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PART 2 , if you are charging $250-$350 for a deer, how do you do

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by J P Baker, May 3, 2012.

  1. Yes!
    Who here has seen the movie called 10mph? In it the guy meets two families or maybe more who are living in dumps and they are more than happy about it. They don't NEED a house/entertainment/whatever because the river is what they live, breath, and crap. They make enough money to eat and to maintain their boats and they are so happy.
  2. Hedhuntr

    Hedhuntr Member

    This is why i DUMPED the grass cutting part of my landscaping biz. Fuel is $4 a gallon and the average lawn is $32.50. was getting that back in 1995. Along comes some kid 17-24 that buys a $500 lawn mower, cheap single axle trailer, no insurance home depot weed whacker and charges 20 bucks a lawn. He cuts 30 lawns in 2 days, makes 500 after fuel and has all his customers paying cash. At the end of the day he is as happy as a pig in stink. In the mean time a guy like my pays insurance, taxes, bills once a month (watching the checks trickle in). I have accepted this on a one off level BUT in the last 2 -3 years its not the one off's. Its the 10-20 or hundreds of these guys causing this. Bad part is its been happening in the taxi industy as well.

  3. I am a part timer and I get 4 deer done a week. Do the fleshing, tanning and finish work on week nights and mount 4 on the weekend.

  4. Ted B

    Ted B Active Member

    The problem with the industy is now everything is so readily available, buy a video or take a 3 day course and boom you hang out your shingle pick a name and you're a Taxidermist.

    Then they decide to undercut everyone around them to get work (even though they only have a few peices OR LESS under their belt they have no problems destroying someones trophy of a lifetime) and away they go. They figure that just like Walmart, LOW prices bring in the customers.

    I think the saddest part is that the quality of the work is usually crap, as can be witnessed here, but hey, they made $100 on it so all is great in the world. Meanwhile, the guy down the street with overhead and advertising bills to pay can't live on what his 'competition' charges and eventually has to close up or sell off his business thats hes been running for more years than his competition has been alive.
  5. Rob43

    Rob43 Active Member

    Same here. I make around $65,000.00 per year at my fulltime job plus all of my medical, dental, and eye insurance. I'm not rich by any means, but I could never come close to that kind of money doing taxidermy work in my area ( Central Ohio). And, then have to pay for my own insurance etc. I believe I will have to wait until I retire from my fulltime job, to do taxidermy fulltime. I would love to do it now, but there is just not enough work to be had around here. I charge $385. for a standard Whitetail shoulder mount. That's pretty much inline with all of the other taxi's in my area. I could charge $600.00 per shoulder mount, but I wouldn't get any deer to mount, so that would kind of defeat the purpose. No one I know of in this area would even consider a shoulder mount for $600.00, when they could just go to the next guy and get one for $350-$400.
  6. Hedhuntr

    Hedhuntr Member

    LOL no disrespect but why even bother doing a deer for a profit of $235? So if you do 20 and make $4700 after overhead. Thanks not a side gig for extra $$$ that's a weekend/evening headache. This is why so many people most likely in your area are not full time. Better off selling and buying stuff off eBay......LOL probably make more money too
  7. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    No disrespect intended either headhuntr,

    Maybe he enjoys the heck out of doing them, as a hobby and the profit (what profit he is making) is nice extra pocket money.
    To go with his pay check he brings in already.
  8. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

    But someone charging $250 isn't your competition anyway. If they are stealing your customers, then that says something about what your customers think of you or your work. People need to get that out of their head about cheapskates stealing customers. Those customers would have probably never came to you anyway, or they will learn their lesson and eventually be your customer when you do a remount for them. If it honestly is that bad economically where you are, then move because you most likely will go out of business anyway regardless of $250 deerheads.
  9. mccraw23

    mccraw23 New Member

    Re: PART 2 , if you are charging $250-$350 for a deer, how do you do

    I agree completely....very well said.

    Roy McCraw
  10. Ted B

    Ted B Active Member

    Regardless of what industry it is, if someone is taking work away by charging lower prices than they are competition for someone. I hear everyone saying that their area can't support higher prices, I don't hear them saying that people are looking for higher quality. I've taken customer from cheaper taxidermists because of the work I do, they don't like paying my price buit they do solely based on my commercial work.

    BTW, my example from earlier isn't based on my experience. I've been part time since I started in around 1999 but I charge prices equivalent or more than the full time shops here on most things. As far as a part timer charging less they must not value their spare time worth anything. My time away from job number 1 is valuable to me and my customers pay for it.
  11. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    A good friend of mine is just south of you in Ohio and USED to have your mindset. I convinced him to raise his prices considerably this year (up to $525 on deer and 30% on everything else) and he is overwhelmed with work. He accompanied his price hike with a new marketing strategy that was directed at people in YOUR area that have money and is being very well rewarded for it. The only reason you "can't get that kind of money" for your work is that you DON'T ASK FOR IT! Provided, of course, you can produce quality work.
  12. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    Well, I'm glad it's working out for him.
    My work is as good as anyone I have seen around me, or better. I can tell you that 90% of the customers I see couldn't tell the difference between a third place professional deer or a first place masters deer and really don't care.

