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Tasco Starfish Reproduction Review (dan Rinehart), Poor Quality Reproduction Fish, Bad Service

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Trophy Specialist, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Here's my last Rinehart "Ready to Paint" walleye blank. As you can see there's 3 huge holes that IMO wouldn't be considered RTP on any universe! The eyes are Lord Humongous too - the Iris was buried it was so big! Looked stupid. Seamwork a three year old could do better. After trying to work with them on fixing it on my end for some type of credit Rinehart only offered to "send it back for a five minute fix" they said! (I KNEW right then and there what kind of quality to expect back with only 5 minutes of work estimated on their end!) I knew I probably wasn't going to be happy, but I figured why not? BUT, it gets better! They wanted me to ship it back on my nickle!!! Keep in mind I paid $11.95 an inch plus shipping for "ready to paint" and I rec'd this mess with three huge holes in the blank! Unbelievable. I was actually in shock for a few minutes because I did not expect that answer!!! That was the last straw! At this point I had to pull the "do you want me to go public card". Then, finally I see an email come through my website later that night from Dan apologizing for not calling and to send it back and they'll pay the shipping. Then, they "fix" things quickly and I get my blank back a week or so later. Next post will be pics of what I rec'd after much stress and hassle and time lost dealing with these jerks. You pretty much had to be an a-hole to get through to these boneheads! IMG_2468.JPG IMG_2469.JPG IMG_2475.JPG
     
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  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    And here's what I rec'd after a second round! Now I have MORE work lopping these stupid fins off! And more cost and more of my time and also having to purchase a fin set to replace these stupid looking things. Notice the patch-in job of the pec fin. It literally takes out part of the gill cover the fin root is SO BIG. Scales are the size of Texas too. The pelvics have that walking fish thing going - is the attachment angle where the muscle joins the blank even physically possible on a fish??? I don't think so. Seam work better but still meh. I can live with that part. I guess I got the total "five minute fix" job didn't I??? IMG_2585.JPG IMG_2587.JPG IMG_2606.JPG
     
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  3. drwalleye

    drwalleye Member

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    this is very interesting. I have been using them as my main supplier for the past 15 years. through that time I've had a few things shipped to me that were wrong but 1 phone call and the replacement was on its way and at my door in a day or maybe 2. I've always had good customer service.I do about 30 deer and 30 fish a year so I'm not that big. I do not do replicas so I don't know anything about this part of the business. Has there been other things in the past that leads to this anger? or just the replica stuff. I hate to see a good business get a black eye over this. If I didn't feel I was treated so good for so long I wouldn't say anything. But as we all know its hard to get a good reputation but very easy to loose it. I do agree with the poor quality of the pictures I see here. I don't want to start anything, but I am curious of anything else I should be aware of that I'm missing. so please don't yell at me LOL
     
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  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That's a good point Dr Walleye. I believe their fish finishing area is a whole 'nother area. With two huge lines in the Starfish/Warren's blanks they'd have to be a division all their own.

    Also, for me going public is a very last resort with me, I try to work with my suppliers when I have issues. But that's what it came to for me to at least give them a try to fix my holes. Then, of course they failed that task and I was willing to leave it at that. But seeing this post and now knowing the quality issues are still going on I felt compelled to share my bad experience as well!

    I also need to add that I was very nice to them when I first called (and visa versa) about my issue(s) as I really wanted to work with them on this problem as mentioned. And I had already rec'd about a half dozen blanks from the new owners during their transition (and after) and all others were acceptable, but not without their issues that, IMO had more issues than other distributors RTP's. I thought it was simply "growing pains" with the Rinehart folks learning curve and I never said anything about the other blanks til this phone call. I even offered to drive to their location (they're about 75 minutes from me each way) and show them how to finish a blank RTP to a level that most in the industry are looking for. Which I thought was a nice gesture. Again, I was trying to work with them. But due to proprietary reasons that would be difficult I guess. Oh also, one blank out of 5 or 6 was shipped unfinished and not RTP as requested and I was credited the difference. Not a big deal and they did the right thing there. Not sure when the transition fully happened though so some of those better blanks could have been finished with the Warren's folks help when training in transition. That is what I suspect after my recent experience and adding in Trophy Specialists recent experience too as they're all on their own now.

