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competitors are KILLING me

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Tricia, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    some of us look to the future and as George said, are sticking the money towards our retirements.
    Yes I too work a full time job MK and drive an hour each way to get to my 1,400 a month job.
    Pay aint that great, but I have health coverage, life insurance and a retirement to supplement the social security that won't be there when I DO retire.
    Are you setting money aside for your retirement?
    Do you have health coverage...if so is it through your spouse?
  2. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Lots of good info here....

    I wouldn't drop the prices. If they can't afford $450, they probably can't afford $350.00 either. Like Bill was saying, most customers who come in our shop are ready to pay our price.....whatever it is. The price shoppers never put food on the table.

    Location is key for volume. We see that everyday with our wholesale biz and the amount of work each shop brings in. Location plays a big role in it...BIG.

    We played around this year with some expensive newspaper advertising....complete waste. We have taken in the same amount as last year, and it's all repeat customers and refferals.

    And MK -your comment about charging a wholesale price and advertising it in mags, internet etc......don't even bother right now. The wholesale market is flooded and taxis are having a tough time affording that luxury.

  3. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    George, why do you get so defensive about your military pension. I wish I was smarter when I was younger and did exactly what you did. However, I didn't. I do however draw my railroad pension, which is the equivant almost less the benefits. My pension is my wife, so to speak. You said that you were at 50.00 and raised to 80.00 after your competitor raised to 75.00. Isn't that exactly what Trish is doing? She's 20.00 higher than her competitors irregardless of what that amount is. I'm 25.00 higher than those around me. And, yes demographics play a part in all businesses. Walmart doesn't just go out and start a new store. They do their homework first. Numbers have to add up. Ever notice that Walmart pricing is NOT uniform across the nation? Why is that?? Demographics?? As Harley pointed out, taxes, incomes, and ect all play a part. Customer base is the issue here. With large enough customer base one can dictate more so than he can when he's short on customer base, which takes TIME to establish and build. George honestly, do you give a rats ass how many deer heads you take in this year?? My quess is no. Your established in life. House paid for, kids raised, ect and ect. Some still have that job ahead of them and it is of concern. Nobodies picking on you. But I do enjoy arguing with you! LOL
  4. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

    Alright. I think George just proved with his own experience that I'm right in my decision. He always stayed equal to or a little higher than the local guys. I'm dropping my price $5 and still I'm going to be a little higher than them. What's the difference? Is it because we're talking $395 instead of $595?

    Say I raise $25, like I was going to. I then only get 3/4 the volume of last year because the price shoppers don't like the price increase? Gee, that's an $8,100 mistake. I'm now working less for less money. I'm not worried about the amount of hours I'll have to work to make the same income as last year...$5 per shoulder mount isn't a significant drop, so the work load isn't going to overwhelm me. It's the business I won't get if I'm too out of line for what the industry is doing right here in my neighborhood.

    And no, I'm not better than my competitors here. I'd consider our talents to be about equal. My turnaround is usually shorter. But then, I'm not afraid to put in longer hours to get that done.
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I profusely apologize if ANYONE thinks that I'm "defensive" about my military pension. I figure I paid a helluva price for what I got. I'm certainly not looking for any back slaps or flag waves either. That was a decision I made all by myself. I would be a clod hopping dirt farmer were in not for the education and the exposure the military gave me. I have actually lived a "dream life" with experiences that sometimes even boggle my own mind, so it's not meant as "defensive". It's just to insure people stop using that limp whistle excuse for my attitude versus theirs. You never hear ME bring it up in a discussion because as far as I"m concerned it's a non-player with doing business like it is a business. That's what the American dream was before the Obama crowd crawled in on their bellies.

    Tricia, you seem to have a bit of problems with edification. You may have INTENDED to raise your prices $25 but you effectively deferred to only raising them $5. You didn't LOWER anything yet you keep saying you did. It still escapes me how $20 is going to make any significant difference to anyone. In for a dime, in for a dollar. When I break a $100 bill, it's simply pocket change anyway. With Obamanomics, it's going to be cat litter pretty soon.
  6. mk

    mk -30 below

    thats what i'm saying too. lmao. so what you dropped price 5, 10, 20. thats going to be the deciding factor for a guy that wants his damn deerhead mounted?!

    Bobbi i was refering to harley, but anyways Yes i have a retirement account where i put $5,000 into a Roth IRA each year.
    I have health coverage also and yes its through my wife who happens to work at an insurance company. so what the hell does any of that have to do with anything?

