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competitors are KILLING me

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

  1. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    Bravo! It doesn't get any simpler than that folks!
  2. I agree and disagree with everyone to some degree!!! lol

    Demographically I'm set, were in a suburb of Dallas.
    Price wise were at $375 + tax(not where I want to be), but more than most, believe it or not.
    Would like to be around $475 (workin on it)
    My shops been here for 50 yrs before I bought it, I've been here for 4Yrs (how he was here that long and had $275 WT shoulders still befuddles me)
    Don't want to run off customers, but still need to raise prices, so we've raise $100 over a 4 yr period, bigger price increases each year.
    Customer base has grown every year, little slower this year at this time, but gun opener started a week later
    Like some, my customers have rarely ask about price, (lots of price checkers this year)
    And I WILL go up again next year, probably to $450

    I do think confidence plays a factor, you have to be agressive toward your goals, but pace yourself and be patient to obtain them
    I have no idea how anyone could afford to live on 30 deer mounts a year with NO BILLS, Hell I drink more in beer than that! We do around 300 shoulder mounts a year and around 600 total jobs, but my overhead is around $6000 a month minimum

    So, all these factors have to come into play, the only factor that dosn't come into play in my opinion is a price decrease of any kind, I do check prices in my area, but mostly overlook the lower ones and try to stay focused on my goal.

    Believe me, I have lost some customers because my prices have increased, but believe it or not, I have gotten more customers because they figured when the prices were so low before, that the work must be shotty.

    You need to realize there's different customer brackets, and your gonna loose high end customers (the ones you want) to low prices, but I also understand that all areas are different, and the economy is different everywhere.

    I agree $395 sounds better than $400, but $415 sounds better too!!!

  3. mk

    mk -30 below

    WOW, i have people arguing with me that they should be making less money than what they are worth. go figure?

    is it price fixing going on down by harley with everyone being $275-$300????

    Like i said I'll keep doing what I'm doing. LMAO, you guys can fight over the $300 deer and scrape by if thats what floats your boats. :D

    And cole I agree with your statement "I'm of the belief that you should not give a flying rats ass what anyone charges. " -- But lets get real here if you were so concerned with not caring why didn't you raise your prices like you wanted to? Why Is Tricia worried about her higher prices now where her competitors actually dropped their prices from last year.
  4. MK, I think you have to give a "rats ass" about what the going rate is to some degree.

    I'm sure you've checked your competitors prices, if not how would you know where you set in your market?

    What most don't take the time to realize is that the goin rate in your area dosn't matter, you need to be somewhat competitive, but to get to that stage and recess backwards on price dosn't fit the bill.

    I mean Ron's gettin $700 dollars a head out in Nevada, but if he tried to charge that here, it wouldn't hold!
  5. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    correct Steve,,,,you can just about put a pin in a map on reno nevada and watch the prices lower as you radiate out from there quite amazing, but is actually status quo for nevada, the boom/bust state.. I have been keeping a very sharp eye on ALL my competitors through out the area, and they are just that, competitors out for the scaRCE DOLLARS in the toilet bowl economy.....Im the ONLY full time shop in carson city yet there are fourteen pages of registered taxidermists here in nv, and most are in the Reno Tahoe Carson area......Some are 400.00 for deer/antelope, part time so they feel they dont need to be at average prices due to in expirience or quality issues or just to be popular amongst peers LOL.....What this has done is create a reverse pricing trend. John Q calls up the many dermists in the area, and finds some nearly half price! Tighter economys compound this trend,,,and then,,,,,,,one of the MOST EXPENSIVE in the area has taken in more local work than ever (895.00 for deer/antelope) due to an advertising mailout to tag holders.....Its been driving me nuts as Ive put out a lot of advertising and My brother Ken has taken care of the north part of the state with ads... Ive hardly got calls from the surrounding area, but am getting business from five hours away due to the fact the dermists in Elko Nev are backed up three years.....CAN YOU SAY FICKLE?????? Then I though a little more and it all makes sense, as the clientel in Elko are a lot more educated towards the local dermists and quality, while the more populted areas im in are full of californinan transplants .....I can only conclude that these newer hunters to the area arenot concerned with , or know quality and price shopping is rampant..... ::)
  6. I feel ya brotha, I wish I could just jump up to $550 a head, but I know that wouldn't cut it, I just look at the dermist with a Website, and stay right with them or right under, most new customer say they see me on the web, and thats how they price check (the ones I want). I don't want they guy who takes the time to call every dermist in the area, those are a pain.

