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Price per inch ?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by RDA, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. I agree. More and more customers are wanting a Custom job, with a fancy unique base. those are easy and cheap for me to do and add alot of extra cash
  2. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    Josh I hope your potential customes do not read this forum,lol.

  3. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    If we could charge higher prices we would. Funny thing is I charge MORE than RDA does for a two sided replica ( $28.00 per in.) I quote this wonderfull, worthy , lofty price to my clients and the next thing that always comes out of there mouth is" lets just go with the one sided piece for $14.00".

    It's much more than just income, it's mentality. People in WI are generally very conservative.Along with that, most do not feel that they NEED to spend $450 on a 20" one sided skin mount bass. Therefore they will not spend it, regardless of income.You have a choice....either charge $14.00 and get some business or charge $25.00 and spend money on advertising out of the state/ region. If you can make money at $14.00, go for it.

    We take in twice as much work from MO compared to WI. Most of the clients make less per year than my clients in WI, but they are more willing to have mounts done. It's more about the mentality of spending money than anything else.Americans are great at spending money we don't have. You just have to find the people who are willing to spend what they don't have...and thats not going to be people from the Badger state.
  4. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Aaron, you opinion is your own, it holds no weight with me.
    Wether it be fish or fur, pricing in the taxidermy industry is yes a mentality thing, but I see it as the mentality of the taxidermists not the client.
  5. Perca

    Perca Well-Known Member

    Terry. I'd love to barge in on your question that wasn't directed to me and say that Marc does 150-200 fish a year. That means he is doing about ten times the number of fish as the guy who admonishing him for working too cheap. Marc is a full time fish specialist. So is Aaron. So is Marty. So is Cecil. There are many others. I'm just sitting back here in the peanut gallery watching the debate...eh? Actually it's sounding more like a condescending sermon now. :mad: Us uneducated overworking midwestern fish heads admire that you guys in Nevada can charge double what we do and apparently get it. Nothing is impossible for the guy who doesn't have to do it for himself. At this time it is not possible for a full time fish specialist to charge $23.00/inch in this region and take in enough business to stay in business. Several colleagues have explained in detail why that is so. $46.00/inch? :eek: Put the pipe down and have a good day. ;D
    Hey Paul! Glad to see you survived B.T.(LOL) How about weighing in on the price pitch? You're one of the best so are you charging what a western taxidermist thinks you're worth? $20.00/inch? $25.00/inch?.....$46.00/inch? ;D
    Aaron. As usual you hit the nail on the head. Whether it holds water with anyone else means what to you? Yep... I agree. ;D
  6. Dear Mr. IRS man....Perca made a mistake. He meant to say 15 or 20 fish a year. I'm sure he inadvertently hit zeros after those numbers.
    Hey! Hey! Watcha doin? Put those handcuffs away. I'm innocent I tell you INNOCENT!. I did nothing wrong....honest!
  7. Scrubby

    Scrubby New Member

    Yes I do not believe it is the taxidermist mentality,but a matter of customer mentality most will look at prices and say well I will settle for less and it will look almost just as good. The general public does not even begin to understand what it takes to go the extra mile and why my fish look better than a guy charging 1 dollar an inch less. Until they put a fish done by myself and done by another in the area ( within 30 miles) because outside of 30 there are some extremly great fish guys that blow me out of the water and get what they deserve. Most look at it and say looks like a steelhead has fins and spots. But look at it closely thats where there is the real difference. I say this get what you can if you can get 23 bucks an inch go fer it. In the desert of Nevada there are not any steelhead or salmon they then become a rarity just like African game.
  8. Terry

    Terry De-lighted to be living in Alaska!

    Perca... Thanks for chiming in, and as I said (or meant to say, if I didn't) I can see both sides, though I certainly tend to see your side of the coin perhaps a bit more. Maybe it's that whole midwest thing. Also again... I am not a full time fish guy (yet? Maybe some day? Only God knows if He has that in store for me), so I appreciate that it's a different ballgame for those who are doing this every day without the other job with consistent hours/pay. I make good pay at a job I really enjoy, so if my price increases are a flop, big deal. If the work load increases... well maybe a few years down the line it will give me something to think about.

    Aaron... I think that's an excellent point about mindsets, in a general sort of way. Dillingham, for whatever reason, has a large number of transplanted Wisconsin folk. I seem to have contact daily- at work, at church- with all of them. :D And they all, to a person, seem to have a much more conservative outlook/attitude than most who are up here.

    Ron.... You mentioned you "work long and hard"... it shows on your efforts here on this thread. ;D It's been good and refreshing to consider your thoughts and viewpoint. I think's it's healthy for us to have this to consider/discuss, even when there are strong opinions the other way.

