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Daily Rates, Trophy Fees, and price negotiations

This is a discussion on Daily Rates, Trophy Fees, and price negotiations within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Are outfitters willing to come down from posted prices when negotiating with interested clients? They pay a percentage when a ...

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    VonJager's Avatar
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    Default Daily Rates, Trophy Fees, and price negotiations

    Are outfitters willing to come down from posted prices when negotiating with interested clients? They pay a percentage when a booking agent gets them a booking, so is their wiggle room in a dealing with an outfitter/PH directly?

    In today's economy I think it is only good business to try and get a good deal. House prices, car prices, and even some day to day purchases can be haggled or negotiated, so I asked myself why not safaris?

    I know some outfitters donate hunts, or advertise reduced price hunts, but is their an unspoken rule about not asking upfront for a discount? Could an agreement to hunt a certain number, or certain species like an unpublished package deal end up saving the hunter some money, and help the outfitter solidify a booking?

    How does an outfitter view a prospective hunter asking for a discount(not some insane lowball offer?) Is this common in the industry? Have you given or received a discount beyond a published(flyer, website) package price?

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    Some outfitters have "packages" already posted on their websites. The annual SCI convention has many of the outfitters offering discounts and packages and I'm sure the same can be said for the Dallas convention. On the other hand, all you can do is ask.

    May I ask where it is you want to go?

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    Where to hunt PG where DG roam?

    ^ My post looking for advice on where to go, and what I am looking to hunt.

    My first safari was an auction hunt from DSC. It was clear that any additional days, and animals were at full rate, and I was fine with that because I did get a good deal on the auction, but I am not sure I will find an auction, or package that will be exactly what I am looking for this time around. However I am willing to make a package with a prospective outfitter.

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    I suggest you look around and pick a couple and contact them with details on the amount of days and animals you want. I a sure most will be willing to offer you a better deal than advertised on normal rates. Good luck on your quest !!!
    Richard Lemmer - Safari Afrika - Accept the Challenge !
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    Quote Originally Posted by VonJager View Post
    Are outfitters willing to come down from posted prices when negotiating with interested clients? They pay a percentage when a booking agent gets them a booking, so is their wiggle room in a dealing with an outfitter/PH directly?

    In today's economy I think it is only good business to try and get a good deal. House prices, car prices, and even some day to day purchases can be haggled or negotiated, so I asked myself why not safaris?

    I know some outfitters donate hunts, or advertise reduced price hunts, but is their an unspoken rule about not asking upfront for a discount? Could an agreement to hunt a certain number, or certain species like an unpublished package deal end up saving the hunter some money, and help the outfitter solidify a booking?

    How does an outfitter view a prospective hunter asking for a discount(not some insane lowball offer?) Is this common in the industry? Have you given or received a discount beyond a published(flyer, website) package price?
    Price cutting has become a national past time in the safari industry, to the point that potential clients are often offended at the fact that an outfitter is not overly eager to come down on prices or to match certain prices, I am a firm believer in the phylosophy of you get what you pay for.

    As outfitters we have heard and experienced the exact same economic effects as average Joe it has hit us even harder in many respects as certain constants like fuel have only escelated, the average Joe needs to remember we (outfitters) have many overheads and they are extremely high, many outfitters who operate on smaller areas have slightly lower costs but costs none the less, hence they might be a little more inclined to work on standard pricing and give discounts, companies that run on high volume are also more able to do so, due to obvious reasons.

    IMO the time and effort and service delivered deserves equal reward and nothing less, please I do not mean to offend any one person it is just my way of looking at it.

    With all of this being said, every one has a set minimum of what you should get for a said safari or specie and the ideal is and would be never to sell for such a minimum.

