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Supply Costs

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by James Marsico, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I just ordered another thousands of dollars big order of taxidermy supplies coming by truck shipment . It just made me wonder again after all these years in this business I will never understand why MOST taxidermists work so cheap. It's a high overhead business with huge turn around times and it is a skilled profession yet most taxidermists especially new business owners have this cheap pricing mindset to get in all the business they can possibly do and more no matter the costs. Its mind boggling to me and always has been. How and why did this mindset in this industry start and why it is so strong of a mindset in taxidermy? Are there any good answers for that?
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Because most of these people have the misconception in their minds that if you are a good taxidermist you'll succeed in a taxidermy business. They fall in love with taxidermy and it's all they can think about. They have no foresight other than the dream of doing taxidermy all day long.

    Running a taxidermy business has nothing to do with taxidermy and everything to do with business. It could just as easily be a plumbing business.

    Doing taxidermy for people all day long is not running a taxidermy business. Running a business all day long while you do taxidermy is running a taxidermy business. Profit is the name of the game, not pay your customers to do taxidermy for them.

    A post I read said it's only 2 hrs, so no big deal. 2hrs for me was a little over $150 the year I retired which was a couple of years ago.

    Oh, I forgot, they can't get that in their area and they don't need business classes. They did a deer head, duck, pheasant and bass in taxidermy school, so they are good to go for a business.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I know so many guys that order supplies every time they get a deposit on a mount...I order once a month from each supplier. Shipping is bad enough in bulk...there is no reason to make it worse by making multiple orders per week from the same supplier. I'm at the point where I know how much I'm going to make on each specimen the minute I take it in, and how many hours of my life I'll spend on it. I wholesale a little bit of work now. I'm not happy with some of the items other taxidermist do for me, but my two hands can only do so much. Amazingly, customers seem happy with the items I question.
    John C, Clew and Robert Baker like this.
  4. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    I'll never understand it either James
  5. James here is my theory, when starting out doing taxidermy there are many that learned to do it themselves, are shy, fail to ask questions and carry along self doubts about their abilities and as such only charge what they "think" the customer will pay or base it off their competitions website price list. There is little if any actual thought put into the figuring of overhead, shipping, insurance, utilities, etc, etc, so its just a wing and a prayer. Or they fall into the trap of undercharging to get the business and end up drowning in work, all because they did not take the time to work up their overhead and shop rate. Most of us were taxidermists before they were businessmen & women, and I'd venture to say that a large majority are still not business oriented because they have yet to learn and understand it.
    Megan :), Richard C, pir^2h and 3 others like this.
  6. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    What I never could understand is those who do it on the side say, "I don't have to charge as much as a full timer because I have a job." Most don't make doing taxidermy on the side what they make per hour on their job. Heck, if you work overtime you expect to be paid time and a half. Right? How is doing taxidermy in your spare time any different? As said more often than not, most taxidermist are not good at business and end up choking theirself.
    Richard C, Keith and 3bears like this.
  7. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

  8. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    They usually end up with two full time jobs because of their low prices, get way behind, work 7 days get burnt out and bail only to be replaced with another 2 brain surgeons. It’s a tradition.
  9. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Or, in my case, end up with two full time jobs, even though I charged more than most taxidermists in the area and most of America, working hard to keep from getting behind, getting burned out working 7 days a week at 40 to 60 hours a week year after year and retire with a good amount of money to show for it while still having a full time job to go to after I retired from taxidermy.

    I must have done something wrong because I certainly worked counter to the taxidermy tradition.
  10. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    You were way too smart to be in taxidermy, you were at the top end of the “bell curve” , congrats.
  11. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I was lucky enough to have a buddy that was a multi millionaire businessman who did some explaining to me. While others may be taking taxidermy classes, i was taking business classes. Even then I feel that I should have gone a lot further into learning business. I may have retired much better if I had.
  12. Dave York

    Dave York Well-Known Member

    If they/we understood business we’d have chosen a different vocation.
  13. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Here’s my thoughts on taxidermy and business men , most good taxidermist aren’t good business men . And most good business men suck at taxidermy. I’m not saying all . But most big shops hire good taxidermist and the owner doesn’t do much taxidermy if any , they will design and sell . Now the shops where the owner is a great taxidermist hires and pays a great businessman to run the business side of it . I’m not talking bout the 1 man with only family members working there shops that gross 150 grand a year I’m talking the million dollar shops . Taxidermy is an art form , and for the most part the taxidermist is the business , without them there is no business and you just can’t hire anyone to do it like you can in most businesses . I will say this , it amazes me after seeing pics of some of the work and mounts on here that some people have posted . That they have that much work and business that they say they do , after seeing the work. I will contribute all or most of the work load to what they charge. If they charged more they work less for the same money. Not getting into the what you can get in your area conversation. But I will agree you should learn how business works before you open a shop and kill ur self with or without a work load .
    Richard C and Dave York like this.
  14. Brianjax

    Brianjax Member

    So it sounds like you’re saying the work is not very good, I felt that I should charge on the lower side till I got more experience. What do you think is a good average price that should be charged for a whitetail shoulder mount?
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    In my area, around $600.00. The prices range from $500 to $1,000. But you can see as low as $450.
  16. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    For one I will agree that 50% of the hunters/clients out there have no clue what a deer or mount should look like and don’t care ,and is the reason some bad taxidermist have so much work and again there prices reflect that . If you want that 50% then which is the same 50% that you will have not pick there mount up and give you the run around then you don’t no business . I’m looking for the other 50% that care and are willing to pay the extra and is where your shipping of supplies are absorbed into so the cost doesn’t effect your profit . I don’t care what others charge in my area , I don’t care how many animals they take in , I know what my work is worth and I charge for it . I’m $825 I get less of a work load and make the same in the long run because of it . And all my mounts are picked up with in 2 weeks of completion. In the long run I’m saying you can have a booming business doing great work and working 8 hours a day as a business should , or you can have a huge work load doing ok work , because you can’t take the time needed on your mounts to learn and get better , working 75 hours a week wondering if your mounts are going to be picked up because your worried bout how many mounts you can take in with no business scene . This is not directed at anyone but my observation of what i see . As far as my work , my guarantee is I’ll put at least a third place ribbon in the masters division on any of my mounts or your
    Money back , my motto is everything but the heart beat .
  17. Brianjax

    Brianjax Member

    I have done some training with an experienced taxidermist and he has the same point of view as you so he try’s to instill that in me. I am learning to have the same outlook as you guys, I want to do work to the best of my ability and provide the most lifelike mount I can so I do agree with you even though it kind of goes against my instinctive nature to charge less to get more work.
  18. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    If you are charging what everyone else charges based on an average, you will never make any money at it. If you don't include your overhead and a profit margin into your price you will not profit. When I see a post about not being able to get more "because of the area pricing" I always like to look up the Ford Dealership pricing for their town and look up the price of a fully loaded Super Duty... $70K, same as here in So Cal. What am I missing???
    All you have to do is look at my prices on my website and see that I outprice everyone in my area because I'M IN IT TO MAKE MONEY at my retirement hobby. All I've done is get rid of the cheap clients and have a select group of elite clients: THE ONES THAT CAN AFFORD ME.
    But that's just me. Joe
    Keith and 13 point like this.