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

Question of the week #3-price

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by michael p., May 24, 2011.

  1. timwilly

    timwilly I lost my agenda !!!

    Are not the $500 taxidermists cutting the throat of the $800 taxidermist and he's cutting the throat of the $1000.00 taxidermist and so on and so on..... Theres always gonna be someone saying "Why is he so cheap", and I would bet alot that there isn't that much difference between that $500.00 and $1000.00 mount, as far as quality is concerned.
  2. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Jim, I do not give a rats ass what people charge, it's when they don't charge enough to EDUCATE themselves to do a proper job that I get sick of it. Does a good carpenter get sick of repairing shoddy electric work? Yes. Does a good plumber get sick of fixing shoddy plumbing work? Yes. Does an electrician get tired of fixing bad electrical work? Yes.

    This is what I'll be fixing tonight after I finish my regular work.




    One of my regular clients shot this on a ranch and was talked into leaving it there by the promise of "good cheap" work. Well the horns popped off to expose the bugs underneath. The finishing work is shit and the mount itself is horrible. The cost? $325.

    Now here's my gripe. I get a lot of ranch work. What is happening here in Texas is that hunters are getting scared to death to leave their mounts with ranches because of crap like I posted above.

    I agree wholeheartedly that people should charge what they want. As a matter of fact I would defend their low prices before I would accept somebody making them charge more. I just rant at the insanity sometimes. I know what I make so I know what they make. I just get tires of reading and hearing their excuses. They say "I dont have an extra utility bill or extra property taxes and I have a full time job" to justify their low prices and then follow it up with "it's how I run my business". Well that is a farce, if you were actually running a business then you know you use that opportunity to increase revenue..... what a REAL BUSINESS DOES! :)

    I love everybody, I'm just tired of fixing cheap **** ups :) LOL

  3. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    Well George what you say does make sense. I started doing work for other people about 9 years or so ago. First year I took in 15 Deer, and I was cheap. I thought I needed to be cheap to get people to come in. Every year since I started, my business has increased pretty dramatically. I don't advertise at all, and I have gradually raised my prices since I started.

    What you said about quality is sort of true, but I don't agree completely. I have noticed that if I'm not careful I can get a little sloppy, but I wouldn't say i turned out bad quality work. I have never had heads left to mount when season opened the next year but I have had to work harder and longer to get them all done. I am at a cross roads now, Last year i took in 150 Deer alone, and I will get everything done, but I can't continue with this amount of work by myself.

    I have decided to raise my prices considerably for next season, and hopefully it will cut back on the numbers. Some on here say it won't, but I really believe it will based on the bitching and whining I get over my current price from some guys.

    I disagree with just raising prices to match the "full time" guys so they can justify what they charge. If you pick a profession that usually nets 100K a year for the vast majority and you want more, maybe you're in the wrong line of work, or you can be creative and good business man and make out of it what you can like Russel Knight has. I don't think he worries about us part time low ballers.
  4. oldboar

    oldboar Taxidermy...do the impossible:)

    "I love everybody, I'm just tired of fixing cheap [expletive deleted] ups LOL"


    I understand where you're coming from....but no longer sweat the small stuff as they say.

    I'll have a heart attach by age 50 otherwise:)
    I tend to be wound too tight, and with age realize that my only real roadblock to any kind of success..."is me". If I take care of my end of things, my business runs well.

    I agree about the pitiful wages most Taxi's make. Truth be told...its near minimum wage for a great many. Can't fix stupid...Nope.

    I've done allot of different work over the last 30 years, and I've yet to find a more difficult job for the money. I've farmed, run drill rigs, dug ditches....the list goes on....but taxidermy is pretty hard on the hands, neck and shoulders, and it wears on a guy.

    Nobody talks allot on here about the breakdown of their bodies due to this profession. It is appreciable....I'm gonna look like a troll in another 5 years:)


  5. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    This is one I just got in to remount, it is 2 years old. the guy charges exactly the same price as I do, so price doesn' always equal quality.

    Attached Files:

  6. You have it worse than me Dave. I got this one to remount a couple months ago. Local guy done last year here in town for $375. Little better quality as you can see. ::)

    I don't care what others charge for work like this. I love doing the work like most but I am going to get all I can for doing it even though It is my second job so to speak. I have never had a remount to do or one to fix that the guy said he paid $500 + for the mount. That's just me though. The guys that do do good work for the lower price is what I don't understand but I think some of you are right, it will always be this way.



  7. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Here's another $235 :) mount brought into fix, but the $600 price tag to "fix it" was too much so he took it with him.

