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Making the change to $650.

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

  1. That the easiest question ever asked of me Billl.

    I had to to get the owners manual out to figure out where the key goes. I dont thinl you want me changing no brakes or plugs. That oil stuff they dont need that crap way over rated. ! ;D ;D ;D
  2. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    hahaha, good point

  3. You all are making pricing too complicated. My method works anywhere in the country, in any economy, full or part time. Here it is...if your average customers are driving nicer trucks than you can afford, you need to raise your prices. BTW, not just on DEER. Geez, taxidermists are obsessed with what others charge for them, how many they get bla blaa. Deer arent anywhere near the biggest money makers in our shop, either in volume or $ per hr. So for that reason, and that I consistently load deer in $45,000 pickups, I raised my deer price $75. If i dont get less deer this season i will raise it again.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    The oil field crash, here in Texas, is fixing to re adjust taxidermy pricing. That I garuantee. It's already happening.
    I just hope a lot of taxidermists don't get stuck with work that's already completed.
    A bunch of companies, relying on oil field money, have already went belly up down here. Not to even mention the 1,000's that have lost jobs...
  5. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    An area losing jobs has a lot to do with what you can charge for sure. When I moved here twenty-four years ago there were four major factories (one with four plants) that employed about a fourth of the county, or about 10,000 people total. Over about a five year period they closed and now they are all gone forever. Sure a couple little ones moved in but put together they don't employ over 1,000 people. The county has not recovered, and probably will not in the near future. With these jobs also went numerous small business that depended on the money these factories made. You simply cannot get a decent wage on taxidermy in a depressed area. Which also goes back to what I posted earlier about most guys here doing taxidermy work are on disability doing heads for $300.00 on the side. Everyone of them is worried if they raised their prices $5.00 they will just go to the next guy, and around here, that IS what will happen!
  6. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    And so, again and again I ask anyone...why do taxidermy there? Wouldnt it make sense to do something where you can make money? We love taxidermy, but charging 1980's prices just to get work doesnt seem like a solid business plan.
  7. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a Chinese business model to me.
  8. Yox is right. When i moved to northern michigan, there were two quality taxidermists already there, and a bunch of hackers. Very very poor economy. But i was able to charge a good wage because of the two quality guys near me, not in spite of them!
    When i left Michigan in 2010 (extremely poor economy by then) i had to drop my prices by 25% even though i was moving to Greater Columbus Ohio, which hardly noticed the recession and people here make far more money than my customers in Michigan did. And there were two quality guys near me in Ohio, and even more hackers since taxidermy is not licensed here. Yet prices were far lower in wealthy central Ohio, even the quality guys, and i am just now getting pricing back to what it was 5 years ago when i left Michigan.
    Prices in Ohio are terribly low. Its not the economy, its poor business management and poor government practises. Every year before deer season I call all the local taxidermists i know and tell them what i am charging in an effort to get prices up. BTW we are full time, two families, no other source of income.
  9. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Expand on the government practices comment.
  10. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    As I said before, I do not do commercial work and have no intention of giving away my time (I have a full time job that I love). The low price people do it for pocket money, have nothing better to do, and don't understand anything about business or want to better themselves to get off that free disability check they are receiving at our expense. That's why they do it.
  11. I got a feeling there is about to very different answers to the questions I'm about to ask.

    What is the magic number ? Where does to cheap end and decent wages start ? Where does gouging start ? Can there even be gouging ?

    just seems that no matter what someone charges The guys starting at the very top and working down from there are always going to thing the guys below then are to cheap.

    the $1500.00 guys think everyone should be at least 1000.00
    The 1000.00 guys think everybody should be at least 800.00
    The 800.00 guys think 600
    600 think 500
    500 think 400
    400 think 375
    on and on

    If this a true statement then the 1500 guys think all but the second one are to cheap. Again the thought process contines down the line.
    The you can reverse the whole darn thing the 400 thinks the 600 are gouging 600 thinks the 1000 are gouging.

    I doubt that there is a answere. because everbody ain't going to be happy with just one single answere. There will always be an argument/excuse in each person why they think they are right and knows best.

  12. My business taxes in Ohio are lower now than they were five years ago, so that part is good. (Republican governor). But the ODNR, DOW is so corrupt (Google it) that any kind of reform of the taxidermy or completely unregulated guide industry in Ohio is a waste of time. As is any attempt to provoke the State to license taxidermists or guides in Ohio.

    I do believe that a $150, 3 year taxidermy license would eliminate about 1/2 of "$300 deer head" guys, the other 1/2 would be forced underground. And prices will come up. I am a lifetime Republican here asking for more regulation, so its pretty screwed up.
  13. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I'm at $650 and I think $450 should be the minimum because of the cost of supplies and such, so I'm not necessarily in your bracket, but I get your point.
  14. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Glenn as much as I preach getting prices into the current decade, Im VERY cautious about telling others what that number should be. Because, I really DO understand the dilemma. My personal opinion is, most guys do decent enough work to consider it an art work. I feel that guys should be right about at $500 for a deer head. I feel the time, materials, and TRUE OVERHEAD would dictate that figure. Again personally, even if everyone was at $500 I would still charge my higher numbers, because I want to make that amount of money and profit. I firmly believe that if the majority of taxidermists started asking what theyre truly worth, that in a very short amount of time theyd get that price, and others would follow suit. To those who feel theyd get passed up and not have any work, I say...dont do taxidermy, its obviously not paying you enough.

