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Customer's Requesting Emailing Or Texting Photos Of Completed Mounts

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by FishArt, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Rick Carter brought up this subject on another thread and I thought it might be a good topic to post a new thread for discussion.

    In this day and age I get more and more requests for e-photos of my fish replicas before shipping them. I hate doing it for various reasons. Among them being it's time consuming to get quality photos so IF a customer talks me into it I usually explain to them that these cell phone pics aren't picking up the colors (blah blah blah) so your fish will look even better when you see it in person. Usually that works fine for some customers. But I prefer not sending any pics at all. The biggest problem is opening up the door when they see those pics for changes. Occasionally I get a customer that wants to tweak things a little bit. On the flip side, I'm a tad worried that if I don't let them see pics beforehand and for some reason they don't like something then we're talking a possible dissatisfied customer or wanting to send it back for fixing. And shipping it back again. Not cost-effective for that.

    It's not a problem really for local business because I just flat out tell them that I want to see the look on their faces when they see it and that mindset always works for me. It's just now I've gone to nearly 100% shipping replicas. So, the photo thing ahead of time before shipping is something I do on a case by case basis. It hasn't created any real problems yet, but I prefer to set specific rules in my business and this has been one area where for me it's tough to have a rigid rule. How do others handle non-local mounts and today's world of sending pre-photos of everything? Yay or nay? And if so what do you tell your out of area customers and how do you handle things?
  2. drob

    drob Well-Known Member

    I started getting requests for pictures lately from My younger customers.I tell them they should wait as that adds an element of excitement! most are ok with that.The phone camera thing seems to make everyone want to snap and send photo's-I once had a customer take a picture of his friends mount and send it to him while I was out of the room.just seemed unprofessional.
    FishArt likes this.

  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I send a text photo as soon as I mount anything, I do so just to show it’s mounted and if they want anything changed, it’s still wet enough to change ( like ears )I’d rather do it then , then after it drys , (but I can count on one hand how many times that has happened) and for them to be prepared to pick up in three weeks. This way there is no excuses , I will not sit on a mount for more then 2 months , and my clients know it . I more use it as a picking up tool and not a great photo , kinda thing .
    sarahdj, drob and FishArt like this.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Chit, I just had a request for a photo update of a deer I haven't even mounted yet, I sent them a pic of their rack and a bag with a frozen cape in it and then referred them back to their receipt, especially the part where timeline was mentioned. I do it on a case by case basis also but often times it is like 13 point suggested only for input on a mount while working on it. Rarely will I send a finished pick.
    George and FishArt like this.
  5. Kerby Ross

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

    I just tell them that I am so old I don't know how to send a photo. :) :)

