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taxidermy math ignorance

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by James Marsico, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    I charge 2 differant prices. If you live down the road and got that buck off your farm, $390.00. If you live in Pittsburgh and got that buck from on your "Hunting Lease" down the road and stay in that $200 G lake house when you come up, $590.00. ;D Now everyone is HAPPY !
  2. DeeCee

    DeeCee New Member

    Except your family when you lose $200 EVERY TIME you mount a local deer. Brilliant idea!

    I realize lots of folks see taxidermy as unprofessional.
    What I can't see, is why everyone blames it on the part time taxidermist.
    Why not the full timer who half asses everthing... or takes in too much and has a 3 year backlog... and then closes up shop and disappears with everyones trophies... or knowingly sells or mounts things illegally.... or shows up to the Banquet in shorts and flip flops.
    There are many reasons we all look bad in the public eye, yet all many can concentrate on is money. Human nature I guess.
    Licencing will not fix these issues, stricter laws will not either. Education is the only way, but since ALL of us are THE smartest in the room, I'm at a loss as to how that will happen.

  3. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    If I charged that local farmer $590.00 he wouldn't get it mounted and just toss the rack up on top of the barn. I just gained $390.00. Yes it is a brilliant idea, thanks for the complament.
  4. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I charged $390 for local boys deer too...in the 80's.

    The guy who pays top dollar to hunt deer will drop you quick when his buddy down the road tells him he paid 390 instead of 590, lol. BTW, those guys read taxinet too...

    BRILLIANT!!! Lol...
  5. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I guess you can't teach someone who already knows everything.
  6. Steven .B

    Steven .B New Member

    Wow how is anyone making money on here.. 13 pages of opinions on people charging to much to little.. If a guy is charging to little because he has a full time job and doing it because he enjoys it as a hobby and is not in it for money and is just making enough to cover materials he has the right to do so!!!! If a guy charges to much because he making a living from taxidermy and is really good at what he does he has the right to do so... If everyone has enough work and is satisfied with there business or hobby what all the debate about.. Who cares what the guy down the road is taking in.. You will always have people who want the best and people who can't afford the best or just won't pay top dollar to have something mounted.. So at that it leaves enough for both ends the Business end and the hobby end... Good luck to both...
  7. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    This argument is ridiculous, this is America and people can charge what they want and are free to succeed or fail. It seems to me the most upset people are those that charge a high fee and want the lower people to charge a lot more - even though the lower charging people are happy where they are.

    Mr Yox. A friend who was visiting this week was also visiting a friend in Johnstown PA who just bought a 3-bedroom house on about an acre of land. Nice hardwood floors, plaster relief on the huge ceiling in the livingroom, flat yard, brick house, recent roof. Total cost $30,000, You take that house to Washington DC it is worth $250,000, take the same house to San Francisco and it sells for $600,000. Gas is also higher in San Francisco. But I guess location has no impact on how expensive it is to live somewhere.

    There are people who purchase Cadillacs and Mercedes and there are people who go to the used car lot. I find it odd that certain taxidermists here insist that everyone should purchase a Cadillac and then get mad at people selling KIA or Hyundai and REALLY get mad at people selling used cars. Everyone should buy a Cadillac after all. If they just forced all the car dealerships to only sell Cadillacs, then all would be good.

    Last I looked this was a free country.
  8. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    I've been doing taxidermy for 42 years, now granted, I've mounted a lot of deerheads and thousands of fish, but I would never pay 590 bucks for a deerhead mount! I would never pay 15 or 20 bucks an inch for a fish mount! That's just totally ridiculous, it's a friggin fish, it's a friggin deer head! You know, a taxidermist is just another guy from down the road when in town at the grocery store or walmart or anywhere else. It's only around other taxidermists that you may be considered "someone"! And then, how many taxidermists hang out with other taxidermists? Not me! Do you ever notice that when you may be in a store that when you are in the checkout line that you are just another customer buying what you need. But as soon as another taxidermist walks in that you may know, that feeling of importance comes over you? People don't care! I don't care! I survive on the money I make, sometimes I wish I had more, but I soon get over that. Eight bucks an inch for a fish mount and I can make money. Hey, the economy is still in the tank here, people would rather buy gas to get to work and put food on the table for their families. I guess it's priorities!
  9. Interesting discussion for sure and makes a guy look at pricing, fulltime vs parttime, local costs vs out of area costs, etc.

    I work full-time for the government and have been doing taxidermy for about 2 years now. I work part-time and try to limit my work to higher quality stuff as I balance life, family, work, and learning the skills to become better at what I do in taxidermy.

    That being said, I charge the exact price as a few full-timers in the area and more than a couple on my shoulder mounts. I put myself at a price where my time needs to be VERY valuable to be taken away from family, hunting, etc on my 'days off' and its allowed me to really enjoy the time I take with taxidermy and yet make good money when I'm working at it. I'm at $850 for a deer mount right now and would love to be at $900-1000 if I thought I could make it work. Most likely in a year or two more I will look at it.

    Great conversation here...
  10. swampthang

    swampthang New Member

    Hey Dennis, I've got the answer for you. There will always be high priced and low priced guys. It will never change. If the low priced guys don't want to make money, that's fine. Let them do it their way. They don't pay our bills and they have no effect on our business. I'd say prices are only a 1/3 of the reasons clients come to us. Our work and personalities make up the other 2/3. Once you get the mindset that the only taxidermist you have to worry about is yourself, you'll sleep better at night. It's that simple. Now, you talk about the INDUSTRY as a whole. But the problem is the individual. We can't change it. All we can do is set an example, and hope others will follow. Some will, most won't.

