I'm asking a questiion now guys and gals

Submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 12:29 PM. ( )

Do I have a leg to stand on if I sell a customer's mount that has refused to sign the certified letter?

I've wasted about $10.00 on this deadbeat now -- the first time he moved and the post office wouldn't forward the letter (but his new address was on the returned card), the second time he refused to sign.

Called another one the other day and his phone has been disconnected. Not a good sign!

BTW, I'm seeing more and more of this. My $1300.00 house payment is right around the corner and I'm getting depressed. I should be able to cover the upcoming one but not sure after that. I've just about caught up! Never thought I'd see the day.

I know I'm not the only one as a very prominent fish taxidermist emailed me and is experiencing the same.

I may be working in a different field this time next year. $%#&*!

And I have four pick up drop off points and do work on and off for four other taxidermists!

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is the customer close?

This response submitted by Mr.T on 6/24/06 at 12:34 PM. ( )

Can you drive to his door and get him to ok the sale of it? I would try to get a final answer out of him face to face if I could, I am in the same spot with a deer right now.

I sold mine

This response submitted by Jerry C on 6/24/06 at 12:50 PM. ( )

Got the letter back unopened. Waited 6 months (my contract says 90 days) then I sold it. Lost money, but it's better than nothing.

Sell it

This response submitted by Randy on 6/24/06 at 12:51 PM. ( )

In my state if you make notice 2 times by registered letter then it is "legal" to sell it. You have done your part. If he does not resopnd to a registered letter then no court would ever say that you have not your part. I would send him another at the new address, keep the registered letters and receipts and sell it. In my book you would then have all the documentation you need. I would not contact him face to face because you have no documentation, just his wourd against yours. Registerd letters you have legal reciepts of your attempts and reciepts that he did not respond.


This response submitted by Luke on 6/24/06 at 12:54 PM. ( )

I have 2 points...
1.) It is always slow this time of year, and you know it will pass, so have faith and everything will be fine. It always is!
2.) Sell the boneheads fish and bring in some dough to pay the bills.
You had an agreement with him, and he is not following through.
How can he argue with that? That is the BOTTOM LINE and there is no need to discuss it with him.
You can always paint him another one and pick up the balance.

You play a big part in shaping your own future so make it work for you.

Thanks Luke

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 1:35 PM. ( )

but it is not always slow this time of year for me. This is usually my busiest time of year. (I specialize in fish).

I agree Cecil...

This response submitted by marty on 6/24/06 at 2:30 PM. ( )

I mentioned this on another post. It's not just an anomoly, it's the economy and a gradual disinterest in (fish) taxidermy. At least in the midwest here. Most STRICTLY fish guys/gals are hurting. Even some of the big replica suppliers have noticed it. I even blame some of it on replicas themselves. More and more people (for various reasons) are choosing to release their fish and opt for a replica. Only problem is now the immediate need is not there. They'll order their replica when their finances are in order. Unfortunately, MANY folks outside of (fish) taxidermy are also hurting. I haven't heard any problems from the full-service shops that I've spoken to. In fact, big game is booming for a lot of guys I've talked to (we'll see what happens this Fall though). "Lucky" for me, I've had some health issues that put a damper on my productivity the last month and a half. Therefore, my freezers have some backlog in them. But, new jobs are barely trickling in. Some of it (I believe) has to do with the very late Spring we've had. Heck, I pulled some eggs out of a 14" Largemouth we caught last weekend! So hopefully, things will pick up. For me April and September have traditionally been my best months. Last year I took in 19 fish. This year (I did go up in my prices quite a bit so that may have something to do with things) I took in 4 fish in April. An average month for me last year was about 6-8 fish. I haven't taken in that many per month yet this year. Luckily for me I have a "fallback" outside of my minimal backlog. I've already spoken to one of my former employers in the engineering field and I'm looking to help out later this summer if need be.

Cecil, let me think about things. I might be able to help you out. Let me see what I've got as far as panfish go and so forth and I may call you later...

