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$725 Axis shoulder mount

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by michael p., Jan 18, 2009.

  1. miker

    miker Member

    How much do you think turnaround effects the price? Are you better off having a fast turn around(doing a limited number),or taking in all you can with a longer turn around?
  2. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    RJ, thanks to people like you who I have personally witnessed making a good living in this industry and not damn near starving to death I am where I am going.

    I saw my dad still working at 75 years of age with no retirement after life saving surgery & no insurance. That has had a huge influence on my mentality. I have so many peers and people I respect in this industry & it is them who I owe the most to. They showed me that it is possible to charge a living wage & not to be scared to run off the "tire kickers".

    The quicker you turn it around, the quicker you get paid & the happier the customer is....but realistically higher prices do not necessarily mean a smaller number....every time I raise my prices in the end I wind up with more business. I am just now getting to where I am happy with my turn around, but like most I still have pieces in the freezer that are long over due in being put out!! LOL

    Smiley, your works worth every damn penny....damn boy you can mount a good deer!

  3. Yep Jeff, same guy. Sorry to hear about your dad. I hunted with a friend of yours(Bobby Love) and he told me you had quit guiding.

    My wife and I moved down here in Nov. I took a job working at a taxi shop in San Antonio and lasted three weeks. Too many bounced paychecks and lies. I ended up working in Pearsall.

  4. KAMoHunter

    KAMoHunter Proud member of the WVTA

    here my thought, i have no arguement with what you all are saying. in fact i agree completely. just wantedto get that out of the way. i live in southern, WV home of the coal fields and chemical plants. now i am blessed enough to live in the greatest hunting county in this state. we have the highest turkey and deer kill per square mile. we also have the highest trophy kill /acre in the state with the exception of our 4 bow hunting only counties. the problem here is that the already established taxidermist got into a so called " pi$$ing match" to see who could lower their prices the farthest. there are 4 of us here all together. i am in my first year and seeing as how the other three have a combined total of about 125 years experience, i was happy with the first years intake. now here's the delima. two of the taxi's wont do anything other than deer and waterfowl. i am the highest priced in the area at 300 my first year. one of the others is priced at 225 for a shoulder mount. Myself and another are full service but not full time. now nearly every customer that has walked in my shop this year has complained about not having a good quality taxidermist around here. the one that was made a great living and he has simply just retired. these other guys have put me in a good position and a bad one. its good because it is going to be easy for me to distinguish myself from the others and get to that situation where i can boast about the best quality around. however to start out, its a bad position because you cannot charge for what people dont know you can do. this is a word of mouth business. advertising helps but nothing beats word of mouth, at least in my area. so yeah you can make a living doing this and you should always charge for what you are worth.... but starting out you cannot out- price yourself of building a client base.

  5. yuppers i was there.. so have you finally started treating those antlers lol..
  6. rccub

    rccub Member

    i would rather be known for high quality than low price. it took me along time to learn this. if you do quality work, the customers will come. i live in a small town of about 4000 people, and there are five taxidermists just in the city limits. low end guy charges $250 for a deer shoulder mount. he got in 25 heads this past year. i charge $575 and received 60 heads in the same time frame. not bragging.......just saying.
  7. KAMoHunter

    KAMoHunter Proud member of the WVTA

    oh yeah quality goes a long way. just saying that when you start you can't rely on the quality factor.... simply because people dont know you have the quality. you gotta establish yourself to get there. then you can say hey you want me your gonna pay this much... and yeah they will come!

  8. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    This is ANOTHER full velvet Axis you little DORK!!! Not the same one :) LOL And NO I have not started treating them, they're both in the freezer for now.
  9. Big Bear

    Big Bear New Member

    Sorry to change the subject MP, but how far from Cameron are you? Isnt it just right down the road?
  10. Yeah I hope all the cheapies get enough work to keep them 3 years behind so I can keep raising my prices and do less work and make more money!!!!
  11. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Tell that to the one here that's been charging those prices and less for the last 15 years. Last I heard they were 2 or 3 years behind because they have so much work. Last year they finally started charging over $200 for a shoulder mount.
    I have gotten a few of their customers even though I charge more, my turn around is faster. But most don't know the difference in the work and it makes me sick to hear "oh, they do good work, but they take too long". Why do I even both trying but out a quality product with that kind of attitude? Does make one question oneself sometimes.
  12. KAMoHunter

    KAMoHunter Proud member of the WVTA

    sounds like you kow exactly what i am talking about then becky
  13. cheapguy

    cheapguy New Member

    I guess I am one of the cheapies. I charge what I think my quality is worth. Yeah I would love to charge 400-500 for shoulder mounts, and I will get there. My customers like my work which is all that matters (I get several repeat customers), so I guess I dont do that bad of a job. Next deer I get done I will post a pic and see what you all think it would be worth.

    Michael, glad to see you still have work coming in (although you have to be running out of shop room ;)). Going to be a busy summer for you. Post pics of the Axis with velvet when you get it done.
  14. well congrats on another axis
  15. pdmd2911

    pdmd2911 Member

    We have a saying in our taxidermy club.

    "If you want to do taxidermy for a living, then get your wife a good job"!!!

    This is not far from the truth. Most of our members rely on the wife's income to make it. When you are charging a few dollars per hour for your work and then paying out $35-$75 per hour to other trades, such as plumbers, car repair, etc. It won't take long and you're out of money. I often tell my customers if I charged their rate for taxidermy, a deer head would be $900 min up to $2000. I would say a fair price for a top quality (not competition) WT shoulder mount, in comparison to the other trades, should be close to $1000. Feel free to charge whatever you want, but if your truly honest with yourself you'll see that charging $300 for a deer head is like selling dollar bills for fifty cents. You'll have plenty of money losing business year after year. I often tell these budget guys, would you buy a model airplane kit for $100, spend a couple of hard weeks building it, then sell it for $200? Most would say hell no, yet they doing actually something more ridiculous. Taxidermy is tough, time consuming, mind numbing work. I can think of a thousand things can can do faster and easier for more money.

    Just remember, that poor bastard that can't afford to have his deer head mounted, also owns a new pick up truck, a car, a four wheeler, some hunting acreage, tree stands, a $900 Matthews bow, shot guns, rifles, scent, camo clothes, etc., etc, etc. and never bitches to the other vendors about the cost.

    Taxidermy is cheap only because we've conditioned ourselves and the public that is not worth anything. Yes, poor work is worth less, but if you're good and have the credentials to prove it, then you are a fool not to charge what you're time is truly worth. If your not making profit, your just doing charity work.
  16. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Yep, I have to remind myself of that when someone gripes about the price.
  17. Curtis

    Curtis Member

    I know what both y'all are talking about. Every area is different. I raised my price to $375 this year and got 0 deer in. My $250 competators both got around 100 heads. Both of these guys have been around for 15+ years.