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Not trying to start a fight, but honestly, how do they do it?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by michael p., Apr 26, 2012.

  1. gab

    gab Active Member

    I've always related to that line too.
  2. R.J. Meyer II

    R.J. Meyer II Member


  3. Shoot, I paid more for my tractor than I did my truck . I have never bought a newer vehicle before , Im still driving my 1991 Toyota 4x4 LOL. But I do crews around in style in my Kubota when cutting my field ;D
  4. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    That is true. Some folks can live on almost nothing and some can't seem to make it with a lot of income. For the sake of the argument here, that has little to do with the discussion. Taking too much money out of the business is just plain ignorant regardless of whether you are barely getting by or living in excess. The greater problem, for me at least, is folks who don't seem to understand that time is a finite resource and money in infinite. We are each given only a certain amount of time on earth. Of the time we are allotted, only a certain amount of that is "productive" time. In other words, a child is not going to be able to work to earn an income and an old man is not likely to either. In our working years, we have to take time to rest, spend with family, etc. So, I would speculate the average amount of productive time over a lifetime is somewhere in the neighborhood of 104,000 hours (40hrs per week for 50 yrs). If in that 104,000 hours you don't make as much money as you are worth, you are squandering your life away. To me, squandering time is WAY worse than squandering money. Obviously, someone who dedicates his or her life to charity work is different. They should still do as much good as they can with their given amount of time (ie. charity work is not measured in dollars, but the good you do). Time is precious, so use it wisely.

    All too often, I see taxidermists who view their work as charity. They feel like they owe it to their customers to work as cheaply as they possibly can. They feel bad that their customers have to sacrifice to pay for a mount. Why that mentality exists in our industry is beyond comprehension. Do you think GM feels bad that folks have to sacrifice to buy a new truck? Do you think the executives at the gun manufacturers lose sleep over the fact people have to save and "do without" to buy their guns? Honestly, I enjoy having customers who sacrifice and "do without" so that they can have me do a mount for them. When they pick it up, they are much more appreciative of the work I have done. Having sacrificed, they will generally take better care of their trophies over time and spread the word about the great job I did for them.
  5. retiredfulltimer

    retiredfulltimer New Member

    buckfeverallyear - just started reading this post, what a mess, a couple of quick questions? At those crazy low prices how do you account for sales tax and self employment tax. At $350 for a deer there is no room for error. In Louisiana you are putting a completed product out the door and are liable for sales tax on the full price. I don't get it, you are $5000-$6000 a month, paying approx $525 in sales tax and another $300 in SE tax, after materials there's not much if anything left? With health care, insurance, food, gas etc there's no way.
  6. Not to mention the time lost with paper work, DNR if they decide to take a look at your freezer, then tell you 3 hours of stories about other taxidermists when they are finished, and I would have to say the worst surprise is the payroll tax for self employment. I put money away for sales tax, but I'm still getting used to the self employment taxes.
  7. gab

    gab Active Member

    the customer pays sales tax,you don't.if he's listed himself as a business he's not self employed,he owns a business and pays income on his profit,which after deducting business expenses isn't usually much.Also Louisiana has a much lower cost of living and alot of bartering usually occurs.He can probably live alot more comfortably than someone living in a northern or mountain state charging almost twice as much.I used to work for a company that gave you a $1000 per month housing allowance if they transferred you from Texas to Colorado.
    It's all relative to location.Where i'm at if you do less than 700 heads a year and charge 650 per head,you're a small operator and a lowballer.
  8. The customer may pay it. But you have to save it, then fill out the paperwork to report it, then pay it in. As far as business tax, what I am referring to is self employment tax. If you own a business, and do not work for another business you pay it whatever way you shake a stick. Unless your not paying your taxes?
    Medicare, Social Security, not just what a payroll employee would pay either, you have to pay the employer share as well as a business owner.
  9. retiredfulltimer

    retiredfulltimer New Member

    GAB - some are flat clueless!, If you list yourself as a business, which in the USA if you make over $400 per year doing work other than as an employee or 1099-misc, you are self employed. It doesn't matter if it is a sole prop., LLC partnership, S-corp etc. You as being self employed pay double, your 1/2 of SE plus the "employers" 1/2 = approx 15.3% of business income. That doesn't include the rest of the taxes!

