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base for a L S Black Bear w/cost & retail price

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by J P Baker, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Here is the finished base for a L S Bear I mounted.
  2. AndyB

    AndyB New Member

    Re: base for a L S Black Bear

    Very cool i like the root idea how it draws your eye from one end then you follow the root across the base to the other side very nice.

  3. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    Re: base for a L S Black Bear

    ya, you've got it going on!
  4. Re: base for a L S Black Bear

    Here is the price break down with a few prices rounded off,this is how i price all my base work, but prices will very based on size and what is incorporated in them.

    plywood 15.00
    2x4's 6.50
    nipples and flanges 16.00
    wire 15.00
    burlap 2 yards 9.00
    plaster 14.00
    bondo 17.00
    foam 45.00
    screws/Sm box 5.00
    dry paint 4.00
    Elmer's glue/ gal. 12.00
    paint brushes 5.00
    wood 25.00
    plants 10.00
    rocks /McKenzie 95.00
    shipping of rocks 55.00
    casters 18.00

    total materials 499.50
    profit for mat 499.50
    labor 200.00
    rent & utilities 100.00
    total charged
    for the base 1299.00
  5. Thats a nice base JP. You would increase your profit margin considerably if you made your own rocks. You have almost $300 with shipping in those rocks. They would take a maximum $50 in materials and two hours to make. You can charge the customer the same and put more $$ in your pocket. Just my opinion.

    Nice work!
  6. Studio106

    Studio106 New Member

    I agree with Andy- nice base, but the costs that you quote are way too high for me. I could do that base easily for about $100, but then again I build my own rocks or I cast some which still is way less than buying them from McKenzie. If I am talking actual material costs, then I wouldn't put down a gallon of glue because I wouldn't use an entire gallon of glue. I problably build my bases a little differently than you do so I don't incure the same costs. What are the nipples and flanges for? I am assuming that they are to attach the bear? I also don't understand the wire cost. Is that chicken wire? If so, it doesn't cost $15.00 for two yards of chicken wire. And why is there a charge for bondo for $17? A gallon of bondo here doesn't even cost $17. Did you use an entire gallon on that base? Your cost prices seem way out of whack to me, but I am just questioning your pricing methods to try to understand where you get them from. I could drastically cut your material costs if you wanted to exchange ideas. I may have a few ideas that might help or be something that you haven't thought of. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to be a prick, just wondering where you come up with some of the costs. I love to talk bases, so if you want to ge a hold of me we could exchange ideas/methods. PM me if you want.
  7. Thank You.

    I would like to see some 2 hour rocks and a price break down.
  8. OK, here are a few things...

    It might seam high.

    Yes, it can be done cheaper and I do it cheaper at times.

    When I price a base I do a run down of what I need and make a list. From my list I price everything as if I need to go buy the items for the project. It will not matter if I use the whole box/gallon or whatever, they get charged for the whole item. If I need screws I charge them for the box because I'm not going to count screws and figure the price on 21 screws or whatever item applies. Sometimes you will buy an item for a project use part of it and the other part sits on the shelf for years or you never use it, so if you price it your way, you lost money. Also I round up on items to compensate for time to pick the things up at the store.

    What are the nipples and flanges for? I am assuming that they are to attach the bear?

    Yes, They are to make the Bear removable.

    why is there a charge for bondo for $17?

    Because that is what I pay where I live, some places are as much as $23.00 for a gallon of bondo.

    more on this later..
  9. Nice Job. How do you use the nipple and flange to make the bear removable?
  10. duckman

    duckman New Member

    JP, I've been wanting to comment on the pricing since the day you posted it. Heck, thats all I get for mounting a bear. That base is nice, however, it's not 1300 nice. Take out the little green individual plants and it would look better. Leave the ferns on the right. You have good line going, I dont know how the bear is being mounted on it, since the base only appears to be about 3 feet or less in length, i'm assuming it's either a small bear or a standing bear. If it's a standing bear, I would've done it a little different. If its a small bear on all fours, facing right, then you are doing good. if you have a customer that will pay that price, great! I look at that base and figure i would probably do it for about 300 or 350.
  11. Dug this photo out and scanned-- sorry for the poor quality.

    Cherry cabinet with solid casters (local cabinet maker) $175
    In house molded and cast tree stump (initial cost was 1/2 day and about $100 in molding supplies) Ive got about 10 pulls out of the mold so far so i'll say $25 worth of foam, paint, initial investment.
    metal lathe $8
    mcKenzie rock mix 15lbs $15
    Tempra / airbrush paint light coat of matte finish $5
    blue painters tape to cover base $3
    hobby lobby fern $7
    Al Holmes supply moss $15

    Dont remember exact shop time but it wasnt much because the cabinet was sub'ed out. I would guess 2 hours max for sure.