Thanks for the offer Marty

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 3:46 PM. ( )

But only do it if it helps you out.

One silver lining to this is the fact that being on top of things instead of getting those annoying calls of "have you got my fish done yet" or "why is it taking so long" are history. I don't know about you guys and gals, but those phone calls get under my skin and stress me out. I've also made an effort at being as efficient as possble this year. All fish that come in are immediately thawed and skinned and with the half cast method mounted immediately, or mounted and drying once the mannikin comes, or the body is carved. No freezer space back up anymore and I plan to keep it that way! Minimum of 6 fish skinned, mounted, and completed per weak.

I used to take in 20 fish in a week at times. Now it's down to 2 to 3 fish every two weeks which is really really slow for me.

I'm pretty sure it's the gas prices and all the downsizing and corps moving to Mexico or China.

I've noticed many people live from pay check to pay check with a little extra to play with now and them. With the increase in gas prices and heating prices this winter descretionary or disposable income was wiped out with these people. And the oil companies made record profits! Hmmm...

Oh Cecil, don't worry!

This response submitted by marty on 6/24/06 at 4:23 PM. ( )

You ain't getting any handouts from ME buddy - lol! I AM to the point where I'm WAY behind and I could use some help. I too need to look at whether or not it's financially feasible for me as well. I'm not nearly as efficient on panfish as you are. My time would be better spent on some replicas and LONGER fish I currently am also behind on.

Now I know you call it the "modified half cast method" because you use a template (mold) to get the great anatomy. I'm not real familiar with the process. Are you utilizing the real skin or is it basically a "half" of a "replica"? (Original skin would be a necessity). If it's original skin, then I'll call you once I get a handle on what I've got. Thanks!

It was a good day here

This response submitted by Jim Marsico on 6/24/06 at 5:29 PM. ( )

I had a drop in "just looking" to my studio that walked out with one of my $4000. bronzes. But I to have had a poor cash flow month so far excepting this sale, its seems summer is always that way because bills are all due and fresh deposits are not coming in, I no longer accept fish but esp. if I did fish only I would try mounting or CARVING a few 3D on nice bases and selling them to some of your best clients or to high end galleries. The money is out there. You are a true artist artist Cecil, consider this an oppurtunity to expand your client base and talents.

I feel your pain, Cecil

This response submitted by Monty Artrip on 6/24/06 at 7:13 PM. ( )

but like someone already said, sell the boneheads fish if you can. I give people the same respect they give me on paying. Things are a little slow here also, with the exception of fish from my guides in the south. Had one guy said he would love to get his smally mounted, but money so tight he would have to settle for a picture. Good luck on it!


This response submitted by Greg Waite on 6/24/06 at 10:21 PM. ( bgwaite@lexcominc.net )

I lost your e-mail. I might be able to help you out also. There is a big new boat place just opened right next to me and they want me to do fish for them. I hate fish, but every tourney guy around here buys boats there. They don't even have a fish on their walls. Not one, and they are begging me to put some up. If you're interested,
e-mail me.

Marty, all original: skin, fins, head

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 10:46 PM. ( )

Only thing artificial are the eyes.

I think I've found a way to make some extra money. Anybody want to be some dog ticks? I can sell them by the pound! They're lousy this year and the flea and tick collar, drop treatment, and sentinal pills on the dog just seem to attract them!

Jim M. I've got fish hanging in stores

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 10:50 PM. ( )

within a 50 to 90 mile radius of me up to the next state line along with any fish four taxidermists take in and my pick up drop off points. I put a 2 lb. yellow perch and a 1 lb. bluegill on a base and took them to a new store that just opened about 20 miles from here in a different direction. They were exstatic about them but no business from them yet. Not one customer!

Monty, how's the regular day job?

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 10:53 PM. ( )

Hope things are still doing good there. Nothing's secure anymore in this country.

Cecil, let me give you good advice here...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 6/24/06 at 11:18 PM. ( )

I was told by an attorney to send a signature required letter AND a regular mail letter at the same time, with a receipt for both. When the signature letter comes back, but the regular mail doesnt, its the same as delivered. It stands up in court. Nice trick, eh?

