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Fish pricing?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by J P Baker, May 21, 2015.

  1. Why charge by the inch? This is something that has always bothered me.

    When sitting down with the accountant and going over the numbers, He told me that it doesn't make sense and I agree.

    If you say more or less materials, Then why don't we charge by the inch on shoulder mounts or by the inch on life size? The supply companies charge based on the size of the forms we use.
  2. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    Suggested method to charge is?

    Client is not paying same for 8 in bluegill and 16 ft Marlin.

    By the hour? Tough to have a price list then, which might be confusing to potential clientele, though it would be better financially for me.

    Let's hear what you are thinking; I've never put much thought into it.

    Best, Scott

  3. I guess I have never really thought about it either. How do you charge if not by the inch? Do you have a flat rate on skin mounts within different ranges? Different rate for repros in different ranges? It does seem that a customers don't like the per inch dollar amount, it instantly gets them thinking about the price and they teeter forget as to whether they want to mount it. Now if you said $400-$500 it doesn't seem to bother them as much. Then again some don't care either way. I am curious what others have to say.
  4. I'm wanting to here others opinions.

    Personally I do 99.9% saltwater fish with About 70% Repros and 30% skin mounts. I start with a min price and quote per job. We figured that my average job is 45", but the billfish and sharks throw off the curve a little. The bulk of my fish are from 28" to 43". We have a min price of $500 repro , $600 skin. All fish are priced based on Time & Materials. Driftwood is extra and based on size and range from $25 to $300. To add a base it starts at $80 and no max.
  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    If you are looking to charge a flat rate, what do you base your charge off of? Do you set it for a large one of the species or a small one. Many customers are more apt to have a fish mounted if you base your flat rate on a small fish. Therefor bringing you more work into your shop. Now the opposite will be true if you swap it to charging everyone for a large fish. Charging by the inch covers them all equally, and with the techniques used in painting fish these days I want to be paid for every inch. I charge by the inch with a minimum and I also charge more per inch for cold water fish.
  6. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    If the replica company you buy from charges by the inch, then it makes perfect sense for you to do the same. Not sure I am understanding why it's a terrible idea?
  7. I make my own replicas.
  8. Ive never understood the charging by inch method. Surely a 20 inch skinny fish has far less work involved than a 20 inch big fat fish, yet both get charged out at the same rate !! :eek: I charge by weight . ;)
  9. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    In the commercial fish world, is there really much difference between a 5lb bass and a 10lb bass time and material wise? You would charge the same for a yearling buck vs. a 200lb bruiser buck.
    Then again, is a little 10 inch bluegill half as much work as a 20 inch bass?
    It would make for a very complicated price list to go flat rate specie by specie for fish though.
    So what was the accountant recommendation?
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    It's simple - industry standard that has been in place since the beginning of time. I tried switching briefly and I got the impression the few customers that I tried it with were confused and a bit leery. So I went back to the per inch deal. It works just fine for me as I have minimums set up and a couple of flat rates that offset the big differences. Everything else is an hour or two here or there difference - not enough difference to justify the change imo. Yeah I get paid a few bucks less for doing a striper vs a walleye - but it all comes out in the wash...

    Some have done the flat rate deal successfully - all established taxidermists if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure most repeat customers probably wouldn't care. If it bothers you and impacts you that much, by all means change your system!
  11. I have priced fish both ways and do wholesale and retail work. Practically, you have to charge by the inch. Reason is that is the way everyone else does it. Every fish call i get either wholesale or retail question asked is "how much do you charge per inch". In order to compare apples w apples, you need an answer there.
    Financially, i charge by the inch because i make more money that way. A $275 minimum and charge by the inch and when you run your numbers you will be ahead.
    Problem is most taxidermists dont really know how much they make per hour on various types of mounts.
  12. den007

    den007 Active Member

    You have to keep it fairly simple, or you customer's eyes will glaze over and they start to foam at the mouth. Most accept the fact that coldwater fish may require some extra degreasing and some cast parts. With the rare really large billfish, etc. I take the cost of the replica I am paying for and at least double it. Much beyond that and things get ridiculously hard for most customers to grasp. That is why I like to mount gar……..skinny and by the inch.
  13. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I've been in this business for 64 years and always charged by the inch with a 15 inch minimum no matter what specie. When I started it was $0.50 per inch everywhere around me...lol. Now I charge the same price for a repro or skin mount plus extra for a panel, driftwood, or diorama. I've seen some charge a lot less than me, but they measure a fish length and girth and charge their per inch price that way. Kinda like some guys measure a bear from tip of front foot to the tip of the longest rear foot. That way when they quote a per inch price for the fish it doesn't seem as high as a straight length price. The same with the per foot price on the bear. A six footer becomes an eight footer measured on the bias ( and pulling is easier ) compared to a straight tip of nose to base of tail. I don't know how you can come out ahead not charging by the inch. Customers want to know up front what the cost will be. As far as giving a price to someone on the phone...I DON'T. When they ask why I tell them there are too many variables that affect the price that can only be satisfied by actually looking at the fish. They'll hem and haw trying to get you to give them a price but I never do. If they don't like that to H377 with them ...go somewhere else I have plenty of work to do for regular customers who know what my price is. Good luck...JL
  14. naturalcreati40

    naturalcreati40 Active Member

    As some have said, I think that's just they way its always been and no ones questioned it or came up with a better idea. Its just easy I think, and I think the clients expect to do it that way. I'm always asked how much per inch? I do believe that I don't charge enough but too scared to raise them