    But, anyway, I think it is clearly safe to say that IF LCR sent me a RTP blank with three huge flipping holes in the side that Nathan not only would have worked with me on the problem, but he also probably would have apologized for sending it in the first place! And the problem would have been resolved in a 5 minute call! NOT over the course of two or three days of trying to get what I paid for! THIS is why I LOVE LCR! Their blanks may not be perfect, but they have great customer service and won't waste my time with bullcrap like this! Rinehart, on the other hand made me feel like it was my problem that those holes are in my ready to paint blank! By first wanting me to pay shipping and take time to crate it for a semi minor problem seemed silly to me. I believe it was their method to make me go away. Like I really want to spend $45 bucks shipping it back on my nickle plus take time to crate it and ship it back!

    Now, I DO have to admit that in Trophy Specialists situation I missed something first time around. I too would not have been happy with that finished bass. But, you only paid $80 more for a 20" bass to be completely finished vs NRTP. At $15.95 an inch you pretty much got a $15.95/inch fish back! BUT, IMO There is no reason to slap that thing together like that for $4 more bucks an inch finished. They need to raise their dang prices here IMO and put out an acceptable paint job vs creating MORE work by having to strip that Earl Sheib paint job! And that also doesn't mean you also get treated like they don't appreciate your business either!

    Their problems may not be factory-wide as you mention DrWalleye, but it starts from the top. Dan needs to commit to providing proper training for his finisher(s) AND he also needs to understand the importance of "quality first" and backing up his products. Fish folks are pickier! And maybe that is where the problem can be fixed and will end? IDK, I'm not very impressed with their RTP finisher as I don't think she sees her mistakes. You need somebody in that position with some artistic talent even just a smidgeon! But she also may be getting squeezed on the production side too. IDK.

    PS it took me about an hour to fix the three fins and gill cover properly. I had the extra fins. And fyi a $45 credit/shop time was all I originally wanted, but we never got that far. And that was for the obvious three fins install, grinding down fin root and rebuilding scales, seam fixing, eyes replacements. All things I originally paid to have done! Five minute fix my arse! You folks see what a five minute fix looks like on that much work!!! AND, after they "fixed" I now have MORE work due to their poor standard of quality!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  5. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I'm charging $22 per inch for repro fish, but it was $20 when I took in this job last fall. At that price I'm on the high side for my area and I don't get that many fish clients at my pricing, which is OK since they are a low profit segment and I don't have time for them anyway. That $15.95/inch plus $40 shipping, plus tax does not leave me with a lot of profit margin considering the time I typically spend with clients and researching blanks on these types of jobs. You have to remember that the $15.95 price TASCO charges is a wholesale price, where they don't have to come up with and then deal with the customers. Just put out a consistent, good product is all I would ask. I'm not expecting them to put out competition quality here, but I also don't expect blatant laziness and poor quality either where I have to spend time fixing things. If that's the case, then I'm not saving any time by having them do the work and it defeats the purpose.
     
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  6. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Ummm, judging by this thread, they are dealing with customers.....and those customers are a heck of a lot more knowledgeable than the average Joe on taxidermy....cause they bill themselves as....taxidermists. And that can spell trouble.

    Trophy Specialist, when you buy a finished replica and hand it to your client, you are a taxidermy broker. In this case, you could just as well have been an eBay seller, except, as you note, your expertise in taxidermy allows you to locate the item and, hence, the justifiable finders fee.

    So, let's assume a 20" LMB. You get paid $400. You pay $359 (that's with the $40 shipping from your last post, not the $28 shipping originally stated). You earn a $40 finders fee. I assume you would have talked to the client whether you struck a deal or not, so that's a wash. So for $40 you looked at TACO's catalogue and placed an order. Now, I know you could have shopped around, but as a savvy taxidermist you know pretty much where to look. I'm thinking this all takes less time than you spent on Taxidermy.net Forum today not getting paid at all. $40/hr, not bad money. And, you save time to do, as you put it, more lucrative taxidermy. Win-win.

    So you get the product, and it isn't to YOUR standard. That's the risk with wholesale work. It isn't taxidermy you've produced and if you're not telling your client where it's coming from, when it doesn't meet your standard you've a a problem cause your standard is what the client expects.

