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Did shipping go up (again)???

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Vicki Chritton-Myers, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    Re: Re: Did shipping go up (again)???

    ?????¿?????????????????? No. He's just saying be a business person. If your town has 1000 or 500,000, be the one people are talking about in a good way! I have a guy $100 cheaper than me 15 miles away (small town chit), I still take in 40 heads a year (don't care what he does!) , that's a net of 4G on what he's doin for same amount of work! I TELL THEM HOW IT'S GONNA BE BY MY QUALITY AND PRICE!

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  2. MidwestBigBucks

    MidwestBigBucks Member

    Re: Re: Did shipping go up (again)???

    I joke..I joke... ;) I know what he's saying! ::)

  3. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    I live in a town of 200 people with 3 other taxidermists. But I have customers in Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, just too give you an idea. I can not limit myself to the population in this one horse town and you shouldn't either.
  4. MidwestBigBucks

    MidwestBigBucks Member

    Very true..Amen to that!
  5. Don't be surprised by what some people in those one horse towns will pay also. I agree, don't limit your self to your small town. But, I picked up quite a bit of business from my town when I started. Most of those clients were driving about an hour away to have their work done before. Why, because they wanted something fancy. My town has a population of under 400 and a per capita income of less than $15K. They don't drive fancy cars, they don't have fancy houses, but when it comes to taxidermy work, they want top notch work. Hunting is what a lot of these people live for and their mounts are a representation of their life's accomplishments. Out of all the clients I have from my own town, maybe a few make over $20-25K. The people making the money in my town seem to be the ones that wouldn't notice if I mounted their antlers on a bear. Those ones that spent all year saving for their mount though, they look at the nose, eyes, ears... and they want it to look like it might grunt at them.
  6. Cool Chris, it must be awesome to get that kind of recognition when your putting together their pieces, probably makes going back in the next day really easy.
  7. What's the largest town within a 100 mile radius of you?
  8. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    I'm 50 miles from ST. Louis, but I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. I can't recall ever mounting anything from the city. If fact many go to the city because of a little company called Schwatz. One of the biggest and oldest taxidermy shops in the country. They go there because of the name and reputation. Exactly what I'm telling you to build. A name and reputation. Besides, people in St. Louis don't hunt animals. They hunt each other. Yes, I still do some taxidermy work, but not all that much anymore. My niche is in antler reproductions and repair. However, I have promoted that business with shows in PA., Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada SCI. The point is, you have to promote yourself and you can't let demographics put up any road blocks on that regardless of what business your in. Cake decorating even. Business's stay small because they think small. Think BIG if BIG is what you want to be.
  9. The reason I asked the size of the town is to see what the population you have to draw from is, despite the size of the actual town you live in. West Plains (pop 10K) is 100 miles from Springfield (pop 170K). Within 100 mile radius, it's the biggest town. The majority of the remaining towns within that 100 miles are small (all smaller than West Plains), with populations of 2K or less.

    I would like to be able to do more African/exotic work. Decent deer taxidermists are relatively plentiful and I really don't think if a guy is doing the same quality of work as I am, that people are going to drive 100 miles for my work, when John Doe is right there in their back yard, doing the same quality work. I know I wouldn't.

    Yours is more of a specialty as well. Other taxis come to you. We are doing quite a bit of out of state work with the hydrographics, because it is a specialty as well. But, like I said, if a person has a local taxidermist doing decent work, why would they bother to drive 100 miles to me, if my work wasn't any better?

    I know what you mean by 'thinking big,' though, and appreciate your pointers (and the others on here). I know business would most likely pick up had we a location in town or along a major highway as well. But, then there would be more overhead. And I don't want to be too big and lose the personal touch. People bring us deer because they want me to do them (like commissioning my artwork). If I ended up hiring a bunch of people, then it would no longer be my work, just as it wouldn't if I let other people do paintings and sign my name to them.

