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price raise on shoulder mount whitetails?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by IAtaxi, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. I debated long and hard about raising my shoulder mount price. I kept hearing taxidermist say I raised my price and took in more deer. In the back of my mind I always thought that wont work where I am but low and behold here we are with about 2 months left in our season and after raising my prices I'm 1 shoulder mount ahead of where I was at the same point last year. I think I will be going up by another $50.00 next season because realistically I would like to be in the $700.00 - $800.00 range (at least that's my end goal). I guess what I'm saying is if you do quality work, treat clients right, and do what you say your going to do you will find yourself wondering why you didn't raise your prices sooner.
  2. boone90

    boone90 Dan Hastings

    I have not gone pro YET, and this is purely anecdotal, but I always look at threads like this as a Canadian and laugh a little....granted life is significantly more expensive here, especially in Vancouver where I'm from (average run of the mill home is $1million), but the going rate for a deer shoulder mount in BC is about $950.00 before taxes with some shops charging as much as $1100 or more and people pay it readily. Just interesting....everything is relative I guess. Like George says, IF a %20 price increase costs you %20 of your business then you have a %20 increase in free time at no cost to you. Good math.

  3. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Just received a few new supplier catalogs, some whitetail forms are now over $80 bucks. Add shipping and your close to $100 on a form if you order a few at a time.
  4. dhart

    dhart Active Member

    You need to relocate, in my neck of the woods here in Wisconsin, we have newbies charging $525! If you have experience and produce a quality mount, $600 is the going rate!
  5. Boneyard33

    Boneyard33 Member

    Im in my first hunting season taking new heads. Even without advertising that Im taking heads, only word of mouth from friends, I've landed 10 heads this year at a price of $575. A lot of them don't bat an eye, but I do know of at least 3 that I've lost because of price though. Man I have some really bad mounts that I paid $450 for and their not worth $300 IMO. Some customers just don't care about quality though or seem to have a hard time telling between a truly good mount and one thats sub par. Im new to all this, but as someone with a fresh perspective, I think the price should reflect your area and the talent in your area. I've seen a very WIDE range of quality out there in my area and if you're good and put the detail into each mount, then I think you need to be around $600...more if your region can support it. Theres another taxidermist in the area whos really good and charges $650 I think. He doesn't seem to have any trouble filling up his schedule.
  6. Randy

    Randy Huntin Chamios on Mount Cook, New Zealand

    The same old question. I remember the same The same topic 35 years ago. The best guide for taxidermy price I have seen was a book written by a guy that was connected to Jonas Bros. Ono Van (forget his last name)???. Great book. It shows how to include the obvious such as tanning, forms, supplies etc. Then goes on to explain hot to include shop/mortgage, overhead, insurance, etc. One thing taxidermists forget is MARKUP on supplies. Yes markup. This book explains it well. Only about 20 pages. As far as pricing the taxidermy industry is made up of about 80 plus percent beginners, rookies, garage, etc. taxidermists. They dont know how to price their work and most likely never will. I am the highest priced shop within 100 miles, maybe 150 miles and cant get all my work done. I am going up next year. FYI for those out there $650 deer, $1300 elk, $210/foot bear rugs, $4,000 LS Cougar (extra for nice habitat and rock work) $1,000 for LS small game bobcat fox coon (this one will go up substantially next year). Another big one is insurance. Most taxidermists dont insure their shop and business. If your shop is robbed, burned etc and you dont have insurance on your clients property in your custody, your in BIG TROUBLE. Look for a business policy that has Balies coverage (insurance for others property in your possession).

    Enough said. Taxidermy will be under priced forever,its a lost cause.
  7. The most recent Breakthrough issue has an excellent article about figuring your prices across the board. Definitely recommend getting your hands on it.
    Kathy likes this.
  8. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I don't have a horse in this race since I am only a hobbyist and pretty much plan to stay that way. I have plenty of people that want me to do work for them and I turn them all down because they think I should do it for less than a taxidermy shop will. (Which by the way the prices in this area are from $299.00 to $425.00) The way I see it, the part timer should actually be charging more than a full time shop. My logic is if the part timer has a full time job his taxidermy is like working overtime. You wouldn't work overtime without getting paid time and a half would you? Of for less than your full time job pays? Am I off base on this?
  9. You are correct!!
    Finally someone that gets it!!!
  10. I started the season at $725 but raised it to $800 as of the first.
  11. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Wow. I have always said that the part timer should be charging AT LEAST as much as the high priced full timers. It is not worth the effort to do taxidermy as a second job and not make a great profit at it. If you do 1, 5 or 200 heads a year for customers, you should have made a real nice profit as well as a real nice wage. Very few part timers, it seems, understand that.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    JP, you are blessed to live in Texas. Now I'm not about to say "we can't get that in our area". I know I certainly could, HOWEVER, I'd be left with only one or two customers. You see every product has a ceiling on acceptability by the consumer. People with incomes that hunt all over the world could really care less and with Texas' reputation of quality deer and high fenced hunts, I'm sure much of your income is generated from clientele like this. Back here in the East, there's a guy behind every bush who has a "Taxidermy" sign hung out. He may not be in business long, but THIS YEAR he is. The locals don't know that it's nothing more than a pyramid scheme and that this guy doesn't care if you don't come back next year, he's into spending your deposit money. Most professionals really don't want that type customer to begin with, yet he's the guy we make the most of our income from.