    Everyone will work on price, some might be able to do so a little more than others but we always need to be aware of Running costs on properties can which can easily run into $30 000 - $40 000 a month! these costs amongst others need to be covered before one can start working on positive figures, not complaining..........! I just feel that we need to sketch a complete picture.................., yearly marketing trips to the US, $30 000+ These are realities that modern day professional outfitters are confronted with in the line of buisiness that we chose and love so much.

    Simply put I always try to encourage consumers to understand if I / We / Him can only get to a certain point and fully understand if such a consumer seeks his safari experience elswhere.

    My very best always.
    Jaco Strauss
    Kwalata Wilderness safaris - South Africa/Mozambique
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss View Post
    Price cutting has become a national past time in the safari industry, to the point that potential clients are often offended at the fact that an outfitter is not overly eager to come down on prices or to match certain prices, I am a firm believer in the phylosophy of you get what you pay for.

    As outfitters we have heard and experienced the exact same economic effects as average Joe it has hit us even harder in many respects as certain constants like fuel have only escelated, the average Joe needs to remember we (outfitters) have many overheads and they are extremely high, many outfitters who operate on smaller areas have slightly lower costs but costs none the less, hence they might be a little more inclined to work on standard pricing and give discounts, companies that run on high volume are also more able to do so, due to obvious reasons.

    IMO the time and effort and service delivered deserves equal reward and nothing less, please I do not mean to offend any one person it is just my way of looking at it.

    With all of this being said, every one has a set minimum of what you should get for a said safari or specie and the ideal is and would be never to sell for such a minimum.

    Everyone will work on price, some might be able to do so a little more than others but we always need to be aware of Running costs on properties can which can easily run into $30 000 - $40 000 a month! these costs amongst others need to be covered before one can start working on positive figures, not complaining..........! I just feel that we need to sketch a complete picture.................., yearly marketing trips to the US, $30 000+ These are realities that modern day professional outfitters are confronted with in the line of buisiness that we chose and love so much.

    Simply put I always try to encourage consumers to understand if I / We / Him can only get to a certain point and fully understand if such a consumer seeks his safari experience elswhere.

    My very best always.
    I have to agree 100 % with Jaco's statement. YOU WILL ONLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Prices can vary or differ a lot on a pricelist. People have different ways of marketing. Do proper research and make sure that what you pay for is what you will get !!!
    Richard Lemmer - Safari Afrika - Accept the Challenge !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss View Post
    Price cutting has become a national past time in the safari industry, to the point that potential clients are often offended at the fact that an outfitter is not overly eager to come down on prices or to match certain prices, I am a firm believer in the phylosophy of you get what you pay for.

    As outfitters we have heard and experienced the exact same economic effects as average Joe it has hit us even harder in many respects as certain constants like fuel have only escelated, the average Joe needs to remember we (outfitters) have many overheads and they are extremely high, many outfitters who operate on smaller areas have slightly lower costs but costs none the less, hence they might be a little more inclined to work on standard pricing and give discounts, companies that run on high volume are also more able to do so, due to obvious reasons.

    IMO the time and effort and service delivered deserves equal reward and nothing less, please I do not mean to offend any one person it is just my way of looking at it.

    With all of this being said, every one has a set minimum of what you should get for a said safari or specie and the ideal is and would be never to sell for such a minimum.

    Everyone will work on price, some might be able to do so a little more than others but we always need to be aware of Running costs on properties can which can easily run into $30 000 - $40 000 a month! these costs amongst others need to be covered before one can start working on positive figures, not complaining..........! I just feel that we need to sketch a complete picture.................., yearly marketing trips to the US, $30 000+ These are realities that modern day professional outfitters are confronted with in the line of buisiness that we chose and love so much.

    Simply put I always try to encourage consumers to understand if I / We / Him can only get to a certain point and fully understand if such a consumer seeks his safari experience elswhere.

    My very best always.
    Something else we agree on!