    Actually, 3 or 4 years ago, business was pretty decent. Enough to keep us at it year-round, just finishing up the last deer when the following season hit again. The last 3 or 4 years, not so.

    Thanks again for all the help! =)

    PS: RE the cake decorating. I have two or three cakes to do for the local Bridal Fair at the end of this month. I plan to do a 'groom's cake' with a bass, leaping out of the water. Air brush it like I would a real one (using edible coloring). The splash made with isomalt (a sugar). Cattails, etc. Will post pics. Not sure on the other two yet, but they'll be wedding cakes of some type. Then, in August (I think) we are headed to the National ICES convention in Lexington, KY. My boss and I plan to make a cake to enter. 10K first prize on that one. Pics to follow as well... =)

  10. ;D ;D ;D

    This post has certainly ventured far from its original question on shipping prices going up. LOL
  11. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Keep hitting it.. He's not dead yet. Those flies mean nothing.
  12. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    Why is it, in these Threads/Debates about mount prices many people use the size of there town as a reason for charging what they do?

    I live in very small town. I bet I only get about a 1/2 dozen people from town that bring me work. I'd say 50% of my work comes from over an hour away. Probably 50% of that is 2+ hours away.

    I was $495 for a Deer Head in 2011. In 2012 I raised my deer head prices $55. Now I charge $550 for a Deer head. I brought in more deer in 2012 than I did in 2011.

    You can have as may awards on your wall as you want. It won't amount to crap if you don't know how to sell yourself.

    I'd say 50% of the work I do is Rugs. Not wholesale work. I go through a lot of rugging material. I shop at Jo-Ann's for my Felt, Badding, Backing, Hangers, Thread, Glue Sticks, etc. I went to Jo-Anns on Black Friday. I bought $618.82 worth of supplies. I paid $254.38. I saved $364.44, thats a 59% discount! I don't buy anything at Jo-Ann's unless I am getting 40% off. If it is a big ticket item I won't buy it unless it is 50% off. If I would have had more $$ that day I'd have probably spent double that.

    This past week I ordered $1657.15 worth of Supplies from McKenzie. After my 12% discount I saved $198.85! I am not sure what shipping will be but pretty sure $100 will cover it.

    People need to be smart about this stuff. There are many ways to save money you just need to figgure out how. You also need to know what is worth it and what isn't. Taking 1/2 a day off work is not worth saving $40. Not if you are running a full time shop.
  13. If you don't mind, let us know what the shipping is on that. (Without a discount applied.) Thanks! =)
  14. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    Shipping was $38.15 on the McKenzie order.
  15. 71Challenger R/T

    71Challenger R/T New Member

    Saving money is what business is all about. every penny saved is a penny profit. I get that. But there is such a thing as stepping over dollars to pick up nickels. I simply break down the cost of shipping into related expenses. An overall picture of your business profile will tell you the total cost per mount hour. that cost should include, materials, labor, rent, heat, lights, office supplies, phone, insurance, advertising, shipping, snow plowing, grass mowing, and any and every expense related to the taxidermy business, only after accounting for all expenses can one calculate a profit.
    The problem with most sole proprietorship's. is the proprioter considers himself (the Business) he/she feels that profit is the labor payment. and takes all profits as payment for his labor. for a business to be healthy the business needs to see a profit. Realizing this offers the Business the financial independents to not be at the mercy of the price oriented shopper. Being able to feel that your product is worth $X regardless of what the local market seems to indicate, and sticking to that standard places the business in a category that attracts individuals willing to pay the price deserving of that quality.
    Shipping is a fact of life in the taxidermy industry. pass the cost on. Hunters spend thousands of dollars for guns, tents, scentfree suits, optics, clothing, 4 wheelers. all in the hopes of bagging the buck of a lifetime. Then when they do, they want to have it mounted for next to nothing. let the price shoppers go to the newbie. you would be waisting your talent because they have no idea, or appreciation for real taxidermy. All Taxidermist need to charge what the job is worth and stop cutting their own throats.