Donation Hunts - Questions about clients????

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Hartzview Hunting Safaris, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Hartzview Hunting Safaris

    Hartzview Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Hey everybody,

    This topic has been in my mind for quite some time and I am sure some other outfitters has experienced exactly the same as what I have a number of times now.

    When a client wants to book a hunt with a outfitter they usually do an "audit" and cross examination on the outfitter which is all fine and good. You have to do your research. But when it comes to auction night the outfitter is not even in the considiration. It is the price and how many animals you can shoot for as little money possible!

    Okay I am hearing a lot of people saying off course it is the price... But why then cross exam truthfull outfitters if you would buy an auction hunt from ANY outfitter at a "incredible" price?

    It occurs to me that more and more clients are buying as many possible hunts on auctions and fundraisers then line them up for back to back "cheap" safaris. This is busy hurting the hunting business and honest and truthfull outfitters out there. We all believe in giving people a good deal but outfitters has to make a living. And why then give clients good deals and excellent service if they do not even blink an eye when a "once in a lifetime" deal/auction comes up.

    We as outfitters do not donate hunts because we have to many animals and defnitely not because our acounts are overflowing with $$$$'s. We donate hunts to MAINLY build up a client database on we can rely on being faithfull to us as outfitters like we are to them as clients. Most outfitters goes out of their way to make these "donation"(FREE hunt's because 99% of the money goes to the SCi Chapters) such a memory and experience for the clients so that clients would want to return to their operations.

    Yes you do get the odd outfitters that does not care if a client would return or not. But I believe that most outfitters cherish every client and wants to give each and every client their best so they would return to their operation when ever they would like to hunt Africa again. I get the feeling that clients are busy taking advantage of outfitters in this matter and that more and more outfitters are getting fed up with this matter repeating itself year after year.

    We also do understand that it is the clients money and choice on where he wants to hunt like in any other aspect of life. But if you have someone who you can trust and that you see will go all the way to make your trip go as smooth as possible, get you the best trophies possible etc. Why not support the outfitter by sticking with him for your whole trip if he does an excellent job... Clients are always the first to report a bad hunt with an outfitter but I have never seen a outfitter reporting a client that has treated the outfitter wrong in certain ways which has happened before!

    I may be a little out of the way here but I have experienced this a number of times and know some outfitters that experienced the same deal. I am posting this thread to get a better understanding on what is going on with this matter and if it is going to get worse or better.

    I am looking forward on talking about this...

    Happy hunting everybody.

    Jacques
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Jacque, I feel your pain, as hunt chairman for our SCI chapter...I dealt with all sorts of characters and it really put me off. I thought people...didn't care about SCI's reputation or helping the outfitter spread his or her business. It made me angry enough...that I quit the SCI board of the local chapter. I would rather book a hunt with a outfitter than "buy" a cheap hunt at SCI chapter for the most part. Maybe it's the economy...and people see so much crap on TV on the news and entertainment that they think anything goes.

    Don't get me wrong, not everyone was bad and a lot upgraded the hunt or brought friends. But I have seen enough shady people.

    And I think it is extremely wise for a person to book a hunt with a first class operation...like yourself. Cutting corners...has a way of biting you in the end!
     
  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Jacque

    I am assuming that you are talking about Donated hunts to be auctioned off at conventions...

    What do you hope to gain. name recognition, hunters look at your operation and booking a hunt, what?...


    My thinking is this: (just my way of looking at it, and i could be all full of it)

    You are operating a business, and donation this advertizing is part of your budget...are you gaining the exposure you need to re-coop the expense that you have outlay-ed..

    Donated Safari hunts should fill your hard to sell dates and not your prime dates (early season - late season). Therefor you should have limiting time periods or dates on the donated safari hunting packages...I have seen many bought safari packages where some one is trying to resale the package that they bought...my thinking is that is a no go...and you should have that in writing when you offer the package to the donated convention.

    The capitol outlay of your donated safari is the same weather it is in your prime time or marginal times...When will your business suffer the most on the donated safari package and you need try to reduce that factor...

    You have to go into this thinking that the hunter will never return to your place of operation no mater how well or what you do to make the safari a success. If the hunter leaves you operation with out re-booking a safari with you, i would estimate that 98 percent of the time you have lost that customer.

    My thinking on a donated safari hunt is that it should be a 4 day package with the ability of the purchaser to up grade to a 7 , 10 or 14 day safari...You want to offer a package that the majority of hunters will want to up grade...and if they upgrade they should be allowed to move to a better schedule on your safari calendar if it were available...

    Jacque you cannot give the ship away and hope to stay in business...
     
  4. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with both Eric & Jim. I took over Erics job and I know exactly where you are coming from. I agree 100 % with Jim except - The average guy buying hunts at these auctions aren't always well off enough to rebook right away. The guys that have money don't buy the cheaper hunts any way & they buy what they want and the accomodations they like from the outfitters who exhibit at these fund raisers. But I do agree good hunts with less days will force the cheap skates to either antee up or stay away. There is no way I would ever go to Africa for less than 10 days as my rear end would never forgive me!
     
  5. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    Jacques

    A friend and I bought a donated hunt in South Africa, and went over last march. We had a terrific hunt, and upgraded animals to the tune of $8,000.00.
     
