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Aggravating dilemma

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by DogSoldierChick, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Ok... So I been doing taxidermy for around a year now. Anyone that comes to me for work is told before hand and sees examples of my work. I guess to explain where I am now I have to tell some of the back story...
    An acquaintance came to me wanting me to do some work for him when he saw pics of a fawn I did. He said he wanted me to mount a fawn for him. I said ok I have 2 at the tannery. He said he would pay 100 a month until paid in full. Ok... So he starts sending me pics of ideas he has we decide on a pose etc. Soon after I posted a shoulder mount is done on Fb. He saw it and called me. Asked if he could change his mind and have me mount his first bow kill buck.
    I said sure I haven't purchased anything for then fawn.

    He sends me a set of horns that are bone white with a bit of cracking starting. Now he is aware of my experience level. He picks out a elaborate pedestal. I said ok... Since I'm new and haven't done alot of horn repair or changing out capes I will restain and fix the horns and provide you a cape. The pedestal style shoulder mount will be 400 and the base 100.

    He says ok and I put it in line. A few weeks after having it at the time of his second monthly installment he asks so how long is this going to take. I say well I'm turning in 3-4 months right now it being my first year and all. He says ok well I was hoping less but ok.... I started laughing a little and said these horns been nailed to a barn for 2 years what's your hurry. We both laugh.

    Ok now it gets crazy... I've had the deer a month and a half now and he starts sending pics of a world champion taxis work and the kinda grass he wants in his base. I add the pics to his file but don't reply. He asks if I got them and how it's coming... Then well could you maybe rush it since I wanna take it to a show...

    To explain... The 2 guys ahead of him are out of state as well. Both are driving by his house and know him to come pick up there stuff. So I had it worked out for his stuff to get back to him easy.

    I say ok. By now its a daily thing and I wanna move it. Looking at the pics I get a nice tanned replacement cape and said ok I got a cape ill mount it up. He asks if its a light colored early cape... He thought he had mentioned that. I said no its a November cape. That's when you killed him. Oh I don't care if it looks like him I just want a really nice looking mount. Early capes make the best right?

    I'm losing it. He picks a cape and had it sent. Measurements are a bit off and it's got huge ears. Anyway I mount it up, set it to dry and then I get really sick. I try to keep an eye on it but I'm talking I was sick.

    He is wearing me out for pics and I just turn the phone off. Well a week later after Ive started living again I look at it. Not my best work. I've seen worse commercial work but I'm not pleased with it either. I send him pics. He seems pleased and asks about the big ears... Hey I didn't pick that cape. Anyway he asks if I can lower it about 9 inches on the post and add more grass. Done and done,

    A week goes by.... I can barely stand to look at it, again I've seen much worse but I've done better work myself. Other reason I can't stand to look at it I'm sure you've figured out by now. So I call him... I sent pics. He said looks awesome... So I call again. I said you still owe 300 and its ready. Because I still ain't heard him mention how he's getting it.

    He made a couple excuses on the money and then asked what I was doing Monday. He was hoping I'd drive 10 hours round trip to deliver it. I said in what you would owe me in time and fuel I could ship it. He said how much will that run. I guessed 200. He seemed surprised and upset. By now I was praying for patience...

    I explained if he hadn't had it rushed I had ways of having it delivered free of charge and he knew this when he was pushing me. So I did what he said and its mounted now I don't understand why it's my fault.
    He said ok ill get you the rest of the money and you can ship it.

    It's funny I been in the hunting industry for 10 years longer than him and I know that the ATA show is an hour from my house and the shot show is in Vegas. I know every show there is and I know he doesn't have one to take it to. Idk. It's all been a pain and I just needed to vent and advice.

    My ?s are. If its early in your career and this situation arises with the customer fully aware of your level and you reminding him along the way. To be honest I am not pleased with the mount. It's not terrible either. It's got ear butt issues, and I'm not sure but the tan is very oily, shiny, wet looking... Should I wash it?

