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Hard time getting clients to pick up their work!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Vicki Chritton-Myers, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. What do you guys do to inspire people to come get their mounts? Used to be, only once in a great while there would be a client that would take forever to get around to picking up their mount. Now it is the norm more than the exception! I can't get my bills paid when they don't pay for their mounts. Company policy states they must be picked up within 10 days or will be subject to be sold.

    I call them when it is finished. If I don't get a someone, I'll leave a message. Then, a couple of days later I'll mail a statement to them. Wait a few more days. If no answer, I'll send another. If they still don't answer, I send my final version-the one that states unless they let me know by xxx date what they plan to do about it, it will be sold for the amount due.

    Lately, they'll say they'll be out the next week, blah, blah, blah. Then no show, no call.

    I don't like to sell a person's mount. And it's hard to sell them, anyway, unless they are a super nice buck.

    Do any of you charge storage fees? Interest on the amount owed?

    I realize times are tough all over, but I have bills piling up and mounts collecting dust that could pay them.

    Thanks for your suggestions! :-\
  2. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    I do this, and in this order

    1-Call and let them know their mount is ready to be picked up.
    2-Wait a week, and start getting frustrated and call again.
    3-Wait up to a month and swear every time I look at the mount and call again. After the 30 days is up (which it states in the contract they signed if after 30 days of notification of completion they don't pick it up, it becomes my property) I say "That's it, they ain't gettin it back".
    4-Then they Finally come and get the mount and pay the balance and I take the money and tell my wife I will NEVER do another mount for them.
    5- The next season the same customer comes in with another specimen to be mounted and of course I say I'll do it.

    And then repeat steps 1 through 5 :D :D

  3. I had 2 deer mounts from the same guy hanging in the shop for 5 years. Every time I looked at them it would get me upset. At the time he dropped them off he had just sold his farm for over 2 million and certainly had the money. This winter I finally took the racks off and sold them. They weren't that big - 125 inchers. But now I feel a lot better. ;D

  4. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I had a great week. I had a customer pick up his turkey that was finished in July 2010, and another pick up a deer that was done in April 2010. It's been pretty slow here, 2 months has become the norm.
  5. Same here as you say Cole. I have 4 that are coming up on 6 weeks since they were called and 2 that were just picked up that were finished in Jan. Most pretty much come and get them but I'm seeing more taking there time picking them up.
  6. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    How much of a deposit are you requiring?
  7. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    Sounds like it might be time for Christie to put up a post on how to get clients excited about getting their trophies back. She teaches that in her Business and Marketing Courses BTW....LOL.
  8. redwolf

    redwolf Active Member

    I don't start any jobs without at least 1/2 down.
  9. D.Taximan

    D.Taximan Member

    I don't know how you can inspire them Vicki. I'm waiting on a couple fish mounts now. I have got stuck with more fish then any other mounts. It seems to me that the younger people are the slowest to pick up mounts

    I get 50% down before I start work on mount. I think we should get full payment up front.

    I had a client ignore my calls and letters On a life size bear once, and I was getting frustrated. I sent him another letter that said , If it will help you can send me what you can every month untill it's paid off. That's what he did and it worked out for the both of us. It turned out he had lost his job as a carpenter because of the slow down in home construction.
  10. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    I've sold a couple in the past and word gets out that it's not an idle threat. I also ask them after a couple calls if they are having financial trouble to let me know and we can work something out. This either bruises their pride and they run right in or they'll come clean and make payment arrangemnents. As long as the client is honest with me I can work with them. When people hide and dodge me I get pissed. I also always offer a paid in full discount. This is great peace of mind as many take advantage of the deal. Then if it sits here a year I could care less, it's paid for. Do the obvious and get 50% down etc. I'll say I'm very fortunate at my shop. It's very rare something is late to be picked up. It sure is a pain though tracking people down. Takes up a lot of time. Good luck.
  11. Galen

    Galen 218-263-7177 www.EdgewaterTaxidermy.com

    This might not help with work already done but ,,,, what if the standard was for Customers to put half down when they bring it in ,,,, which Is what I do . No matter what.

    And then have on your contract that you will call b4 it gets mounted up and that you want the balance or at least half of what it left on the balance b4 you will start on the mount .

    This way you will find out if they have the money to even get it when it is done if you only take half of what is left to pay . Then I cant see someone NOT coming out and get the mount when it is done and have in BOLD lettering on the mount if it is not picked up with in X amount of days you will sell the mount .

    You will easily get the last 25 % of what is left on the bill . If you have to sell it to someone else.