    As far as sales tax, the customer only pays it if the salesperson collects it, else it comes out of your pocket which I am willing to bet neither happens in this case. If you don't pay the SE tax guess what! NO SOCIAL SECURITY as you didn't pay in, that's what SE tax is.

    In a nutshell, No sales tax collected, get a knock on the door, no SE = no social security, $350 deer head -no retirement, life will suck when they get older
  10. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    retired, You are exactly correct. 15 something percent is paid by the business owner for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. The only way that you don't is if you don't report your income. Sales taxes ARE paid by the consumer unless you have it set up a different way. Here in Kentucky I pay a use tax on the materials that I use and I incorporate that into my pricing. Taxidermists are service oriented and all I have to do is pay 6% on all my materials. That can add up to a lot at times...... I still have to say that IF you are doing everything that you are supposed to do with all of the taxes and insurance and advertising and so on and so forth you just can't do it at $350.00 per deer head........................................
  11. retiredfulltimer

    retiredfulltimer New Member

    Harry - Thanks, most don't get it never will, until they get the dreaded letter or knock on the door. One of my former employees moved to Texas and opened a taxi shop at his house, never got a business lic or paid taxes until one day when the sheriff and tax agent showed up! Ended up losing the wife, kids and the business (if you call it that). With the IRS if you are fraudulent there is no statute of limitations as most assume. He had to go back to day one and pay up. Penalties and interest doubled his fee's. Cost him everything. He was a part timer that assumed because he had a regular job it didn't matter. When the government is broke and huntin' money watch out.

    You are correct on Kentucky, keep an eye on it. That is one of the few states left where it is still a service. Most have it as a retail sales classification now due to the fact it is the only business on the list for Kentucky where the client leaves with a tangible, saleable product.

    FOR KENTUCKY ONLY, MOST STATES DIFFER,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Section 1. (1) Persons engaged in the business of rendering service shall be classified as consumers, not retailers, of the tangible personal property which they use incidentally in rendering the service. Tax shall apply to the sale of tangible personal property to consumers.

    (2) The list in this subsection shall serve as examples of service enterprises:

    (a) Advertising agencies;

    (b) Banks;

    (c) Barbers;

    (d) Beauty shop operators;

    (e) Bootblacks;

    (f) Cleaners;

    (g) Launderers;

    (h) Shoe repairmen;

    (i) Taxidermists;

    (j) Tire repairers; and

    (k) Similar enterprises.

    Section 2. (1) Persons rendering professional services shall be classified as consumers, not retailers, of the tangible personal property which they use incidentally in rendering their services.

    (2) The list in this subsection shall serve as examples of persons rendering professional services:

    (a) Accountants;

    (b) Architects;

    (c) Audience research service providers;

    (d) Cable television service providers;

    (e) Construction information service providers;

    (f) Engineers; and

    (g) Lawyers

    The key word here is "incidental" for materials in the old days that was true, not anymore, this stuff costs a lot of money! On average they are looking at paper for accountants etc. I see this changing soon.