    I don't know your fish work, or skill level, so I can't tell you how much time it would take for you to fix the fish to YOUR standard. What you got is serviceable. Change the hanger, cost you a couple bucks or less. 30min of paintwork, that bass could look nice. To get it to MY standard, well, that's hours which is why I don't broker taxidermy.

    Now that mess that Marty got, him I feel sorry for.

    I am glad we have these types of posts though, they let us all know what kind of product to expect from the "bigs" in the Industry so folks don't get blindsided. Sorry for your disappointment TS. Marty, that just sucks.

    Anyway, cheers! -Scott
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  7. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    Actually replacing the hanger turned out to be a bigger job that it should have. I can see why now that they used that cheap hanger that pressed the gills and tail end to the wall. The support, wooden block that you would screw the hanger into was mounted too far back on the blank. When I balanced it to center the new hanger, I drilled forward of the wood support. So, I had to fabricate a hanger that would allow it to hang properly and securely, which took my well over an hour of work. I didn't want to repaint the whole fish, so I just fixed the holes on the back, touched it up, painted the back then gave it a proper, complete clear coat. I have well over two hours into fixing it.
     
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  8. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Nice. $20/hr, twice minimum wage. And you got to shoot the bull with a fisherman and practice taxidermy instead of work a cash register, not to mention the extra time for those lucrative projects that pull that average income-per-hours worked up.
     
  9. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, this is often the typical taxidermist business mentality. When you factor in all the business expenses, it would likely come to less than minimum wage in many cases.
     
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  10. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I see. Business expenses, taxes, etc eating up profit.

    So, for this fish you needed....internet. I recon with or without this fish customer you'd be paying for that just like most minimum wage folks do. Now if a Public library were open, you could get that for free.

    Then to bring to YOUR standard: Incidentals, yes. But, did you have to buy any gloss, paint, a hanger or were those things you had already running a taxidermy business?

    Advertising, lights, shop equipment, floor space, healthcare, etc. etc. You choose taxidermy as a business, one 20" LMB doesn't pay for it all.

    You brokered a fish, it didn't turn out to be "easy money."

    Do what you love and do it well. Just mount and paint the dang things yourself in the future.
     
    Timjo likes this.
  11. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Your going over board in defense of poor quality reproduction Bass.
     
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  12. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

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    Am I overboard defending the poor quality reproduction?

    I never said it was high quality. In fact I specifically stated that it would take me hours to bring that replica up to my standard.

    I said it is serviceable, which it is. I said the business of buying someone else's work and selling as your own is risky business. That's the lesson.

    Trophy Specialist shared his dissatisfaction, pointed out his specific disappointments with the TASCO product. As I said, that is a good thing.

    What's overboard to me is the thought process that somehow Trophy Specialist is taking it in the pants over this financially. I question what the profit margin should be with taxidermy brokerage vs actually doing taxidermy.

    $8.50 from the mold, $11.95 ready to paint, $15.95 painted one side

    Given a 20" bass, $80 was spent on painting of the replica. TS was looking to make half that ($40) without getting his hands dirty (simply placing an order and dealing with a customer). By the time all is said and done, he made a little less. And now, because of his post maybe TASCO makes a little less. It's taxidermists here, less is what we make.

    BUT, if we want to go down the road of QUALITY, poor or otherwise, I'll take that trip. I've seen a lot of LMB posted. I've seen better, I've seen worse. I can post some pics of fishwork by folks in this very thread; we can list what they charge per inch. Things could get exciting if we want to comparatively talk about PRICING AND QUALITY.

    Bottom line: When you buy a finished product for $15.95/inch but sell it at $20/inch you are legitimizing the $20/inch quality of the product to your client. What you paid for cost $15.95/inch; do you really expect to get $20/inch quality at that cost? So there's the sad truth that what your customer pays for is your markup and TASCOs.

    And when the qualifier is...overhead...we'll the wholesaler has a lot more than the broker who did little more than shake hands and collect money.

    To TS's credit, he did some fixing of the product. To TASCO's detriment, they did not.