    rigbobby, sarahdj, George and 4 others like this.
  6. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    I used to do this and absolutely refuse to do it now. One would think it would excite the customer and get them moving to pick it up; but i believe the opposite happens. They take the "it's done, so I'll pick it up whenever" route. We all complain about the customer that calls and never comes to get it when its done, this is just another venue for them. We'll see how it goes as I am currently working on a custom molded albino blue catfish; I've received 3 calls in the last couple months about if its done. Last night i told them they could pick it up Saturday and would be expecting them to since they are in a hurry for it; you couldve heard a pin drop LOL. Thats when they wanted to see a picture of it, so I sent them a pic of the bondo mold. Almost 100% guarantee slow payer.
    sarahdj, Lance.G, George and 2 others like this.
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Maybe I should have posted this is the Fish Category? Because I think there's more fish folks shipping mounts vs completed deer heads, etc. It's just an ongoing issue with shipping mounts, not the local stuff. For local pickups, I too make the customers wait. Also needed to mention is (I believe) fish are easier for most customers to see differences and easier for them to ask for "tweaking". Whereas, the vast majority of deer customers simply look at the rack and I think would be much less apt to ask for changes after seeing a photo. And, of course fish are much harder sometimes to change things than touching up deer ears with some fleshy colors. How do I make a fish a little lighter w/o some major reworking and re-glossing? I think I have my answer here the more I think of it - just say "no"!!! Ha! BUT, I am curious how other fish folks OR taxis that SHIP A LOT OF THEIR MOUNTS handle the photo requests?
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I think you are fighting a losing battle in refusing to send photos. I've been doing it for years. Like 13 point, if there is an issue, it can be dealt with before the mount dries. There is one problem. Once some of these sonsabitches get a photo they can show off, they will slack in picking up their mount. I worry the crap out of them with reminder texts after a certain point. Accepting credit cards has really expedited deposits and final payments for me. We need to remember that this is 2020, not 1920!
    sarahdj, FishArt and Dave York like this.
  9. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    It’s good and bad. The worst one is a friend. I finally told him that if he didn’t like the way it looked I would tear it down and give him his cape and antlers back to take somewhere else
    George and tem like this.
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Joey, I have never had a problem with customers picking up promptly. One of the side effects of being past-due I think - lol. Thank for the input!
  11. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    If my client doesn’t pk up within 2 months I take his rack out and call clients that have racks for remount , I do not and will not play that game . When they finally do show up I hand them there rack and tell them I’m done with them find someone else for now on . I can’t make a living waiting on them as they wouldn’t wait for there pay Ck
    George, pir^2h and FishArt like this.
  12. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    AND, I'm assuming since you have a contract and got at least 50% down that you keep his deposit when you give him his rack back?
    pir^2h likes this.
  13. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    You are 100% correct, plus get the full price for the remount .
    pir^2h and FishArt like this.
  14. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Someone on here once posted (and I don't know who) that they will text the customer the mount is done. Reply back for a photo. Once they do that is proof positive they know it is ready to be picked up and the 30 days (or whatever the contract says) starts right then. If they don't pick up, it's yours or you can charge storage. I think that would hold up on court along with your contract. They were notified!

    If you are the one who posted this suggestion, claim title to it! If I were to do commercial work this is what I would do.
    msestak likes this.
  15. fishmaster

    fishmaster Well-Known Member

    I always email pics of a finished fish before I send it. I get the best results by going outside on the west side of my building in the morning. Photographing in the shade and controlling the angle is key. I can lay a piece of carpet on the gravel and turn the fish to whatever angle is necessary to quickly light it and eliminate most of the glare. This is much easier and better than taking indoor shots unless you have a dedicated place and lighting set up for taking pics. Fish are a pain to get decent photos of but this system works very well and only takes a couple minutes.
    I want the customer to approve the coloration and driftwood selection of the fish before I box it up to send it. If I have to make a minor correction or change out drift on occasion it is an easy fix and gives a customer an idea of what he can expect when he opens the box. Also when people you have never met are giving you a cc# for the second half of the balance they know what they will be receiving.
    The cost of shipping, let alone return shipping and then shipping again is way too expensive to even think about. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    Having said the above, I never send progress pics of any unfinished work. That is a no-go.
    sarahdj and Kerby Ross like this.
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    FishArt likes this.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Marty, this is a GREAT place to post this. Surprisingly, in 60 years I never had one single fish abandoned. I wish I could say that about deer , pheasants, ducks, and varmints. Just seems the fish guys always were ready to pick up their fish and they came, usually within days, sometimes within minutes, to get them.
    FishArt likes this.
  18. I've gotten in the habit of sending a pic via text to customers that tell me that they are out of town working or whatever and won't make it to pick up for a week or so to get them excited to get it when they get back in town. The only pics I've sent in progress have been problems that have come up like scars, tick damage etc. that weren't noticed checking them in because of a cape being frozen in a ball when delivered.
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's a pretty darn good track record George! In 20 something years I've eaten three skins and 2 replicas and I thought I was doing good! I did get half down on the two reps and one skin. But the other two skins were with a good, repeat customer and I was stupid and only got $200 down with him. Read his name in the paper for being arrested for domestic abuse so I wrote that one off - lol.

    It's interesting that you mention the fish side was no problem. That makes sense now because I always wondered why so many posts about problems with picking up on time or getting stiffed. I guess I picked the right specialty eh? ;) I wonder why the problems with the other stuff? Interesting....
  20. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Marty, George. I've had the opposite, I have been stiffed on fish more so than anything. I guess if it is going to happen fish are better than big game , I have less overhead on them and they work for displays and can be sold.
    Glenn M likes this.