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Price per inch ?

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

  1. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Ron, see why Mike quit trying?
    Is it a wonder people don't even think taxidermy is a profession?
    People that argue against raising prices, when you get a raise at your "other" job, please tell them" Thanks but not thanks, I'm happy making what you pay me now".
    And I'll keep pushing my prices to the market limit, aint found it yet.
    In the last ten years EVERYTHING in the market place has double 'even luxury goods', taxidermy is still in the dark ages in this aspect.
    Ron, I'll bet you a dinner certificate at Appleebee's or Fridays' that you can't stay off the these business or pricing posts longer then me.
    Wanna take the bet? ;D
    It's in your BLOOD!, I'll give you ONE MORE POST here for a goodbye then the bet starts......
    I'm gone, and I'll be watching YOU ;D ;D ;D ;D
  2. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    OK OK I aint skeert ill take that bet :-\ BBBUT I have an uneasy feeling that im gonna loose ;D ;D Theres no place like home theres no place like home ;D ;D ;D ;D So there ya have it folks once again, thanks to all the participants ;D

  3. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    I love these posts...'cause they make me laugh. Been in this business 50+ years and still see people on here that will never learn about pricing no matter how much evidence you throw at them. I get $19 per inch for one side and $35 for both sides and that price is the same for skin or repro.After paying for the repro I make $13 per inch for putting on the fins, eyes and paint.... ;D. Now that's good money when you consider I can easily do one fish a day either skin or repro. Right now I have two striped bass repros to do, one 55 inch and the other is 53 inch.These big fish only take a little more paint and gloss than the smaller fish so the profit is that much higher.Why would you discount your price because the fish is longer? If the picture posts of the tuna fish thats a 60 inch fish and the mackerel are extra. ;D :D
  4. Part of this was reponse to a well written personal PM "*" (still love that Dennis) sent me....thought it would only be fair to share to be upfront:

    Dennis.....thanks....and your work looks great. And I don't disagree at all with what you and RDA are pushing....it's just the manner in which you are doing it comes across as arrogant (even it that wasn't the intent), rubs nearly everyone the wrong way. You've probably been doing this so long it gets frustrating but you have to find a way to approach from a positive point of view even though you get so much static.

    Your profession is undervalued and generally it takes someone whose been in the business many years to be able to increase prices to what they are truly worth.

    Biggest thing is the same in my business, or any business, educating the customer. Fortunately in my business the service is a necessity most times in yours it isn't. I love well done fish mounts and do not worry much about the price to have them look great....problem is so many customers accept mediocre to bad work as okay because the price was cheaper. But some guys do excellent work but still don't charge at the highend....many times comes down to how hard you want to market yourself. Some people (me included) just love doing the work but aren't into the marketing or business end, I understand that cause I am that way. My biggest regret in dentistry is when they took the ropes of medical and dental practices so they could "market" it to the people...it wasn't before the 70's. You lived by word of mouth and if you weren't very good you starved. Marketing has changed that in my business and topend website and slick slogans sell people millions of dollars of dentistry, that sometimes isn't needed or well done.....how much do you guys know about dentistry? See my point, MOST customers probably understand about zip about what's involved in your fish mounts....somehow you got to educate them.

    One more comment imparted to me by a wise colonel who mentored me when I first started practicing dentistry in the Air Force. During a peer review meeting we did monthly on each other's work he made a rather biting, but true comment to one of the dentists who seemed to have it out for one of the others and took every opportunity to criticize his work.....as near as I remember it came out like this......"We are not all "A" providers, some of us are just "C" providers...and sometimes an "A" provider does "C" work for whatever reason". It goes along with today's politically correct society that everyone is equal, we shouldn't grade people or say one does better work than another, we shouldn't keep score in games....Johnny might feel bad. Well the world unfortunately is seldom PC in reality and we all are at different levels in what we do. I have seen many comments on this board where people honestly admit someone else does such beautiful work, etc...and they may never reach that level. That is okay, in my book, as long as everyone does the best they can.

  5. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Good morning Ron,
    We already are higher then everyone else in our area. To be quite honest, our local retail is an extremely small amount of our work. Our regional/national retail is very strong and growing. To answer Josh's questions, about 10 to 15 % of our work comes from WI. Less than 1% comes from walk in retail. I still refuse to base my price on anyone elses, and I refuse to play retail pricing games. If you can take in large volumes at $25.00 per in., more power to you- go for it.

    I really applicate when Gary B takes the time to join in these conversations. He is always extremely honest.

    It is quite obvious that my posts on this subject are not wanted( or as * would say, they hold no weight), so I will stop boring you with them.
  6. Anyone want MY stick?? I'm done with it.
  7. First you have to build a client base with good work, then you have to figure out the daily expenses to run your shop. then the cost of production. then how much you want to make per hour.

