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Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by RDA, Mar 31, 2008.
You should have let that walleye go to fight another day
I can not comment on M.T. Doing a fish fast start to finish is not what I meant. I was talking elapsed time. A quality fish can not be done in eight hours, start to finish.
Hey Marc,, for like the sixth time in this thread, I will mention AGAIN that I am a full time taxidermist on my thirty ninth yeaR OF BEING A TAXIDERMIST, WHO DOES EVERYTHING, NOT JUST FISH SSSHHHEEEEEZZZZ
SHEESH!!! Paul I wouldn't be able to finish a 12 pack of those...even on a good night!!
Doug 12 = 36 LOL
So Paul...at what point do you switch to O'doul's...???? LOL!!
BTW...I had to settle for Rolling Rock tonight.........but maybe lots!!
Aside from the talk about beverages.......
My hat is off to guys like Marc and Aaron. There is no way I could produce the volume AND the quality these guys do...at ANY price!!
I wish I had their work ethic...!! I just can't work THAT hard!!! LOL!!
So Paul...at what point do you switch to O'Doul's...? LOL!!
That would be like drinking decaffeinated coffee, just doesn't make sense to me ,lol.
My thanks to all the participants - ;D - your friend, Ron Anderson
Fascinating "conversation" to follow as one of the well-to-do customers of the taxidermy world. Perhaps I am an exception, not the rule for customers but my first evaluation of the taxidermist is to look at a lot of their work and see if it looks like the real thing. Then I will glance at the price....but the price is strictly secondary to the quality.
Big high end shops bother me, though....kind of like the arrogance of those bringing this conversation. My father made lots of money as an orthodontist but I always respected the fact he didn't feel he needed to be the most expensive (even though few did the quality of work he did) and many times discounted his work for those who needed the help.
As a dentist in Alaska I make a very fair amount of money.....but feel that dentistry, on the whole, is too expensive and probably do 50-60,000 dollars of work I don't charge for every year......to those who are less fortunate. On the other hand nearly all the dental magazines and training now empasize making the maximum dollar you can....."selling" dentistry.....and moving towards not doing necessary work but high end veneers and whitening, etc....because this procedures are far more profitable then the mundane fillings of the world. Do I do these? Sure, but giving the customer their greatest value is what is important to me, and doing what actually "needs" to be done first. There are many in my profession who pride themselves on charging the most, doing the most elective, expensive procedures but I find most of them have one thing in common.....if anyone questions their chosen work ethic, they are extremely defensive and dismissive of them...kind of like on this thread. And they generally use what they consider belitteling terms like "fixodontist". How much money is enough? If you feel like what you charge is strictly fair between you and the Man Upstairs that is all that counts. But then don't appear defensive when others challenge you on this notion.....seems like a guilty conscience back there somewhere in the back of your mind.
If we drag RDA's premise beyond taxidermy then everyone in every walk of life should be demanding more for what they do as few feel they get paid what they deserve.....human nature. Everything would spiral further out of control than it already is.
RDA, Gary, "*" (I just love that little moniker), give all the rest of these gentlemen, some of whose work I own and it is excellent, credit for having their own conscience, intelligence and ethic on this subject.
Well Doc, we are just trying to get to about half way to where we should be-along with dentists and vets ;D
Good reply....I won't argue that great taxidermy is generally underpaid....put all I have dealt with is fish also.
I'm going to beat the dead horse again. Sorry, I just have to, after reading through the pages....
You all know that if someone asked you to jump off a bridge, you have the right to jump, or not. I feel that taxidermy pricing as a whole has many taxidermists jumping off that bridge, just because that is what many others are doing. It has never made sense to me how one can set their prices based upon those that continue to jump....
The industry needs to have some equity in basic taxidermy pricing. I'm not talking about someone that is doing work that could swim out of the studio, most that are that "close" are probably charging for it. I'm talking about your average fish or whatever. If our price for commercial work went up across the board, then our craft would benefit. If you are looking to buy a Subaru Outback and compare several dealership's prices, they are not very far apart, and as you know, they are not cheap. The problem with taxidermy is that after some people buy the "Outback" meaning the materials (the suppliers seem to know how to charge for their work), but fail to comprehend what their work is worth, thus they are undercharging. Well, I guess that depends upon what kind of artist they are, if they are really artistic. As you know, there isn't anything keeping anyone out of this business due to lack of artistic ability or quality of work (in most states).