    As Jaco quite rightly says, you get what you pay for and if you go cheap, you're gonna get cheap. (You pay peanuts, you get monkeys)..... and remember that any African safari always involves a certain degree of danger, whether it be by using charter aircraft or encountering dangerous game or snakes etc so such a trip is not always the best or the safest thing to skimp on.

    African safaris are hellishly expensive but the truth is very few people in the industry (except perhaps lion breeders LOL!) Get rich. Most earn a living, gain a wonderful life style, see some great places and meet a lot of interesting people as part of that, but they don't rich.

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    i agree with jaco etc. as for running costs he mentions fuel prices. i dont know what they are in sa or usa, but in zambia diesel is approx us$1.75 a litre. so just to fill up a cruiser with twin tanks is over $220 , let alone a supply truck. so when you work out just the fuel costs for a year without the 1001 other things its not pleasant. oh and certain govnts every so often decide to put up the minimum wage, zambian govnt recently gave a 50 percent rise (no consultation with employers). you can only go so far otherwise it ends up being pointless providing that service, whether its hunting or any other business, as you cannot provide the quality of service required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstewart44 View Post
    ................ On the other hand, all you can do is ask.
    .........
    As in any negotiation mstewarts suggestion is bang on.

    Marius just filled an entire Bakkie with Bontebok on here at an incredible price. Timing.
    An Oribi

    Wayne just put up a Leopard hunt at day rates you'll not see on anyones posted price list any time soon.

    Ask!, someone may have cancelled today or the outfitter just wants your company in checking a new area out. Who knows.

    I have noticed an interesting pattern though. If you purchase the entire quota (trophy list) the outfitters seems to be slightly more disposed to throwing in a few perks. Probably not the discount your looking for.
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    I will only speak regarding Zimbabwe where we conduct the bulk of our safaris. We have a fixed daily rate that we must pay a PH plus diesel for the vehicles. The quota alloted to us from Parks and wildlife has a fixed rate that we must pay for in advance. Trohpy fees are not pure profit. There is an annual fee for the license to operate the company as an outfitter as well as a concession fee to pay annually. This is in addition to the costs of staff, (fourteen people) cooks, housekeeping, skinners, etc. Then add in food and drinks. This adds up to a sizeable sum before we factor in marketing costs which includes shows and commissions to booking agents.

    In regards to how it is viewed by an outfitter when asked by a potential client? I cannot speak for everyone, but myself, I have no problem with anyone asking if we can negotiate, I do it myself on many major purchases, home vehicles etc.
    You simply must bear in mind that we do not have the wiggle room that many believe we do because of all the fixed costs outlined above.

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    I never asked for a discount but have been offered a discount twice.

    When the outfitter suggested, why don t you shoot an x....., you don t have one. I replied that it was a pricey animal for me, and was then offered a "special" price.

    It also helps when you have hunted with that outfitter previously and have a good relationship with him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyati View Post
    I never asked for a discount but have been offered a discount twice.

    When the outfitter suggested, why don t you shoot an x....., you don t have one. I replied that it was a pricey animal for me, and was then offered a "special" price.

    It also helps when you have hunted with that outfitter previously and have a good relationship with him.
    I appreciate the experience nyati. I have heard many stories about in the field discounts, and am hoping to learn of any before the trip possibilities.

    As far as costs go, and the line, "no on is getting rich being an outfitter/PH" I firmly believe no one is getting rich being a safari client, and we have costs too. Airline tickets, dip/pack/ship, taxidermy(variable cost but still a cost), tips, guns, ammunition. We travel to the shows, to see old friends, and meet new ones.

    I guess what I am trying to get at is if I walked up checkbook in hand, knowing what I wanted, and wanting to hunt with you, and the (round number) price was $20,000 for daily rates and trophy fee of the primary animal(not all trophy fees just the one) and I said, "$19,000(5% off) and you got a deal." As an outfitter would you agree, balk, counteroffer? As a client have you tried this? What were the results?

