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Making the change to $650.

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by boarhunter67, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Re: So Jim.............

    I was only pointing out that using junk economics doesn't prove anything. Hell charge as much as you can get.

    The truth is there ARE differences that can be felt throughout the country. In other words, unless you live there you don't know.

    Consumer Prices Including Rent in Mobile, AL are 12.23% lower than in Atlanta, GA
    Consumer Prices Including Rent in Phoenix, AZ are 17.52% lower than in Denver, CO
    Consumer Prices Including Rent in Cleveland, OH are 31.75% lower than in Boston, MA!!

    Using the Boston to Cleveland model a $600 deer head would be valued 31.75% lower in Cleveland...or $190 less...so $410

    Look at ourselves using the examples of Prescott AR and Canton OH as the closest rated cities to our locations

    Median Income Prescott AZ: $41,043 Canton OH: $25,817 37% LOWER

    So since I charged $450 for a deer head here last season and average income is 37% lower I was actually MORE EXPENSIVE towards my prospective clientele than you were.

    LOWBALLERS will always be lowballers but MAX PRICE is NOT a constant. At least if you are a regular Joe Taxidermist.

    I do have to add...a good friend of mine who was a World Champion WT Taxidermist living near me charged $550 here one year and got 5. Not going to live on that.

    As well the Cost of living in canton OH is 28% LOWER than Prescott AR. and yes a Doctor, electricians, and plumbers make less here too....looked at gas prices on GasBuddy as well Lowest listed Price: Prescott $2.43 Canton $1.95

    So $600 dollars HERE ain't the same as $600 there.
  2. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    You are 100% correct. Can a guy in a lower income area charge $700 a head and get any work, sure, but how many?

  3. zorro

    zorro New Member

    Re: So Jim.............

    Try living where cost of living is high but population and incomes are low. You have to really be a salesman.
  4. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Same as opening a snowmobile dealership in Texas. You'd have to give them away.

    Maybe move to Florida and get into the basement waterproofing business.
  5. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    Median salary IS NOT average salary. :) It is just the middle number between the high and the low. So Canton actually has a HIGHER AVERAGE income than Prescott, AZ. And Canton has a higher median salary as well.:)

    Canton, OH Salary

    Canton, OH average salary is $72,572, median salary is $55,000 with a salary range from $20,010 to $850,000.
    Canton, OH salaries are collected from government agencies and companies. Each salary is associated with a real job position. Canton, OH salary statistics is not exclusive and is for reference only. They are presented "as is" and updated regularly.


    Prescott, AZ Salary
    Prescott, AZ average salary is $68,846, median salary is $51,000 with a salary range from $20,114 to $300,000.
    Prescott, AZ salaries are collected from government agencies and companies. Each salary is associated with a real job position. Prescott, AZ salary statistics is not exclusive and is for reference only. They are presented "as is" and updated regularly.


  6. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    Median is Better than average. If you have ten taxidermists and nine of them make 25.000 and the tenth makes 1 million, the Average salary is $122,500, but the median is 25,000.

    Compare real estate. According to Tulia and Zillow, the median house or condo in Canton Ohio is $72,400. The median sales price in Prescott Arizona was listed as $297,000, fully four times the price in Ohio. Should taxidermists at each place use the same price???
  7. Three years ago I had a Guy that was hunting in my area stop by my shop looking around. His shop was about 3 hours away from mine. He started telling me about his awards and he gets $550.00 for his mounts and bla bla bla. Then I get the lecture I need to go up. I see him the next year during hunting season the lecture was more belittling this time than educating. He came in three weeks ago, he is now working on a pipe line now in Illinois, his taxidermy business went bust. All I know is I take in almost 200 deer heads ever year and have for several years. I cant sit here and tell you why he went out or why i get what I do. . I think people who live in a area already or at should know just what the market will allow. $550.00 ain't gonna work here and apparently where he was. He offered to buy my shop He still don't understand 550 would put him back on the pipeline if he did buy it. When the time comes I think I can move numbers , they get moved ! But I know for damn sure today ain't it .
  8. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    **Median is Better than average. If you have ten taxidermists and nine of them make 25.000 and the tenth makes 1 million, the Average salary is $122,500, but the median is 25,000.**

    That is so unrealistic .... and so funny .... and so not logical. I can show you thousands of taxidermists that make just $25,000 and you can't show me one taxidermists that makes 1 million doing taxidermy.

    If you are going to use statistics as a logical argument, you need to keep it real, otherwise it is invalid.

    Good luck with that.



  9. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    Why not dispute the housing discrepancy Kerby?