    Are you going to quit your job once you get obama care. :D
  7. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    What does THAT have to do with anything? Because STUPID laws dictate how we are to live, pay taxes and get insurance benefits. Here's my solution to everything. Legalize polygamy. Ten wives for every man. One wife works for the government and gets benefits for all the rest for the family. The other nine stay at home and draw welfare, wick, and any other program that is available. All the children work in the family business's, and I get to live like a fat cat. All the illegals are doing it, why can't I??
  8. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    George, you are misunderstanding what Trish did. Last year she was at 400.00 She talked to her competitors and they ALL agreed on the 400.000 price. However, they didn't hold true and lowered their prices to 385.00 behind her back. This year she intended to raise her price to 425.00 but got scared to do that. She went to put up fliers and found that her competitors were advertiseing 375.00. A decrease of 10.00 from last years prices. She called me and we discussed the 395.00 price thinking that the old sales trick of 49.95 sounds better than 50.00. So in fact she did lower her price from 400.00 to 395.00. A decrease of 5.00. Which still puts her 20.00 higher than her competitions advertised price. I hope that clears things up for you.
  9. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    MK you were whining about working full time and giving Harley a hard time because he's a part timer.
    Yet he probably pays for his own health care and contributes to his own retirement through his employer.
    Since you have health insurance through your wife and you aren't paying the 300.00 -800.00 per month to cover yourself you only have a partial leg to stand on as far as complaining about your costs.
    If the economy keeps going on the downward spiral that it is, I suspect more of the "full time" taxidermists will end up being "part time" taxidermists just to hold on to their homes and keep food in the little ones bellies.
    Antlerman I like your strategy, but I can't control the ONE woman I have in this house now....I can't EVEN imagine 9 more of them!!!! LMAO

    darn it George, you're speed reading again!
  10. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Matt Kaupran.............does that scenario ring a bell in your head about a conversation we had 2 months ago on the phone when you suggested that the "union" you were thinking of was about Taxidermist's in the area's joining together ans set prices & I told you quote "Matt, while 4 Taxidermist's are meshing out this plan 1 will be honest in his attempts and 3 will be figuring out how to stab the others in the back" I think Tim's quote about Trisha's experience proves my point.

    Here's the deal people.......EVERY shop is independantly owned. NOBODY in business wants his competitor telling him what to do or what to charge. While competitor "A" is telling everybody $500, competitor "B" is telling everybody $350 to steal the other one's business.

    Trish, STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT YOUR [expletive deleted] COMPETITORS ARE CHARGING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My gosh you people drive me batty worrying about everybody else, you are losing track of your own goals!

    I have always thought about getting a website & Miranda is finally getting around to building one for me. The website still has alot of tweaks & I will need more & better pics, but what we are publishing Monday is simlple and it is a start until I feel like spending big $$$$$'s on a fancier one. In the "about us" section I have this EXACT quote. This I feel will bring in more customers that a $300 deer head. Part of what I wrote is........

    "I will shoot straight with you now; if you are looking for the cheapest Taxidermist out there to mount your trophy, then you are on the wrong site looking at the wrong Taxidermist. But if you are looking for a Taxidermist who treats every trophy as if it were his own and goes the extra mile to provide the detail in your mount that makes you say “WOW,” then you have come to the right place.

    Call me or come by for a chat and to see our mounts in person. We look forward to meeting you and providing you with the type of full service Taxidermy that exceeds all expectations you may have ever had in dealing with a Taxidermist."
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Antlerman, you know I'd be very careful in saying those things on a public forum. Perhaps "collusion", "price fixing" and "anti-trust" laws don't mean much to other taxidermists, but damned if I'd ever play that kind of Russian roulette with my livelihood. I charge what I consider to be fair compensations for the supplies and my time. I don't make any "deals" with other taxidermists as I don't CARE what they charge. I figure they need a gimmick to lure those Elvis velvet painting lovers to their shops and I'll do anything possible to make that happen. I charge $475 right now and today when I went to pick up my sika from the butcher, there was a big poster saying "Why pay $500 for a deer mount when you can get the same quality for $325." I'm sure going to help him out. Every single person that questions my price is going to be given HIS phone number. Since he's doing it part time, I'll even stop by next August with a dozen donuts to see how he's making out.
  12. mk

    mk -30 below

    opps sorry just talked with the wife i have dental through her from her work but we are both on a combined health insurance but its not through her work. the dental we are getting a big deal though.

    regardless like i said you guys are getting retirement and health insurance through your work, say you go full time into taxidermy whoops now you have to cover your own health insurance and retirement. still gonna do all that at $300 a deerhead? go ahead. who knows whats the poverty level anyone making $25,000 a year i think is what i heard. i guess 1/2 you taxidermists can live in poverty.
    and what your harley`s spokesperson now? all i want to knw is WHAT TOWN he lives in, cause there aint no way his taxes are $78/yr for all that land and buildings.

    michael p schlabach- yeah i remember that phone call. yeah i guess your right most taxidermist just like to lie and screw people over and they are dumb to do what they did. maybe tricia needs to call them up and say wtf happend with the price game? and then say the hell with those 2 face basturds and she needs to do what she needs to do. if she thinks lowering her prices will work then who am i to say i dont run her business but i`ll agree to disagree on this issue
  13. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    damn if 25,000 a year is poverty level.....I'm at poverty level working a full time job.
  14. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Most people are
  15. mk

    mk -30 below

    ehh, i guess it depends how many people are in the house, but heres a link that tells you what the stats are:

