Several times now, I've put my work on ebay for auction. So far I have never been able to get much more than my minimum bid for my mounts. I know there are a lot of not so good mounts on ebay, but I think mine are not too bad. I put 100% of my ability into producing the best possible quality I can. So, I figure maybe I'm just asking too much, I will list my reserve prices for you all, tell me what you think, are they too high, or is it just impossible to get people to pay what something is truly worth? I certainly am not going to lose money on my work, which seems to be what people on ebay want.
Wolf Pedestal - losed mouth, mounted on a moose antler - $550 didn't sell
pine marten- ex-lrg nice markings standing on hind legs - $175 didn't sell
pine marten- average size standing on all fours - $153, sold $3 over reserve
26"pike and 10" perch on pine base with habitat - $128 sold $28 over reserve
lynx pedestal on driftwood - $200 - sold for reserve price
pine marten - large $150 - sold
lifesize wolf - $1200 didn't sell
I have pictures of some of these if anyone wants to see them and tell me if they are worth the price I asked.
In the meantime, I guess I won't be selling on ebay any more. I am not belly aching or whining about not being able to sell my stuff. I realize taxidermy is a hard profession to make a living at, and I know it will be a few years of hard work and little pay before I become successful. I just want to know if my prices are unrealistic.
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...whether or not your prices are realistic. Do a search for 'taxidermy' on ebay, show only the completed items and then sort them by price. That will tell you just what the market on ebay will bear. If your expections exceed that price range, you won't have too much luck.
Then consider the difference between a trophy and a piece of furniture. A trophy in an extension of the experiecne of the hunter who took it and a physical representation of memories. The price of a trophy mount is only one of many costs related to a hunt, and many hunters are more that willing to pay the costs required to properly prepare a quality mount.
A piece of furniture is something that you sit on. The people buying taxidermy on ebay are, for the most part, buying furniture. And except for the rug mounts, you cant sit on them!
While $1,200 may be reasonable for a trophy wolf mount, I think that that the only things to bring premium price on ebay would be something exceptional or unusual, like the pedestal giraffe that recently sold. And I suspect that that mount didn't bring what it was really worth. It may not be 'right', but that the reality.
I feel your pain. I regret that you have to feel like you do, but try not to take it personal. I would offer you some savy advice, but it would be a cliche anyway, so I can tell you a story that might make you feel better.
I was lucky enough to draw a California Bighorn Sheep tag in Oregon not to many years ago. I killed a dandy sheep (7/8 curl) only 4 hours into the hunt and I eventually mounted it lifesize. While puting myself through college, I fell on desperate times and with my family all tapped out, I reluctantly put my sheep on ebay in need of money.
I put the "buy-it-now" feature on it for $1200.00 and it sold in 20 minutes. It made me sick to my stomach as I crated it up and sent it back East somewhere.
Keep on trying to sell your stuff and remember how dumb I was.
Please remember that people on e-bay are looking for bargains and I dont believe you are trying to sell discount goods here. You need to find better markets for one thing. If your work is good, than that should make the task a little easier but you will need to do your homework. Think about where your work might be wanted and then ask yourself if this place could afford your asking prices. Most places will be looking for cheap mounts so you need to find classy places that will only accept quality mounts. Hope this helped. Best of luck, Brad
I have noticed that just before Christmas and up to say jan. 15th some taxid items on ebay were going for good $$$. Gifts perhaps. I'm finding that market on Ebay might be seasonal for quality cause as you say...good mounts are not moving...lately. gordon
Check out wildlife-artist, Todd Huffmans,and travis-taxidermy
I have noticed that the mounts that generate the best price on ebay are the ones that have the professional quality pictures that show them off the best. The drawback to this is, top quality pictures will also show the flaws and shoddy workmanship too. I have found that ebay is a good place to get rid of the out of date mounts out of my showroom without them being displayed to my local customers. Several years ago I sold a lot of old stuff that had just been cluttering up a storage area for years. It was better than just throwing them out. Ebay has been a valuable tool for getting rid of a lot of excess hides horns and capes but not for finished mounts. Like any other tool it will work for you in many ways, you just have to learn how to use it.
All I seem to hear on this forum concerning ebay sales is complaints about how low items
are selling for, or not selling for at all. There are 2 basic reasons for this, QUALITY of item
and the presentation of the item being sold, not the people making the purchases. I look at ebay bidders as general public people looking to make a purchase, but they are not stupid. People are not going to purchase something like a taxidermy piece that they can't get a good look at. Folks want to see quality details every angle of the piece your presenting, and anything short of this will bring disappointment. Oh, and I just love the one's that say "Just mounted by a professional taxidermist" and it looks like something the dog drug in the back door. Ebay people or anyone else for that matter are buying it.
My brother and I have done very well at ebay, selling for about 2 year now and only wish I had more time selling more items. We both work full time (Todd doing birds only and I mammals only) at our separate studio's for the last 18 years. Between internet orders and others, I wish I had more time for more ebay items. This year may be different for us as I will be making more time for ebay items. Most items have sold well over the asking price. Last Red Fox I sold, reserve was $450.00 and it sold for $760.00. I have seen to many other being sold in the $150.00 range or not meeting reserve at all, but there again, I see poor pictures or flat out poor taxidermy. Most of the time, its poor taxidermy, and people aren't going to pay anymore than what its worth. Taking a close up shot of a less than anatomically correct piece will also bring disappointment. Once again, I cannot stress the word quality enough.
I hope this helps some of you that might not be pleased with ebay sales.
Steve Huffman - ebay user id: firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Huffman - ebay user id: email@example.com