    My example on salaries showed the extreme and you easily can dispute that. Average salary would measure how many extremely low paid are in the area compared with the very high priced. I liken Average to using a company where the CEO makes 1000 times the rest of the workers. Median is where 50% are above and 50% below. If the Median House is $297,000 vs. $72,000 that is an extremely big difference in how much it costs to live. Eggs and bread and trucks being constant, it still makes total cost of living in a place more than 50% higher vs. other places. Heck in Backwood Arkansas you can probably get a bushel of tomatoes for 4.00 whereas in San Francisco a single tomato at a garden market might be $5.00.

    Buckfever - what price do you charge for your deer heads?
  10. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    I think we still have people doing them for $250 around here. What do you think that does to the opinion of the public of the value of it? That in itself it why the $450 people cant get $600. Look what you are fighting against. When you have to scratch to buy groceries and you get a choice between $250 and $600 what would you do?
  11. PA I recon I should have included that. I'm 400 without panel 450 with one. It's only 100/150 which don't sound like a lot. But most folks Are money pincher's . When I need a new freezer) which seems like ever dang year now grrrrr) I call around checking prices , get on the net and see if there is a lower on line price. I'm going to buy what I think is the best brand at at best price. I have found the same dang freezer 80 bucks less from one store to another. Most of the time they are all less buying on line. Same applies to taxidermy, Most look for what they think is a bargain. Still I know I have people that do business with me for no other reason they like me better than so and so. And the ones that know I give them the best product. I'll take all three , they keep me from having to work for somebody else. I'm happy with that.!!
  12. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)


    **Why not dispute the housing discrepancy Kerby?**

    I'm not because housing/real estate is higher out here in Arizona than Ohio.

    It was Jim, who erroneously brought up the pay scale. :)

    There are numerous factors.

    What I am saying is that the $300 deer head back in the mid west is way lower than the $600 deer head out west ...... because the cost of living is NOT twice the amount out west than back east.

    I'm glad that Jim gets $450 or whatever he charges. My argument was against the $300 guys.

    And if one wants to raise their prices, they should not go from $300 to $600 or $450 to $600 in one year. As an example one could raise their prices by $25 every year. Most businesses raise their prices every year to account for inflation.......................

    And we all basically pay the same amount for supplies to mount a deer.


  13. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    Few people could care less if you DP or tan, if you use latex caulk or hide paste. Most can't tell the difference between a third place professional mount or a blue ribbon masters mount unless someone pointed it out, and if you did point it out, most would opt for the $150 dollar less third place professional mount.

    There are a few customers that know and or care about the difference. My customer base, probably 90% just want a deer mount, the other 10% want a really nice deer mount and would pay more for it. There are three other taxidermists within 20 miles of me that are all full time and take in over 150 deer a year, I know at one time they were taking in way over 200 but no idea these days. All of them charge under $400, and all do average work.

    I charge more than all of them, not by a lot, but more. I prob average 150 year, I can't help but think that if I raised my prices, that would have an impact on my numbers. At this point I want less work, so I am going up this year in price, I just haven't decided how much.
  14. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I have always gotten involved in these pricing debates, because A)... Im a fool to do so, and B)...I already have to when I do my deer head classes, so why not...hahaha. The things that I dont get is, why do guys work so hard marketing the low prices to themselves, instead of marketing those higher prices to the customer? Some spend more time justifying the low price to other taxidermists. I moved to the south, its crazy how some really nice, and not so nice heads are only getting $300 or so. The guys, every one of them, to a man, will swear how you cant get the good prices here in the south, people in the south wont pay it. But I like playing a silly little trick with them...I start laughing with them about how bad the traffic down here sucks. I tell them that the south doesnt know how to drive, to which they always reply, "Its all of you damn yankees that come down here to live, YOU all cant drive!" I say aw come on, it cant be that. They continue to argue how theres so many northerners down here, raising the price on deer leases, and driving so crazy. So then I nail em, and ask why those same yankees arent paying more for a head, they always did up north. Crickets.

    See, the biggest problem with taxidermy pricing is people want to compare apples to oranges. You cannot compare taxidermy prices to most other business models, not even small business, definitely not retail sales. Most importantly, TAXIDERMISTS HAVE CONDITIONED POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS TO PAY HOBBYST WAGES TO THEM. These folks are not any different anywhere. If they want something bad enough, they know theyll have to pay the price. They may price shop, but they also want different levels of style too. It doesnt really have a real lot to do with housing etc. You probably cannot charge $750 for a deer head in rural Tennessee but you most likely cant sell high end watercraft or BMWs there either. But I CAN tell you that down here in Georgia I see daily, more porsches, BMWs and other high end cars everywhere, where guys are giving away their work for $300 or so.

    These same guys all wanna be buddies with all the newest hunting movie stars they see on all their hunting videos, and do free or discounted work for them. It doesnt bring them any additional money, just more guys wanting discount taxidermy for their tv shows. Its crazy.