    I know I do not want to work with the guy again. He is 10 hours away from me but I don't want to send out work I'm not pleased with. So should I attempt to adjust or since he has seen pics and is pleased let it ride and live and learn? I know social media is brutal stuff. Send out one bad piece to the right person and it will over shadow everything else you've do e right.

    I won't lie. I want the thing out of my sight just from being drive nuts. Lol. But I been with public all my life. Try to help people out on deals such as the cape he picked I bought and horn repair and they still drive you nuts and expect more. Oh if I'd known now what I didn't know when he wanted a fawn mounted.

    Please any advice is appreciated..
    I've had it critiqued already. Check other thread. .

    Anyway the oily wet slickness isn't helping any. Any advice on that would be great. I can rub a paper towel on it and it comes off with yellowy oil.

  2. This was before I lowered it and set it level. Should have mentioned that. I need to make up my mind and soak it or paint it tomorrow. Still no money so I will tomorrow. I'm thinking he is going to send money tomorrow or the next day and expect it to ship. Can you imagine shipping right now at Christmas whew fun fun.

  3. Sounds like he wants a champagne deer for a beer token.
    take it outside and wash it.
  4. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Dry shampoo from the store should do the trick for cleaning. You learned a valuable lesson that EVERY beginner needs to learn:

    NEVER....and I mean NEVER start anything prior to having you 50% down. No good deed goes unpunished. Anybody asking for a "deal" is a customer not worth having.
  5. Todd B

    Todd B Active Member

    It is not just a beginner problem. I am dealing with the same type of person now. He brought this deer last year and left it without a full deposit. I did not start it and waited for him to get back on his feet. He told me he lost his job, so Ok no big deal I will wait. Well almost a year is gone by and he decides he wants me to put the cape on a different rack. So he brings the rack and shows me. The rack is completely bleached white so will need stained. So he leaves me a deposit. And get this the deposit is 2 post dated checks, one for the saturday coming up in 5 days and the other I can cash 2 weeks after that. Who does that kind of crap without asking? Well he leaves and takes the rack with him for safe keeping. About 5 days later he calls to ask me when it will be done? Seriously who does a deer in 5 days not to mention he took the rack with him. So I tell him that and he brings it back on monday and tells me he is going to call on that friday to come pick up the mount. I told him do not call me I will call you. From then on he calls every day checking on the drying process and yesterday he just shows up and said he was near by. I am like you I am fed up with this guy to the point of wishing bad things upon him. I started ignoring his calls and just went on with my normal schedule and will be done with it today. Sad thing is I am not as lucky as you, he does not live 10 hours away. Moral of the story is there is always going to be that bad apple customer. They come and go. Just do your best and get payed and then get them out of your hair.
  6. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Bad situation all around. Did you ever stop to think before you posted the pic and the list of what you think is wrong with the deer on the internet? He finds your post and he will use it against you..
  7. Lol yeah I did but he knows I'm new at it. He knows I get critiques to get better. It's not a competition piece and even great competition pieces are critiqued. I can pick any mount apart. Anyone. So that being said it doesn't bother me. It is what it is. And you don't get better even if your the best if you don't find things to improve on. Thanks for the advice on washing.
  8. Your going to have customers do the same 15 years from now if your still at it. Its not because your new or that your a woman, some people are just pest and you deal with them and move on. Dont be afraid to put your foot down and tell them how things are going to go. Usually this is all thats needed to get them off your back. Tip: The ones that hound you to get done are the ones who take forever to pick up, every time! Flip the script and hound them daily till you get paid and charge a monthly storage fee!!!!!
  9. Just chalk it up to a lesson learned. In this business you are going to have customers that are a royal pain in the @$$! Wait till you meet up with the hunter that knows more about what deer look like because they've killed a ton of them. They laugh when they see a little pink in an ear of a competition deer and make the comment about deer not having pink ears. They see them when they are dead!! Or they don't understand why there is white in the front corner of one eye and the white is in the back of the other. Oh there's many more!!

