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Does the average customer know the difference between quality and crap???

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Monty Artrip, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    First of all, I don't ask this question to start a urinating contest, I have a legitimate reason for my question. I'm on numerous fishing forums and from​ time to time I and others post pictures of fish we have done for the enjoyment of others and in all honesty any free advertising is a plus. Members also ask for recommendations for taxidermist in their area. Anyway some very good work shows up as well as some truly cringeworthy mounts. It seems that the more hideous the mount, the more praise it gets! Lol. I'm guessing this is true in other areas of taxidermy and not just fish. Anyway, I don't proclaim myself to be a fish God but have been at this a long time and confident that I produce a quality commercial fish. I've also seen that the consensus of the average Joe is that a skin mount doesn't last. By the looks of some of the fish that I see they are probably accurate in their assumption. Is this the experience of others?
  2. It is our responsibility to educate the customers; then, aw well!

  3. Maineiac36

    Maineiac36 Active Member

    Could not agree more with your assessment of posting work on line to different pages and forums. poor quality however is usually masked by the fact that your average person that has a fish mounted, may have only had a few minutes to look at their fish alive and then it goes in the cooler or freezer or HOPEFULLY straight to their taxidermist. Then they don't see their mount for a year or so, almost forgetting what it looked like to begin with! and Another thing, Monty, a guy once told me that if your peers are silent about your work, they are nothing more then jealous of it, so your doing a good job!!
  4. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I'm certain that this is true and I'm basing this opinion on 66 years doing taxidermy. We are all trying to produce a mount that depicts that animal...bird...or fish in it's natural state. We study reference and apply that to the mount, however only one in a hundred customers have any clue to the natural state of the depicted mount or the quality of the work. The customer can only apply his or her knowledge to the quality of the mount, but pointing out small details helps educate the customer and his friends when they see the mount, and that reflects on you. Just my opinion..JL

    WLELTD Active Member

    I have people all the time ask .what is that ? general public hardly know a thing, also low pricing makes bad taxidermy look good,hard too believe but true
  6. No they do not. I've had new customers come to my shop and like what the seen. They start talking about some fish they have on the wall done by some one else. I could tell they were very pleased with the work that some one else had done. A year later they come to pick up their mount and they are very happy with it. " That will look good with the other one(s)." Its not until they hang my work up next to what they already had they realize how bad of a job that some one else did. I get a phone call to redo a fish or two. Sometimes the fish were done so poorly there was no fixing them.
  7. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    No. Yes.
  8. duxdog

    duxdog Active Member

  9. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    Most people only seem to care about size, size of fish, size of horns or antlers, no matter the quality of the mount.
  10. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I'd say no.thenhabe no clue.maybe a few but not many
  11. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    What is an "average" customer??? Of course I'm splitting hairs to make a point. Everybody is different. And oftentimes things that we see, we ASSUME all others can see too. When, in fact many do not no matter how much you point out the differences. It's much like the same reasoning some people appreciate Fine Art more than others - with some not understanding at all what they're looking at. And it only matters to some extent how long that particular customer has been fishing or how much fish they've studied in their lifetimes. I have seen tournament fishermen go goo-GA-GA over crap work too! I have a theory that there are three types of customers. One, the obvious price shoppers who couldn't see a quality mount if their life depended on it as their brains are clouded with the great deal they're getting. Two, the customers who actually see the difference and appreciate the level of detail some put into their work. And three, the third customer is actually similar to the first customer in that they really don't see much of a difference, if any in quality. But, they go to the person their friends think is great and/or they simply choose an expensive taxidermist because they assume they are the best (and oftentimes I think some people brag about how much they paid per inch for various reasons!) This third customer chooses the expensive person mainly because they don't know any better and they believe that this person can be trusted with their mount by all the great reviews they've heard. Setting ones prices above others tends to get rid of the type one, price shoppers. Some of those you'll see again to fix their crap mount OR they finally realize that their is some difference in quality and pay for quality the next time.

