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Low Ballers ruining the industry!!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by killitnfillit, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I gave up years ago worrying about what others charge. I just make sure I get what I need to make a living. The low baller WILL be gone soon...but another will pop up.

    Had a guy bring me 2 BIG crappie this summer that some other "taxidermist" butchered. He wanted to know if I could "fix" them. I said no matter how much work I did they would still look like crap. He told me he paid $6 an inch...I told him he got what he paid for.
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Richard is there still a dearth of taxidermists in your state? How many was the most Mass has ever had? Just curious.

  3. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    There are none in the greater Boston area. The Boston,Ma yellow pages is 1800 plus pages and no taxidermists. I got a small local area book this week and the one taxidermist listed has been dead for 3 years. I hope his bill is being paid ??????
    Speaking of low ballers, I picked up a sporting newspaper in New Hampshire last week when I was up there and a taxidermist in Unity,NH has a big ad and MOOSE heads are $700.00 . You can't beat that price with a stick. His Deer are $325.00 and Boars are $350.00 . The ad also says Experienced and Excellent References.
    Cecil ,A merry Christmas to you and the family. In the spirit of Christmas I forgive you for being a Obama supporter.
  4. Buy cheap, buy twice.
  5. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    And I forgive you for not being a supporter. ;D

    Merry Christmas and a happy off the cliff New Year. ;)
  6. Brian Claar

    Brian Claar New Member

    2 weeks ago a customer was bringing me 2 bear. He calls me the day before our appointment and tells me he may go to another taxi because I was 1000.00 more. I said well go ahead and I hope it works out for you.
    Stuck to my price and he showed up anyway because he liked my work.
    Don't worry about what others are charging. Worry about putting out the best quality you can and charge for it.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  7. tviper56

    tviper56 Active Member

    If you're not ashamed to send it out the door don't be ashamed to charge for it.
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    One thing that has not been covered here is we all had to start somewhere. If anyone can tell me with a straight face their quality was as good as when they started as what they do now I'd say either they haven't improved much are they're fibbing.

    So the questions is can you charge $550.00 for a deerhead right out of the gate because all the more experienced taxidermists are? Will the customers pay it?

    I don't know about you guys but when I started out I was lower because I needed the work and as I improved I brought my prices up. I used those low paying customers as practice so to speak.
  9. Well I appreciate all the advice. As for Taxidermists in our yellow pages we have 36. 3 counties. PA is one of the largest taxidermy states in America. Lots of competition. I do have pride in my work and charge accordingly, but unfortunately I live in a very depressed area of the country. Guys would rather see a dead deer on the wall with their antlers attached than to see a fine piece of craftsmanship as decor for his"man cave" or game room. Now we do have some more picky clients around here but are few and far between. A few of you have seen some of my work and I'm not afraid to compete with any customer piece at the state show providing it was a nice specimen. I've only been full time (if that's what you want to call it) for 4 years. I learned from one of the best in the industry. Joel Zimmerman at the Northwood Institute of Taxidermy. Guess I just have to be patient and let the lowballers hang themselves. Thanks again for the advice.
  10. double barrel

    double barrel New Member

    If anyone can tell me with a straight face their quality was as good as when they started as what they do now I'd say either they haven't improved much are they're fibbing. ...Thanks Cecil for being honest, I agree with you, except, it's not fibbing, it's lying.

    I think everybody enjoys these pricing posts, and reads them out of curiouosity, but they go nowhere, like a dead horse. If a young kid, we call em newbys, are charging too little we say, " he's not making anything, better off working at min. wage." But we have to look at WHY he is doin it in the first place.