    Look at the eyes and then the date and price on back of the panel :-/. The damn thing fell apart :(



  8. I'll buy that 243 weatherby for $235.00
  9. tt

    tt Licensed Taxidermist,Hunter,Trapper,and Fur Bearer

    I know I'm a nobody in this business but I thought (I know I shouldn't think) i would comment and ask some questions. I believe there are taxidermist out there hurting this industry. I say that more thinking of the quality they put out rather then the prices they charge. I wish that the work we do could be evaluated by a board, maybe state level associations, before a license is given. This would atleast give a minimum level out there doing commercial work. The quality of work that is out there is hurting us all that say we are taxidermist and mean it.
    as far as what we charge. I don' think it is fair to say that a guy charging $350 is a "lowballer" by just looking at their price. I think you need to look at the area and define what area is. I say my area is all counties that surround mine. There is not many taxidermist in this mostly farm area, only a couple shops and 2 or 3 that do it on the side. There is one that charges $300 with a backing and the most expensive is $400 with no backing. out of all of these taxidermist most have been doing it for 15 years or more and I won't tell you that all of them do good work, I only like the quality that 2 of them put out. The average is $350 on Wt shoulder mount with a backing. Now is the guy that only charges $375 with no backing and puts out good quality deer heads( but can and tries to do better work with every head) a "lowballer". I ask because that is me. I only do this as a side job. I have set my prices by my quality compared to my area, prices compared to my area, and still make enough money to do it. Now if I even thought my work was worth the $650 and tried to charge that I would not get any work because my area is not at that price range.
    If I were in a area that had some $650 prices then I know I would be the "lowballer" but I don't think my price and my area inpacks those guys, but I always keep in mind that the quality of work I put out there effects us all.
    I love this site and have learned alot from you guys. I just think we need to focus on how we can make sure quality is out there first then we can take up the issue about price.
  10. Just ask the PA folks how they liked that state certifcation process before they could get licensed.

  11. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    That has got to be the worse idea I have EVER heard! Since when has the government been a fair judge of quality Taxidermists??? Then all you'll have is a crap load of hacks waving the banner "Government Certified".

    I'd rather deal with a 100 low ballers than 1 government official.
  12. tt

    tt Licensed Taxidermist,Hunter,Trapper,and Fur Bearer

    Don't know if this affects the commont or not but I ment state taxidermy association. gotta start somewhere

  13. gab

    gab Active Member

    you're pretty much advocating price fixing,and the 2 best entities for that are the government and unions.I think a $275 head making it 14 years is pretty good,especially if they stored it in an un-climate controlled environment
  14. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    tt, those kinds of comments will draw you heavier fire than this entire post. Currently, no one can "judge" a taxidermy competition for the NTA unless they hold an Award of Excellence (AofE). Now let Michael fill you in with some of the fantastic artisans claiming to be AofE awardees. Lowballers don't hurt the "industry" any more than keeping a filthy shop or wearing rag bag clothing while dealing with customers. It's just one of those things we occasionally vent over.
  16. mossy923

    mossy923 New Member

    So what is the answer? What is a good price for a good quality deer? Some will say 400 and some will say 800 (or even more). I am sure this depends on the area you live in. If you charge 500 you are still lowballing the 800 and it keeps on going it does not end. So what I hear lets all play nice in the sand box and lets all agree on the same price! It will never happen. I enjoyed this conversation, I have learned from you guys but to me we are all lowballing each other. And yes I am considering to go up so I dont lowball the other guys in the area.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Let me ask you a question: Let's say you want the roof on your house replaced. You call 3 guys. Wanna bet they're no farther apart than maybe $50 to $100? How do they do it? They do what many of your customers do: they price shop anonymously. Then they decide how much profit they intend to make considering their bulk discounts and what they intend on doing. If their roofs look better than the other guys, they're going to be the higher price. If not, they'll be the low bid but WITHOUT lowballing the other contractor. If you're the low guy in your area, then you need to ask "Why?" Is your work that bad? Then you need to get better. If you're the high guy, you work harder to STAY the high guy and laugh at the guys who're doing the same thing and making less.
  18. I think we should really do it right. Lets take in only 7 or 8 deer and charge $10,000.00. Then we get to stand back and call the 500.00 dermist. cut throat low ballers. We can assume that there 500.00 deer is crap compared to or 10,000.00 head. Has to be since they assume or is now.
  19. Very bad Example George.
    I just put a roof on. did get three different people to look at it. 1st guy wanted 18,000.00 2nd guy wanted 14,000.00 could get to it in a month. 3rd guy priced it at 14,000.00 and get to in a week or 2. I was going with the 2nd guy until 3rd guy asked me what it take to get the job. I said 13,000.00 and start tomorrow. Next day he was on the roof with crew. He did a superb job. top notch. so your story dont quite hold water. I got a cheaper price at a higher quality workmanship. same thing can and does happen in taxidermy. Now i know you George your capable of flipping and turning things around. No matter how you flip this one Bad Example.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    It was an ANALOGY and certainly no worse than your weak-wristed attempt at irony with the $10,000 deer. These are badly depressed times and many roofers would just as soon "break even" and keep their business than to price it competitively and make a profit. Try my example at Lowes and Home Depot where they match each other's prices or at your car dealership. Go price a Chevy truck versus a Ford and a Dodge. Your trade in value might differ, but the bottom line won't be that far off for the accessories you get. Now stop playing barefooted in the cow manure. You'll drag it into the house.