    Dennis... You are very much entitled to your opinions, and I for one very much enjoy reading them, though I don't often get the opportunity since I kind of keep myself self imposed to the Fish Forum (I don't have the time to look at everything and this is where my interest is). I was really kind of hoping you were going to give an opinion, one way or the other, on that thread Marc started about professionalism. I think too many thought it was a thread trying to "police the ranks" when the point was simply to discuss levels of professionalism within the taxidermy industry. I for one AM hoping to have the type of clients some day that you mention. My own opinions, based on what I have seen of anglers up here so far, are that those types of clients DO expect/appreciate a certain level of professionalism. I thought Marc brought out an excellent topic that went absolutely nowhere over on the other forum.
  9. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and your business. You are obviously very successful. I do have a few questions:

    I would be interested in your price per inch for fish and your volume. What is your strategy for taking in volumes of fish at higher prices in the Midwest? Also, how much of your business comes from the Midwest ? I was under the impression that shops like yours and Mike Boyce pulled in work from around the country.

    In order for our studio( three full time fish taxidermists) to maintain our current income, we would need to take in a very high number of fish @ $25.00 per in. a year. The national advertising would eat up even more of that so it would have to be an even higher number. Not to mention the extra time to deal with all of those critically picky customers.
  10. LOL
    Well Easy and cheap is a relative term. Since I am so at home with mold making and replicating, I can crank out cast rocks and driftwood Fast. and with my collection of molds I have many options.
    it was an investment initially but now they are paid for so the Cost for me is Low. Most other guys rely on Taxi companies to get their habitat, I am lucky because I am truly Independent.
  11. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    shoot, I get less money for my fish than anyone on here I think. Michigan is in a Great Depression, and this taxidermist is the first to feel it. Unless you are close to big towns, it aint happening! Besides, I believe there are 13 licensed taxis in my county. all but one and myself cant make a fish look good to save their ars. But hey, at 8 bucks an inch, I can still make money.
  12. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    All right guys. HERE ARE THE FACTS LIKE EM OR NOT The thing both Dennis and I have been talking about here are true. Taxidermists determine what they will make in any area of the country.. There are the rich and poor in any area of our country. And you can successfully raise your prices in any area of the country, unless you are a HAXIDERMIST. Mike Boyce tried to tell you all this in many seminars until he gave up. [name withheld] has been trying to tell you and he has all but given up, and Im following that line of logic myself, PLEASE forgive me for attempting to illuminate this dilemma -and for trying to help all of you out---MY BAD ::) :p ;D Mr. BOYCE, Mr. HARRIS, move over im joining ya
  13. Monty Artrip

    Monty Artrip Active Member

    This is turning into a very interesting thread, I thought I would put my two cents in. As I have said many times before, my hat is off to anyone who can make a living out of this full time. I can certainly understand the reluctance to risk losing your only means of income. I can also understand RDAs point of view that twice the money with half the work is possible (even more considering materials are cut in half). I have the good fortune of having a good paying job with benefits. I can work overtime when I want and recieve my check next Friday without having to make threatening phone calls and lawyers etc. I guess this contributes to my 'I don't give a crap' attitude lately and my resulting price increase. Point is: the few customers I get PAY ME for they are the ones who also don't give a crap about the price if they get a quality fish. As someone has already pointed out, add-ons with your displays sell themselves. I have also noticed people are more free with plastic than cash. Just my ten cents.
  14. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    I like that Marty, I have the same opinion about clients, I don't care if a guy can afford me or not.
    I've been doing this for over 30 years full time and have never awoke to a day that I could NOT MAKE MONEY.
    This thread is pointless anymore, Just as all these business type threads are, Some people know how to gamble and win with information and resources, other are afraid to step out of a comfort zone.
    Those never reap great rewards.
    That's okay, they want deal with one type of client I personally want to deal with another type.
    This is where I stop with anymore help or insight on how and why I am at where I am at today.

    I'll be on the forums for taxidermy help, Business help, your on your own.
    I've wasted enough time over the years trying to wake some of these people up and make some GREAT MONEY, but some things about the taxidermy business WILL never change.
    I'll sit back and look at posts about the poor broke or hurting taxidermists, but you only have yourself to blame , not the economy and not your competition......
    Sorry if this p*sses some people off , but sometimes the truth is hard to except.

    BTW Arron , my advertising budget for last year was about 40,000 and worth every dime.
    I'll go back to my mammal forum, I don't do FISH period.
  15. (*) who said anything about being poor or broke? I live a darn nice life doing things the way I have! Now I should change because YOU have an EGO?

