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

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 accounted for 50% of a finished head going into the cost.That's 175.Tanning himself,he would have about $100 materials and tanning,including what it coast to get it there.If he's mounting 4 a week that leaves 1200 a month for simple overhead with the other 50 % going to him after whatever taxes.This is not counting ducks euros and tanned hides and other peripheral income.I've already covered the fact that he would have no or low rent and no or low truck payments.
    one guy working a good solid work week could make a very decent living as long as the work kept coming in.
    When you rely only on yourself you learn alot of tricks to be efficient.quantity discounts,order and ship in quantity,answering machine,limit travel,barter for services,etc,etc.what used to be normal common sense business practices.
    OK I'm done.Ya'll can continue without me.
  2. I really would like you to stay on this.I am trying to learn more about this.

  3. Harry Whitehead

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

    gab, thank you for the information but you got a little ahead of yourself and I couldn't follow. We need to slow down and take this more of a step at a time. We don't need to worry about production and anything else other than the "cost" of mounting a deer head from start to finish.
    Now, you stated that it costs you $175.00 to produce a deer head. I am assuming that you are including skinning, fleshing, tanning, preping, mounting and finishing. OK, that leaves you with a Gross Profit of $175.00.
    We are doing good so don't quit on me now! We are actually getting somewhere in a civil manner.....no name calling.
    Next, Please list what your monthly expenses are. This would be your utilities (water, sewer, electricity, waste removal), rent or mortgage, advertising, phone and cell phone, delivery costs, shipping, insurance, etc. Anything that you think that doing taxidermy directly impacts the cost of these line items. Be honest PLEASE. In the case of electricity, break it down as to square footage and break it down to what you think that the business is using on all of these line items. OK, we will be waiting....We're doin' good!!!
  4. James Parrish

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


    I saw your post and responded to it by asking how you (or they hypothetical person from your post) intend to pay for the shop AC to be repaired or replaced when it goes out. That paid for truck will not last forever and it will need repairs from time to time. How do you pay to fix it or replace it based on your math? Those things happen all the time in business. Unless you have some profit you will have to take money for those things out of that $30K.

    I can make the math work incorrectly for a $350 deer head, too. My shop takes up the entire 2 car garage at my house, so my shop payment is built into my home mortgage. Since the electric and water are run off the house meter, they are basically free, too. I don't have to pay any additional property taxes or insurance on my shop since I already pay them on my house anyway. My truck is paid for. All my equipment is paid for, as well. So, my overhead is zero. I figure all the necessary supplies run $90 for a deer head and tanning is another $45. I don't have to pay shipping since I live 20 miles from the tannery and supply house. I figure I spend an average of 8 hours on a deer head, including dealing with customer and paperwork, etc. If I pay myself $30 per hour, the labor portion comes to $240 for a deer head. That total comes to $330 and I add in $20 for profit.

    That math works but is horribly inaccurate. I can still pay my self employment taxes and bring in ~$20 per hour. However, what is neglected is the fact that the overhead is really not zero. Yes, my house payment would be the same if I were to quit doing taxidermy. However, instead of having the garage full with freezers, mounting stands, completed mounts, taxidermy tools, etc., I would use it to store things, park my cars, as a man-cave, etc. So, it is costing me something to use my garage as a shop. Instead of using that space for my benefit, my customers reap the benefit. So, I charge them for using my shop. Before I started doing taxidermy, my electric bill would run $125 per month. Now that I have freezers, refrigerator, compressor, AC, etc. going, the electric bill runs $250 average. So, even a small shop like mine has utility costs, even though there isn't a separate meter on it. Since I live close to the tannery and supply house, I don't have to pay shipping if I drive up to drop off skin and then again to pick them and supplies up. That is a 40 mile round trip. The government allows something like $0.50 per mile for business driving. So, that (according to the gov't) costs me $20 plus my time. So, if I don't add in shipping (or in my case mileage and time), I am losing money.

