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Pricing? Skin vs. Repro

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by J P Baker, May 29, 2013.

  1. When retail pricing your fish mounts why do you make the reproductions higher than the skin mounts?

    Is there really a large price difference when you purchase the materials? I think some but not major.

    To me a skin mount has low material cost but high man hours. While a repro has higher cost but lower man hours.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  2. Sikk

    Sikk Member

    If you are confident in your business plan, follow it and do not worry about anyone else. there are a 1001 variables why other taxidermists do what they do, IE full time-part time( I have a local guy that mounts whitetails for expenses because its his hobby and he has a very good paying full time job.), local economies and competition for business, and sometimes they do what they do because that's what everyone else is doing, follow a sound business plan and more than likely you will be in business for the long haul, and not fail like the majority do. paul

  3. den007

    den007 Active Member

    It is pretty simple math. I can skin mount a fish, with top notch forms, eyes, paint etc. (i.e.. a typical 22 inch bass) for under $30.

    A top end replica, like those from Lake Country and a few other folks that produce the good stuff, can run up to over $8 per inch for me to purchase.

    If you cast one yourself, the time and materials put into it may be much more cost effective.

    As they say, time is money. If I pay $8 per inch and sell for $20 per inch, and have nothing to do but pop it out of the box and paint it, do the math and figure out who makes more money for Time Expended. That my friend is dollars per hour.

    So, my skin mounts will always be less than replicas.....you have to cover the expense. Now, some will argue they can do a good casting on the cheap, get good quality, and offer a good price. $20 per inch is a Great price for either a skin mount or replica.

    It all depends on your skills and what you like to do. I like to paint. I do not like to slop around with molding when I can make more for the time I put into simply painting a top notch replica as opposed to molding, casting, and spending Time doing all this to supposedly Save a few bucks.

    What works for me is simply....buy the buy the best, paint fast and well, ship them out. I DO make more on skin mounts, but not per hour. Which would you rather do?
  4. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    I've always had more time than money, so, it's skin mounts for me. Fourty two years worth! Of course, I can't even imagine someone paying twenty bucks an inch for a fish mount, I charge eight bucks an inch. I still have people bitch because 8 bucks an inch is to much money !
  5. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    And I though I was a memory from the past lololol ::) MT I was doing fish for $8 per inch back in the sixties. WOW,I can't believe anyone works that cheap today! I bet your quality justifies the price. J.P.Baker I charge the same price for a repro or a skin mount and right now that's $19 per inch plus the panel. For me time and costs are about the same. Pay for a repro and paint it up or do the labor on the skin mount for me it evens out. M T you're my new "Joke du jour". Good luck ...JL
  6. Thank you for the replies, I got something from all of them.

    Personally, I used to charge more for repros but in the last two years I have gone to the same price for each. Looking back I would say my fish load was 10%repro, 90%skin. Since rising my skin price to match repros it is now close to 50/50 and my work load has more then doubled! It seams to me that most guys would ask the price, then go with the lower. Now that the prices are the same, they ask and are not sure what to do since they have already killed the fish. Most tell me if they would have known then they would have CPR'ed (Catch,photo&release).

    Myself, like most new taxidermist I started out pricing my mounts based on my local market. It took me years and a lot of suffering to understand how to price my mounts so I could make a living. I'm not in it for a hobby, I want to make money!!!!

    I don't think most understand how to break down the true cost of doing a mount. They look at the basic material cost and think well, it's cheaper to buy forms and do a skin mount. They run with it thinking they are making more money doing skins. Simple math would say they are putting more money in their pocket but are they really? I was not! When I went to a CPA and did the math, WOW..... I got an eye opener!

    I now have a wide range on my fish prices and let the customer choose. Skin and Repros an the same but the price are different based on species just as we do animals. All 20" fish are not the same so why price them that way? My fish start at $16 and go up to $22. Yes people will pay $22 per inch for a fish mount.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  7. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    JL, I do fish very quickly. I could compete at every level and be right there with anyone else. Here in Michigan the economy collapsed after 9/11 and has yet to recover. Many sportsman are making ends meet with second jobs. Can you believe their wives tell them they need to put food onthe table rather than putting a fish on the wall? Anyways, I can do fish, I can make a fish look real, andI can do them fast. If I do a fish for 8 bucks an inch, lets say average 30 inches, that's 240 bucks. Do one a day, very little overhead, 5 days a week, 1200 a week, 60 grand a year and happy customers. It works for me. I even have time to go bigfooting! JL, I realize you been at this a long time, but I have to at 42 years.
  8. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

  9. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Blah..blah...blah the economy is down....people are out of work...have to feed the family!!!! This has been around forever! Car and truck prices keep going up and people still buy them. Food prices keep going up and people still buy them.. Taxes and mortgages keep going up and people still buy and pay them. Taxidermy prices go up and customers still pay them. WAKE UP!!!!!!
  10. davehyer

    davehyer New Member

    I was talking to a fellow taxidermist at the show this year and we started talking prices. I asked him how much he got for a turkey, he said $1000. I thought to myself, man that s kind of high. i asked him how many he got in last year, and he said well none.

    I get $10.50 for a skin mount. Ive never seen anyone charge $20 an inch, but i don't get out much.
  11. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    That is because.......

    **I still have people bitch because 8 bucks an inch is to much money**

    That is because you have taught them that.

    Teach them that $16/inch is a good deal.


  12. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    I charge $15/inch with $150 min. This helps in keeping the real small fish down as it don't take much time difference in labor between a 8 inch fish vs a 10 inch fish. People are willing to accept the charges and I inform them this is for a skin or repo. If you go into depth on mounting a skin mount the time of labor comes out.
  13. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    Rich, the only "in depth" that I would go would be the paint job and you'de have to do that on a replica to! Now Kerby, I agree with you, I probably taught a lot of people that you can get a top notch fish for 8 bucks an inch, that's probably where I screwed up. But to me, 8 an inch is a fair price. There is no way I would pay more than that if I were a customer. I think people are nuts!
  14. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    M.T., just raise your prices by $.25/inch every year. They will not notice. There is nothing wrong with making more money.....afterall that is fair.


  15. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    What's that old saying..."you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"? I guess that goes for some taxidermists also. :eek:
  16. j.mik.

    j.mik. Member

    You may have conditioned yourself and your customers to think that good work is worth the $8 p.i. You also said it may have been a mistake. You (we) are worth more than that. Maybe you won't get $20 ( I don't ) but you'll meet in the middle and raise the standard. The worst professional work I've seen -ever- is fetching the guy $14 p.i.! I couldn't believe it. Your good work should bring in more. Raise your price. Then go bigfooting.
  17. Larry_Q

    Larry_Q New Member

    Im having the same problem about what to charge. Fish prices here very from 12 to 25 an inch .
  18. It doesn't matter what you charge. People still want them done for free
  19. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I charge the same price for a skin mount as I do a replica.

    As for $8/inch...no thanks. My wholesale prices are higher than that.
  20. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    Shoot, I'd do anyones wholesale fish for eight bucks an inch and they would look nice. They'de also get them back quick. Just sayin'