    As an aside...God help any of you if a guy slips and falls at your place when picking up a $300 deer head and sues you. When you find out the homeowner insurance rider isnt going to cut it, and he sues you again civilly, maybe THEN some guys who believe theyre sending themselves to africa on taxidermy wages while their wife works two jobs might finally get what we are saying...
  15. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    You have a soft way of saying hard things.
  16. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    I say if you made more money than you wanted last year then lower your prices. If you made less than you wanted raise your prices.
  17. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    I could care less what everyone else charges, I charge what I need to to make the living I want to make. Nothing I do in my business is dictated by what other taxidermists do in their businesses.
  18. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    Just calculate the number. Overhead cost per hour times the number of hours used to do the mount. Plus labor charge per hour times the same number of hours used to do the mount. Plus the cost for materials and services. Plus the profit. It don't matter where you live or what the guy down the road is doing if you calculate the price you need (want) or whatever.
  19. The whole discussing flew right over your head. I would hope most people know to do what you said and feel about about the same way.

    But in doing the very thing you say you come up with say 450.00 . Those numbers are good for some but the 600-1500 guys think you are giving your services away. On the flip side the guy two blocks over is getting 300.00 you think he is a blooming idiot for doing so. so again where is the magic number that makes everbody say problem solved. Well there is none and never will be.
    All ready there where two different numbers put out here , both are close ,yet different enough to invoke the same argument all over again.
    As this thread continues most wont be brave enough to say a specific number for fear of the the back lash coming, and understandable. Some will just start going along with the the numbers giving out of nothing more than peer pressure/fit in syndrome.
    I'm not defending the 300 guys nor condemning the 1500 ones. Nor am I am ashamed of me at 400/450panel.
    Like I said there is no magic number to please everone, I do think Bill makes great sense in his approach to it. But I also think although everone can get into the (one size fit all clothes) but some of us look like chit in it. Baggie on some to tight and on others and blaid makes me look fat. ;D ;D ;D
    The true answere is EVERONE should stop injecting their views pro or con upon an unwilling crowd willing to listen . Leave people alone to there plan or demise. Because its really none of our business if some one wants to use silly puddy for clay, flour & water for hide paste, use bondo or gas, charge 250 or 1500

    Greg stop stirring the pot ;D ;D ;D lol
  20. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Glenn, I know this topic falls on many deaf ears with taxidermists as well as the customers. Now this is addressing anyone, not you or anyone in particular so dont take this as a personal comment.

    I know we can throw out the $200 head and the $1500 head. But to me, whether you live in repressed, average or wealthy towns, certain costs are the same, and what a guy should have the sense to charge could be the same too. An honest material list. A real overhead/utilities cost, not borrowed from the house...additional utilities created by doing taxidermy even if its in the home. Actual insurance to cover your property. Basic insurance to cover you in case youre sued. True operating costs do include the equivalent money even if you bartered for services as a swap. Once a guy HONESTLY figures all those numbers, he then can see how ridicules it is to do deer heads for much less than $450. Add to that a few dollars and all of a sudden, a $500 price tag on a deer head truly is a bargain. If they hired an artist to do a portrait of them with the deer, its going to cost a lot more than a deer head. Why? Because even an artist recognizes what comes out of THEM, not just the related costs. That artist recognizes his SELF WORTH.

    Now of course, the quick comeback thats on the tip of many peoples tongue is, of course, "well youll never get that here". No kidding. So youll take daddy's gift money (or where ever the cash comes from, just an example here) to build a big building, and never truly pay it back through taxidermy, because youre literally coming out just ahead of the REAL costs. Basically almost paying the customers balance on the bill on some jobs.

    How come so many guys are charging today, the same amount I charged as a teenager? In the 70's and 80's things were not roaring by any means. I was just another guy mounting heads, no reputation of any kind. Yes, luckily I began to get favorable notice with my involvment competing, and with that I was able to do a decent head more efficiently and charge more. I also crashed when I got so busy and behind when life intervened. Many of us have experience4d life that way, it happens. But the price still went up and people were willing to pay it.

    Wanna know why I was getting that much for a deer head even when I was so backlogged?

    Because thats what I was charging. Yes, that simple.

    When enough guys figure that out, the price does go up, and guys will pay it. $1500 heads wont fly when everyone is $350, no kidding. But when guys are honest to themselves and charge what theyre worth, or dont do taxidermy until the money is there, then youll have a balance that everyone can work with. Some will still be going like a bat out of hell for $300 but more of you will begin to earn $450, $500 and $650 for your work. And youll be able to slow down and do that little bit of extra that guys will come to appreciate, and pay for. Its a trend thats repeated over and over again by so many taxidermists that learned to do so.

    You must be able to first charge what you are worth. Then you must condition the customer that taxidermy is worth it. Run like a hobby, and get paid like its one. If they wont pay your 1980 price list prices, for Gods sake do something else. You certainly wouldnt stay at a minimum wage job. But you are...