty dollars/Twenty Euro an hour? Have you priced balloons lately? Determine what it's worth to you to provide your service with an image. Look at your costs and what your time is worth to you. Consider the level of balloon work you've reached and it's overall "Ooooo" factor. Are your sculptures the same ol' simple thing everyone does or are they works that will make people say "Oooo, I have to get one of those" as they see them carried down the street? The greater the "Oooo" factor the higher your fee should be.

Make it fun! If you're a guy who stands in one spot and simply cranks out balloon after balloon you'll earn far less than the guy who takes those balloons and presents a fun & lively Show! Develop a colorful performance character or personality that enhances your balloon repertoire. Engage the crowd. Make it interactive.

If you enhance your sculpting with a fun & interactive show you should be able to charge at least as much as your area's comparable clown, puppet and party magician counterparts. The best show attracts the dough!


Skip, it would be good if I could price this more accurately. I'm located in Ky, and as you can imagine we are not exactly at the top of the US economy. An economy that isn't exactly 'Abloom' at the moment anyway. As I've stated, I intend to charge 30-35/hr as I'm starting out. As I improve and demand for me increases, I will adjust this cost. This is only something that I'm doing on the side right now, and I am doing something that is out of my primary field (which is a reward in itself).

Going off of this posters other comments, it sounds like he is also just starting out. I shared my plan, right or wrong. I'm going to charge as little as possible and have a good time. that's a good way to drum up business. And because I'm only doing this part time, I need people asking for me.
Skip Way
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Perry, sorry if I came off as though I was judging you or finding fault with your advice. Certainly didn't mean to and apologies are due to you if I did.

I certainly understand where you're coming from. That said, I can blow through a bag or two of balloons in an hour and with the cost of 5" imprints and hearts...not to mention 160's and 260's...$30 an hour leaves you little more than $10.00 - $15.00 or so for your trouble. Even as a beginner, you should charge what you feel your skills and abilities are worth.

Still if this works for you then you're right where you need to be for the moment. Good luck with your growth as a twister and a performer.

:) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Perry D Winkle
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Quote:
On 2008-06-26 19:09, Skip Way wrote:
Perry, sorry if I came off as though I was judging you or finding fault with your advice.


Not at all Skip, I came here for advice. I just saw the date on this post and figured I would throw in what I had. I apologize if I made it sound like there isn't money in twisting. I know that there is. Plus, I made a poor generalization. I'm thinking only in the context of small groups of people rather than large functions. And as you pointed out, if you are tearing through bags of balloons your going to have to be compensated.

I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Thanks for the help,
D
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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While I can't tell a beginner what they should charge, I charge $200 per hour for strolling balloon twisting, when ADDED-ON to a magic show booking. They can also add-on a half hour for $125. Last year, the rates were $100 / $175.

This is for festivals, events, parties, etc.

These rates are CAN, but relatively comparable to the US dollar.

And note, I don't really do fancy sculptures. I know some hats and some basic one balloon creations, and I'm using 260s only. I can crank out about 100 balloons in an hour (less people get balloons if I'm making multi-balloon hats).

- Donald

P.S. This is different from what I charge for birthday shows. My show for this customer is a combination of magic show and balloon souvenirs.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
iwillfoolu
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Upstate NY, USA
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I assume you have: balloons, an apron and a pump.

Are you hoping to turn this into a extra income source? If so, you HAVE to treat your business like a business (not my saying). Start at the beginning:

Profit=Income-Expenses

For a single one hour gig you should EXPECT to spend:
Gas $5
Balloons $10
Mailers $5
Food $10

I don't want to tell people what to charge, but I don't even think $30 per hour covers expenses. This is not to mention the depreciation/wear and tear on your car, balloon apron, costume, and pump. Also, this only covers about a 30-50 mile radius around your location. So you're looking at a small chunk just to cover expenses. I haven't even mentioned rent, electric, insurance etc. Oh yeah and Uncle Sam gets 17.8%.

I think a rock bottom number would be $50 for one hour. But that's if they only hire you for an hour. Obviously, it is much better to get a 3 hour gig. You would only have to spend more money on balloons. There are some performers who charge $XXX for up to 3 hours. Might be something to consider, especially in a "depressed" market. (The quotes are because I am having my best year ever). The customer would get a better hourly rate and you would get more experience.

If you are just beginning, you want to make sure you are worth what you are charging. When I started (14 years ago and a different economy), I charged $40 for my first half hour birthday party. The customer seemed happy so I charged more for the next one, and more for the next one. I raised my price until someone didn't hire me when they heard the price. I'm not saying I was doing 12 shows a month, far from it, I only did one or two shows a month. But the customer was happy with what I was charging and so was I. I had to break through a mental barrier at one point. I felt bad that I was charging for 1 hour what some people get paid for a full 8 hour day. Now I realize that I am working close to a 4 hour day just to do a 1 hour gig (mailers, ordering/perparing balloons/loading apron, driving, performing, driving back).

Charge what you think is fair, but remember if your business doesn't make money, then it's not going to be a business long.

Joey
Magician and Balloon Twister
New York Magicians
Magician New York
Lew Stricker
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Canada
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Another thing to consider when pricing yourself is how they want you to perform. Many times you are hired to do balloons but they also want you dressed as a clown. Remember that getting into makeup and costume adds time to your job. Add in the time it takes to drive to and from the gig and a one hour gig could really be a 4 or 5 hour gig. Charge accordingly. If you're going out for a one hour job at $50.00 and your prep and travelling time is 5 hours, you're making $10.00 an hour.
jakeg
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Because I'm hired to entertain, it doesn't matter what method I use to do it, balloons, magic, or a combination of both. 45 minutes is 45 minutes. The price only varies with the venue and driving time.
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