    I'm gradually catching up to the highest here, may pass him this year, seems like the others are right behind me and staying there each year.
    But the highest full time guy around me is only $385 so..... I figure the gradual increase is my ticket, been workin so far, the only ones that that blink are the every 4 or 5 yr customers. " I paid $295 5 yrs ago" and i just say "imagine that" LOL
  7. tazzymoto

    tazzymoto Well-Known Member

    I just tell people you get what you pay for, Times are tough here , twentyfive persent of my client base is unemployed, But they will still pay my price even if they have to make payments, But more often now they will opt for a skull mount, But hard times wont last forever, as soon as the economy comes around i will be raising my price, close to 500$
  8. I hope things start turning around for you tazzy. I felt the Michigan pinch for awhile but things seem to be picking up. Tough times living in the car capital of the world watching most of the car manufacturing plants being torn down around this area.
  9. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    You and your work are worth what you say you are worth. Some of you say you produce low end work by your price statements and some say they produce high end work by thier prices. True or not preception trumps reality every day of the week.
  10. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I already admitted it was a mistake. I let you "sky is falling" liberals convince me that it would be suicide if I did. I won't fall for it next year. ;)
  11. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Jim what is the going rate for a lifesize sheep in your area?
  12. mk

    mk -30 below

    LMAO, ok cole. whatever you say. :D
  13. Mark V.

    Mark V. Chinook Salmon replica

    We did a survey this year of the area taxidermists and found out low and behold we wereone of the lowest of the commercial shops. We decided to stay the same as last year 525.00 on our deer. In our area we have alot of studios that seem to pop up out of nowhere around the time bow season starts. one of them is at 279.00 and claims award winning status. I recently got the new Mckenzie catalog and like others have said went up not down. I just wonder if there is even a profit in doing a head at 279.00? most of the suppliers are within a few dollars of each other so its not like this guy is getting mannikins elsewhere and cutting corners. Then add the tanning and you either pay 40-50 or do it yourself which in turn adds more time to doing that head. I guess I just dont understand the mentality of this undercutting. I believe you could make more money at a 9.00 per hour job and have time to spend with your family or hunting than doing someones deer. Plus you would get health benefits and vacation to boot. Maybe Im just babbling but it just boggles my mind why someone would want to spend their precious time on this earth mounting deer for little money ? LOL, Mark
  14. mk

    mk -30 below

    LOL, read Harleys posts on this thread.
  15. jaloi

    jaloi New Member

    I've always found over the years that so long as your price is reasonable and the quality good,you shouldn't have a problem.I never got much return on ads other than getting phone price shoppers,word of mouth is always your best advertising,happy customers.There's guys everywhere that charge cheap prices,you can't stop it.But in most respects,if you want a hundred dollar mount,that's what you'll get! Some guys even fall into the trap of "big buck contests".....just keep doing good quality work and it comes out in the wash! The economy is bad everywhere!
  16. Jarrod J

    Jarrod J New Member

    well its been a bad season in oklahoma this year . i think economy is part of it, more price shoppers than ever but at the same time its been a tuff hunting year too. i personally know of 3 taxi.'s lookin 4 jobs rite now cause work jus did'nt come in, and these guys are good n not cheap or overpriced. i think i now have enuff work to squeeze by this next year but its gonna be tite ! i did not go down this year i went up.
  17. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. Active Member

    Nah, The economy is rolling along here in my part of Indiana. Stores are full . Restaurants are full. I've already got work to last me through July. Still got hunting for the rest of the year.
    Just saying it's not all doom and gloom like the news is saying. we will work through it. Just have to out last O'Bama. We shall survive !!!
  18. waterdude

    waterdude You gotta KILL IT... before you can GRILL IT!

    Here in S.E.Indiana its dog eat dog...Dearborn County has I think 26 licensed taxidermists...I have 12-16 within 15 miles of my studio.
    One less than 2 miles away is doing shoulder mounts for 175.00...and offering 90 day turnaround...another is at 240.00 just down the road
    and a third guy is less than 5 miles away and he is at 275 with the 90 day turnaround...HOW DO THEY DO IT???
    The greater cincinnati area is also LOADED with taxidermists. I would estimate maybe 40-50 taxidermists within 20 miles of my studio..
    My area is saturated with taxidermists...and alot are giving it away for next to nothing...One told me "Im a workin man catering to the workin man"....
    Apparently there are alot of people that arent concerned with good, clean, quality work as he is buried in deer this season...He has taken in 50 more than last year already....

    Also have a guy in Ohio that is offering a class where you go to his shop and he shows you how to mount your own deer mount for 350.00. UNREAL! :p
  19. jeff_fox

    jeff_fox Guest

    I agree that it depends on many factors. Where I am - there are only two taxidermists and over 800 mounts to do a year. I own the property I am on. I do all of the work, including wet tan , myself. I cast my own bodies on everything except big game mounts; i.e. birds, fish, reptiles and varmints. My overhead is almost nill. I charge $325 for deer shoulders. My competitor charges $450. I honestly do not see anything wrong with this. They have a commercial building, walk in freezers that cost a fortune to run. And they are constantly buying toys ! I'm only interested in making a living and keeping the money for me ! In Texas, unlike in many other states, our economy is stronger than most. I've already taken in 250 mounts and there is still a month of deer season left here. More if you count the managed leases.

    And before you jump - my mounts are the same quality I'd put in my house or enter in competition.
  20. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Why not charge $450 and only take in 175 mounts ??? I hate to tell you this, but you are going to burn out quicker than a sparkler trying to keep up that workload as a single employee. I think there is nothing wrong with your prices, it's your business, do as you want....what concerns me more is the shear volume and pressure that you are putting on yourself & if you are doing quality work that year WILL come where it will be more than you can bare.

    Good luck though, glad you're having a great year!