Most of you who know me know I'm a stinky fish guy that gets conned into doing a handful of deer a year. However, this is something that relates to all taxidermy.
I had a conversation last night with a guy who just hired into our factory about deer hunting. He mentioned that he had a deer mounted last year. I asked if he had a good job done, he said he guessed it was alright, but never had one mounted before. I decided to ask some questions(at this point he did not know I was a taxidermist) about how he decided who would mount it. He said he called everyone he found in the phone book until he found the cheapest price. But what really sealed the deal was the guy said he could get the deer back in 4-5 weeks. The other guys were much higher and took up to a year. I then asked why he supposed that was, and he said he had no idea, but he was not going to pay more and have to wait longer to get it back. I decided to let him in and informed him that there is a difference in quality of work that is usually reflected in the price. Also, a longer turnaround means the guy is busier with a larger workload due to the higher quality. He totally agreed with what I said and admitted that he never thought of it that way.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that all price shoppers should not be blown off. Many are just uneducated about taxidermy and think it is just like finding the best price on a car. Perhaps we should do what has been suggested many times before and invite the price shoppers to come to our shops and show them what we can do for them rather than hanging up and saying a few choice words. Just my two cents...
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I was 100.00 more than a guy 10 miles away and was sure within 2 years I would run him out of business. Just to give you an idea my mounts were probably 200.00 better than his...yes, his were really bad...you know what ? he still got the same number of deer every year. I had lots of his customers tell me my deer were much better but wanted to save the money! Nothing you can do to coax cheap basta$#@, Doug
See if you get his deer next year and you will know the sales pitch worked. After all, isn't it just a sales pitch? When it comes down to this guy actually deciding to put his money where his thoughts might be it will probably be a different story.
Case in point is a gentleman I know that hunts a lot. He has many deerheads mounted and continues to go to the same guy, year after year, because of the good deal he gets. I was at his place not too long ago and after complaining to me the year prior about two deer he had mounted by the cheap guy and how totally disappointed he was in the work, he took his deerhead to him again last year in trade for services. He has a couple of another top award winnering taxidermist's mounts on his wall right next to the other cheap guy's mounts and he can't see the difference. His comment was, "I'm not a trained eye but I don't see a difference in the work." He likes the quick return time and apparently he can get used to inferior work if he looks at it long enough. Some people just aren't as critical to perfection. He's the kind of guy that talks himself into accepting poor quality as acceptable even when he is first disappointed with it. I'm sure there are many more like this roaming the woods and floating the waters.
peaple will pay less for a crap job over more for a great job. i.e. wallmart has run every mom and pop hardware store, grocery and every other business they compete with by selling the lowest quality cheapest product money can buy. you want to make it big in taxidermy, do crap work cheap as heck. the 5% that demand quality and are willing to pay for it won`t affect your bottom dollar one bit. you can say you are an artist, no one cares. it`s all about the $, always is. is it right? nope. is it how it is? yep. reality my friends, reality.
the Boat Gas Tank I bought there for 14.99 is exactly the same tank my Mom and pop store charges $30 for.
Milk is milk and $1.79 is better than 2.50
Bought the exact $140 tent at Wal mart for $39.99!
I HATE going to Wal-Mart with a passion but most of the stuff they sell is NOT lesser quality. It is the exact same thing I can get elsewhere. They have learned to mix quality and low price.
Price shopping is part of the US Economy. If you are loosing mounts to price shoppers the problem is most likely YOU not the caller. If I get someone on the phone I rarely lose the business. The only thing that makes a difference is if some joker has his wife call for him. I only get about 50% of those because many wives don't relay my whole message...just the price.
a lot of customers only really care about the antlers and dont care about nicitating membranes and septums, ect. .
customers come into my shop and could not pick out there deer head from the 5-6 hanging on the wall.
All of our customers want quality work. The "clients" want that extra and are willing to pay for it. The COMMON, AVERAGE hunter is not really concerned about the nicitating membranes and septums and a few other details that have been OVERSOLD and emphasied for so long. This stuff is great for true accuracy and for competitions but the average person will not give a rat's rear-end about these points. They want a reasonable cost and a FAST return time and simple quality. -----whatever all of that may mean to each one of you.
The majority of people want quality, good price and fast return time. That is the facts! A little bitter but we as a profession have gone beyond what the AVERAGE hunter can afford to pay for TOP END WORK. IF that is all you cater to, great. But the average business,... taxidermy shop... CAN'T put 150 hours into EVERY customer's mount and expect to not have a backlog of many years for the busy studio...KIM