  16. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    LOL The wife and I GROSS apx 32 a yr combined before taxidermy and could always pay our bills just fine even have play money as a matter of fact we are on track to be completly debt free in about another 4 yrs and that is without making extra house payments. And you know what Matt I may just go full time in 5-6 yrs and if I could pull in 30 deer a yr I would be able to pay my bills just fine. I live in Casey, IL and I told you my taxes are that low because we are homesteaded. I would imagine they will go up next yr a little because I have made improvements around the property but we will see.
  17. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    OOH I feel better..apparently I'm living high on the hog! LOL
  18. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Point taken George, but damn it you weren't understanding me. And incidently, I'll come eat some of those donuts with you.
  19. Thats a problem, what is that problem??? YOu get poed because someone is drawing a pension.. You dont stop and think what amount of time it took to get that pension.. Put that many years into a taxidermy shop and you should be in fine shape.. Probabley in really fine shape because you have not spent the long hard days digging pit, or loading equipment without sleep in the cold rain or hot days, sweating to hell and back..

    You spent those night when the military was out away from home in a nice soft bed... Then bitch because the military retiree has medical insurance and you dont like it... YOu dont have the health problems they are treated for either..

    So get over it, even Geroge has been places you can only dream of and you dont want to dream of!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All this means every military person does not have the health and cannot work as fast or as long as the young buck wanting the answers now or wondering where the business is.

    Remember it takes about five years of turning out good taxidermy work to get a good business going....

    everyone thinks they can learn everything from a taxidermy school.. wrong the school leaves you less than ilequioed to handle taxidermy let alone the business end of it.

    Tric is near Springfield MO,, lots of shops in that area.. A couple really good taxidermist in that bunch.. So why is her business down? Is it really the lower ballers???? Is it really the economy????

    Is it all of the above????

    Location location location, build it and they will come????? Then why is it a poor quality taxidermist near my home town, went to school and never looked back turningout so so work.. slower than an old women in a blue plated car on the interstate.. He gets a lot of work from Springfield.. I know a coupl of others and its 100 miles one way????

    I look at staistics..

    Newton County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of 2000, the population is 8,608. The county seat is Jasper.[1] Newton County is Arkansas's 46th county, formed on December 14, 1842, and named for Thomas W. Newton, an Arkansas Congressman. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.

    The median income for a household in the county was $24,756, 2400 Households

    Boone County next county north and the median income for a family was $34,974 There were 13,851 households

    Marion County The median income for a household was $44,084 3,254 households,

    16,000 households for, for 21 taxidermist and these are just the ones I know about..
    Plus Redneck taxidermist if they are in business this year, which is unknown. last year they did 220 deerheads all looking straight forward at $185.00 each

    Springfield Republic MO had a lot more people way higher wages, plus a lot of taxidermist and wanta be taxidermist.

    But still some of the work comes down south across state line.. So why?????

    Same reason lots of African game is left in Africa... Some are cheaper maybe one or three are better, maybe some are faster or maybe its not about anything other than.. Mr Lawyer likes to brag about what he spent on his mounts.. Bettle, Grinch, Muskrat and Graves PA. MD. JD all killed deer and all did not want the other area people to know what they paid to get it mounted so they called and Joe Bob ran to Springfield picked up the deerheads.. charged extra to get them out before Christmas charged $850.00 a piece.. While their buddys all went to other Springfild taxidermist and paid from $300 to 450 for their heads to be mounted.

    Next we all knkow you have to look at the price of the head verse cost of production of which overhead is a good bit.... The people with lower overhead dont have to charge as much... Thats why you cant worry about the other people charging...

    If they lie about their qualifications its another thing.. But the beginner at $325.00 is not going to make much and when someone says to me.. YOu are a lot higher than so and so.. I tell them so and so will do the head for 200 bucks if they pressure him... And sure enough they do and then they came back where they can get a better mounts,, maybe sooner maybe later but they will be back if the quailty is there..

    Those hacks will do one of two things either get better or get out...
  20. Russ of V.O.W.T

    Russ of V.O.W.T my Ken Edwards moment

    Tricia, were not that far apart, i may have cut my own throat, but myself and one other here locally went up, the other guy that competes locally went down or stayed the same, not sure. His selling point is "i tan it in house and get it back faster than those who use commercial tannerys". thats all i have heard this past few weeks, however, i usually dont take in much until rifle season, maybe 3 deer, i have 7 deer, 2 antelope and a lifesize bear already this year. I decided not to worry about the "other guys" and there prices, and just worry about numero uno, if you can get them in the door, wow them with your work and dont worry about the other guys. I know thats easier said than done, but i finally just said to hell with it and went to 425 and never looked back, that price increase only covers the materials increases, and may not even brake me even after freight is figured in, but damned if i am gonna take a pay cut on the same work i did last year , i just cant make mysef do it, if i take in less work, i will find a way to make extra money, but the guys going down in price, will eventually dissappear, they are cutting there own throat. ;)