    THIRTEEN taxidermists in your county alone MT????...WOW!
    Wish I was that lucky. There's 19 in my city's yellow pages alone and two schools. I bet there are over a hundred (not all in the book) in my county alone.
    I remember when I first came on the scene and did a show. All the area taxidermists came to me and said...raise your prices. We all need to. So I did. I raised my price above their's. Then I come to find out they all undercut me and were doing deals like every 5th fish free. Free driftwood. first 5 inches free on fish over 30 inches. etc etc. It was a joke... but like I said...that's the American system in which we do business. Competition also dictates what you can charge. Certainly some would pay 23 an inch but some is not enough. some is not the majority. Like Aaron said.....they hear 23 an inch around here and guess what happens....shore lunch happens! I ALREADY have clients coming in and asking for two receipts just to get past the wife who wants new shoes and a new purse/dress. I've been introduced to wives while out in public and I can tell...some of them look at me like I am a barb wire fence between them and the mall...LOL!
    RDA, I also said ...I understand where your coming from. You should understand where I/we are coming from and...>>>>>>come to Wisconsin, open up shop and see how far you get with $23 an inch<<<<<<. infact..I'd like anyone reading this here in WI that does not have to make their sole living on taxidermy, to try an experiment and charge that for a year. Then compare numbers to the previous year.
    One of the grand PU BAH's on the association scene lives right in my back yard. He is your judge at many of your get togethers.... Maybe he's even judged one of your fish RDA. HE'S not even getting $23 an inch and I don't feel like laying carpet on the side to subsidize my artwork or teaching others the trade, or selling supplies or what ever it takes to keep afloat because I'm only getting 20 or 30 fish a year.
    Further more, something few brought up but is critical to the whole equation is....time into a mount.
    I would do nothing but ruffle feathers and disrespect the other GREAT taxidermists who show their EXCELLENT work on this site by stating approx. times into certain fish species but...isn't this a big part of the picture? So you get $23 an inch RDA. Do you know the time I put into a fish? Do I know the time you put into a fish? NO. So any argument you make for higher prices really holds little water without knowing that part of the mix. People charging $23 an inch can be alot less profitable than someone charging half that if they're putting in 3 times the amount of time into the same fish. Make sense?
    Here's another scenario to consider ....if everyone charged the same...say $23 an inch but only one had top notch work. Only one was worth his salt. What would the other taxidermists do? If their work is half as good as the top guy...do you think they should charge the same? Do you think they should just lay down and give their hard earned customers away to the top notch guy? Or do you think they should charge a little more accordingly and get their piece of the pie too? Even the Neanderthals who attacked me on the other post about professionalism can figure that one out.
    I must admit that when I first saw this post come up AGAIN...I just rolled my eyes but as Terry so eloquently pointed out...all discussions on this topic are good. Everyone learns a few things.
  16. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    First, Fish are only a small part of my business -I concentrate on more profitable things like mammals and bird :)Next, Thats exactly what reno area taxidermists said about Mike Boyce " hes crazy if he thinks hes going to get any business around here" ;Dsound familiar? Heres the deal, one of you back there raise your prices by a large jump, this is what happens, the others in your area start to raise theirs and it startrs a slow ripple of price raising, instead of the completely back @ssward way of downward price wars. JJEEEEEZZZZZZ ;D
  17. Marc, * does not need my help correcting one of your comments, but * does not have an ego, but I will admit, he does have drive to go with his passion for this business. I think that is what he is trying to share, not his ego. Well, maybe he was humbled in my presents, I don't know, yeah right.
  18. That photo doesn't sway a thing I've said..infact..in the time it took to put that togeter and set it up etc. etc...I can just about guarantee I've made twice as much money in the same time frame doing unsung work. Work that builds my bank account NOT my ego!
    Like we all see something like that in everyones home anyway...LOL! I'm sure, everyones knocking at your door for one of those...right?...LOL!
  19. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    I got news for ya pal, they are indeed knocking on his door, and it is clients who can easily fit that piece right into their trophy rooms... ::) PS MANY of animal artistrys RICHEST clients come from Wisc. and Mich. I know this because ive been to some of their trophy rooms while at AA :eek: :eek:
  20. Cory

    Cory Keep an eye on quality!

    So far so many good points have been made on each side. I am still stuck on the price per inch category. I am 50 miles away from Wichita, KS, the largest city in KS. There are 100's of taxidermists around the area and in the city itself. I have seen a lot of the work that is claimed to be the best out there. It is ok. I'm not saying my work is the best in the area, but I charge as if it is, and have competed to get my quality as high as I possibly can. I don't get the high paying clients into my shop; they have to drive their 15 mpg suburbans, with $3.45/gal gas, to get here and don't care wether or not the quality is good. I ran a website for approximately 2 years with the premise I would get "much more work." What I got was answering the phone and returning phone calls all day long to hear "yea, your work looks great, but I'm just looking for a mount." So I do what I do and don't worry about anything I can't change. If a guy doesn't want to give the creature he harvested the most respect he can by going to a "better than most" taxidermist, I can't sway him. I have talked to the other guys in my immediate area about going up in price, but they actually use the reverse psychology on their customers. "He only mounts 5-10 fish per year, hell, I'm doing 30, how good can he be?" It is amazing how that line if idiocy works on most. Do what you can for as much as you can, and satisfy yourself monetarily wise. You will NEVER change the spending habits of your customers.