Although my website is free and so is my upkeep by my wife, so I shouldn't complain, most of the calls and emails I get from it regarding taxidermy are requests for repro. Now I don't mind doing repros, but I do mind paying up front for the blank, waiting a time to get the blank, and sometimes not being happy with the quality of the blank. On top of that I have to ship out the finished blank which I don't have to do for local customers. Then there's the long distance customer that gets anxious since he's never met me and it may be getting close to the time I promised for completion.
Frankly what I am getting at is does anyone else feel this is not worth the trouble? I am I alone in this? I have enough business why do I want to add this headache?
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What I hate is not being able to see a picture series of the raw blank.
Like Arps the bodies are great but those weak fins, so I never use his, I am sure other dont either.
I too would at lest like to see PICTURES!
As for clients, they do get restless, I think thats part of what make repro a pain.
The profit margin on a skin mount has to be double or triple that of a replica. I too make very little money on replicas. I'd have to charge $20 plus bucks an inch to make what I do on skin mounts at half that price.
But, I don't mind doing them. And I'm providing a service to my customers (I guess). I agree with all the issues you mention Cecil. That lack of control thing overall is my biggest problem. The waiting doesn't bother me that much. And, I am also thinking of bumping up my deposits on replicas from 50% to 75% to c.m.a. as the 50% down usually isn't enough to cover the blank w/shipping.
Other than that, like I said I enjoy doing them. No smell and they are SO much easier to do than a skin mount with the quality of blanks nowadays. Which btw, I'm down to three distributors now. I had a recent bad experience (quality-wise) with a couple of blanks from a distributor that came highly recommended.
Cecil if I had your backlog on skin mounts, I'd bump up your replica prices to the point where you're making nearly as much on replicas as skin mounts. Put those prices SO high that IF you do take in a replica, you don't mind all the crap because you'll be making a decent buck...
Here is what we do:
1. Charge the price of the Repo blank plus shipping.
@. Add $10.00 (or whatever normal mount price) per inch for prep and finish work.
Add the two prices and that is what you charge the customer.
We do around thirty Repos per year on fish. If we take the real thing and have to cast it, we charge $22.00 per inch.
45 to ninety day return and 70% or more deposit.
Just wondering. LOL
While I enjoy finishing a high QUALITY replica, the blanks are pricey. I ALWAYS buy them "ready to paint." I agree with Marty that they should be priced high enough to make the profit worth any hassles. I also agree with JOhn C about pics. I've complained to vendors about no photos before but got no satisfaction. It's definitely a risk to buy "sight unseen." Having said all of that, a blank can be shipped out FINISHED in just a few days after it is received. The only hold up is the maker of the blank.
Was wondering when you would come out to play. Are we ready?
How shall we act stupid next?
Probitionary taxidermist. You're doing a pretty good job it tonight.
Instead of all you complaining about how much a blank cost and how long you have to wait for one , why dont you all learn how to make a fish mold and make your own blanks . Its so simple . Once you have your mold , than you can make as many blanks as you need . You only have to do this for the fish sizes you get the most of . All other fish you can buy blanks . It wouldnt cost you more than $20.00 to mold a 5 lb bass or trout and then less to make a blank . Thats why I have 100's of fish molds . Rick
I don't buy your argument. I take in 24 species and with all the sizes I get you really think it would make sense to make my own? I can't always find the size my customer required in the repro catologs! Not only do I not have the time it doesn't sound very cost effective to me either. That's like saying mold your own deer mannkins. Yeah right.
Cecil is right on the blank fish-repo statement. It was nice to agree with you Cecil.
and can't stand it no longer. a repo is what happens when a big fat guy comes and takes away your new car cause you didn't make your payments, and a repro is an abbreviation for reproduction fish replica. I ain't picking on you pro taxidermist cause you ain't the only one who does it. I just got a psychotic pet peeve about that.
Cecil , you really dont think its cost effective to make your own molds . Think again . A mold will last a life time if its made right . Once you have a fish the same size , than it only takes less an hour to glass a blank . I've had my molds since the 70's and got my $'s worth out of them plus you can sell the blanks to other people who need them . Also , when you retire you can sell the molds . By the way , I'm on the ocean so I get much more than 24 species and still have molds that fit most fish that come in . Rick
Already have all the common sized of the normal species I take in. It's the species I dont normally het that takes the wait.
And because its really a selling point and the client has no emotional attachment to the fish. I did get 75% deposit.
Blank price + shipping cost X 33%= Productions cost, plus labor = Price of reproduction.
My take on repros is get a big downpayment.As a collector the fish I have had mounted meant something to me.Each one was a trip with freinds to different lakes and all were special.Repros do not acheive the same level as far as Im concerned.As nice as they are its not the same so feelings are not as strong picking them up and paying for them a year later.Get your money up front and charge what you need to make them worthwhile to do whatever that figure comes out to.