    I charged $1800 for the bear mount plus 30% for base ($540) I have roughly $250 in supplies and two hours shop labor at $50/hr. (All operating expenses are figured into my shop labor rate)Total profit for this job was roughly $200.
  12. This is not the bear base but you can see the nipples & flanges I use on all my larger mounts.
  13. I can respect your opinions and if you are happy making 1300.00 on a Bear mount great.

    My opinion is you are giving it away at that price.

    Here is a link to a thread of the mount, check it out and you will see the size and how it is mounted.


    I do have customers that are happy to pay this and more, my point is you could too.

    Why are Taxidermist affraid to charge customers for their work ?
  14. Guess you're a bit sensitive to criticism. Thats too bad. More power to you if you can get someone to pay $1300 for that base-- great job!
  15. No not sensitive, just trying to make a point, Taxidermist give away their work all the time and wonder way they can't make any money.

    I have news for you Andy O, you did not profit $200.00 on that base but if you are happy I'm happy for you.
  16. mdupertuis

    mdupertuis Active Member

    JP, thanks for posting. I can't say whether you are off on your price or not without pricing everything. I do think a lot of taxidermists give away their work. That is a nice base, and something that will really look great with the bear attached. If the customer is happy, that is great as well. Myself, I am going to charge well for what I do, and I am going to be on the high side. The customer I want to deal with won't even blink about paying that much for a quality piece of art. Look at the time and BIG money they have into their gear, and hunting expenses. Some of these big shots won't even look at a set of binoculars under $1000, when they could get a pair for $200 that are just as good. Don't you think that they look at taxidermists like that as well? The ones in my short experience with taking in customer work who haggle and want a $200 base, are the hardest to please and last ones to pay and pick up their mounts. They are the same ones who will buy a book case from WalMart rather than spend 5 times more for a quality made hand crafted case. To each his own. I'd rather do 5 jobs for $2000 than 10 jobs for $1000 any day if you get my point.

    ANd btw, just so I don't offend anyone, I have bought furniture from WalMart a time or two and put it together.....LMAO!
  17. How didn't I make $200 profit? I'll break it down a little more for you:

    Total habitat price: $540

    Total materials expenses: $250

    Total shop labor: 2 hrs at $50/hr: $100 This is probably where you get confused. My shop labor consists of: $30/hr for labor $20/hr for rent, utilities, taxes, insurance, advertising, consumables (screws, bondo, paint brushes), etc. I add up all my expenses for a month and divide that number by 40hr work week. The final number is what I need to charge per hour to make rent. Sometimes I will encounter unexpected expenses and that money will come out of shop profit. No money will come out of $30hr labor because I pay taxes on that.

    Any money left over is business profit. In this case roughly $200.

    I separate materials cost and shop labor for tax purposes. Some expenses are deductable and some aren't. Plus it's easier to input all this data into Quickbooks.

    I honestly don't care what so and so charges for a mount. It's none of my business what others do and I really don't care as long as I'm making money. Hey thats a sweet bear going on that base. At least the base wont draw attention away from the beautiful bear ;D
  18. Studio106

    Studio106 New Member

    J P- I am not questioning how you build a base or how you charge, I am mearly pointing out that the actual costs of material is different than what you charge the customer. If I buy a gallon kit of foam and I use a quarter of that foam, then I split the cost of the foam by four and get MY material costs. If it only took $50 of foam, then that is all I figure into the actual material costs. What you are quoting is the cost of the material for the customer, not for you.I also asked about the flanges and nipples because I don't secure any of the removable animals that we mount that way. I'm glad that you posted the picture. Why do you use the nipple/flange set up on your larger animals? Could you get a close up of the nipple/flange set up? I am assuming that you have staight rod and not threaded rods coming out of the legs (can't really tell from the picture)? The animals that I secure have threaded rod so I just use washers and nuts. I would imagine that you have dealt with that scenario also. I have built a ton of bases for lifesize pieces from the pine martins to elands but never used the rod/nipple flange system so it is interesting to see. I like the fact that I can secure a mount down and know without question that it isn't going anywhere; even at 65mph. I am sorry if I offended you ,but if I want to figure out my actual material costs then I calculate only the material I use.. I understand that you don't want to break everything down to the nitty gritty, but if I need two ounces of bondo for a certain application on one base, I can't justify putting $17 dollars into the cost of material. Your 'actual costs' will be dramatically different than your 'calculated costs'. The material total that your have for your example is what the materials cost your customer- not you.
  19. Scrubby

    Scrubby New Member

    Get what you can. I like the flange Idea. Normally I just drill the holes into the rock as I make it to position the mount. Framing wire mesh plaster water paints and I got a rock of different shapes.
  20. abbytaxi

    abbytaxi Member

    It's only too much when people wont pay it