    Anyway in this business there are going to be people like that. After doing it for years I look back at all the customers I've taken care of and ones like you describe are few and far between. 99% are very good people to work with and end up being very happy customers and return year after year!!
  10. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    When a customer starts making a pest of himself calling on his mount, I tell them that I haven't made any progress on their mount because I spend all my time on the phone with guys checking on their mounts! Make it a joke. I then remind them that they will be the first to know when it's done, as I don't get paid until they pick it up. If that doesn't work, be direct and ask them to stop calling. At that point, for me, I'm no longer interested in maintaining that profession relationship, so they will either quit being a pest or go elsewhere.

    Also, ALWAYS overestimate your turn around. Try to not tie yourself down with "updates". More than once I've had customers call for an update, I tell them they're a couple weeks out, something comes up and three weeks later, they are pissed even though you're still under the originally discussed turn around time.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I have the answer to this one and it works every time. "Once our contract is complete, any changes incur a 10% surcharge. If this is not satisfactory, you may be happier looking for the services of another taxidermist. I know I sure would be."
  12. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    Just go get a real job! You'll never get rich off taxidermy.
  13. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I said it was a VALUABLE LESSON for a beginner...I guess I forgot to say get used to it as well. :D No disrespect was intended. You can do all the right things and for some people it will not be enough.
  14. Nate G.

    Nate G. New Member

    X2. Never do anything until you get half down. State everything very clearly in your contract and make them sign it. If they won't sign it and want a value taxidermist, send them down the road.
  15. critterstuffr

    critterstuffr New Member

    Wash the deer. If you keep a bag over it it really slows the drying time and you may have been able to catch some of the things that are bothering you with the mount. The hardest thing for anyone starting out is to turn away work. You will in time be able to weed out problem customers and not get into situations like the one your in now. Me . . . I wouldn't deliver the mount unless it's paid in full delivery included. We've all been there and if I was a betting man your going to have a hard time pleasing this customer so be prepared. Bottom line is your the boss and owner and you make the rules not your customers and in my shop NOTHING leaves the shop until I'm happy with it PERIOD. Good luck and Happy Holidays. ;)
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Two tips from a salesman.
    When it comes to sales, you need to be friendly and firm,, at the first sign of a customer asking if it can be done sooner, you say, "sure, you will need to pay the expediting fee of an additional 50% of the finished price, and pay the total mount price in full before I start." And don't bend or sway from it, be firm and mean it. This will change their mind and shut them up, and make them wait, or it will make you some money, a win win situation.
    And never say the word "maybe". Customers will ask you for favors, and if you tell them maybe, they automatically in their mind hear "yes", so always answer yes or no, and never maybe.
  17. Hedhuntr

    Hedhuntr Member

    I have had guys call me up asking for their antlers back because I have kids and he doesnt want them touching them. I said sure come and get them, the cape and your deposit you whackanut!
  18. Wow he would $#!¥ if he knew my daughter helps me build bases and wash and brush my fur bearers. Anyone having a problem with my 5 year old daughter around my shop wouldn't be welcome back.

    Thank you all. Ill wash him, do a couple light adjustments and when the money comes in ship him out. Life goes on lessons learned.
  19. Dawg3458

    Dawg3458 New Member

    I had a guy make a comment like that once. My 15 yr old was standing in the shop when he said it. I just laughed & told him she lets bigger deer than that walk. plus she`s killed more deer in her life than 95% of the guys that come in here. Then my daughter told him " yeah dude, let them go let them grow"

    The whole upstairs of my shop belongs to my two daughters. When I built it I added the upstairs for them & there friends to hang out in. If customers don`t like it,they can go on down the road.
  20. dablaw

    dablaw Member

    Im just firm as hell and they sign the contract...6 months or less if it gets to be any longer I'll call you and let you know...I lost 10-15 mounts this year because I would not compromise my prices or let the customer dictate what I was or wasnt going to do....Cya buddy...