  6. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I don't think there is a "correct or right" answer to this question.

    At auction time you can get anyone. You might be fortunate and get a first time hunter going to Africa who has researched your operation. He pulls the trigger and buys the hunt, then has a great time and continues to come back.

    OR

    You might get a guy who has been to Africa numerous times before and wants to add three 7 day trips together to have a long, 21 day multi outfit hunt for a song. That guy is the problem.

    But there is nothing that can really be done about it. I guess that is the good and bad with auction hunts. It really comes down to the buyers ethics and desires.
     
  7. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Ok, I am in the buisness of sales. That is what i do every day. Outfitters are the same thing. You have a product to sell. I have learned that in sales money usually is not an option to some clients, but means the world to others. But there are different customers that want different things. You are going to have your clients who want everything for nothing and are not loyal to you at all. You will have your clients who will buy from one or two people and are loyal to you and mabe a couple of other people. Then there are the all in guys. They will only buy from you no matter what the cost. Those are the hard ones to find. Part of any buisness is dealing with the A-holes and treating the "all in guys" like gold. The A-holes come with the teritory and you hope to keep them to a min. Like Tom said, theirs is no correct answer. I feel you have to give every client the best service you can. Those "all in guys" will come back and most others will not. Just don't leave a bad taste in theirs mouth. I can't remember the quote exacly but it is something like this..."give someone great customer service and they will tell a friend. Give someone bad customer service and the will tell everyone they know!"
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree 100 percent!
     
  9. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Ok I'm going to jump in here, as a guy who bought a donated hunt just this year for a Black Bear hunt for the Wife it was her first ever Black Bear hunt and I wanted it to be great for her though she did get a bear it wasn't all that great. First of all it was donated for a fund raiser for the Catch a Dream Foundation so the outfitter gets to write that $2500 off on taxes then they hit you with a missed shot clause that costed me another $500 of which when he pulled me aside and he Insinuated he would write it off if I was going to buy a hunt for myself as well, NOT!!! he also let me know that this is a money making Business. what we got for this $2500 donated hunt was a bed to sleep in and 2 baited stands to hunt in meals were on us. Now back to the Question about checking out the outfitter I checked this guy out he's been shown on Spirit Of The Wild yep Uncle Ted has hunted there that was a big plus on my buying this hunt but it seems that they treat the folks with money thats going to make there Business grow better then the one that buy the donated hunts.
    Ok I've been going on long enough the point I'm trying to make is there are A$$ holes on both sides of the line if you donate a hunt then it is a donation and the outfitter should do the best they can as though the buyer was paying the big buck in the hopes that they will spread the word and bring in a lot more business. How they are treated is what will make you the money, thats why I've booked another hunt at huntershill for next year got treated like a King no matter what.
     
  10. spk1142

    spk1142 New Member

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    Don't generally respond to threads--but. I bought a donated hunt last year for 2 for 10 days, with a warhog for both. Decided to take my nephew and son. Paid the extra for nephew. We ended up getting 13 animals--over $14000 for the PH. Had a great time. Went back again this year to the same place with wife. I would have never have gone to SA without the inexpensive cost of the donated hunt and the PH would have not gotten our $ last year or this. I think those that buy several as mentioned and book back to back are just going to ruin it for the PH, outfitter, and of course, those of us .who need these donations to be able to do a life long dream.
     
  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    On the donated hunts front. The outfits on AH that have donated hunts have done so for promotional purposes and they will have to determine whether it had enough value added to repeat the event.
    From my side, the opportunity created by the "free hunts" created some interest and focus for the outfitters.
    The fact that the outfits were willing to "donate" something to the community left me positively disposed toward them as businesses.
    Having the outfits like Leeukop Safaris, Spiral Horn Safaris and Hartzview that have donated quality entertaining contest opportunities on this site had me looking at them to hunt with.

    In fact, I have just returned after 7 weeks in Southern Africa and had a good lunch get together with Louis VB (Spiral Horn) [Thank you again for the Steak lunch Louis] and hunting with Niel and Kemp at Leeukop Safaris for 12 days.

    The hunt was researched before I discovered really discovered AH. Seeing that these outfits were willing to donate and participate in the community cemented the decision.

    My whole group was not disappointed with the choice I can tell you that.

    On the second day of the hunt they were already talking about coming back!!!!!

    The massive hunt report will follow. The thirty five hours on planes had left me a little tired :)
     
  12. VanderLaan

    VanderLaan AH Senior Member

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    Just bought a 7 day hunt for two in SA at the local SCI banquet last night. The hunt included all the daily fees and five animals for the two of us to split. None of these animals are on "my list", so we will likely end up dropping another $3k each on animals and will likely extend the hunt another three days. Add to that, the fact that my GF is going to join us as an abserver and I would bet that we will end up spending an additional $8-9k over the cost of the donated hunt. I will admit that the low price is the main reason that I bought the hunt, but three friends at the banquet gave the outfit great marks and said that they would go back in a heartbeat.

    I am pretty sure that this will end up being a win-win arrangement.
     
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sounds Great who will you be hunting with if you don't mind my asking.
     

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