Costing out the Fat Pony Resin Magnets

Fat Pony Magnets on a Postal Scale
Herds and herds of horses!

Now that I have a pile of Fat Pony magnets ready to go, it’s time to start figuring out their actual costs so I can get them properly listed in the Etsy store! 🙂

I’m planning on listing these as finished ponies, raw casts, and paint-your-own sets, so calculating costs are going to get a little complicated in terms of time and materials. *pokes maths*

I’m just a hobby and not a proper business, but I’d still like to make a few bucks ‘profit’ if I can to help pay the overhead costs that I can’t tie directly into the individual items. (Like my website hosting and promoted listings advertising and whatnot.)

Since I am never one to shy from a spreadsheet, it’s time to do battle… so Onwards!

Materials Costs

Making Fat Pony magnets requires a few things, not all of which are easy to calculate.

Use a brush to dab on the thick OOMOO 30
Purple OOMOO Goo = Lotsa Ponies!

Making the mold requires OOMOO 30, but I have no idea how many casts I can get from a mold before it goes ‘bad’ and no real idea of how much rubber I need to make the mold. A 2.8lb test size is what I normally get and that costs $27.25 with $14.35 shipping. So $41.60 total.

I’m just going to work from the estimate that I can make ten molds from a bottle ($4.16 each) and that I can get 50 ponies from the mold before I need to make another one.  So that would be a cost of $0.08 per pony to cover the mold.

Amazing Casting Resin and good cook dispenser bottles
Bottles + Resin = Win!

Right now I am using Amazing Casting Resin that I got from Michaels for $24.99. There are two bottles of 8 fl oz, so this makes (in theory) 16 oz worth of resin.

But when I’m working with the casting I use ml to measure things, not oz, so there’s a little more math to do. 1 fluid oz = 29.5735 ml (round down to 29).

So my 16oz is actually 464ml. That means the $24.99 breaks down to $0.0538577 per ml. There is always some loss when using resin, so we’ll add 10% estimated loss for now. Thus the cost is $0.06 per ml, rounded up.

Fat Ponies are roughly 11ml each, so that’s $0.66 per pony for resin costs and I can get approximately 42 ponies from a resin set. (Someday I’ll have to sit down and cast up a whole bottle’s worth and count the results to see if I’m right! 🙂 )

Tiny Fat Pony Herd
Tiny Fat Pony Herd

Resin + mold, brings us to $0.74 material costs… but we’re just getting started (alas).

I used Good Cook dispenser bottles to make pouring the liquids much much easier. That said, I go through one set of bottles for every set of resin, so that’s another cost to the pile. It’s $2.00 per set so that’s an extra $0.05 per magnet, bringing us to $0.79.

I use Pro MAG round magnets which are $6.99 for 50, or $0.14 each. So now we’re up to $0.93.

Here’s where things start to break out.

If I’m selling raw casts, the base price is $0.93.

If I’m selling prepped casts, I use Liquitex White Gesso ($14.99) or Krylon White Primer ($6.99). I’m not at all sure how many ponies I can get out of either method, so I’m going to go with $0.17 to round it out to $1.10.

Acrylic Paints, Brushes, and Sealers
Behold, the Hoard!

If I’m selling painted ponies, I use Liquitex White Gesso ($14.99), Apple Barrel ($0.99, 2oz), Craftsmart ($0.70, 2oz), FolkArt ($1.69, 2oz), and Americana ($1.19, 2oz) paints, and Liquitex Gloss Sealer ($16.99). It’s hard to really gauge how much paint or sealer is used (or how much wear on the brushes), so I’m going to go with $0.27 since that brings us up to a nice round number, $1.20.

That’s base materials cost, but there are packaging and selling fees too…

My handmade cardstock boxes are $0.30 each and while raw castings would not normally be packed in a box, the prepped and painted items would need to be.

Making a Paper Box for the Dolphin
Sittin’ Pretty

Etsy listing fees are $0.20. I normally list things on Etsy an average of four times before they sell, so until I know how popular the ponies are, I’m going with $0.80 in listing fees.

Etsy selling fees are 3.5% transaction fee and 3% and $0.20 selling fees. So base cost gets another $1 and then 6.5% of whatever I set the list price to.

Now I have the cost of the resin (and paints), the cost of the box, the listing and selling fees… time to start doing some math and figuring out good list prices! 🙂

Listing Price Square Dance

So total base price for each would be

  • Raw Cast is 0.93 (resin) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $1.93 + 6.5%
  • Prepped is $1.10 (resin and prep) + 0.30 (box) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $2.40 + 6.5%
  • Painted is $1.20 (resin and paint) + 0.30 (box) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $2.50 + 6.5%

An easy way to bring down the costs for the raw and prepped would be to sell them in sets of four. That way the listing and selling fees are split across four items instead of one.

4 Raw Casts = 3.72 (resin) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $4.72 + 6.5%

Raw casts would take very little time investment, so I would be fine selling them at $2.00 each. That would be a listing of $8.00, which means 6.5% would be $0.52 and my total out of pocket costs would be $5.24 leaving me with a profit of $2.76, before taxes, or $0.69 per horse.

4 Prepped =  4.40 (resin and prep) + 0.30 (box) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $5.70 + 6.5%

Prepping items can be time consuming, but we’ll assume for now that any hard to prep casts will be kept for full customizing and I will only be doing the easy preps here. I’d like to go with $3.50 each since at minimum wage $1.50 only buys a little less than 15 minutes of work and it take me longer than that. *sighs* That would be a listing of $14.00, which means 6.5% would be $0.91 and my total out of pocket would be $6.61 leaving me with a profit of $7.39, before taxes, or $1.8475 per horse.

1 Painted = 1.20 (resin and paint) + 0.30 (box) + 0.80 (listing fees) + 0.20 and 6% (selling fees), or $2.50 + 6.5%

I had in mind a price of $5.00 when I started this whole mess and 6.5% would be 0.325 giving me an out of pocket of $2.83 and a profit of $2.17, before taxes.

The sad part is that this is a hobby, not a proper business so I have to claim gross income and not net for the hundred or so dollars I make a year. That means the income taxes are against the full value that I’m paid and those pretty much wipe out any actual profit I make. Oh well… that’s why it’s a hobby! 😉

Sidenote: For custom orders, I can remove the multiple listing fees, so that I charge $0.20 instead of $0.80 and I can combine horses, which brings everything down a bit more… Hmm. *ponders*

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!