Honest answers only

Submitted by Dan on 1/2/01. ( )

A customer brought in a deer head, no down payment. I told him 1 year turn around and need $150.00 down within 60 days. 13 months later I call for money down,. He comes over wants hide and antlers to take elsewhere, so I charge $50.00 for work done (skinned out and froze,antlers sawed off, and cleaned, discarded skull, storage, receipt time etc.) he's really miffed was I right...Wrong be honest, I can take it, Thanks Dan

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sounds ok to me

This response submitted by Alan on 1/2/01. ( asmith@comsys.net )

This sounds more than fair to me. If I take in work without a deposit I will only hold for 60 days then it becomes the property of my shop. I have this written up in my contract and I give no further notices. I've never had any problems with this arrangement. Of course thats the advantage of a written contract.


This response submitted by Doug on 1/2/01. ( )

Hell yes you're right, and probably didn't charge him enough! I am suffering through this right now regarding fish not picked up(no deposit). We (you and I) are learning a very stressful lesson...get the deposit BEFORE starting a job. That's the only safe way. If, in your case, the fellow changes his mind, you have your money. I charge a 50% deposit,except when I don't. And that was when I got burned...by a friend(?). I've read this a dozen times, and I think it's finally getting through. Some customers expect us to work for NOTHING at some tasks. What you did with that deer was worth $50.00+!
I worry about what such "customers" will say about my business to others because of such episodes as yours, but we have to take a stand on situations like this. HMMMMP! Sorry for the blunt reply, but this subject really rattles my chain!
Get the deposit BEFORE you work......eh?

not enough!

This response submitted by Becky on 1/2/01. ( Keytaxidermy )

you didn't charge enough in my opinion. Frist of all you should have sent him a certified letter when the 60 days you stated to him where up..add that cost to bill and give him 10 days to pay up OR you sell the deer...I am so good about letting people pay payments on stuff as long as they pay SOMETHING on a regular basis. BUT I do not let them get away with sticking me either. You stored the stuff for over one year..that should be $ 5-10 a month PLUS your labor, skill, materials, etc I would have gave him the choice to let me mount the deer as agreed (plus all the money up front)OR he could have it back for the costs above....for me that would have been appox $150. He has no right to be mad, he brought the deer to you and you took it in good faith. You should be the angry one!

you are right

This response submitted by rob on 1/2/01. ( robby@lcsys.net )

If we have a customer that wants his cape and antlers back its 40$ for the cape and 40$ for the antlers. Beckys right you should have gotten more.Your time is worth somthing plus the storage.If the guy is mad so what ,he should have brought you the down payment.Some people can be so stupid to think you are just thier working for free ,I bet he doesn,t work for free.

hey guys...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/2/01. ( )

Do not feel bad when you have to do this. You are not the bad guy here. Charge for the work you have done. Learn like you are from these experiences, as well as from others here in the forums. The contract is the key, that backs you up when conducting a business in a respectful and legal manner. Be glad those guys go somewhere else, as you dont want repeat biz from those types. You have to be worth X number of dollars per hour. If not, you cant do taxidermy for a living. Its really that simple. I believe in the long run you guys both are doing whats best for your business future!

...by the way

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/2/01. ( )

When this stuff happens, you should have paperwork, obviously. But one other thing. Hand over his antlers when its requested. They arent yours. Its the cape that I hold back until payment is made. Thats where the bulk of your prep work is anyways. I refer to the cape as the labor already done, as it can stay at my place and seve me well if not picked up, or forfieted. Those antlers, well, all I did was clean up the skull a bit...If you question me, see for yourself some time in court. ;O)


This response submitted by Becky on 1/2/01. ( Keytaxidermy )

Ah ha! didn't realize that about Antlers, but yes knowing the laws is very important. I guess the bottom line is.., be on the safe side and settle things ASAP. I have had some regulars who I gave a bit of slack too only to be used in the end. I do take things in without a deposit but try not to do anymore than I have too UNTIL my 50% but I do keep on the dead beats. As a matter of fact I have some now I need to send a late deposit note too! like Bill I am just as happy to see those guys go elsewhere. One thing for sure is, if you have to pull teeth to get the deposit you will have to again for the balance. Hey ever notice how once that slow payer gets that deposit in they tend to call every other day until the mount is done and then complain it took soooo long? Boy could I tell some good stories!