    I know some still will not get the fact that even though they don't have shop or truck payments they still need to charge their customers like they do have them. Here is my real breakdown for a $495 deer head:

    Supplies with shipping: $100
    Tanning with shipping: $55
    Overhead: $55
    Labor (8hr @ $30 per hr): $240

    Total before profit: $450

    10% Profit: $45

    Total with Profit: $495

    When I calculated my supply costs, I based everything on catalog price. If I order in bulk and get a discount or can get the job done in under 8 hrs, that only adds more profit to my bottom line. I love capitalism. If I didn't have a full-time job with medical and a good retirement plan (both paid fully by my employer), I could easily see that going up to $550 (probably more). If I did one for $350, not only would I not make any profit, I would have to come out of my pocket with $100 for each one I did.
  5. Harry Whitehead

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

    James, Let's don't get ahead of ourselves. Let's just list the monthly expenses as mentioned in my previous post. I think that is will make more sense if we do this step by step....at least I will understand better!! lol
  6. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    Please be specific on whom you are addressing.
  7. Dave H

    Dave H New Member

    Harry I am not a $350 guy, i am a $400 guy and you did get pretty personal with some of your comments and that shouldn't be part of the conversation. everyone doesn't spell everything right and everyone does not use proper grammer, but that doesn't make them any less of a person.
  8. Well scroll back and see anyone who quoted me say on page 15 from a post I made on a previous page and then put it together. It is getting hard to keep track of all this posting at this point, but if your wondering if I'm referring to you I'm doubting it. Unless you deleted your post with the quote the only ones I saw were not you.
  9. Harry i would love to break all expenses down for you. But i will decline for the same reason when your asked to provide the information you have on the NTA. You don't think you should because of the repercussions .
    Same here no matter what me or gab and any others put down. there will be fault in some wheres by some one some how.
    I been called ever thing to a dumb rock, illiteracy, liar, scumbag, lowballer, and i think obama. Just to name a few. I see no need in opening up the door for further insults. That will happen you can bet the farm on it. You can consider from me that you and the others have won your argument. I wont even get in the number game issue.
    I will not walk away from the folks that think a one man shop cant do 200 deer in a year. Thats an easy argument to settle. Drive fly walk what ever come spend one day with me.
    You know the only reason i come to taxi-net is to make friends with the same people that share a passion for the same thing i do every day. Taxidermy. With all the trash talk its hard to enjoy it some times.
    Maybe i am different than a lot of you. I got taxidermy on my mind 24/7 .When i am at home i am either talking about it or doing something at home related. I go and look for drift wood on my days off i enjoy it, I will prebuild pedestals that i don't need yet because i enjoy it. I look for reasons to get in the truck to go back to the shop.
    Your right harry i am keeping up with the thread but i dont care to jump back in the fire anymore.
  10. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    Buckfeverallyear I agree,again we are geting nowhere unless we raise our rates to 7or800 dollars to suite others.I too love the art.But I soon as sit in my dark corner by myself and self teach than be slandered.You were right I doubt if the insults would fly if we were standing next to one another.Hell again some are hideing their location.What does Obama got to do with this?Its a chicken chit way out for lack of better words.Since there has been so many quotes heres one from DADDY:I may have to work with them but I dont have to drink with them.A major reason 2 of my competitors wont support NTA and state assoc's is because they have seen the clicks and it shows here.You are either part of it or you cant voice your opinion without ridicue.Again shop around the site and you will find this conversation listed with same subject different title.Just goes to show some want to voice their opinion also just no fortitude when fingers are pointing in all directions.It makes no difference apparently how long youve been at it or your financial and workload habits,raiseing prices is the only way.No answers on production fish lines.No comebacks on what elese do they receive income from.I asked doesnt the accountant consider fish birds and etc income or taxable.Again no answers.Im still going with 1 mount a year at 60,000.00 plus and golf the rest of that time.Artist dont work to hard and another quote is Mickey D's is always hireing if you are that unhappy.
  11. I believe we need people from all price and ability ranges.I for one never said otherwise. All I have said is get what you can, and dont sell yourself short,over price yourself,and be happy.Some of the $0-$350 dollar guys produce remount work and new customers for me,and I would not dought I produce remounts and new customers for the $600-$800 guys
  12. Harry Whitehead

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

    You know boys, all it would take is a call to the sales tax people and you would be out of business. The sad part is that your competition won't do it because they are just as guilty... What a shame....