I've since moved on to another profession, but always have the desire to go back to taxidermy. I don't know that I will ever open up shop again though. You see, there will always be that "other person" that is charging way less than me. They always seem to last just long enough around here to take away business from everyone, get backed up two or three years (or more), and then close up shop. People lose trophies, their money, and get a bitter taste.... Public perception for taxidermy pricing seems still to be to shop around for the lowest price. They think that a your fish is just like the other shop's fish, and that you must be overcharging for yours because so and so down the street only charges this. The public needs to be educated more about the "art" of taxidermy, and that everyone's fish are different. You're not selling cars here, where everyone's base Outback is the same.
Not much has changed since I started in this business 25 years ago, except for that fact that technology has kept up with our craft, along with the suppliers and their prices. What I've yet to see is a unified industry where all of its individuals have the knowledge needed to set basic prices.
When any of you have to go and work for someone else if you can't make it on your own, I'll bet that you won't be saying, "No, I don't want you to pay me $50,000 a year, that would be too much. How about you pay me $10,000 a year, and I'll work all the overtime you want." When you undercharge, is there any difference?
Good morning gentleman, just started two forty two inch pike wednesday and they are out the door as of Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Last night I mounted a pheasant and it is going today. You may ask"whats the big rush", well, if I was in a big rush, I wouldn't have started those fish till Thursday! anyways, at eight bucks an inch, I can make about fifty bucks an hour on those pike, thats why I love to do pike, (money fish). Also, I figure my customers are getting a 16 dollar an inch fish for half price, so we are all happy! It all works out. I've got to get my family up now, Sunday school starts at 9:30, church at 10:30, back home at 12:00 to finish that pheasant up, the guy wants to pike it up later this afternoon. Hope you guys have a great day.
May be time to unionize the industry, eh? Once prices are at the levels you want them to be Rocky, then what will happen. Maybe the same thing that's happing to Michigan. I see you even used Subaru as an example instead of GM or Ford. LOL.
Most taxidermists are smart enough to know that this is not the trade to make high $$'s in. Most I know just like being their own boss and setting their own schedule. Face it, taxidermy work is not one of life's necessities, just a luxury item, economically speaking. There is a lot more to life than a huge bank account (well at least for me).
As far as a standard for pricing, good luck. Everyones perception of a quality mount differs as much as the mounts themselves. One persons flawless trophy is another man's junk. That is the way it will always be.
Cost of living has to figure in somewhere.
Lower prices normally means someone is using clients trophy's to learn on.
After 30 years in this industry I have seen the low priced taxis normally eitherraise their prices to about the other levels of the other local taxidermist or go out of business.
About every 4 years in taxidermy there is a huge turnover in taxidermist, most quit as they are not making the money promised in those ads in magazines.
Few are really making $50.00 per hour.
One truth remains.
Do good work and when you are getting behind raise your prices, if work dont not slow down raise your prices.
I think Doc esox and Pescado really said it well. It's not ALL about money.....
We have been the most successful in this business when we haven't listened to anyone. I could really care less what RDA or anyone else is charging.
Anyway, thanks again for bringing up the topic. It's always a fun discussion ;D
Giving credit is not any problem for me? As I said each can make their own choice--I just stand up to support those that choose the option to charge more than the norm and are willing to invest more hours than the norm. Many of us that choose to also choose to make less $ per hour than the norm as well. In this industry working to ones full talent potential (me included) is not the norm but I sure wish it was.
I also respect your father in choosing to offer services for discounts or free to those in need. I willingly donate large amounts of time and money to others weekly cause as the bible says storehouse of wealth here do me little good.
I don't mount fish-- I clean & whiten deer skulls for European mounts-- I charge $100./skull (including the mandible) I'm in NW New Jersey near Penna and New York as well-- I've only had a couple of folks tell me my prices are too high-- I may have lost a bit of work this past fall/winter but I certainly still got plenty to keep me (and my dermestid beetles) busy----- Those taxidermists doing the best work will get the best prices-- customers need to be aware that you get what you pay for--find the cheapest guy/gal around and you will probably be able to see why they are the cheapest when you see their work---- I charge an add'l $20 to prepare the skull for cleaning (removing the skin, eyes and tongue)-- not because I think that task is worth $20-- but I DON"T WANT TO SKIN EVERY HEAD THAT COMES INTO MY SHOP--- and I still have customers that don't want to be bothered doing the prep --- Soooo, for 15 min work-- I'll take the extra $20.
If your work is top quality-- charge accordingly-- you may get fewer jobs but in the long run you will have a better reputation in the hunting community---
Maybe tis is the difference between us. ICARE ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE CHARGES, because it affects me in what I can charge. WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A; thirty new taxidermists move into your area and start lowballoing youor B: a new taxidermist comes to town and starts charging way more than the norm, and others start raising their prices due to comparative quality-if your quality is equal, would you raise your price................................