    I am a young hunter(29), and most of the clients, and many of the outfitters/PH's are more of my father's generation. I think sometimes I am met with suspicion at the shows, and do not want to make bad impressions with people I am trying to build relationships with.

    Lastly, I think as an outfitter, budging slightly gives the client the impression they are getting a good deal, even if not much(in the total scheme of things) was really reduced.

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    I'm pretty much retired now but assuming I wasn't...... would I go for your offer?

    Probably not because I've been in the business for decades and don't really need to but would a young PH/outfitter who's hungry and in need of the work? - He may well do and I don't think either he or I would be offended by your offer.

    If you were a return client then I'd maybe more inclined to accept your offer but in that case, I'd probably be more inclined to offer it before you asked anyway.

    All that said, if you're a young guy, you'd probably prefer to hunt with a younger PH anyway and in all honesty, someone like that would also be a better match for you anyway.

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    further to my previous reply, other factors might help you as well..... for example, if you can be flexible in your dates & maybe fill a gap in the bookings or if you try to book late & hope for a cancellation, you might get a slightly more favourable deal.

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    I mean I get the fact some hunts would probably just not qualify for the offer because of demand. If the concession quota on Lion is 1 per year, and there is a waiting list it is a moot point, no deal. But if the offer was for animals, or quota that has gone unfilled in years past, maybe that would be something an outfitter would have to think about?

    A thriving business with many repeat clients, and no problems filling their schedule probably would not accept the offer.

    I have not looked too heavily into the cancellation hunts because I figure last minute flights can not be cheap.

    I would want to say I will return at some point to each place I hunt, but the draw of new species, new country, makes it difficult. Back to back trips to the same location, even a great location, for me, would be hard psychologically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakari View Post
    I'm pretty much retired now but assuming I wasn't...... would I go for your offer?

    Probably not because I've been in the business for decades and don't really need to but would a young PH/outfitter who's hungry and in need of the work? - He may well do and I don't think either he or I would be offended by your offer.

    If you were a return client then I'd maybe more inclined to accept your offer but in that case, I'd probably be more inclined to offer it before you asked anyway.

    All that said, if you're a young guy, you'd probably prefer to hunt with a younger PH anyway and in all honesty, someone like that would also be a better match for you anyway.
    being so young and if you werent such an old fart i might ask you to quote me for a 30 day tanzanian hunt

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    Quote Originally Posted by VonJager View Post
    I mean I get the fact some hunts would probably just not qualify for the offer because of demand. If the concession quota on Lion is 1 per year, and there is a waiting list it is a moot point, no deal. But if the offer was for animals, or quota that has gone unfilled in years past, maybe that would be something an outfitter would have to think about?

    A thriving business with many repeat clients, and no problems filling their schedule probably would not accept the offer.

    I have not looked too heavily into the cancellation hunts because I figure last minute flights can not be cheap.

    I would want to say I will return at some point to each place I hunt, but the draw of new species, new country, makes it difficult. Back to back trips to the same location, even a great location, for me, would be hard psychologically.
    i would say get in contact with a few reputable operators who are in the areas /countrys you are interested in. build up a rapport with them and explain what you want and what you can afford. then ask them to let you know first hand what deals/cancellations they have. airline wise you normally have a minimum of 21 days before cheaper deals are not valid on booking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spike.t View Post
    being so young and if you werent such an old fart i might ask you to quote me for a 30 day tanzanian hunt
    Young?

    More seriously, we still take bookings when asked but we explain I won't be doing the PHing. - Thanks to Mr Arthritis, my days of long walks after buffalo etc are over I'm afraid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakari View Post
    Young?

    More seriously, we still take bookings when asked but we explain I won't be doing the PHing. - Thanks to Mr Arthritis, my days of long walks after buffalo etc are over I'm afraid.
    young in the head! but not the rest! thats ok as my days of booking big hunts are over as well we will just have to do the short walk to the bar

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    Now that sounds good to me! LOL

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