    I understand the whole ( my area is to poor to charge more) story. That's where I live! But I keep seeing these POOR boys driving new trucks and fourwheelers and buying guns, etc... Well, I wanted some of that too. So I started charging enough to get that myself. Now, I'm one of the highest priced guys in the state. I charge more than the world champions do, and they live in the higher wage areas of the state. I still get the same amount of deer I got when I was cheap.

    But I am curious about part-timers though. I can see spending your free time working on ones own trophies, but not other peoples. I would think they would charge 4-5 times more than the rest of us. I'm not going to go get another job for less money after leaving the shop, I don't care how much I like it.

    But after teaching several pricing classes on this, It quickly became clear that most of the students made far less than they thought they did. They only understood material costs and hours, but had no idea of overhead, labor and profit. Most everyone said they made $20-25 per hour. After the class, they realized they made below minimum wage. One even realized he was paying his client $27 to do his turkey!

    Now I haven't gone up on my prices in a year or two, but I have to this year. No way around it. Everything else is going up.
  11. MT, I don't have a problem at all with what you charge for fish. 1 dollar or 100 dollars an inch. its your decision to make.
    What I don't really don't get a grasp of is. You guys that charge by the inch. For me its a flat fee solution for these three. Bass,crappie & Bream are $200.00 period. I could care less if they are 4 inches long or 20 inches long. Neither fish is less or more difficult to do. I really don't get charging less for a smaller fish. Materials aren't cheaper, same time to mount,prep,& paint. Yes in other groups of fish I charge by the inch simply because of the huge difference in size they can be. But hey its my decision to make, right or wrong, RIGHT?

    For me it seems as dumb as, we all start charging ,deer heads by the size neck they have.
    $25.00 x 18"= $450.00
    $25.00 x 20"= $500.00
    $25.00 x 22"= $550.00
    $25.00 x 24"= $600.00
    Looking at it, it might just make everyone happy. low priced deer and high priced deer all from the same taxidermist. ::) :D :D ;D ;D

    PA, Damn good post! Like the Cadillac example.
  12. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    M T you could probably make more money being a comedian , that a taxidermist.....

    Rackmastr....Good for you...!
    To the ones making a LIVING elsewhere and charge what you COULD NOT LIVE OFF as a Full time job..... I have zero time for you....
  13. I understand exactly where youre coming from with the above statement.
    Curious question ,nothing more.
    What about full time shops, 20/30 year guys paying their bills every day out of taxidermy, but charging what you feel would be a low end price. Any time for them are piss on that bunch also ?
  14. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Dennis, I'm with you!! MT, when I go to a DU banquet or a RMEF banquet I AM somebody! When I go to a sculpting class I AM somebody! When I go to Walmart people recognize me! WHY? Because I conduct myself like a businessman and I run a legitimate business that does good work. I don't care what people charge as long as they are doing the same thing that I am doing. Paying taxes, have insurance, disposing of their waste properly, are licensed properly and running their business as they should. If they are taking in mounts and getting paid to do so they are commercial just as I am so there is no difference between hobby and full time if you are getting paid. I think this is what Dennis is talking about, it's the people that are charging ridiculously low prices because they aren't doing everything that needs to be done in order to run a legitimate business and therefore shed a bad light on those that are.
  15. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    Bill, I have been asked by them, I thought you charged $390.00 and not $590.00. I say I do, but I thought you would like the best. I then sell them a habitat and a Pedestal and they drop a G. They get into there Cadillac Escalate and ride off into the sunset a vary happy deer hunter and I'm a happy Taxidermist.

    Same high quality work just 2 differant prices. You have fixed overhead like taxes, electric and heat just to name a few. Your shop cost you money if you are in it working or not. The $390.00 WTD keeps the shop open and a roof over my family's head and food on the table. The $590.00 + WTD gets my family a cruse to the Bahamas and a Restaraunt for my wife for her 25 wedding anniversary.

    When you are fishing and a small fish swims past do you real in your line so only the big fish will take the bait ? Yes using a big bait or lure will catch big fish, but how many will you catch in a day? When I fish for customers I don't practice catch and release, they all end up in the pan.
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Look at it this way,,, you milk 100 cows twice a day, so does 10 of your neighbors. The milk truck comes by and buys the milk, and pays your 10 neighbors $1.75 per pound, but when he gets to your farm, you tell the milk truck driver, I am stupid and only want .50 cents a pound for my milk.

    This is exactly what you are doing with your pricing. You are producing a product, just like your area taxidermist are, and not taking advantage of MAKING MONEY like you could. If you were dead, your customers would go to the other taxidermist and pay their prices, they only go to you because your cheap and don't want to charge what you would pay yourself. You believe that everyone has your empty wallet, how can you see what is in theirs?
  17. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    LOL T the response is going to be... I live on what I make....LOL I don't have the overhead MY NEIGHBOR DOES....lol
  18. Some milk taste better than others, depending which old cow it came from....lol
  19. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Taxidermy is the only profession or hobby that the participants will argue and rationalize to make less money!! I simply don't get it! :eek:
  20. sportsmen wildlife

    sportsmen wildlife New Member

    If you have little or no overhead you pay more in taxes, that is if you pay taxes. This is why I have never understood the little or no overhead excuse for lower prices. Overhead can be the difference of paying 35 cents on the dollar to paying just a few cents on the dollar.