    Last thing to look at should be what others are charging.

    Few people are getting rich from doing taxidermy, very few. The best most can do is make a decent amount of money to live on. You dont see taxidermist moving into retirment villiges, seldom do you see taxidermist making long vacations overseas or to the Caribean. You dont even see them driving high dollar cars, nope we may buy a truck but its for more than one function anyway.

    Large population areas you can get more $$$$$$$

    Next thing is you seldom see 90% of the taxidermist last in this business more than 5 to 8 years, then normal turnover is about 3 to 4 years.

    Wonder why that turnover is such? prices!! Work load!! and lack of business education. Lack of making enough money to live on!!!

    I LMAO fo a a few, even one who has one lots of National Awards for birds and yet only charges $160.00 for a duck!!
    I have a pickup station in their small city and I am easily getting $265.00 this past year, took in 73 ducks from it. We have 11 birds left at this time and thse are skinned.

    Could he get more? Maybe but his attitude and his whole persona will never allow it, he bad mouths me at every show, bad mouths me to all his buddys and yet some of his buddys are sending me birds now.

    Our shop has had some grwoing pains this past year but we went up on price on everything and yet took in lots more work. two full time people now and one partime.

    Could we get more $$$ for our mounts? Maybe but our prices will reflect our increased cost this next year. Its going to be more than $25.00 on a deerhead I can assure you and more than 10% on fish, fuel surcharges have went up more than 10%.

    Yea were are the highest in the area and maybe in the state at $13.50 per inch on fish. Is that enough? Not really but its fine for now.
  8. At the end of each fiscal year, I look at 4 main factors ...in this order:

    - What did I gross for the year ?
    - What did I net / profit for the year ?
    - How many hours did I work for it ?
    - How hard was it to earn / did I enjoy part or some of it ?

    I have been doing this for 32 yrs.
    This per inch conversation is ...well, not really telling the story now is it ?
    When you pay the bills, no one cares how many hrs. you worked or how much "per inch" you get etc.
    When I was younger, I did what I had to do to raise my kids and educate them and provide for them.
    That meant working in a factory on shift work for the first 15 yrs. As time went on and I got more education,
    I progressed to a job working day shift 40 hrs. making what I consider Good Money.
    I still look back at the end of each year and ask myself the 4 Questions I noted above.....because it is all that really matters.... 8)
  9. Terry

    Terry De-lighted to be living in Alaska!

    This has been such an interesting thread to follow. I fully appreciate what Dennis and Ron (and some others) are saying. Who wouldn't want to make a bit more for what we do? I also think many talented individuals are being underpaid for the level of quality they provide. But if they're happy with where they're at in life, and their lives are comfortable, I can respect that too.

    I also get the message about being willing to take a risk to raise the bar (price wise), because it's true of other parts of our lives as well. This past Sunday, our adult Sunday School lesson was about God sometimes taking us outside our comfort zones in order to be able to better serve Him, just as He has done with so many through the years. The point, as it applies here (I think) is that we have to be willing to take risks to realize greater rewards. Initially it may feel very uncomfortable; we may not clearly be able to see how it's going to work out. But we won't find out until we take the first step. I just raised my prices, and it was uncomfortable to do so. I did so simply because I've seen an increase in how much it costs me to purchase the things I need. I sought input from several individuals about what I was considering charging. In the end the decision was made for two reasons: 1) it does reflect what it costs me to do the work (I have to live with the fact that it is going to cost me more to procure the necessary supplies based on where I live: that's just the way it is) and 2) the market up here is in the area for what I'm now charging. I don't set my prices on that fact, but I do take it into consideration. In the end, I'm still a bit uncomfortable, but I'm also in the position of being able to say "Well, heck, let's see what happens" because I have my very comfortable job with the refuge.

    I do not at all begrudge guys like Aaron and Marc what they charge. I believe them completely when they speak to the level of comfort they have in their own lives, financially. I also believe they have a grasp on the markets they sell to. Frankly, if they're happy with how things are... that's all that matters.

    Don... I appreciated reading your comments. I think probably this is another opinion along the lines of what guys like Aaron and Marc have shared. I thought your questions of self evaluation were very realistic and practical. If my business is able to grow, probably I will try to pursue a price or a level of client that maximizes what my business can generate. I see potential obstacles to overcome, but that's OK. At the end of the day, no matter what I (or anyone else) charge, I would imagine I'll always come back to questions similar to yours. If those four questions are being answered in a positive way, then things can't be too bad.

    We all have our little quirks with anything we do (i.e. I tithe my 10% from my business, as well as my other income, just as scripture says)- why would our financial approaches be any different?

    Like Ron said... thanks to all participants. :D Have a terrific Tuesday wherever you are.
  10. swamprat19

    swamprat19 New Member

    8-10 an inch in north georgia