1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

why is a mount so expensive?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by dead duck, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. dead duck

    dead duck New Member

    i'm new to taxidermy, haven't mounted anything yet. but i know what's used. let's look at mounting a duck. the foam body, head,neck and stuff like that might end up being about $20-$25. what is the big expense?
  2. Tom Cruickshank

    Tom Cruickshank The History Channel says I'm "creepy"!!

    Labor & overhead.........

  3. greenhorn26

    greenhorn26 New Member

    its not the cost of the supplies , time and skill at what you do is what you are going to pay for,, look at it this way I could have my 3 year old paint a pic and couldnt sell it more the $1.00 but go to a gallery and you will spen thousnds, but they both used a $20.00 in paint,
  4. Curtis

    Curtis Member

    I noticed you said you haven't mounted anything yet. I bet you will reailze what the "big expense" is when you tackle a duck or anything else. After mounting my first (pain in the rear) turkey, I wish I could charge $1000 for one.

    WILDLIFER " Damn Mini Flesher !"

    I used to think that too, whats the big expense & started mounting things at cut throat prices ! Then I realilized I was working all the time & getting no where fast !Why does a DR. charge so much ? A tongue depresser only cost a few cents !
  6. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    cost of living, federal taxes, property taxes, lights, heating, cooling, cable bill, internet bill, car payment, food, gas, clothes, mortgage, rent, insurance........thats just a couple reasons you have to make a PROFIT in business!
  7. What is your time worth? Sure if you are a beginner maybe your time ain't worth much. But when you have been in this for 30 years and have seen your kids growup and you missed their ballgames, missed the school programs and suddenly you look back and they are grown and gone from home.

    Will you have charged enough?

    Since most taxidermist are working another job, taxidermy is cutting into their free time, so then they should be charging it as overtime!!! Its a second job!!!

    Now factor in rent, utilities, equipment, insurance, wages, taxes, materials cost, advertising, continuing education etc.

    You add it up and its expensive to even have a studio in your home, let alone a shop out back or one downtown.

    So why do I charge $275.00 for a duck? My wages for that duck are less then $10.00 per hour, I do spend a bit more time than some do, but hey I am slower and ain't going to throw shit out the door.

    Maybe when you have been in this industry 30 years there will still be hunting and fishing allowed, then you tell me that TAXIDERMY IS NOT A LUXURY ITEM.

    It is a luxury item and I am going to charge it as such, I don't owe anyone a mount for free I have spent a good deal of money learning my art and you will too if you care about quality!!!
  8. I just took my updated price list to the printer today so I have been working on this for some time.I used to add 40% to the catalog price to cover the price of materials to get to my studio ready to mount.With the price of fuel that no longer always works so it went to 50%.My rent has gone up so has my everything else so my hourly rate went up 10%.The suppliers and fur dressers have new prices too.Zebra hides for a rug went up $50 so I raised my price too.It costs over $205 for a cape buffalo form from McKenzie now and fur dressing is $275 for that buffalo.That skin must be shipped 2 times.Get the picture?There are real costs that many never look at when figuring a price.My utilities bills are never affected by what the guy down the road may charge.I have to charge for what it costs me to mount something.Every customer has to pay for my overhead as well as direct labor costs plus materials.That is the only place that money comes from around here.
  9. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    when the doc stitches up your leg, why does he charge you five hundred bucks for a little sewing thread? cause your paying for the talent and expertise that he spent a great deal of time and money to aquire.
  10. Greg Waite

    Greg Waite Active Member

    It really funny that you bring that up.. Right now, I am teaching a good friend to mount his first duck. He asked me when we first ordered the form and such, before we ever skinned the duck, why do you charge so much when you only have like $40 in it? I said to him, in my best "master" voice "Patience, Grasshopper, patience". Now here we are, skinned, fleshed, degreased, preserved. Today we finished painting the head and feet and he started sewing. Right in the middle of sewing his cellphone rings ... "Yea I am mounting my first duck. Let me tell you, these guys don't make any money. NO wonder Greg doesn't do birds and if he did he wouldn't do one for less than $225......." He had no clue until we did his first, now he knows that it's worth every penny. I still don't do birds, but he has watched me skin out a fox to the nail and turn the lips on a deer. He has become my official spokesman for why I am one of the highest in my area ;D Until you have mounted your first and your tenth and have sweated and froze, have studied and studied, you have no idea. There are hacks out there that will cut your prices to get your customers, and next year they will be back because the hack couldn't keep his doors open.
    Now let's ask you what you do for a living? Can I find someone who can do it as good as you for cheaper than you? I can make good money working overtime, but I choose to do taxidermy, now should I not charge what I could be making per hour doing my day job?
    Get your first one mounted and post it and we'll critique it, then ask how come we charge so little?
  11. RJ Simington

    RJ Simington Active Member

    WHY IS GAS so expensive?

    Because somebody found a way to make 75 cents worth of oil into a $3.00 a gallon need in our society.

    We are in this to make money, not freinds that want you to mount their stuff for nothing.
  12. maydog

    maydog New Member

    Good topic! One that most of us are keenly aware of...or should anyway, but sometimes we just don't keep abreast of it like we should. We usually figure in cost increases in supplies, and business expenses, but lack when it comes to cost of living increases which is affected dramatically by high fuel prices. It seems to be the little expenses that creep in and bite us on the hiney. Last year alone, I had to redo my price lists twice to reflect shipping and tanning cost increases. It seemed they were going up so fast that before :'( the ink dried on one list, I had to do another. I hate it when I have to do so much thinking...it can get downright dangerouss.