How Much Does a Mannequin Cost?

Last Updated on January 20, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Mannequins play a vital role in the retail and fashion industries. They allow stores to showcase clothing, accessories, and other merchandise in an eye-catching and appealing way.

With the right mannequins, retailers can draw customers in, boost sales, and create an immersive brand experience. But how much should you expect to pay for store mannequins? This guide will break down the costs associated with buying retail display mannequins.

The price of a mannequin can range quite a bit based on the materials, quality, size, and customization options. On average, basic mannequins cost between $100 and $300.

More detailed, specialty mannequins are priced at $300 to $700. And for high-end, customized mannequin forms, expect to pay $700 to $1,500 or even more. Generally speaking, full-body mannequins are more expensive than just a torso form or dress form.

Comparing off-the-shelf mannequins with custom-designed forms is one way to understand the cost difference. Standard mannequins ordered in bulk from a supplier provide an affordable option starting at around $100 each.

But custom-made mannequins tailored to your specific needs allow for more creativity and precision in display design, albeit at a higher cost of $500 or more per form.

How Much Does a Mannequin Cost?

Several factors influence the cost of a mannequin, including the materials used and the amount of detailing. Here’s an overview of some of the most common mannequin types and their average price range:

Full-Body Mannequins

These life-size forms display clothing from head to toe. A standard full-body mannequin costs $150 to $400. Higher-end versions with detachable parts or specialty designs run $500 to $1,500+.

Torso Forms

Only showing the top half of a body, torso forms are simpler and thus more affordable at $100 to $300.

Child Mannequins

Sized for children’s clothing, these petite mannequins range from $100 to $300 as well.

Plus-Size Mannequins

With more material used, plus-size mannequin forms tend to run $100 to $200 more than standard sizes.

Dress Forms

Used for draping fabric while making clothes, adjustable dress forms cost $200 to $500.

Display Heads

Just a mannequin head and neck for displaying hats, wigs, and accessories generally costs $50 to $150.

Abstract Mannequins

Artistic, minimalist forms appeal to avant-garde designers but cost more, from $300 to $1,000.

MannequinMall.com notes that a mannequin price can range anywhere from $200 to upwards of $1,000. The price depends largely on the material used to make them, but also on the realism of its construction.

According to BargainStoreEquipment.com, a typical full body mannequin will cost an average of $149, with prices ranging from $142–$156. A male or female mannequin torso will cost an average of $89, with a range of prices from $68-$110.

MannequinMadness.com writes that prices for used mannequin parts range from $20 to $40, with various parts such as cosmetology heads, legs, torsos, arms, and hands available.

What Factors Impact the Cost of Mannequins?

Many variables influence the costs of retail display mannequins. Some key factors include:

  • Materials – Mannequins can be made from materials like plastic, foam, metal, glass, and wood. Plastic is generally the most affordable at around $100 to $300. High-end glass or crystal mannequins can cost over $1,500.
  • Level of Detail – More detailed mannequins with molded hair, faces, and individually applied nails raise the price. Simple generic forms are cheaper.
  • Size – Plus-size and larger mannequins require more materials, increasing costs. Petite mannequins are generally less expensive.
  • Adjustability – Forms with detachable parts, poseable joints, and flexibility for dressing cost more than fixed mannequins.
  • Base Included? – Forms displayed on a secure base or stand tend to cost more than just the form alone.
  • Shipping Expenses – For large, heavy, fragile mannequins, shipping costs also add to the price.
  • Order Volume – Buying mannequins in bulk brings down the per-unit price through wholesale discounts.
  • Custom Features – Any unique sizing, detailing, materials, or designs call for a custom mannequin, increasing the price.

Are Expensive Mannequins Worth the Investment?

Lifelike MannequinThe upfront cost of top-quality retail display mannequins certainly gives some stores pause. But there are compelling benefits that can provide a good return on investment:

  • Increased Sales – Eye-catching, lifelike mannequins pique shopper interest and translate to more merchandise sold.
  • Brand Building – Custom mannequins aligned with brand image help create an immersive, memorable experience.
  • Longevity – More durable materials like fiberglass hold up well over years of use and re-dressing.
  • Easy Dressing – Adjustable forms save labor time spent dressing stiff fixed mannequins.
  • Consistency – Maintaining visual merchandising standards across stores with custom-branded mannequins.
  • Creativity – Unique mannequin forms allow for innovative, outside-the-box presentation of fashions.

You might also like our articles about the cost of ivory, pant alterations, or peacock feathers.

For stores investing heavily in their physical space and retail experience, the benefits of quality mannequins often outweigh the higher costs.

Tips for Getting Mannequins Affordably

For retailers on a tight budget, here are some tips to obtain quality display mannequins without breaking the bank:

  • Buy in bulk quantity for wholesale tier pricing. The more you buy, the lower the per-unit cost.
  • Consider renting mannequins as needed for temporary displays rather than purchasing them.
  • Shop discount and wholesale retailers like Costco or Amazon for deals on mannequins.
  • Look at used mannequins from store closings and second-hand resellers. Refinish and repair to save.
  • Repurpose other doll-type forms like artist models or tailoring dummies as makeshift mannequins.
  • Use placeholder objects like stacks of clothing or empty boxes when lacking proper forms.
  • For semi-permanent displays, cardboard or vacuum-formed plastic cutouts can mimic mannequins at very low costs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Mannequin Pricing:

How can I get free mannequins?

Retailers sometimes give away old display mannequins when updating to new designs or closing stores. You may be able to obtain free mannequins by contacting local fashion boutiques, department stores, or mall retailers to ask about available forms.

What can I use instead of a mannequin?

For DIY options without buying a full mannequin form, alternatives include dressmaker duct tape body forms, wire humanoid sculptures, upcycled lamp bases or vases, clothing racks draped in fabric, vacuum-sealed plastic shapes, or creative use of existing furnishings to mimic bodies.

What is a ghost mannequin?

A “ghost mannequin” refers to a photo technique using invisible dress forms to showcase clothing for e-commerce sites. The process involves clipping off the mannequin shape in photo editing software so just the floating product remains against a white background. This creates a clean, minimalist visual style.

Final Words on Mannequin Costs

When it comes to mannequins for retail displays, there’s no one-price-fits-all answer. Much depends on your budget, branding needs, and presentation goals.

Full-body mannequins tend to range from $100 for hollow plastic forms up to $1,500 or more for complex couture-quality forms. Torso forms and dress forms offer simpler and cheaper options starting around $100 as well.

With some savvy sourcing, discounts, and budget DIY alternatives, retailers can strike the right balance between mannequin quality and affordability.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *