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lowballers and hacks hurting the industry?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by mk, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. weaselthumper

    weaselthumper "Was It Good For You?"

    So say I charge $600. a head & the guy down the road charges $450.00~does that make him a "Hack"?

    Or is that just competitive business?
  2. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    John, there's a lot more to things than this. There is a point where your wage will exceed what the market will tolerate. A LOT depends on demographics and surrounding competition (the old supply and demand thing). And available work. In some areas the cost of living and amount of available jobs is much less than others. The cost of housing and real estate is also a HUGE deal. I see a lot of folks flashing some pretty sweet wages, but I also see a lot of these folks live in a very high cost of living areas such as out east or in California, etc. A LOT of variables come into play when one designates their prices. The problem in our industry is a lot of folks simply don't understand business and the intangibles or indirect costs associated with running a business (as George mentioned - although I think his numbers are high for most of us - especially us basement warriors - lol!) Or they turn out crap work and fail because of that as well (or both). Always an interesting topic and interesting to hear other folks perspectives on the subject. Everybody just needs to realize that no two circumstances are exactly the same...

  3. mk

    mk -30 below

    ok guys, say 2 taxidermists charge $300 for a head, say 1 of the taxidermists does outstanding work, he's going to get more business than the other guy even though they charge the same because of QUALITY. look around there is no set standard in the taxidermy world-except pennsylvania(and that state has the BIGGEST SHOW and possible the best quality of work compared to other states) . over in europe i believe you have to be an apprentice for 5 yrs before you can start up your own business-1st year you just skin and flesh and study anatomy no mounting at all! Here in america one can just start up taxidermy out of the blue on his own with little experience or knowledge. i dont know about europe but i think the majority of americans see taxidermy as a glorified hobby, not a real job and not as art. i think something needs to be done i really do. yeah if that means I have to take tests or get graded on my mounts i will do it till i can be certified. Friggin John Rhinehart sat outside the WI deer and turkey show before thousands of people came in trying to sell a deer mounting video and supplies saying "why pay those taxidermists in there $400 to mount your deer when you can do it yourself using this video for $30?"-something along those lines. yeah i know everyone started out somewhere but i myself would have at least had proper training before getting into taxidermy to do high quality work, yeah i go to a couple workshops each year and seminars and stuff but theres alot that dont, they dont care what it looks like or they dont know or want to do better and they are just after the $$ and they will do it whatever it takes and i think the public gets turned off by that
  4. Paul K

    Paul K New Member

    I find the 1st two sentences severely depressing !
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    The captain of a big ship was telling this interesting story: "Once I saw two marines standing on the opposite sides of the ship. One was looking to the west and the other one to the east. And they saw each other very well."
    How can that be possible?
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The one on the east side was looking at the one on the west side and the one on the west side was looking at the one on the east side.
  7. Henry J.

    Henry J. New Member

  8. Marty in some respects you are right, we found out this year that our market would bear 130 dollars more than everyone else said it would. Along with that we are 25 miles from town and in that town there are four taxidermist I know of and several within ten miles, yet we are a lot higher and gtting the work.

    Most of our 15 bear rug clients are from everywhere in the state, local to five hours away one way. Most of the over 50 deerheads are from locals within 30 miles and fish from everywhere in three states right now. These are not wholesale fish either.

    I thought for the past two year that maybe the locals just could not afford to pay more, then we decided to up to the high average for the state and darned if they are not driving to our door.

    So this leaves the question I wonder about since we are a lot higher, would the market bear more? I dont know I think so, maybe not. Our people here work in the log woods, drive log trucks, work in sawmills the few retail jobs are clothing type of shops and like everywhere most of the factories have closed. ye things have changed the best jobs in town are FED EX office and most of those are not hunters.

    I really dont care where they work now, they are paying our prices and all the while other local taxidermist are claiming people dont have the money.

    We did not now or ever signon to put a mount on everywall, we will do that when we get paid to do that.

    If location is everything then we are going to rent a building across from Wal MArt. LOL

    Yep here everyone shops at Wal MArt they are our customers too.

    Hell look at TV sets at WM now $1200.00 and up, surely those same customers hunt and fish, so they can pay us so we can afford one of those big screen tvs too.
  9. countryboy36

    countryboy36 New Member

    i,i,i will it ever end ???
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    John - I want a HD T.V. SO bad, but can't afford one. Keep your eye out for a 13" Black and White one for me eh??? LOL!!! (Remote would be nice too!!!)
  11. Do they still make black and whites? Oh hell maybe thats a racial statement OH crap I have two colored TVs, a black cat a black car, nope I ain't raciest.

    Why did American Indians fight so well?
    They rode Paint horses, when they arrived at the battle sight they were ready to kill everything.

    Jim do you see other business pricing much of tehir work at cost of below?

    From Fishart.
    The problem in our industry is a lot of folks simply don't understand business and the intangibles or indirect costs associated with running a business (as George mentioned - although I think his numbers are high for most of us - especially us basement warriors - lol!) Or they turn out crap work and fail because of that as well (or both).

    Thats the pint we have been trying to make. I look around the places where I have lived and some of the most successful business those people know business, yet they are not college grads. some finished only the 8th grade.

    Yes, understanding that there is more to related production cost than just buying supplies, more to wages than just collecting them, then there is profit the dirty word for this industry!!!!!

    You have to make a profit.