Had it happen to me not long ago.

This response submitted by John C on 1/2/01. ( )

I know the guy that took in the work from the customer reads this. SO let it be known, anytime another TAxidermist undercuts your or my pprice just to get work in they are not much!

I agree with Bill, give the antlers back, but charge enough for the caping and skinning.

I returned two ducks to a customer and kept the $75.00 deposit, I had already skinning and fleshed the ducks, truth in fact was the customer owed me more, but I said piss on it I dont want the NO PAYING REAR END on my place. The customer bitched of course, but hell I have been waiting a year for the rest of his deposit. I mail and called him several times for the rest of the deposit, he never bothered to pay it. So when he wanted the birds back, I gave him a itemized statement of cost.

Good Luck John C

You did the right thing

This response submitted by Pete T. on 1/2/01. ( tebtax@aol.com )

Dan,You did the right thing.Before giving my customers a receipt I
have them read and SIGN my Terms on the back of the receipt.
If He/She do not have the 50% Deposit required .I would notify them
verbally and in Writting that they have up to 15 Days to Place the
Deposit or the item shall be forfeited and become My property.I keep
a copy of the receipt which was signed by customer and dated in case
the person wants to go to court.If He/She signed at the X, That person Agreed to my terms.Also After their mount is ready,I give them up to 30 Days to pick up finished mount or I charge a storage fee.
I have a good clientelle and weed out the Stiffs and Pains'by kindly
telling them that I am Not taking any more work so they go elsewhere.
Good luck ..........Pete T

Good points

This response submitted by LH on 1/2/01. ( )

To the quick, I have an itemized, line by line contract that addresses these problems. The customer knows up front, immediately, how much the deposit is and that it's due now. I sit with them and quickly go through each of the line items on the contract to ensure that they read it. Each item must be initialed by the customer, otherwise I refuse the account. If time allows, I briefly explain to the customer why each item is listed there - what it addresses. That way, they see up front that whatever crap they might think they can pull over on me, they know that I've seen it and that they won't get away with it. I charge a per hour rate on labor, including caping and skinning and it is listed on my price sheet. For each task that is performed in a mount, I have a list of the approximate number of hours that will be billed for, i.e., caping, splitting, salting, etc. If the customer wants his cape back, I refer him to that task on the list and bill appropriately. Several have noted that my per hour rate times eight hours exceeds the total cost of the deer mount. I tell them that's their incentive to get their work done with me. My contratc also stipulates that once in my possession, their mount and its parts become the property of my shop and that ownership will transfer back to them upon payment in full of the balance due. I notify of completion via mail and phone call. If they don't pay in 30 days, I assess a 10% (of the total mount cost) late fee. A certified letter goes out with the balance due, the late fee and the cost of a certified letter totaled together. they have 30 more days. If they don't pay up or haven't made arrangement to pay in installments, the mount is mine to sell as I see fit. Once I explain the whats and whys, customers know that I mean business. By the way, if my mother were alive and she had a job for me to do, even she would have to sign on the line. Business is business.

a few other thoughts...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/2/01. ( )

Alot of the contracts out there would not hold up in court. You really SHOULD check with your attorney before spending the money at the printers. Also remember this. Some guys are really OK, they just had a change of heart and want to come away clean with YOU too. They are entitled to this. Some are crapheads, some are just guys like you or me. Remember that, and the blood pressure stays low.

deposits nonrefundable

This response submitted by annyo on 1/10/01. ( )

you should have stated in your contract that deposits are non-
refundable due to the cost of skinning and storage.
just like a told doug COVER YOUR BUTT . and remember that these
people dont care about you at all.

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