    I doubt many of you read my whole post here, I wish some would though. WHEN WILL YOU LEARN THAT DISCOUNTING YOUR WORK DOWN TO JUST GET IN WORK IS FOOLISH? Why would any other business undermine themselves just to stay busy? Incidently, that guy who said he charges $1000 for turkeys, but didnt get one last year? Hes actually ahead of the game. He didnt work into the negative.
  15. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Hey I read the whole thing!....TWICE!

    When a guy walks in the print shop and says "If you do this for me quick and cheap I will bring you sooooo much more work......" yada yada yada....

    I just laugh and tell him that "I don't believe we are a good fit", and that he should check out the shop down the street.

    I dont run a press to make no money. I'd rather just leave it still and sweep up or something.
  16. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    Bill, thanks for weighing in. This thread actually didn't start off as a "raise your prices thread," but as a thank you to you and Rick and others helping people like me in this industry. When I was with you we talked about prices and I said I was sure I had topped out the rates that people would pay around my area because I was much more than most and I didn't know anyone higher around me. That was just two years ago, I think, and I admit I was wrong. I was just surprised that when I asked my clients if raising my prices would drive any away and every one told me to go ahead and raise them. I was prepared to just keep them, but they told me that my time with you and Rick was definitely worth it. I'm going pig hunting tomorrow. I have a client who brought me 4 hogs to remount that he originally paid $500 to the taxidermist the ranch recommended. I charged $600 just to install a jawset (the other guy used real teeth set in apoxy and didn't even paint it), take off the nose and put on an artificial nose, and resew or apoxy over all the stitching that came loose. The client ended up paying $1100 per hog with both prices added together, but he was so happy with the way they looked that he is taking me to the ranch he shot them on and paying for me to shoot one and he's going to tell the ranch how unhappy he was with the other taxidermist. I know some people "can't get over $300" and I'll be feeling really bad for them while I go on a paid pig hunt that typically costs $700 here. Thanks again, Bill. All price war questions aside, I really recommend Bill's Yoxathons for anyone who wants to raise their level up a notch or two--the same with Rick Carter. They're both great teachers and are will worth the money even if you don't think you make it back like I thought.
  17. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Everyone can argue until they are blue in the face that everyone should be charging $600.00 for a head or whatever they want but the fact is, it just doesn't work in some areas no matter how good you are. When a person lives in a relatively depressed area and the unemployment is over 12% (even though the stats claim 6.5% because the rest have exhausted their benefits and gave up), and you have 10 hackidermists within 15 miles doing $300.00 heads you will be like the $1000.00 turkey guy. People are natural bargain seekers since bartering began when man first started communicating. You will starve. They will go to the $300.00 guy and biotch like hell afterwards but then when next year comes around, do the price shopping and go back to the same or another $300.00 guy. Yeah, yeah, you will say this isn't the customers you want. In some areas, and this is one of them, that is about all there is.

    I speak from experience from my own business (not taxidermy) I operated here for eighteen years. If they can save a dime on a service all, most will do it.

    To you guys who can get $650.00, more power to you. Those doing it for $300.00, find a new line of work because you are working for less than minimum wage (even if you don't believe it). Side note on the $300.00 guys, most of them I met are on disability and do it as a side supplement under the table and are unlicensed. It does no good to report them. Social Security will not investigate unless you have their SSN and the county doesn't have the resources to pursue it and the state won't bother because either. Too much trouble for them.

    More popcorn please!
  18. Bill your point is taken but,
    The energy co. cut his lights off for non payment. The reop man is backing up in his drive way to take the truck. The wife is down at the welfare office signing up for food stamps. No work at all equals no money no matter how you how you count it ! Just saying
    Bill you know as well as I do one or two birds at @ 1000 wont pay his bills either. The guy three houses down took in 25 birds at 500.00 his lights ain't getting cut off, he is still driving his truck , but his wife is still headed down to the welfare office granted. Which one of them is better off, Maybe I'm wrong but I would prefer to ride than walk, read by a lamp not a candle. Some times the choices we make may not be the best choice but the one that works.

    Im just glad Im not in either one of those guys shoes.

    I going to make an assumption on your part Bill. We all know you charge on the upper end of the scale. I assume your standard of living ( so not to sound bragging) let's say, is better than just comfortable. On the other side I guess I'm in the middle (?) of the pay scale. I'm living better than just comfortably. Looks to me to different strategies accomplish the same results. If that's so why gamble with the ball and fumble it .
  19. Its always very interesting to see this discusion in text. There are two completely different sides to it. It makes me wonder how many on each side are making a living in this industry.
  20. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    The difference is that a guy will work all day as a plumber, teacher...etc and then go home and work as a taxidermist.

    But you will never see a full time taxidermist go work at night as a plumber....or an accountant....or teacher....or?