    Rick Carter is a good example. I know of very few people who can mount a more quality deer than Rick, yet he charges only $50 or more than I do. Why? Because he has bills to pay and with the concentration of taxidermists in his area, he must stay competitive while pushing the envelope of pricing as he needs.

    My point is that MY CLIENT books a hunt in Texas. He flies first class, goes to a big ranch, and takes a B&C buck. Now he COULD have it caped out and shipped or load it on the airplane to bring back to me. OR, he could just take it to a reputable guy like you without ever getting his hands dirty or having to tip a skycap and limo driver. No muss, no fuss, and he never stains the sheets. Luckily for me, my blue-ribbon guys like to drive. They have a trailer with a 4 wheeler and a freezer they pull. They kill a Texas deer, skin and butcher him, throw it in the freezer and don't stop until they're standing outside my door. They say, "Man, from what we saved in leaving it there, we can pay a big deposit for you."

    Texans are blessed. They charge the highest fees of any state and match closely what you'd pay in Canada. I don't begrudge you or anyone else what you have, but walking in some others shoes can be painful at times. This is likely to be my last year of taking in work so it really doesn't' matter to me if a guy takes his deer someplace else. At $525, I'm one of the highest around, but there's a guy down the road at $375. I still have more work that I want but the clients will need to decide just whose quality they want.
  13. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    yep. you charge by the area you live in. i dont go by the guy who is 100 miles from me. its whats in your area. $400.00 to 450.00 is the going rate around here.
  14. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Would you say the same thing if the going rate in your area was $275? I feel that you should charge what you need to make a comfortable living and not let the guys down the street set your prices for you. If your comfortable living is more than what your area will bear, then you have chosen the wrong profession. I'm not saying that an area doesn't have a cap. I'm saying that, how do you no what that cap is if you hang with "safe" crowd? I didn't like it down there with "safe" crowd, so, I upped it several hundred dollars more per mount and reaped the benefits being up near that cap.
  15. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the car mechanic and the hvac guy charge according to where he lives, lol.
  16. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Bill, that's not comparing apples to apples, those are neccessaties, taxidermy is not and never will be. They go by a price quote set up by the industry, the only difference is labor rate or profit expectancy of the individual shop. There is not an industry standard price for taxidermy, not likely to ever be.
  17. I’ll call BS!
    You think a car or a mechanic is a necessity? They could walk, ride a bike, motorcycle, cab, train, subway, Uber, or a few other ways to get around. A car is a luxury!
    How about $500 used cars up to $250,000 cars, It’s all about choices. What about mechanics? they are like taxidermist, you can go to the high priced shop or the shade tree mechanic doing it nights and weekends just like the garage taxidermist.
  18. Thank you George I do feel blessed in many ways.

    The problem is that you guys think that if you raise your prices you’ll lose all your customers. I used to think that way but a funny thing happened. Every time I raised my prices Id lose a few but gain more to replace them.

    Taxidermist behind every bush? Well you’re not alone because Texas has a lot of bushes as well. Cheap taxidermist? Yes Sir, we have those also, But who cares what they are doing or what they charge.

    I understand your thinking but My shop Is not supported by high fence ranches, 90 % of my deer come from low fence hunters. About 25 % of my work is mammals and the rest is split with fish and birds. As a taxidermist, I’m not the best but I’m better than others. My prices are $800 deer, $1200-$1800 bobcats , $20- 25 inch on fish (one side), $290 ducks.

    Sometimes an out of state hunter or fisherman will leave a trophy out of convenience but I do get people shipping me stuff from all over the country. By your logic the guy in your town will go to the cheaper guy. If that’s true, please explain why they would ship it to me in Texas for twice the price plus shipping both ways?

    You don’t know if you can get the price of you don’t set the price.
  19. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I'm curious, about how many hours do you have into the average deer shoulder mount for $800?

    Everybody is focused on price here. In my opinion, the time spent on a mount is equally important when factoring in price. If two taxidermists are charging $400 and $800 respectively for a mount and one takes 5 hours of labor to complete it while the other one takes 10, then assuming they are both maxed out on their work load, who is really making more money? Also, supply costs can vary a lot too. There are $40 forms and there are $80 forms. Tanning in house vs. sending out hides. Lots of factors to the bottom line besides the price charged for a mount.
  20. R.J. Meyer II

    R.J. Meyer II Member

    Rick Carter, who is a "pretty good" deer taxidermist was only charging $520.00 13 months ago. Go figure....