    OutdoorHub Mobile, the information engine of the outdoors.
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    (Just for the record, I am not in disagreement with much of what has been said here......just the way it is often said)

    BUT!!!! There is also the "real world" that dictates what we can charge locally. I will give an example:

    A few years ago a taxidermist came by wanting to work "for" me....on the side subbing out game heads. This person was an excellent taxidermist, actually better than me, but couldn't make it full time on their own. All this person did was gripe about how cheap everyone was in their area (about 60 miles away) and there was "NO WAY" this person was going to lower their price to get more work! Pride can suck!!! YET...........they were willing to work for pennies on the dollar for me ??? ??? ??? ??? Go figure. That's where our "business plan" goes too pot. I never have figured that one out!

    Now...most people at the top of the market do not rely on "local" markets. They have built enough of a reputation that business comes from all over. 99% of my deer business is local so I have to go by what my local market will bare. (I think I am the highest guy around but still too cheap ;)) But almost all my African work is from away so I can charge closer to "national" averages" and some of my stuff is HIGHER than what some of you price gripers are charging!! :p However...when all is said and done I actually think I make more per hour on deer than anything else once you figure in the aggravation of dealing with Africrap!!

    But then again...who are we kidding. If it was about money, we would all have gotten an education and have "real" jobs by now!!!
  14. Harry Whitehead

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

    Is there something in the water down there in Louisiana?????

    OutdoorHub Mobile, the information engine of the outdoors.
  15. sportsmen wildlife

    sportsmen wildlife New Member

    Let's look at it this way, how much was the average deer head fifteen years ago. I worked in two different shops one was 365.00 the other was 395.00. These where average prices then, not low and not high. Is our average gonna stay at those prices for fifteen more years. And Ron your right, I could have a job making almost twice what I bring home now through my family. But If I want to be late to work in the morning,take off early,work late,work early,work fast, work slow,grow my business,lose my business, there is only one person to answer to and that is myself.And after putting up with all the BS in the real world I wouldn't trade this for nothing.
  16. Harry Whitehead

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

    You know, I can't help but comment on the remarks made by Glenn. What repercussions? Are you referring to the fact that you aren't paying taxes? Or are you referring to not paying sales tax? Please clear up the matter of the repercussions that you speak of? I would hate to rob a bank with you!!!

    OutdoorHub Mobile, the information engine of the outdoors.
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Sportsmen,.....Your right about the 'freedom" aspect. That alone is worth a lot. My wife just got a part time job for the first time in years. Simply because she was getting bored! The BS that goes on is SOOOO not worth it to me. Most of my friends do make more than me but few have DONE as much as me and hopefully I ain't through yet. Yep...hunted all over, even in Africa, raised five kids, traveled some, and all this WITHOUT BEING A TAX CHEAT!!! ::) Go figure. Some people just exude themselves don't they :mad:
  18. Yep gators
    but what are you hinting at ? i dont get
  19. Brian Claar

    Brian Claar New Member

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

    Not trying start a fight but....
    Your all going to go broke. LOL
    It's always about deer. Why not fish? A big part of my profit comes from doing fish. Your all missing the boat here. He He!
    What about the guy charging 8 per inch for fish? How does he make it?
    Just sayin'

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  20. That's an easy one Harry
    the repercussions crap that would be handed out here. I thought i said it clearly, maybe i didn't.
    For the record no i do not pay sells tax. I receive the sales tax form quarterly and its thrown away just like i was instructed to do by the tax folks. The only reason i receive the tax form is because same division handles the occupation lic. for the town. So I have a occupation lic. they know i am here.
    Harry why do you just insist on hitting me in the back of the head.
    You was accused of not having the proof on the NTA that thread got heated against you. You stood your ground and never posted those papers. i have no reason to doubt that you have them just because you refused to post them .