    I have not had to do this. But I was just thinking about it
  12. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    people aint even paying there mortgages or credit cards these days. were screwed!lool. no seriously i feel for you. i only do this part time if tyou even want to call it that. but i try to get at least half. last year i took in a few pieces for one of my old friends. he was a good friend but burnt me on his bill! i tried to get him to give me atleast something for over 6 months. he gave me 75.00 on a balance of 675.00. ok it took me 6 months to get 75 i know ill never get the 6 hundred. i called him a few months ago and told him if he dont come pay for his completed mounts im selling them. and as for his grouse and squirrels i will throw them out. i waited a month and nothing. well i gave one away to a friend the other two i sold. and his squyirrels and grouse were sold on here! i ran into him last week at the store. i walked right up on him in line. didnt even realize it. we shook hands and he never mentioned it neither did i. he did have the balls to ask me how my hunting went this year. he could win the lotto and pay up front and i still would never do anything for him again! sad thing is he was one of my best customers!!!

    vicki, what do you have for sale????
  13. dc taxidermy

    dc taxidermy Me and My Baby's senior picture

    I get 50% before any work is done..when I first started I mounted a small 7 point for my hunting partner with no money down. I have a sign hanging on that deerhead that states no work done without a deposit because of this deer......It works...We all should be makeing money on our deposits...Keep a low overhead and a good turn around and you should be fine...DC
  14. WeaponX

    WeaponX I'm an old dude

    Thats how I've done it for the last 3 years, 50% down, I call when I'm ready to mount, the balance is paid, if they don't come in I wait 30 days and call them and tell them to pick up their cape and horns, I'm not storing them, works very well.
  15. I require 50% down. There have been a few exceptions along the way. I've also sold a couple of deer and a coyote over the years (the guy with the coyote was POd at me and threatened to 'talk to his atty' which I told him, "Go ahead." Jerk.)

    Based on some of the bad dealings I've heard about concerning some other area taxidermists, I can understand why a few of the people might want to wait until they see the finished mount to pay for it. (But, then again, I've had people bring me ones they paid the other guys for, then paid me to tear it apart and re-mount it.) So I don't mind them waiting until the job is done to pay. Fortunately, I've not had anyone not be happy with their mount (as far as I know).
  16. Like most I require a 50 % deposit. I do not do anything other than skinning/freezing until I get the full deposit.

    Money, in many regions, is tighter than a bulls ass in fly season right now and the rising gas prices will only make this worse. Gas prices affect everyone in everything they do.

    I am lucky here right now as coal mining is doing well and most of my local clients are working and making good wages. The regional clients I have are in areas where their economy is good. Picking and choosing where you target clients is important.

    As for getting them in to pick up their work....I have in the past actually call certain clients and asked if they were ready for their work within the next couple weeks. If they are in a bind and up front with you it makes passing over them for a while a better situation.
  17. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    I've always been willing to work with people on payment plans, even though I don't really like it. I'd much prefer to have the mount out the door and a chunk of money in my hand all at once. Maybe it's because I've been through a few of these downturns in the economy, that I'm "easy" to deal with. Over the years I've had to sell VERY few customer mounts because they never paid. Our local economy is down right now, because we have a very "seasonal" economy. Our local unemployment rate is over 17% and that will not change until the snow is gone and "things" start to happen. It's always been that way here.

    I am not the local "low end" taxidermist, so maybe I have a much better class of client than some of you. Not that my clients are all rich, they certainly are not. If you are dealing with a client base that can't or won't pay for "upper end" work, you may be dealing with a client base that is going to be hard to collect the final payment from when the work is done.
  18. Jason S

    Jason S New Member

    50% down here. Then when I call them to pick up work I always remind them that they already paid half. Sometimes I here "oh that's rite" ???
    Just lucky it has not happend to me yet.
    Good luck Vicki!
  19. I drove by 1 of the taxidermist in the area, he has been in buisness for 25 to 30 years, I don't think he is doing to good his roof has a tarp on it where the shingles are gone and he not there but maybe 1 or 2 days a week. Thats why I made my buisness an expessive hobby, I had people bring me stuff to mount and would come back a few days later and pick up what they brought because they couldn't afford 1/2 down. Sucks to try to be in business.
  20. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Hey Vicki,

    If you get half down. Then you aren't out money! Which is great! But, I know what Ya mean as far as wanting payed for your time and talent!
    We have only ever had 2 folks drag their feet to pick up their mounts. We try to work with most folks. But, after so long :mad:
    We have a sports shop that lets us display what we like in their shop. After so long. We give the clients a call and let them know, at the end of the week. We plan to take their mount to the sports shop and use it for a display. They, will then have to come by our shop and pay the balance. Then make arrangements to pick up their mount from the shop. Also, there is no guarantee of the care of their mount at the sports shop.
    This usually gets them in gear :D If not, you have your time and talent into a display piece ;)