That's cool Bill

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/24/06 at 11:21 PM. ( )

I'll keep that in mind!

Fish Guys akaCecil etc. etc.

This response submitted by Grumpa on 6/24/06 at 11:44 PM. ( )

How much do you guys think that Cabela's, Bass Pro etc. have hurt you guys with the el cheapo prices on repros and other fish taxidermy?

Fish Guys akaCecil etc. etc.

This response submitted by Grumpa on 6/24/06 at 11:44 PM. ( )

How much do you guys think that Cabela's, Bass Pro etc. have hurt you guys with the el cheapo prices on repros and other fish taxidermy?

Good question Grumpa

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/25/06 at 12:03 AM. ( )

I don't know the answer to that.

And there are a lot more taxidermists out there both good and bad.

Ebay it!

This response submitted by Dennis on 6/25/06 at 12:14 AM. ( )

No, you will not get back what you should, but there is a certain sense of satisfaction when the mope sees his fish up for auction, and send him the info on how to see it. I tell students and others who ask, it is damn tough making a decent living strictly off taxidermy and you will work your ass off. I am in a different, and very fortunate situation. Put it on Ebay, anvertise as " Deadbeat Won't Pay Me" and take a hit on it. You will at least get something.
Most collection agencies are useless.


This response submitted by Grumpa on 6/25/06 at 9:53 AM. ( )

How many shops can you order fish from the comfort of your easy chair with a 100% money back guarantee?


This response submitted by DaveT on 6/25/06 at 10:11 AM. ( )

CHeck with your lawyer but I would be very careful as in most states once they kill the fish/animal it then becomes their property and you cannot sell. I don't know all the peculiars, but I would call my local attorney general or a lwayser and see what they advise.


Take down one of your display specimens...

This response submitted by marty on 6/25/06 at 11:24 AM. ( )

...and replace it with his. Take the display specimen and sell that instead for your per inch charge. You are GIVING away the fish itself. You may not be able to get your per inch charge, but I'll bet you'll get at least half. Which I suspect was the original deposit amount. If you're set up to sell on Ebay then it should be easy. Personally, I'm not set up on Ebay so I'd probably just put a "For Sale" section on my website. In fact, if you're comfy selling HIS fish, I'd put the fish on your website for sale. It's HIGHLY unlikely he'll see it on Ebay and more likely he'll see it on your website. For me, I don't have HUGE display room. I'd probably just hang it and chalk it up as the cost of doing business. 20 years from now, I might feel differently.

Grumpa, I don't think Cabela's, etc. is hurting our fish businesses all that much. Even though, replicas are becoming more and more popular every year, they're still only a fraction of my work. Skin mounts make up for about 75% of my work on average. If my theory is correct about folks not being in a hurry to get a replica done with me, I suspect it is the same for Cabela's. Also FYI, you can order a replica right from your chair with me AND get a money back guarantee as well...

Now I know I'm a bit out there but...

This response submitted by Marc on 6/25/06 at 1:19 PM. ( )

It's not beyond my nature to show up at their door with bill in one hand, the other palm open flat and me saying."Heay! This is how I put food on my table and I'm hungry! I did not seek you out, you sought me out to provide a service. I've completed my end of the bargain, now it's your turn." By the grace of God, I haven't had too much trouble collecting lately but then again, I DO have about 8 fish left from this latest batch still waiting for payment and by all this talk am getting concerned. All my clients sign a form saying we go to court if not picked up in a timely manner. Wave that threat infront of them and there's usually no trouble getting my money. Best of luck to you Cecil!

Good advise Dave but...

This response submitted by Cecil on 6/26/06 at 11:17 AM. ( )

But the going rate in my area just to ask a lawyer a question is $200.00. Ouch!


This response submitted by Jim Marsico on 6/26/06 at 11:45 AM. ( )

I guess if a person wants to be negative thats Thier problem, not the business , not the economy, not Bushs; but I am sure you will never see it that way. To Bad.

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