    #1. Most start out as hunters and, or, fishermen and when they or Dad wants to get a mt. done, they hear the price quote and think all taxidermists are getting rich. They have no idea of the cost of materials and shipping much less the work and time involved.
    #2. If I can learn to do my own mounts, I won't have to pay that ole rich taxidermist to mount my deer and fish. "Hey!, I can do uncle Bob's work and help offset the cost of learning it, and it will pay for the materials to do mine. "
    #3. Dad's thinking, if I can get little Bobby to learn to mount, I can cover my walls with animals and fish, save money paying someone else to do it, and get my money back for what I spend for his lessons. Besides, all that little $hit wants to do is lay around on hiss lazy azz and watch TV and smoke weed, won't even mow the grass. Too sorry to go to school, let alone college. This is my chance to make something out of him. I would go in there and wooup his azz but they would put me in jail. LOL!
    #4. Remember, he's never had a job, even at minum wage. He's never had any money, so he doesn't know he's not making any. Besides, he's having fun doin it. He's not worried if he takes 100 hours on a deerhead, it's fun to him.
    #5. Once he hangs that first deer on the wall, swiveled up ears where he didn't even open up the ears, let alone use a liner, antlers on backwards cause he never looked at a reference picture, nose all twisted around to one side, nostrils filled with mach'e painted titty pink, on a beautiful plaque, hanging on the fireplace or barnwood wall, his ego kicks in and he realizes , "I'm a taxidermist, I mounted that, leave me alone, my chit don't stink, I'll sign autographs tomorrow."
    #6. Then the neighbor sees it. "Damn Bobby, you did a helluva job, from now on i'm getting you to do all my work." How much you charge? Well let's see, the guy down the road is raping his customers, he gets 350, the form and eyes are 75, I'll do yours for 200 dollars. It's on now, he'll never be worth a damn for the rest of his life. Never be happy, or get out and get a real job. He'll go out of business. Later on he'll try again, start back up somewhere else, this time charging a little more, using what he's learned from his own mistakes. Still not charging enough, still ruining peoples deer.
    #7. There will always be a market for this kind of work, some don't know the difference and just want it cheap. He'll fold, another will open up and on and on it goes.
  11. BDrake

    BDrake Active Member

    You live in a capitalism economy, adapt or die.
    You want more fairness? Move your ass to a more socialist country.
  12. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    If it weren't for lowballers they'd have to increase the work week to 10 days instead of 7. I'm down here at 8:00 AM, got 4 birds to mount and 3 deer headed this way. What a Sunday! LOL

    Seriously, competition 'levels' it out and keeps a person from getting comfortable in their ability to mount.

    My basic shoulder mount, with tax is $606.20. I didn't start out like that, nobody did. To some charging $700, I am the lowballer :)

    I had a guy call yesterday that was going to bring 2 heads until he heard the price....... so what, you do not build your clientele on phone calls. You build it on references.

    Hey, we all climb the ladder, it just depends on where we decide to stop..... besides, the more we make, the more we do & buy, so we all wind up with no money anyways ;)
  14. Don't worry about your competition, Worry about the quality of your work. If you excel at taxidermy you can charge what ever you want! With in reason of course
  15. Ron B

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

    Nary a more true statment, hath ever been spoken!!
  16. Steves not joking. Were not full time as the supply business is 80 plus hours a week every week. But we get a grand a mount. Its usually custom though, but we turn down work every year.

    Not only do we charge what we need we charge what we want. Same as the clients they pay for what they want, and will find someone to do it no matter what. Actually not a single customer this year is from Ohio.

    So keep that in mind, if your good enough the right customers will find you.
  17. mimes

    mimes New Member

    I still shake my head at people who can afford good taxidermy, but choose to pay less to these lowballers because they have it set in their head that a mount should not cost more than "X" amount. Good thing is I have plenty of work and do not worry about it anymore.
  18. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    I have to agree with what Rudy said. I can't compete with most guys around here with price. I am 100-150 higher and taking in more work than most of them, but I do alot of out of state work and this year is no different with work from 15 different states. It shouldn't be a surprise that there are ALOT of clients out there looking for high quality work and they will pay for it.
  19. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Ill never understand why guys in 2012 are still only asking prices I was getting in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Itll never hurt MY business, but it sure is a shame. Even if the cost of everything was the same, which it surely isnt...
  20. I am continuously improving my quality. It is a shame that some people out there think that a deer head should only cost 200-300 to mount. I feel if I cant clear 200-300 per mount, it isn't worth my time. But it is so aggravating non the less. If these lowballers realized they can make $300 clear after cost per head instead of $100, they may change. They need to do 3 to my 1 just to make what I do except he is in his shop 3 times as long. Unless his turn-around is 2-3 years, which will get old for the customers eventually. I will tell you all now. I am fairly new at taxidermy, as in 4 years but my work doesn't show it. I charge $450 for a shoulder mount. Some of you may think this is rather low, but I AM still trying to build a customer base. I compete every year and sit in as many seminars as possible at the state show. Ask more questions than anyone I know, and read as much as I can. I will be visiting some high fence places soon to try another route. I know some of the guys doing their work and it is how can I say,.....1980's work. Not that taxidermists are any better now, but the quality and realism of the supplies are much better now. Well enough of my b!tching. Time to get to work. Thanks everyone for the comments and uplifting words. I'm sure I'll look back and laugh at this in a few years and say; what a shmuck I was! LOL!!