    You have to figure in educational expenses too, thats taxidermy shows and seminars!!! How are they going to do better work when they cannot afford to go to some of the seminars?????
  12. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    I think that the problem bigger than "lowballers" or "hacks" (although there isn't a fine line for either one), is the individual taxidermist's business and sales skills. As John C has been saying, most don't even know the total production costs on a mount. Add that to the "price-checker" customer that says "Will you match prices with so-and-so down the road?" and you've created a situation where that taxidermist could potentially take a loss.

    Taxidermists need to learn how to sell what makes them different to the public. You can spout off about nictating membranes and dry preservative vs. tanning, and any technical term you want, but all you'll see is a glazed look and confusion. You need to be able to transfer that into a benefit for them - it will last longer, less likely to get bugs, easier to clean, looks more like a live deer, your buddies won't laugh at you for bringing this home, etc.

    There are lowballers and hacks in every industry (Walmart being a great example). I said before, we have high prices and full freezers. That wasn't bragging, that was a fact meant to show that it is possible to raise your prices and increase your client base. Personally, I love it when someone takes their "trophy" to someone very cheap, and then brings it to us to fix afterwards. There is not a more loyal customer out there - they will tell anyone who will listen what a lifesaver you are.

    You can make excuses about how your area is economically worse than ours, but that doesn't matter. It just means that you have to expand your marketing area to include more people. There is money out there, and they will pay for a quality product (yes, quality).

    Learn how to price, and then where and how to sell that price and you won't care how many lowballers/hacks there are in your area.

    Bottom line, do lowballers and hacks hurt the industry? I don't think so. I think that they either wise up, or they go out of business fast. Either way, it paves the way for more professional taxidermists.
  13. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    Next time you get a price checker try saying this...... " If you are calling to just check prices I can save you some time, The guy down the street charges XXX the guy on the other end of town charges XXX. I charge XXX, but I can guarentee you that if you check out their work first and then come check out mine then you will want to leave it here with me. This is what I hear the guy who is teaching me say on the phone and I haven't been there a day when a pricechecker called and didn't come and leave their work.
  14. mk

    mk -30 below

    why doesnt that other guy to go $550 or $595? why does he have to lowball that much in his area if the other guys are getting $600?
  15. Aren't we all price shoppers at one point or another with whatever we buy? Why cant a guy looking for a taxidermist be a price shopper? Its human nature, get over it.

  16. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    Because ART should be "quality Shopped" not price shopped.. This same price shopping guy will call up the higher quality taxidermist and act indignant that he cant get THAT quality for the cheap price.. As if somehow the taxidermist is at fault for not charging the exact same price as the low baller who doesnt put out the same quality of work. ..
  17. roundyracer

    roundyracer been to the mountain and seen the elephant.usmc 68

    Its been awhile since Ive been onsite.Actually quit taxidermy and lost my idenity.Health and the economy plus 2 burglarys pretty much have spoiled my appetite.Wonder if the thieves,know how to use a flesher?Been a part timer over 25 years and always kept my prices higher than the others near me.Ive spent about as much time educating customers as I have mounting it seems.For the most part Ive found more price shoppers than anything.One local here whos work is at best fair charges and always has as much as 40% cheaper,and stays busy year round.Ive sold some of his old clients on quality,however when it comes time to pay its a small war.So in return I have thru the years turned down work,politely excusing myself as Im not accepting mounts at the moment.Whats it gotten me from some is a bad rep.Of course they never admit their eyes were bigger than their checkbook.Ive tried to stay current being a member of state and NTA.Lord knows what Ive learned from some of you,however economics is economics so go figure as the cheapees down the road are full time and Im still in a shed outback with a few faded ribbons and some of my locals have never been to a seminar nor supported the industry.Hard to live on love.If they are any better at quality than myself then why the hell do I repaint their fish?Thats my take.
  18. mk

    mk -30 below

    man, talking about digging up old posts. lol. i think RDA started a thread where he was bitching at the wholesale guys doing work for next to nothing. 80% of the Taxidermist on this site aren't even able to afford to get wholesale work done cause there prices are too low. - how sad is that. in some cases the as retail charge cheaper than the wholesale guys ???

    what boggles my mind the most is where you got someone that does taxidermy on the side along with his full time job and they charge less than fulltime taxidermists. And you know what the economy is crap right now and all the hunters are looking for deals if we as dermists don't stick together and try to help each other out by at least sticking to certain priceranges and not undercutting someone $200-$300. we might get somewhere. and so what 1 guy may get more work in than you-who cares- that guy might need you to help him out and can farm work out to you- so you win regardless.

    This is not a business where you will be rich, but I at least want to live comfotably and not paycheck to paycheck. I'm not saying I got all my ducks in a row, but If we don't group together were just hurting ourselves and the industry.
  19. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. Active Member

    MK - that's called price fixing and it's illegal.

    Round- sounds like you priced yourself out of your local market. Which is your right. But you paid the price.
  20. mk

    mk -30 below

    Kevin- well I guess your gonna have to call the cops on every taxidermist in the Pacific northwest. lmao.

    Its not price fixing if everyone has there prices within $25-50 of each others, either way shouldn't we know what taxidermists are getting in our areas and not just pulling some random nuber out of our ass? there is no reason for someone to charge say $600 for a deerhead and then there is a guy charging $350? like i said why dont that guy go $550 or $575?