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If you think the taxidermy business is tough...

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by James Parrish, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    I got a federal firearms license back in April. My main goal was to make some extra money selling guns and doing transfers. The transfers are easy. However, getting into the retail firearms business is a big nightmare. All the distributors make you apply for an account. Many of the top distributors (even Big Rock Sports, owners of HQ Taxidermy Supply) will not sell guns or accessories to me because I do not have a retail store front with proper signage, in a business district, etc. Of those who do give accounts to businesses without a retail store front, many of them will not give favorable payment terms. Even though my personal credit is impeccable, I have only been able to get Net 30 day terms with a couple distributors. I'm waiting to hear if some of the others will allow me to pay with a company check by phone. The rest of them require non-retail store front customers to pay with credit cards (3% surcharge at EVERY gun distributor) or COD certified funds (COD fee added to each box) regardless of how long you've been in business or how credit worthy you are.

    The mark ups on firearms are pretty low (10-12% for most) and the competition is extremely tough. While most distributors will ship larger orders for free or for a low flat rate, there are no volume discounts like the taxidermy suppliers offer. You have to compete on price and service because all your competitors are selling the exact same products and they all pay basically the same for them.

    I'm saying all this to say that the taxidermy business is so much easier to get into than a gun business. To get a taxidermy license (in states that require them), about all you have to do is pay a small fee. In NC, it is $10 per year. To get a federal firearms license, the cost was $200, required all kinds of fingerprints, background check, zoning documentation, and an interview with an ATF agent. All the taxidermy suppliers will sell to you no matter if you are a large shop, small shop, commercial building, home-based, etc. You don't have to worry about paying credit card or COD fees with our suppliers and you don't have to go through the hassle of credit checks, etc. In the taxidermy business, prices are dictated by quality of the work. If you want to charge a lot for your work, you simply have to do good work and find customers who like your work enough to pay the asking price. In the gun business, a Glock 19 is a Glock 19. The only way to beat your competitor is to undercut his price or have better service. Most folks simply shop for price.

    I'm slowly getting going with the firearms, but it is much tougher than I thought. When I got into the taxidermy business, I simply did a few mounts of my own, sent in $10 for a license, and started taking in work. From a business standpoint, taxidermy is a walk in the park compared to retail gun sales. Next time you think about complaining about how hard it is to make a living doing taxidermy, remember that other business ventures are equally as difficult if not worse.
  2. I have an 06 Ffl and manufacture a few hundred thousand rounds of ammo a month, my insurance is over 10k a year, +5% to my rep, 11% excise tax. You can buy my ammo all over the country and I only make about $0.12 per boxof 9mm. Some of the other calibers are as high as $1 box but 9 is my 90% of my sales Its a tough business but I have a lot of fun with it. I'm competing with some pretty big boys and making a living. You can do it you just can't give up