    I have a few customers that know what they are looking at and expect a good quality mount, but the fact is that most do not.

    A guy I know started doing taxidermy in the town close to my house. He was charging $200 and his mounts got hammered in the amatuer division. They were very rough in all aspects. I had several people tell me that he did good work, but he took way too long. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, his deer heads were bad. That really kind of saddened me, how coul danyone look at his work and say it was good in any way.

    If your buddy is getting $525 or $575 in my area ( not sure how you know what my area is) that's good. I have a very hard time believeing he is getting more than a few deer to work on, but then again what do I know.

    I would be interested in knowing who this guy is. There is a new guy north of me that is charging $450 I believe, he has a web site, did his thing passing out flyers at all the butcher shops, and he couldn't get any work this year, But i have no idea how good his work is either.
  13. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    I won't put his name on here without his permission Dave but I can tell you that he now takes more deer in than I do along with more birds and turkeys. His quality has always been very good. The only thing that changed was HIS mindset that he "couldn't get that kind of money". Sure, he has lost some long time clients but has gained several more because of the "percieved value" he now projects with his higher prices. His marketing strategy is now directed at people that appreciate and demand the product he produces. The person you used in your example that doesn't see a difference in your deer vs. the $250 deer is NOT the person you want as a client and you should not be trying to get or keep that type of client.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again.....if taxidermists would spend HALF of the money they spend on stupid advertising that doesn't work and take a good sales and marketing course directed at the taxidermy industry they would quickly see that there is a LOT of money available. You'll never get what you don't ask for! If you don't appreciate and respect your talents by charging appropriately for them your clients won't either.

    BTW.....my wife Christie still offers one on one Marketing courses for taxidermists either in person or online. (*Shameless plug*)
  14. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    well, to be honest I really can't handle anymore work, but I do get doing less work for more money. I am fortunate to have a fulltime job that pays me pretty good and has excellent benefits so going full time really isn't an option for me, although I would love to.

    I also feel that all of my long term customers are what got me where i am, because I have never really advertised at all. I had business cards at one location because they asked for them. so all my business is strickly word of mouth, So raising my prices drastically is very hard for me. That may be completely stupid, but it's the truth.
  15. gab

    gab Active Member

    it's not how much you charge for a deer,it's how much profit of each deer goes in your pocket.if you raise your prices but have to spend more on advertising,etc to get them or have to start delivering or catering to difficult clients,you've cut your own throat.it's much better to stay below the radar and make money and let the big guys struggle for their 5% profit margin.
  16. nickstax

    nickstax New Member

    damn after reading all of these statements about doing 4/6 deer a wk i need to move to where all the deer are at. i have been full time for 20 plus yrs and don't think about what the guy down the road is charging. i think about me and my work. as i have said in other posts if you do good work, you will have more work than you can handle. deer are the backbone of taxidermy but you have fish ducks and other critters that produce income. more power to the PT who doesn't pay taxes,insurance, health care or utilites and put money into his ira. but this is my feelings about the cheap deer mounter and i'm sure King George will have a say about my statements.
  17. James Parrish

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

    I completely understand. If you have a good client base, it is difficult to raise your prices dramatically without losing a bunch of them. I see folks all the time who don't even raise their prices to cover supply/shipping increases, let alone to give themselves a pay raise out of some sort of "perceived obligation" to provide their clients with a low price. If you raise your prices incrementally, you will not drive away your satisfied clients. I have had a few that questioned why my prices went up so much (it had been a few years since their last mount). I basically explained that supplies and shipping are continuously increasing, electric rates go up, and that I am constantly improving the quality of my finished product and that those things cause prices to increase. I then explain that if I kept my prices the same, I would have to cut corners or do more work for less money.
  18. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    I have been slowly going up, and plan to keep doing that, but by the time I get $550 all the $550 guys will be at $750. I do pay taxes on all of it, but all of my other things , health ins, 401K are covered in my full time job.
  19. Rob43

    Rob43 Active Member

    The main reason I do taxidermy is because I love it. The second reason is because it's a very good extra income to buy my toys and take hunting trips with. My prices are about the same as the only full time taxi shop we have in this area, some are higher. Except I'm not paying employees or paying for my insurance etc. and struggling to make a living and pay all the bills and taxes etc. Mine is all EXTRA income. Like I said, when I retire, I will open my shop fulltime, but even then, it will be EXTRA income, as I will be collecting my retirement and 401K income as well. If your buddy has a fulltime shop in southern Ohio, chances are his wife has a good job and all the insurances etc. are paid for through her income. If it is Kevin Fisher, I know him and know his situation is as I stated.