    The short answer is I think a good portion of potential customers can see the differences between a world class mount and a pile of dung - if you point things out. But, the vast majority could not see the differences once those two examples get a bit closer together in quality. Paint jobs are ultimately the thing most customers CAN see if you point things out. Most cannot see rebuilding and all the little things that add up to a quality mount that we see. Most are more concerned with whether or not you set a backside eye - lol! (sad, but true btw!)
  12. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    Guessing you didn't get that giant brown? Lol.
  13. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Most do not. The ones that do can make your day, or frustrate the Hell out of you nitpicking over the opinions they got from their friends. "Do you use the real eyes? What do you stuff them with? That's a lot for a plastic fish. I like replica #5. Can you face it the other way and do it tail down instead of tail up? What is a skin mount? " Then, there are the price shoppers, and you never know if they are serious or not."Need one next week for Tommy's Birthday. He is only 12, can you give him a break? I am a veteran....do I get a break? $500 to ship that marlin?

    When I get frustrated with the price shoppers, I tell them to check out www.zzfish.com freshwater section. shop and compare.
  14. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    Some great replies here guys! It does seem the cheaper the price the better it is to many. No Jimmy, didn't get it! LMAO. What started me thinking about this was more of a local situation. I think something good comes out of every situation and in my case gave me the little push to increase my prices, which I have been stubborn about for some reason. Everyone gets the price shoppers though, it seems as if they think the quality is equal and the only difference is the price. I can understand that mindset as I had a couple of fish mounted many years ago before I started doing taxidermy and that was how I picked the taxidermist. I was in the military at the time and money was pretty tight. I thought they looked great until a few years later when I had something to base my impression on. I guess that kind of answers my own question in a way but agree about us needing to educate and show the difference to potential customers.
  15. roonie

    roonie Member

    if they knew the difference, they would be taxidermists themselves. Most sheep (people) follow others to the taxidermist of choice for sometimes all the wrong reasons. I think they do this because of the very reason that they trust others to do the thinking for them and just follow their lead. Leaders are leaders for a reason ...to help the lost. Of all the customers i had yrs. ago, i had maybe, three that really knew a good mount when it hit them. Just my two cents worth
  16. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    My cousins a perfect example of this. His "fish guy" that he was using charges 12 dollars a inch. Ya you can tell its a walleye from 20 feet out but you get closer and start thinking what the hell is this. Heavy heavy airbrushing, no scale detail. Sunk in bony looking head and teeth that would make a pirhana jealous. He thinks they look fantastic and realistic. I think alot of people see crumby fish work this way. For some reason the less realistic looking the better for some guys.
  17. I think people, in my area anyways, are really starting to come around and notice the difference. I make sure to point out the differences before they leave. I have a few crappy old mounts that I keep around from when I first started taxidermy just to show them. Everyone starts out crappy and the people that dont mind that type of work is what made us what we are today. Me anyways. Im self taught and without doing my crappy work i wouldnt be doing as good as I am today. I wont be complaining about the crappy work of others today.
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Active Member

    I'm not a taxidermist, but I have a game room full of taxidermy from some of the leading names in the business. Most people who have seen my room can only tell that my mounts look "different" than most of the others they have seen. The vast majority can't say why they look different. With a little coaching, they understand the smaller things that make the difference. The fact is that most guys will be satisfied with an average looking mount. The people that aren't are usually willing to pay more for quality.
  19. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I'd say more know the difference with fish than with deer, pig, and other mammals.
  20. WLELTD

    WLELTD Active Member

    Had a guy bring in four ,19 inch crappies,fins were all off center,scales were all popped up, looked like a corn cob, and painted with a sharpie. Asked me what I thought .L would have been crying like a baby if those fish were mine, Told him some things to look for,he tried taking them back and this taxidermist said he could not believe he didn't like them ,this guy is the so called fish guru of northern Wisconsin,most but not all don't see it, if it has fins its a fish, just like someone else mentioned all they look at is the antlers on there deer.It's so hard to believe ,how many times have you heard a wife say your not hanging that on my wall yet when they see a deer in the wild they think it's beautiful, hard to fix stupid or should I say lack of knowledge yet they have fifty photos on there phone. That guy is good take it to him,is he?