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Professionals Insight "Opening Up Shop"

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by RETIRED TED, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. I wanted to know how to tackle this decision I plan on doing without making local enemies. I guess I would be considered as a "lowballer" here on this forum because I do Taxidermy as a hobby and for some "play" money, and often charge a couple of bucks over supplies. The reason for low prices is NOT to gain business or steal from others but to bring the animal/trophy back to life. As I respect the fellow taxidermist, i plan on opening my own shop (garage) but do not want to take away local taxidermist work. What would be the best way to do this and still bring in work? Just was wondering what ya'll had to say on this sensitive subject of newbies and lowballers. thanks in advance
  2. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Don't understand this part. Bring 'em back to life for more money. Charge what you want. Either way you will tick some people off. If people want to work for nothing I don't care.

    I never understood charging less because it is a HOBBY....sure charging less if you STINK...but not for a hobby. IMO my FREE(hobby) time is MORE valuable and if I am going to WORK during that time I will get paid for it.

    A well done mount is worth the SAME wether a part timer or full timer did it.

  3. well i don't really charge nothing / free i still make a good chunk of change. it's just that i am out of the service now and am living comfortably and do prolly 20-30 shoulder mounts a year, a lot of euros, and some full mounts. i mean i realize i'll make someone mad but not intentionally. it is more of a hobby and enjoy doing so no matter the profit. my work is really good and am always told i should be charging a lot more and usually get great tips from my so called clients. really i was aiming at about getting started cause everyone started somewhere and was wondering how they started up that's all.
  4. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    If you don't want to "tick" someone off, charge in the same price range +/- a few bucks.
    Do one mount and put a couple hundred in your pocket or low ball your neighbor and do 10 mounts and put a couple hundred in your pocket,,, get-it.. One of these scenario's actually works out for both of you..
    If you are charging the cost of supplies and a cup of coffee,, your gonna steal their customers, unless you suck, then it will eventually go back to them, but it will hurt them for a while.
  5. If you are doing 30 deer a year - sounds like more than a hobby and you are already open for business. Charge accordingly and don't give your time away.

  6. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    You have to start by being HONEST WITH US..........

    You can't have it both ways......

    "because I do Taxidermy as a hobby and for some "play" money, and often charge a couple of bucks over supplies."

    "well i don't really charge nothing / free i still make a good chunk of change."

    So RAISE YOUR PRICES....did you really have to ask that question? Raise your prices to what your competitors are doing and then you get to keep your work load light AND MAKE SOME MONEY. And if your competition is low, then GO HIGHER THAN THEM!

    Or if you want something to do since you are retired go volunteer at your local soup kitchen.

  7. Look Ted.....If you are doing that much work and aren't charging as much as the other taxidermists in your area then YOU SIR are taking potential work from them and IF any of them make there living as a professional taxidermist to support themselves and family then you as a self proclaimed hobbyist are cheating both yourself and them.

    If all you are interested in is a hobby then only do a dozen or so pieces per year and spend time on them and try to create exceptional work and as you acquire more and more talent charge over the top for special and exclusive work.....but don't tell us you are doing what sounds to be 60 or so pieces and now you want to open a shop and be a "HOBBYIST".......That duck won't fly here.
  8. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Well Retired Ted.........

    WOW, nice PM! LOL

    Hey, let me draw you a picture.....you asked for advice on a public forum, THAT is why I responded. That is my choice.

    Are your panties still in a wad?

  9. a little i'm still trying to dry them out lol
  10. nibjones

    nibjones Join your States Taxidermy Assoc.

    I have to agree with all of the above. If you want to be a taxidermist, you owe it to all of us to charge accordingly, as well as, do exceptional work. The way it sounds to me is, you are all ready taking work from the locals.
  11. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    That's cool,.........