    But, if we're asking, is that an $80 paint job? Compared to what I see elsewhere in fish taxidermy, sadly it could be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  13. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Point well taken. I'm just real happy that he posted his frustration I guess I took it as more of a review of the product. Then on the profit side from the product. I have posted TASCO web site often on this site that shows I'm not against them. I feel they have some good products to offer. I will say I hope I never have a problem if there customers service is as TS says. Thank goodness TS didnt let's say order 17 finished replicas.
     
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  14. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    he did buy a "Customer ready" fish. they just didnt say what type of customer it was ready for !

    is it ready for a top level client or one who is happy with anything that resembles a fish ?
    you know...the client with appliances on his porch, front yard and backyard with at least 4 rusted out junk cars laying around or an upper level client...hmmm

    might ask Dan what type of clients he assumes his fish are going to.
     
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  15. tvenden.tasco@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

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    Actually This is not true, we offered this immediately upon his phone call. He did not want to send the fish back, he just wanted us to reimburse him for his time. We prefer to get the fish back a make it right.
     
    Cory likes this.
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if you're talking about Trophy Specialist's situation or mine. I cannot comment on TS's experience. But, for me you did indeed offer to have ME ship YOUR screw-ups back on MY nickle! First, shipping back and forth vs working with your customers is not only time consuming and costly for both, it's dumb business. (Except, if you want to try to make the problem go away. Unfortunately for you guys we have the internet to call you out when you treat your customers like you don't care!!!) Secondly, I KNEW what I would get back was going to be crappy quality because your person working on these just doesn't see her errors. You provided crappy quality to begin with! And once rec'd a SECOND TIME I wasn't WRONG - you created even MORE work because I had to re-do everything she did poorly! Ultimately, after much hardship and time on my side (and yours) you decided to finally step up and do the right thing (after I threatened to go public) and you provided a pre-paid shipping label. Which you should have done in the first place!!!! All I know is your RTP quality has been far below average in the industry since you took over those lines of blanks.

    I've seen your true colors and "bottom line" attitude and I prefer to build trusting relationships with my vendors who have a willingness to work with me on issues. Fish replicas are a unique niche' that requires this approach imo. There are issues with ALL replica suppliers due to the nature of the industry. I prefer to do business with folks that first consistently provide a quality product. And to back up their product. And of course build a trusting, reasonable working relationship. Tasco/Rinehart has failed miserably on all three counts based on my experiences. Good luck to you and save yourself some money and remove me from your mailing list...
     
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  17. tvenden.tasco@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

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    After reading this, I wanted to take the time to say that our finisher in the fiberglass department is a former body shop fiberglass technician. She taught at the Madison Area Techinical College, in Madison, WI and was highly respected for her abilities in working with fiberglass. She is a well respected artist in our community and has done some wonderful paintings and renderings. Melody Warren personally picked our technician because of her capabilities and worked with her a month last fall. Melody is planning to come back and work with her more. We will say, that it takes time to perfect methods. Jimmy Warren worked hard for years to turn out the work that made him legendary. We are a work in progress for sure. We will stay diligent on the work and as always to be better and better with every replica. I will pass along this comment to her and to Dan.
    We are striving for the same high level of customer service in our fish replicas that we practice in our taxidermy supplies. Thank you for your time. Terri Venden, GM
     
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  18. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

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    Terri,
    My post here isn't to single you out. I've had similar problems with a couple companies that have put out some horrible crap and won't stand behind their product either.

    My complaint is, when someone knows their product has problems, why aren't suppliers not being upfront to begin with and listing problems say in a certain older worn out mold or other problems?
    Then let us decide if we would have an option of still buying them at a reduced price.

    The fact that your admitting that your product isn't up to Warrens standards but charging high market price is confusing at best.
    My suggestion is until you get to that point, be honest with your customers.

    I'm glad to hear Melody is still working with you. I personally found her a pleasure to work with and felt she even put out a nicer product than Jimmy.

    Hope you get things down soon, as I have orders to place.
     
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  19. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

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  20. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

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    To be fair here’s a peacock that LCR wouldn’t stand behind.
    Was told because peacocks fight. Lmao BD671CC1-0E52-45AB-BBA0-7021FA5B7691.jpeg
     
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