Like a lot of you, I get hit up every danged year from every damned Unlimited and Forever group out there to donate something in support of their organization. In the past, I donated one deer mount and spent the rest of the calendar year hoping whoever bought it at their fundraising auction didn't try to cash in on it.
Last year, a good friend of mine chartered a local chapter of one such group and I donated two custom-made predator calls, another 'division" of my business. My calls are now well regarded across the country and much sought after collectibles, and the two fella that bought them last year have been very happy with the results they produced.
This year, the same friend approached me about once again sponsoring them at their fundraising whingding and offered to let me set up a display of my mounts. I took two of my best calls, brass and black walnut, and had the name of the organization and date of the fundraiser laser engraved into each call to make them two of a kind commemmoratives. If anyone here collects duck calls, you understand the attractiveness of such a call to a predator call collector. On top of that, I hunkered down and set back customer work to get two pedestal mounts and one of the organization's officer's deer done to use in the display. Tonight, when I called him to let him know the balance due and confirm his permission to display his mount, he says, "Oh, didn't anyone call you? We decided that for anyone to set up a display, they have to be a supporter by donating X amount. I don't know if you want to donate that much since it's a good chunk of money. Oh, and by the way, I was told that you needed two tickets. Is that right?"
Bad time to ask me that. I'd just watched twenty hours of labor and a couple hundred dollars in unnecessary expenses go up in smoke when I'm trying to cover some big expenses for the business. So, I told him, "Hell no. the only reason I was coming was to be available near my mounts in case your members and supporters had any questions. I didn't plan to bring any calls to sell so I wasn't taking money from their pockets that was originally intended for you guys. But increasing my donation, or buying tickets for that matter, seems like I'd be throwing good money behind bad, doesn't it? Did it ever cross your mind to give me a call since most of you knew I was putting this display together specifically for this event?" By then, I was getting a real red ass on and thought I'd better put on the brakes before I cut my nuts in the local marketplace. He told me he'd visit with my friend, the President, and see what he could do. I told him not to do anything special on my account, and that way I won't feel obligated to reciprocate when setting my prices for next year. Probably didn't help my business in any way, but if I've learned one thing from you guys, it's NOT to give my work away.
I've been burned this time around and am curious as to who, if anyone, the rest of you guys support and in what way? It's purely advertising, but you gotta get back what you invest in it and I guess you can't always depend upon the support of friends. (At least not the ones that spend the most of their time at your house around deer season.)
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Most of us learn the hard way. And many folks have no idea what goes into running a business and think businesses are raking in the dough. Looks like you learned a good lesson.
I've already printed my epistle on this earlier. Glad I'm not the only one who's grown callous to their crap.
George and I found common ground!?!?!?! Yeah, I think I learned my lesson this time around. Glad to see that at least two of you old dogs broke trail for me. LOL Live & learn.
I know how most of you feel about this subject!
I agree with all of the above posts. I have got some stories to tell but, I can attest to the sudden phone calls, forgotton calls, working to give someone or group a deal, bargin or discount or other special incentive. It is good and proper to help and give to those that need it but, when it comes to money, EVERYONE (most anyway) seem to forget all of the extra work and OTHER sacrifices taxidermists do just to get the job done. "We" end up paying double or more by the time you add up everything. And sometimes without a simple thank you.
All of us business owners have plenty of money to spend and give out to anyone that asks for it.......I WISH.
Good night everyone!
Every group wants something for nothing. So what do you do, say no! If the other taxidermist are not there dont worry about it.
Ask them if they will donate a auto paint job for your group. How about rebuild your boat motor for your duck hunting group.
I pretty much told the local bass club to get lost. There response was we will have so and so do our mounts.
Good I have better things to do than give work away.
So and so is 2 years behind and my price is $18.00 per inch with a $200.00 min.
Pissants fornever is a joke in my book, I dont plan of going pissant hunting in the future and its not like the group bothered to send any my way. I reminded them hey ya'll shot a hell of a bunch of birds! I saw that picture and sharptails , prairie chickens sorry if you dont support me how do I support you??
Hope ole so and so can get them done next year!
And those rockheaded yuk foundation guys. They want a elk shoulder mount donation, ha who are they trying to fool. Thats a rigged drawing, everyone knows who the guy is with the royal in his freezer. Hell his charges $250.00 per hour for his fees, hum the way I see that he works three hours to pay for the mount! I work 16 hours plus materials, I dont think so!
Where do you draw the line?
If really pressured, give them a gift certificate. $50.00 off the next mount. chances are they will never use it! Only had one used in nearly 30 years.
Or offer a 10% discount to all members, provided they give you a membership list.