    All I am saying is that you had contradicting info in your 2 posts. You can do what you want but you were asking for advice....I do not know what you are charging and I do not know what your competition is charging. It's up to you, hell hundreds of taxidermists are doing their work at BELOW minimum wage AND THAT IS A FACT and quite a few hundred are JUST LOSING MONEY! Heck I have been a taxidermy hobbyist since 1974 until I lost my job last year due to health reasons..... so I guess I will quit turning down work, God knows I have turned down a lot in the past. LOL

    BUT, even when I had a full-time job and taxidermy was a hobby I figured if I was going to be doing taxidermy instead of spending time with my kids or hunting or fishing, then I was going to receive $$ in return. I sure would NEVER do it around cost (unless I was donating something etc. ) I price myself at competition price and sometimes higher and being out west that's a good thing.

    So what are you charging for a shoulder mount deer?

  12. gunner62

    gunner62 Gunners Buckhorn Taxidermy

    You will be cheating your self and your competition first you make no money,second the real taxidermist will lose the income he needs to sustain a living. Why and I mean Why do you part timers want to work for less. If your work is good why not make a buck? All this BS does is confuse the Taxidermy customer one guy is $200.00 and the other guy is $500.00 and because you are willing to work for nothing they think the full timer is ripping them off. If you do good work you will get sick of the working and making nothing in return, then when you want to make a buck raise your prices and the cheap-os you've been dealing with will drop you like a hot potatoe.
    I live in town of 700 people and we have 6 licenced taxidermist I am the only full timer and it's the guys like you that drive me nuts every day I have to answer the questions why do you charge so much, how can you be so much higher than Billie Bob he does pretty good work ya know. Its your choice do what you want but don't work for free no body wins but the cheap scape customers
  13. gab

    gab Active Member

    he doesn't owe us or anyone a damn thing.this is a free country and he can do whatever he wants.our area has alot of youth hunts for disadvantaged kids.one worthwhile thing to do would be to mount for these kids that can't afford it and to maybe even give them lessons,or to adult education lessons.these are 2 suggestions to make it count more since money isn't an issue,but you could just keep doing what you want when you want,that's the beauty of retirement.
  14. Bluehealer

    Bluehealer Daddys little girl, first deer..

    It wont feel like a hobby for long doing 20-30 mounts a year. It was a hobby for me for a while when I did mounts for myself and family, when I started bringing in customer mounts the hobby went out the window its a second job. I'm still active duty Air Force and will open up my business full time in 3 yrs after retirement, building on customers/reputation now to support that.

    Last thing I would want to do is build a customer base with low prices, infact I'm higher than most full time Taxidemist in my area.
  15. mimes

    mimes New Member

    short version..........IF you are living comfortably......do not lowball on purpose to take money away from the fulltime guy's family.
  16. Its a part time business, who are you trying to fool. Yourself I would guess.

    A few bucks spending money Bull Crap,
    I would never give it away like you say you do. There is a time and palce for a freebie but to do 25 freebies a year, tell me you need to go back to your job before you retired!!

    Why because you don't know how to run a business you don't know the real cost of doing business..

    Maybe you should take business classes first.

    Its also a lot of the people doing a few heads a year in their basement and garage that are causing the problems with CWD being spread.

    Yes its been discussed at the state levels and I dont mean taxidermy associations either.

    Why not turn out 25 great deerheads and clear $5 or 6 thousand dollars. Tahts spednign money not the few bucks over cost.

    Many thing Ted just dont add up.
  17. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Any time a customer ends up at your door, because you are cheaper, you whored your self out. That customer would certainly have paid more anywhere else if you were not a taxidermist. Your lower price is bait for shoppers, if they would have paid $400 somewhere else, they would pay you $400 too.
  18. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Hobbies cost money. The second you start charging for your hobby, it's no longer a hobby. You're now in business. Part time or full time, you're in business. Charge whatever you want, but don't mislead yourself in thinking that you're not competition for other taxidermy businesses.
  19. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    I'm retired, and I charge MORE than many in my area...some days, I think I have bitten off more than I really wanted to chew.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    That's a novel approach Ted. Let me ask you this. Before you retired, did your paycheck reflect those days that you "enjoyed" your work and days you hated it? Guess I need to start asking my mechanic if he's enjoying working on my car and pay him less if he says "yes". You say you aren't charging less to steal customers from your peers, but that's what you're doing. Who are you trying to convince: them or us?