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Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by michael j, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Ok jsut trowing this out thier,, I have a 7 foot brown bear to mount life size,, I checked with other taxidermist price list and they quote, $ 5500 to $6000, I priced things out much lower , and I think I'm making a profit,, I don't want to rob the client,, any Ideas ???
  2. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I charge more for a grizzly than a black bear, more for a ram than a deer, more for a impala than a antelope. Why? One reason is because you have to factor in your responsibility for the value of the trophy while it is in your shop. The value of the skins and the costs of the hunt. Experienced hunters that travel and hunt globally will not consistently bring you business if you are "cheap". Please note that 99.9 percent of those hunters are very successful business persons. They want quality, service and they want to be able to brag that they used you as your taxidermist because of your quality and service and reputation. Price is not on the radar or at most barely considered. Be cheap and you will get cheap clients who will struggle to pay you anyway.

  3. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I also charge more for some species such as a life size Ibex is $2400 compared to a lifesize deer being $2100. In addition to the added risk factor of it being harder to replace if something were to happen, there are also fewer forms and you'll have to do more altering, sometimes a lot more altering.
    That being said, I wouldn't worry about "robbing" your client. You quote a price. He accepts it or takes it somewhere else. He knows you are in it to make a profit, so he shouldn't be upset that you do. Most of the time I'm on the high end, but the few times I've been on the low end it's been something I hadn't done before and afterward I realized why others were charging so much more and immediately raised my prices for the next one.
  4. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    Those prices are near my 1/2 deposit requirements. Whatever. Remember in business 101 that preception ALWAYS has and ALWAYS will trump reality. That is why people will pay over a dollar for a glass size of bottled water and millions for a painting.
  5. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Sorry James, I was talking taxidermy, not bronzing.
  6. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    So was he, Scott. James has a pretty good grasp of how to set...and get... a price.

    Michael j, just for kicks, how the heck did you price the bear and come up so much less? Id guess that youd have a hard time finding anyone legit charging less for that brown bear...If youve ever done brownies, you know all about choosing a tanner that will not damage the claws, and all about the beautiful "scent" of bear/salmon" and many other things particular to mounting a brown bear, including additional shop time.
  7. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I am talking taxidermy and business in general. Please also note that most successful small business have more than one product to sell. Taxidermy and general sporting goods or fur or antler buying, archery or guns or booking services, or form making or taxidermy lessons or in my case fine art. And or a wife that is nurse, etc. :). And/or a retirement or pension pay coming in. That is American family small business that stays in business long term and it is smart business. To be successful at taxidermy you have to charge all the market will pay right up to the point where you are still comfortable saying it outloud to your clients. Grow some confidence! You have to have a excellent first impression, you and the business. That is even if the work is not what you know can be improved on or maybe not as good as the "other guys". You have to stay out of debt by setting aside the deposit money in a supply and tannery only special account. Control your money. You have to every time always do your very best work and keep improving and learning. You should make it a goal to start something every day you work and to finish something every day you work. You have to always be friendly and appreciate your clients with thankyou cards, etc; even if they are asbites. People are buying you first and foremost before anything else no matter what your selling. Anyway, I could go on but I have discovered before that talking good business practices to taxidermists is like herding cats into a swimming pool.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Why do you "THINK" you are making a profit? You should KNOW that you are.
  9. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    So you get $5k to $6k for a life size deer? Wow, I need to raise my prices (not that I'm in the same league as you).
  10. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    I think james was saying he would get $5500-$6000 for a deposit on a brown bear.

    That's pretty awesome if you can get 10k for a brown bear mount. I'm not doubting that you do either.

    I'm doing something waaaayy wrong.
  11. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    WHY would anyone price it "MUCH LOWER"...Damn if you want the job just lower it $500 below the 5,500 price if the customer is shopping price he will buy you.
    Being a taxidermist comes with a prerequisite of being business dumb.
    SteveM likes this.
  12. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    OK, FYI I get 5600. For a standard life size grizzly mount. 4500 for a lifesize deer. Wood trim on a base is extra. I take in several bears in every year. That is not my point. My point is about business perception and good business practices. I am not better at taxidermy than most other full time shops. I have just been at this a long time in a highly competitive area. My advise that may not be worth anything anyway is that if your nitche and desire is slapping out your product as fast and as cheap as you can with volume as your goal then make a plan you can stick to and be good at and you will do well; there are customers seeking you out.. If your goal is excellent work on every product or mount at higher than average prices then make it a real goal with a plan and you will be successful ; there are customers seeking you out. Be mediocre and unsure and goal free and you will fail. It happens every day.
  13. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    I don't get the part about robbing the customer. You would rather loose money and not make a profit just because you are worried about the customers wallet, what about your own? I sure don't know who you are or what your abilities are but I would listen to Yox, Jim and Dennis, if you want to stay in business charge what the work is worth.
  14. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    If your business plan is centered around not wanting to "rob"your customers you need to close your doors now and go get a job.
  15. J Kelly

    J Kelly Member

    There is no way possible to mount a life size ibex for $2400 and profit! We had a pile of ibex come in from all over the world last year and just fixing the holes from bad skinning takes time. Take the time to see what mannikins now cost and tanning and then throw in what shipping has become and i think most will be shocked to see what materials total.
  16. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !


    My deer 2995 PLUS a base,
    Ibex ...3995 with base

    He's gotta be talking about those texas goats / ibex those 100lbers
    Get some Mid Asian types , larger than any deer and you'll change your prices real quick.
  17. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    That's what I was thinking. We are $4750 for ibex and I think I'm the one getting "robbed" here!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
  18. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, he said it's an ibex/billy goat mix. The form cost $400 including shipping and the tanning was about $350 including shipping. They brought it case skinned so I dorsal cut it with small relief cuts in the ankles so little sewing, but I already messaged my webmaster to raise many of my prices on life size. This is why when people say don't look at what others are charging, they're wrong because it does help to compare to some degree.
  19. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    In reality BAD work has a manufacturing cost , supplies , shipping , overhead utilities , labor, and the theoretical theory of profit, all weather you think so or not . Locally a BAD deer head cost 525.00 at a long time established taxidermy shop. So if the competitor's deer are twice as good what should they cost ?. That "long time established guy " is always complaining that there is " no money in the job ", and has ALWAYS stated "I can't get that price around here " . A few years ago he couldn't get the 525.00 in his area , now he gets it with BAD deer . Go figure .
    The best thing that happened to the price structure was when the mannikin and shipping costs soared , it forced the "I can't get that price in my area guys " to raise their prices to above their threshold "I can't get that price ", brain block.
    Supplies prices need to soar again !
    Dick Idol told me 45 years ago that the price of retail taxidermy needs to DOUBLE across the country and all will be relative.
    The same applies today.
    How many of you out there don't want to take in any work this season BUT need the deposit money to survive the winter.
    I was told that yesterday by a long time taxidermist , that is living the Obama "job lock " theory.
    The more taxidermy changes the more it stays the same .
  20. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Been there, done that. You know, I dont give advice about pricing because Im so big of a studio (I never was) or so successful (thats relative)...I offer the advice because I have failed at times, and am learning from those mistakes...and others can, too.