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What do customers want?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by yelper, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. yelper

    yelper Do or Do Not.... There is no try

    As I look at this site and see the work posted here and think of the area where I live and work I wonder what it is that customers really want. Taxidermy has come a long way in just the past 10 years. New more accurate forms and materials, better methods and different styles of portraying the animals. Some clients are content with the "deer head on the wall" while others want a more elaborate display of the animals and still some just want a more artistic representation of the animals. While the more elaborate "air" or "action" mounts are cool to look at I wonder if the majority of hunters are requesting those type of mounts or are they more inclined to go with the "traditional" type or mounts that show the animal in a pose in which let's say, you happened by and took a photo of it in it's natural habitat...ie; a nice clean mount displaying the animal in a natural setting perhaps on a pedestal base. I know that personally I prefer the more artistic mount with some habitat or perhaps a slight alteration like a turn to the head or a slight open mouth but do not like so much the "Action" mounts for long term display. I do have some Action mounts on display but find that folks here look at it for a moment then move on to the more traditional style of taxidermy. This could be in part because they've never seen this type of mount and don't know what to make of it. They almost always ask the cost but really never goes any farther than that. Granted that could just be the people that live here. I know in my area of local people price is king above all else. I guess I'm asking and I know I'll get all kinds of opinions and it will likely get off the subject but what do you as taxidermist find the is the type of mount you do the most?

    Traditional, (deer/elk etc. on the wall)
    Artistic (perhaps a pedestal base with a nice habitat)
    Action ( "air" mount, multiple animals interacting, etc.)

    Just curious
  2. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    1. They want competition quality mounts cheap.

    2. They want great work done FAST.

  3. mmwtdh

    mmwtdh Member

    Pick Two....




    I personally choose good and fast, but other people will have different expectations.

    Edited to include.... I personally prefer just "plain" mounts, shoulder or full body with no added accoutrements.
  4. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    usually more than you can offer them
  5. Fast and cheap
  6. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    They want what you SELL them. Art is not bought, it is SOLD. If you turn out fast and cheap work that is why your customers do business with you. If you turn out the best of the best and charge the highest price that is why your customers do business with you. Bottom line. It is your choice how you sell yourself, your shop and your work.
  7. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    The average off the street customer wants what he knows. He shot a deer, for example, and gets referrals from friends, and goes with it. Id say he wants traditional, and wants price, then turn around time.

    I think those who have had work done before change into another type of customer. They want turn around and will pay accordingly. If they have a few on the wall already, they will be more intere4sted in doing something different.

    The collectors, those who tried taxidermy in the past, or those who have gone through a few taxidermists are most likely to be the ones that seek action, style and uniqueness first over price. They expect to pay more and get a good return time for that price.

    I think its really not what kind of customer is out there to choose...I think its more simple...what kind of taxidermist to you plan to be? THAT type of customer will come to you accordingly.
  8. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Looks like perhaps James and I agree...
  9. I tried to post this like three times and I kept getting an error report....so it was more relevent when I was the first reply but I'm posting anyway because this computer is not going to beat me :p

    Seems like no one will let me do anything fun....no one wants any eye rotation....ears both in exactly the same position etc....until they see one with some character, so I try to keep something on hand. I have also had a hard time selling wall ped and floor peds. Sure they love them...but don't want to pay any more for it. Then there are their wives that don't want it in the house. So they put their mounts in a hunting cabin or in the basement and don't want to do anything too "fancy". So I try and market to the wives and show them how artistic and classy it can look.....works some of the time ;) Oh yeah they love the wall habitat but they want that for free too....
  10. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Customers are all different, and everyone sees something different when they look at taxidermy. You can display a high quality piece in your shop and (no matter what it is) some will love it, some will hate it and every other opinion in between. You have to have thick skin to be a taxidermist because no matter now good you get or how good a piece is there will always be someone who looks at it and says " I don't like that". I try to get my customers to make the decision themselves by finding out what they like and want and try to accomadate them as best I can. I agree with Jim, he stated it best.
  11. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have action poses, air mounts, interactive multiple head peds, mounts that incorporate a lot of artist design and most of my customers love them on my walls not theirs. I have to work to sell them anything beyond a straight upright.
  12. jasonb

    jasonb I think I'll keep her

    The overwhelming number of just average "deer hunters" for the most part can't see past the rack. If you are a good salesmen then you have a better chance of getting to do something fun, but very few will ever want to PAY for you to do the fun mounts.
  13. James M has it right on the money. IMO
  14. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    There are three kinds of customers, the rich, the average, and the cheap ass. Each taxidermist has to decide who they will want for customers, and provide a product that will fit in that customer level. It isn't very hard to figure out.
  15. Nathan

    Nathan Active Member

    As a frequent "customer" with a good sized collection of taxidermy from a number of reputable taxidermists, I'll tell you what I look for. First and foremost is anatomical correctness. Symmetry is naturally part of that. A piece of work either looks right, or it doesn't. I don't worry too much about pricing, because I feel that you get what you pay for. While I appreciate creativity with the mount, I don't want anything too complicated, because taxidermy imitates nature, and nature is more often than not, uncomplicated. I appreciate being treated respectfully by the taxidermist that I choose to do business with. Most of the taxidermists that I have dealt with were good representatives of the profession, and that will generate repeat business. As time has passed, I have also come to appreciate a reasonable turn around time. Beyond that, I can't think of anything else.
  16. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    That about sums it up right there!