    Good Luck!
  12. gab

    gab Active Member

    what ya'll are implying is that any taxidermist charging 350 is breaking federal and state laws to stay in business.I don't believe that.
    Say a guy mounts [email protected] 100 tanned hides at 100 and50 skulls at 100.he opwns his building and drives an older paid for truck.he grosses 85K,with total expenses around 40 K.Income is 45K minus 15K in taxes,30 thousand clear.for an hourly guy to CLEAR that a year working 40 hrs a week he would need to make 18-20 dollars an hour.Maybe not great money to a couple of high rollers,but nothing to sneeze at for a working class guy.
  13. 200 deer is awfully optimistic. I don't think anyone is implying they have to break laws to stay in business.
    What I implied was really not an implication it was just stating a fact. To stay in business by the following quote
    This quote directly says they only pay income tax on profit and was written after I mentioned the self employment tax. Basically leading most to assume your were arguing that listing yourself as a business would somehow exempt you from paying self employment taxes and I quote ".if he's listed himself as a business he's not self employed" That comment is probably what is leading people, including myself to believe your comment is alluding to failing to pay self employment taxes.
    Now as far as your math is concerned that amount of volume would cost about 40 K in expenses. If you only count direct cost of orders as expenses. Like your mannikins, earliners, eyes, mby glue, tanning if you send it out, but it seems you didn't consider some of the other expenses related to running a business not to mention it is extremely optimistic to assume someone owns their building and it is payed off this day and age. Anyway you should also include a building payment or rent even modest to be fair say $400 a month, utilities (my heat bill is a minimum of $1200 on a good year)(electric probably $1500) property tax, licenses, advertising, competitions or anything else to keep you up to date in the industry, computer and internet($600), telephone business line ($900), mby one month of one bill is a drop in the bucket but add just those #s and not all the stuff I probably forgot and that itself adds at least around $10-12k to your #. To top it off how can you do quality work of that volume, and get it all done within a year, with paperwork, time for family, gotta fish and hunt, figure out orders and keep everything straight and not mixed up, and deal with customers dropping off 30 min each piece of work, picking up 30 min each, and calling twice to check on it while you go thru the papers and give them an update before its done 15 min, that's 1.25 hrs per customer that equals at least 437.5 hours just dealing with customers! That's 11 weeks of work just talking to customers and that doesn't include the ones that price shopped and didn't bring anything in! And all of this is without one employee? Sorry but those #s are extremely optimistic and borderline impossible.
  14. ElkinsTaxidermy

    ElkinsTaxidermy www.ronelkinstaxidermy.com

    I can't see enough hours in a day, for any one 'guy' to get this amount of work done. If he can, I can't see him having ANY quality of life. There are WAY easier ways to kill yourself.
  15. Absolutely! I know I couldn't. If you spent 1.25 hours dealing with each one talking with customer and logging in 30 min, 15 min from the phone calls while its in progress, and 30 min checking them out and hearing another few stories give or take that's 1.25 hours each and 350 pieces equals 437.5 hours or 10.9 WEEKS of your time without even touching a mount and that doesn't include talking with the customers that are price shopping or just curious. I know I just wrote that in my last post, but thought I would drive that point home!

    Buy hey, mby in Texas he can teach a few illegals to stitch, flesh, just please for your customer's sake don't let them answer the phone. Oh ya, and even at $4 an hour, better deduct that, what are we down to now for income like $10k?
  16. Micheal,
    So far you started a couple fights and 13 pages of argueing.......
  17. retiredfulltimer

    retiredfulltimer New Member

    Bingo - to do 200 deer shoulder mounts, 100 flat skins and 50 skulls you would need to work 7 days a week for a full 52 weeks to hit roughly 2900 hours needed to get it done. That's just work time, no cleanup, BS with clients etc. Flat impossible!!!

    If you did 85K in sales netting $45,000 for example in Texas you would pay approx $6,885 in SE tax, $4,300 in Fed income tax, $7,000 in sales tax you would net $26,600 after taxes.
    Throw in another 400-500 hours in client BS plus 2 hours a day ordering, cleaning up etc. comes to 4078 hours of work to git er done. (2900 work, 450 client BS, 728 ordering/cleanup)

    That comes to a whopping $6.52/ hour, no days off, no retirement, no health care (get hurt or sick and your screwed)

    Dang I wanna be a lowball-er taxidermist

    .........................my truck broke and the county just took the house for unpaid taxes, but I work at home for free!
  18. Ok, Micheal I found a new angle for your show!
    You can go to the cheapest taxidermy shops you can find and see how they do it, what their work looks like, if there doing their taxes, and anything you see fit to check out. Just make sure it is entertaining and yes, sorry, on most channels you might have to keep most of your clothes on.
  19. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    retired, You are 100% correct. Start adding in 6% for retirement and the littany of other unforseen things that come up while you're trying to do taxidermy and the next thing that you know is that you are broke. I'm not saying that anybody on here is breaking the law BUT, unless you are not reporting income there is NO WAY that you can make it. I was a single man operation for several years. The most that I could EVER gross was just short of 100K. There is just not enough hours in the week. You can only do what you can do. In this day and age, I just don't think that it is possible to make it charging those low prices......
  20. gab

    gab Active Member

    I guess ya'll are right.I guess us guys out here legally making a living at taxidermy don't have a clue what it takes to run a business.All this time i thought i knew what I was doing.I guess that's 22 years wasted.I guess I'll hang it up.But first I still have 300 animals to get mounted. ::)