JD, explained it better than I could, and I dont take offense. the problem is people wont pay for the amount of time it takes me.
For me to repaint a pf, and make it so that you cant notice the paint work it takes a serious amount of time. I have to double coat the entire area effected and then I have to do the black around it so that it dosent stick out, since black is the last coat when printing a pf. It is not east to make paint from a brush look like print. as john says, it is about average for me to spend 60-80 hours on a used pf that is not that bad.
I could make a killing doing what I call factory work that looks like shit. I could make a lot more money by not describing the flaws in a pf before I sell it even though they guy who sold it to me didnt mention them, but as john said this is what I do for a living. Before this I was running 3 business that I owned and clearing over 125k a year. all in one year I broke my back, got in some legal trouble where the gov seized every single asset and got divorced. So I had to start over, and I decided that chasing the buck was like chasing your tail. I have a MFA, even though drawing and painting is the least of my ablity, I challenged my self to see if I could be the best. I knew, I wouldnt be driving jags and vettes any more, and I would live a simple-er life. In hindsight its not much diffrent, and now I dont think I could go back, physically or mentally.
It would be so easy to make 3 times the money I make right now, but it would be factory work, and I wouldnt have the reputation, or the respect, or the friends, and it would suck. Do you know what its like to say you are an artist for a living, and you are booked a year back? Its worth a lot to me.
Like john said doing clearcoats allows pf's to come in and go out so that I can make my morg. I have put 110 hours in to a restoration before which took 2 months and when I submitted the bill for a lousey 1700 total (including materials), I got stiffed. My bank says I dont care pay me. I get this all the time people say why dont you raise your rates, why do you sell your stuff for more money. Trust me except for a couple guys, I am getting the most people will pay, they dont care how perfect it is. I focus on the perfection for my own mental health, the customers only care about the price and it is shinney. look how many people dont understand why anyone would send me a cpr pf. after all their's is "perfect".
95% of my work is reproduction pf's
This week I was clearing a mb for a customer it was a repro, and there are cracks around the special inserts on each sides drain. There are no black key lines around the inserts, the art is painted on top of the insert. the crack went thru the yellow, orange and black. Also the black was smeared, and the yellow was transparent. Typical screen flaw. Long story short, I had to repaint the entire top of the torch, all 3 colors on both sides. only one side needed the paint work enough to do it, but once I did one side, I had to do the other to balance it. Because of the way it is printed, the paint didnt look anything like the print unless I painted the entire area. Now it looks perfect like it should. that took 9 hours and I still have to tighten up the black. so how much do you think I can bill the customer to fix the hairline cracks on 2 inserts? studio time is 50 bucks an hour, which is half the price of my furnace guy. so how long will I be in business if I charged 575 for the clear 450 for the touch up, 55 for the shipping crate and 50 for the shipping. The only way I know how to fix something on a pf and the only way I want to is to make the problem unidentifiable. Its going in a mb. a game I will never afford, but work on every week. I couldnt decide weather to leave the cracks as is or do them, so I just did it, since that is why I assume people send them to me.
so I have forgotten my point, but I get the question. last time a guy didnt understand why I dont do a bunch of pf's and take them to a show and sell them all. He didnt understand that with the time involved, I have to sell a pf before it is done and I have been trying to build up stock for 11 years, and guess how many clearcoated pf's I sell at expo when I take them there? actually just guess how many pf's peroid I sold. maybe 1. maybe at expo!! every year for 5 years. People wont pay for the stuff, but the booth with the bronze cpr's will sell them all.
I probably shouldnt make my business public, but maybe it will bring some good customers. Every morning I wake up and decide if I want to continue doing this for a living. So far every day I figure its better than digging ditches