I have been taking a straight $100 bucks for deposit but this is close to the time of year I make any business changes. I wont do 50% down as I never know how long a fish is untill I do my billing(one of the last processes) THANKS!
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don't you measure the fish when it comes in and get 50%
I take them in, measure, give them a quote based on length, and ask for 50% down and the rest when they pick it up.
Most of the fish I take in are frozen. But I still get 50 percent with very very few exceptions. I get a rough estimate on the length and adjust accordingly once it's thawed.
I measure and weigh all fish in front of the customer and record measurements on the work order so it can be signed by customer. If the fish is wrapped in a towel or such, I get the measurements as close as possible and the weight of the wrapping and fish. After having to make an 8 lb bass out of a 6 pounder I learned my lesson. Funny how I no longer get weight arguements when I weight their fish on two scales while they are standing there.I try to get the length as close as possible and then get 50% deposit on that length with the understanding that the length MAY be shorter or longer when it is thawed and unwrapped.
...Same deal. It doesn't need to be exactly 50%, but close. Some folks ask for 75% down or all of it too. All you're trying to do with the deposit is to cover your butt if they decide they now don't want to do the mount. I've yet to have a customer change their mind with that much money down.
I do a final measurement after thawing prior to working on them to make sure the customer has the same length. If there's any discrepancies, I take a digital picture or two if we're off only by an inch or so (along with their packaging in the photo as well). With their fish on the counter with the tape measure also in the pic. IF the fish is off by much more than that I call the customer prior to doing any work. I don't even own a scale so that point is moot. They can weigh their completed mount if they wish, but that 20 pound Pike is now about 4 pounds! So I'm not sure why weighing it is important. But, the length definitely needs to be close...
I think for me it would be best to even it out to $200 on larger fish and leave it at 100 for the small stuff. I am not good at math. Never was. Too much time spent in the art dept. I guess. This would ease my billing procedure also, as I know it's one or the other. Cecil is right , 99% of my fish are frozen, bent, double wrapped in towels and who knows what else. Even had one wrapped in some victories secret junk one time, hahaha. Anyway....I may not open that fish for months if I am into another phase, so measuring is not the way I prefer to go. THANKS AGAIN!
I also get 50% down on the fish but I require that any extravagent habitat is paid in full at the time of the deposit.(CYA) People who can afford the "extras" don't usually sweat the extra upon drop off. Peace. Jeff F.
marc i'd take a math class! seriously though, get whatever makes you, your business, and your customer comfortable. hey marc, are you the same gentleman who posted the "who knows this person" column on 7/19/00. i came across it in the archives and it caught my attention. if you are the same person, that was one of the most well worded replys i've read or heard. to set someone straight and yet give him praise and defuse the situation all at the same time was classic!if it was you ya oughta run for office!
I thaw and measure length on all fish at the time I receive them. I have found that my customers are wrong about half the time. I note flaws and repair charges, determin best side, usually pattern and then re-wrap for storage in the freezer or the frig until I get time to skin. If the customer is present and it hasn't been shipped in from somewhere I take the time to explain how I want it wrapped and cared for next time. Generally the fish arrives frozen and while thawing (just enough to examine) I am explaining the process and all the details I will address in the mount. The customer then has 2 weeks to forward a deposit of 50%. This has been how I have handled it for the past ten years.
I guess I shouldn't have been copying from that dude who sat behind me. He must have gotten an F too! I appreciate all the info given to me here. GB is right, half the time the customer is wrong in their measurements ,but for me to call them on it right off the bat would spell doom for my business and then to chase them down again and get them to send the half payment would wear on me, as I am not always so eloquent in my explainations, views and opinions. But you all knew that right? haha. Michael! I am not the gentleman who you spoke of so I cannot take credit. I however am learning (with hard knocks) to maybe be a bit more like him.Thanks again for all the help I recieve on here. TAKE CARE!
I tell them 2-3 weeks, after it is paid for, (in full) I no longer get stuck with "mounted" fish. They can make payments, or whatever, the completion date is then up to the customer. Works well for me.