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How To Charge For Mounts?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Curtis Davis, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    I'm looking at getting into Taxidermy but need to show my wife that there is profit to be made. Should I calculate the total cost of a mount using per/hr or just figure out the total cost of materials and shipping then add a desired profit percentage to the total?
     
  2. jrandall71

    jrandall71 Member

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    Materials, shipping,wage,shop hour, overhead, and profit percentage all need to be in your calculations of pricing a mount. If your shooting a number based off anything else you're selling yourself short and will have an expensive hobby instead of a business.
     
    msestak, Lance.G and Micah Howards like this.

  3. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    I appreciate the information, I’m trying to get a general cost/profit margin (using the highest cost materials) just to show my wife that this is worth doing, but I would be sure to brake each mount down by the direct cost of all items! Thanks!
     
    jrandall71 likes this.
  4. Dr. Hillbilly

    Dr. Hillbilly New Member

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    I did taxidermy for almost 20 years. When i quit i was charging 475 a deer head. Even then i was making about 8 bucks an hr. I wouldnt charge less then 600 a deer head. Some guys are charging 1000 a head.
     
    msestak and Curtis Davis like this.
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    My advice, listen to your wife - ha!
     
    antlermike, msestak and George like this.
  6. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

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    Here’s how much you can make! Lol just kidding. In all seriousness take Jrandall71’s advice and Always add 2 hours to every project from what you think it will take. Merry Christmas! F51175E5-6A15-4267-908B-E42217809AE3.jpeg
     
    antlermike and msestak like this.
  7. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    See I calculated I would want about 15-20 an hour but that would be 720 before any other charges so I’m just wanting to make sure when I start charging it m not too low or too high yes I plan to focus on details for long lasting mounts but not to a point that no one wants to pay me to do mounts if that makes since. So I’m thinking about working out that the average neck/Shoulder mount for deer is about 6-800 then an extra 1-200 for larger deer like elk or moose and so on for half and full size mounts. And I would estimate the cost of the most expensive mount in each option so then I can say if you pick a mount in this category this is how much and this is what goes with because the extra cost would cover and still give me a decent 30-40% profit. Half my profits will be going back to more stuff for taxidermy business! I appreciate the feed back.
     
  8. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Don’t get wage and profit confused . You need to pay urself a wage of x$ and hour then your business needs to make a profit. Don’t forget the time you are dealing with the clients, not just working on the mount . Lastly don’t forget insurances , and shop materials such as business cards , advertisement, receipts, computer systems if applicable , paper towels, rubber gloves , all that needs to be added in .
     
    msestak and Curtis Davis like this.
  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Nobody is approaching the elephants in the room here. Do you have any taxidermy experience and how much? If you have never even produced a mount then you have several hurdles in front of you. A cost analysis is nice to do, but not at the top of your list here! OBVIOUSLY profit can be made as many here are living proof. But, most start out doing it as a hobby and building their reputation from there. Expect for it to be very labor intensive starting out and without much profit (You'll be very lucky to be making minimum wage starting out). And not that much work either. You will be part-time for at least a year or two AFTER you're established and properly trained. Then, don't forget the talent and getting better parts before you even think to open your doors to paying customers! You're not selling a product you're selling a service and building a brand. Most fail by either producing inferior quality work and/or not charging enough to make it worth their while. It takes skill and some artistic talent to produce a quality mount. And then once you get past all of these hurdles you now need to also be a good business person. It's good to see you trying to approach things correctly here from a business perspective, but I think you may be putting the cart in front of the horse! First see if you even enjoy doing this and then make sure you can learn to put out quality, commercial work. P.S. If I had a nickel for every post I've seen like this through the years and then never heard from the postee again, I'd be rich! Lol Good luck!
     
    msestak, Wildthings, Lance.G and 2 others like this.
  10. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Curtis are you just now STARTING taxidermy or are you a seasoned taxidermist going into full-time business?

    If you are an experienced taxidermist and you do quality work then you need to get top dollar for your taxidermy. Material and labor rates are important but you have to figure in your overhead costs into the price too. Your electricity, gas, telephone and auto insurance are not free. I can help you with those things, when you are ready, if you would like. Just PM me. Joe
     
    msestak and Curtis Davis like this.
  11. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    It takes a lot of work to begin showing a profit. Shops, equipment, tools, and supplies don't grow on trees. Begin in a small way, and you can feel your way through it. You may have to "cook the books" if you are trying to convince your wife there's money in it...good luck!!!
     
    msestak and Curtis Davis like this.
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Take some business classes and get the the Breakthrough Manual on taxidermy business. You could also purchase the business DVDs from Breakthrough's website. Then you can have a solid handle of what it will take and it is an INVESTMENT that will pay for it's self over and over from start to finish.

    If starting a business is your goal and you have no taxidermy experience then first things first. Learn business first then taxidermy.

    If you are already a taxidermist, then that's one thing out of the way. I can't overstate that you must learn how to run a business. A poor taxidermist with great business savvy will thrive. An outstanding award winning taxidermist with little business training will almost surly fail .
     
  13. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    already have that book in my cart to pick up with my Christmas money lol thanks! And no I have no experience as a taxidermist just gutting and cleaning my own deer so I will need to really start from business view and then work into the taxidermy stuff. Thanks!
     
    socalmountainman likes this.
  14. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    These are really wise statements! The easiest money made in taxidermy is deposits. Lots of guys take in a load work and collect deposits, spend them up, then have nothing to work with. Money management is a must!
     
    msestak, FishArt and socalmountainman like this.
  15. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    That’s a very good point. I am going to start with my own mounts and maybe some simpler pieces for friends and family to get the experience and to find the quality work I want to offer as a business while not getting overwhelmed. Thanks!
     
    msestak and FishArt like this.
  16. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    ...and don't quit your day job! You don't get sick leave or paid vacations and pensions when you are self-employed! I retired in 2016 and now enjoy making beer and bullet money with my taxidermy business!
     
    drob, msestak and FishArt like this.
  17. Curtis Davis

    Curtis Davis New Member

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    Yeah I plan to keep my full time job while getting started then once I see a double or triple income in a months wages then I can retire and do it full time if I enjoy it enough to do so.
     
  18. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    The other elephant would be you really must enjoy what you are doing; especially with taxidermy. It can be challenging every day.
     
    msestak likes this.
  19. 15pt

    15pt Active Member

    The statement Joey made about taking deposits is very good advice. Every year at least 1 folds in my area for this type behavior. I've had 2 try and get me to help them out because they were in over there ass.
     
    msestak likes this.
  20. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    This is a very good point! And to add to this scenario IF you get sick and need recovery time you will start to get behind. And then if you're OCD like me, you don't trust most others to put out the quality of work you do. Then, you're playing catch-up sometimes for years! Getting behind in this industry is one of the biggest buzz kills! You end up contributing to the negative situation with burn out and finding something else to do besides work - further complicating the problem. Disciplining one's self to stay on top of their work in this industry is one of the most difficult things IMO. And along these lines, getting at least a Short Term Disability policy can be a savior too when the income isn't coming in. I would have LTD too if I didn't get it through my wife's (work) insurance. It doesn't pay me anything, but it covers all my medical if something happened long term. Good luck!
     
    msestak likes this.