Submitted by Mick on 5/2/99. ( MicD63@aol.com )
Well guys, It happened again. I know every full timer here has experienced this before, but I believe it bears repeating in this particular forum.
Yesterday was opening day of turkey season here in New York. Of course I and my son were gone at the crack of dawn. My wife checks in a turkey for a 1/2 lifesize while we were still in the woods. Quoted the customer the usual price at $245, to which he agrees. He leaves, assuring my wife he will be back with the deposit sometime after noon. I arrive back from the hunting, and get right to work on some deer mounts. Several hours go by and still no deposit. Finally dosen't this hunter telephone me, to talk price chopping. Naturally I have to stop work to converse with him. He asks "what kind of deal can you give me?" mind you, I have never met this guy before or done any work at all for him. I tell him that I offer no deals, and have one price for everyone (of course I sometimes offer deals to "special multi repeat customers". So he tells me he had a talk with his father, who had told him of a guy that could do the same mount for $100. The SAME mount ? Somehow I highly doubt that. So I assured him that in this particular business you truely 'get what you pay for". He asks "How long would it be before he would get his mount back?" and I responded that my goal for completion would be mid - november +/- a couple weeks. He's amazed, "Why so long? This other guy told me a month, tops". I told him " There are a lot of customers mounts ahead of you, and if you take the time to check with several professionals, that 7 months is actually a pretty quick turn around for this type of mount". So he hems and haws a little more and I said "Look the bottom line is, How much does this trophy mean to YOU? "
I already knew that this was this guys first bird after 3 years, so that it likely ment something. So he finally tells me that this other guy "isen't a real taxidermist, just doing it as a hobby". Yeeeowww. Finally I just said to him "Just tell me what you'd like me to do, it dosen't matter to me. If you want this guy to do it, you're free to come back and pick it up". He says "No, I want to have you go ahead and do it, I'll be back next week with the deposit". Though I haven't met this guy face to face, the red flag went up after this conversation, typically this situation of no deposit being left at check in, followed by a phone call like this, results in a problem account. So likely, after my 30 day "grace period", I'll have a nice tom available if anyone needs it ! hahaha
Please guys & gals, find out what the pros charge in your area, then set your prices accordingly. Nothing wrong with charging a little less, but lets be reasonable. That kind of price chopping does no one any good. It's a hell of a tactic to resort to in order to pick up a little work, and you're playing a game you can't win, It will come back to haunt you
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This response submitted by Bill on 5/2/99. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
When a guy undercharges by half, he is putting himself out of business the slow way. Yeah, you might lose some mounts to him, but who cares? Those guys werent going to pay YOU anyway. When they sit and watch that bargain rot off the wall, all the while swearing that its "10 times better than that expensive so-and-so" he will finally swallow his pride and "discover" your work and tell all his friends to boot! Those other taxidermists are just the stepping stones to my studio. No arrogance here, its just how it is. Between you and me, if you want to hasten that going out of business process, refer ALL your bargain shoppers, bad checks and deadbeats to this guy, give him what he wants...your clients!!! I will say here, though, if the guy just genuinely doesnt know better, you can help him raise his prices a bit in a diplomatic manner. Otherwise...
This response submitted by Rob on 5/3/99. ( )
I know what I would do.Tell the a--h--e to come and get his bird NOW, you don't have time to do it anyway much less argue over the phone with him.Customers like that are not worth it.They will use you every chance they get If you let them.I refused a 200 dollar bass mount today because the customer could not come up with the required 25.00 leaving deposit.If he can't come up with 25 today where is he going to get the other 75 in 30 days.The newbies can have him and his fish.I don't need it or the aggravation.THe way it stands now I'm only out of about 5 minutes of time.I absolutely do not tolerate customer BS.I am frank to tell them there is plenty of other taxidermists around.I am fortunate to have my ways and be a full time taxidermist ,but before I'd change I would rather work a normal job.Maybe its because of my ways that I am full time???
This response submitted by John C on 5/3/99. ( )
Go ahead and take in the mount. Sign posted "Mount is shop property in deposit not paid within 24 hours." Then also posted "$25.00 processing fee for paper work." This will possibly stop all the dead beats. I have a number of items that I am stuck with, but so day when "when I get time, I'M gonna do them." it happens but most people will come up with the deposit.
If not send them down the road. I know one HAXIDERMIST, yes he does read this. I loaded his butt up with cheap deerheads. He still has not dug himself out. Ha his problem not mine. While I am SCUBA diving this summer guess who will be sweating his rear off working on deer!!!!
Good luck, I know its agravating but bear with it. and SMILE JC
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