Hunting Websites - Trophy Fees Listed vs Enquire for Prices

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by joester, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    Why do some outfitters choose NOT to list prices on their hunting websites? It initially would seem like a bad business decision. I know of a high-end antiques dealer who will not make an offer on an item if the price is not listed, even though he may truly want that item for his collection. I've tended to avoid contacting no-pricelist outfitters, feeling that the back and forth replies may take too long...Just wondering where others stand?
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    joester

    With the age of the internet you have a valid point.

    With everyone price comparing these days many will over look or by pass ones that do not list their prices.

    however, there is more to going on a safari that trying to find the low cost provider.
    one should look at what kind or operation is being provided and what you hope to experience.
    If an operator is in the area that i am looking at going to i will send an e mail requesting their information. This is no skin off your back and a easy function to do to provide the best information to getting a quality experience.

    I like to have a good time and enjoy myself. The hunting experience is made up of many components. have you given the PH the proper amount of time to secure your animal or do you want to just drive up and shoot the closest animal to the road. Beat your self on the chest and look at B'wana and say i had a great time.

    An example of looking at many safari operators: lets say you want to plan a safari and you have identified the following animals: (I like to try and have 5 primary animals, weather i am able to have a go at them is another story )
    Primary list
    1. Sable greater that 40"
    2. Giraffe
    3. Kudu greater than 55"
    4. Eland greater that 40"
    5. Bushbuck or Waterbuck

    If available or we get lucky list. (This list would be put together after i have picked the place to go on safari and have reviewed there trophy animal list)
    1. Honey badger
    2. Porcupine
    3. Zebra

    With this example you have place criteria that an operator - PH will have to access your list and get back to you.

    The ones that you find a price list for sometimes are not able to meet your criteria so your next step is looking for information from other operators. so it becomes essential for your to start the e mail process to find your location to go on safari. so to me i send for this information early on.

    I try to look for an affordable package. (that means different thing to different people)
    1. How many will be in camp? I like to be the only hunter in camp.
    2. Potential for a representative or better trophy animal. (all animals are trophy's if you were fortunate to shoot it) (however i like to go after the old animals that other will pass up and sometimes will have reduce horn size.)
    3. Lodging and meals. (tent or 5 star what are you looking for)
    4. Length of your safari. ( anything less that 10 days you are shorting yourself the African experience.
    5. Your expectations for trophies. (look at one trophy animal for every 2 days of scheduled safari.) (exception will be if you are flexible to take other than your primary list)

    Bottom line is do not cross of an operator or PH because they do not post there price list. And you should be aware that prices do change on trophy animals and sometimes throughout the hunting season.


     
  3. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Joester,

    I agree completely. If they don't post their prices, I shop elsewhere. I honestly can't stand it when they don't post prices. It seems like they are hiding the ball or wanting to play "lets make a deal". Either way, I'm out.
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    As a rookie I appreciated the price lists being posted on the web site when I started looking.

    It can illustrate a policy of pricing to me.
    Per inch pricing, size bracket pricing, flat rate, etc.

    I have seen outfits that changed pricing policy when they received feedback from AH members. They stopped per inch pricing. (Bigger trophies more money)

    Not that it would stop me from contacting very likely places that I would like to hunt if they do not post prices.

    The part I began to hate about price lists is that it started to make me feel like I was shopping at the supermarket (SPAR).
    It can also be misleading, as you can hunt nearly fifty species in SA. How much time do you have and how much travel do you want to do?
    Many price lists do not differentiate that you have to travel two days to another property, etc. Add that to your species trophy price. (So, make sure you are looking at everything.)

    Also, given the internet age and the access to information it shortens the research process.
    There are more than 18000 farms in RSA from what I recall. So, how thorough do you want to be.

    Publishing prices on the web allowed me to create a spread sheet from the HTML data and compare prices across the board.
    I found, as many others have, that prices work out to be very similar. So, when you actually start comparing you will have to go much further in depth before you make a rational decision on whom to hunt with.


    When I saw a price that was way out of sync, too low or incredibly high in comparison, I would look at the web site and see pictures of the lodge, tent, etc. that might explain it. If not, they were dropped from consideration.

    James created a species A list and B list, I did too. The B list only arose after the A list was successfully hunted for me though. It focused the search area for outfitters. Nyala was the focus, so I did not end up hunting them in the Karoo. Eland I determined were not the focus in Natal. (That northern Namibian bush looks pretty good at the moment)
    I also had other criteria, just as James suggests. Set them out.

    Publishing prices, although it makes gathering information quicker is not the main criterion for booking a hunt.

    The best reply I received from a small outfit was a trail cam picture of the quarry. It happened to be a kudu bull.
    It was shocking to see how often I kept going back to that single picture. A live animal with a date and time. No guarantee but it sure let you know the possibilities.

    So far, for the purposes of your question, I have hunted with two outfits who have posted there prices on the web and one that did not.
     
  5. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    James and Brickburn have both made some great points and to tell the truth I'm a blue collar worker who hunts on a budget and love to look at price list BUT I will quikly ask for a price list if they have a good set-up and animals that I would like to hunt. In fact just last week I emailed an outfit in CAR about a Giant Forest Hog hunt and what it would cost as I would love to one day do a SLAM on all 4 Hogs of Africa well one day I just might as soon as I get my Rich Uncle out of the Poor House. the point is go ahead and ask for a price list or send them a list of the animals that you would like to hunt sometimes it turns out better then one might think.
     
  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    When looking at a website, I want to see as much information as possible, including prices.
     
  7. Dox

    Dox AH Veteran

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    I agree with Joester & Nyati
     
  8. Osonjiva Hunting Safaris

    Osonjiva Hunting Safaris AH Senior Member

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    Outfitters point of View

    Firstly my view is that we do not believe in the per inch pricing. (Bigger trophies more money). I find this an unfair practice towards hunters.

    We are one of the Outfitters who do not post our prices on the website but I for one as soon as I have posted something on the forum or have seen a discussion that I was interested in with regards to hunters looking for an Outfitter in Namibia I would always mail them a private message giving them my prices etc.

    Some of your arguments have given me food for thought but I can speak for a lot of Namibian Outfitters who do not post their prices and there is a reason for that and it has nothing to do with misleading any clients.

    Another advantage for the Hunter of not posting Pricelist is that you can see how soon an Outfitter would respond to your mails. If your initial mails are not being answered in a timely manner your hunt might go the same way.

    I have always believed that the sooner you get back to a potential client the better you get viewed and I have not been proven wrong yet. Pls. feel free to agree or disagree at this stage.

    Thank you

    PS. A bad day in the bush beats a good day in the office!
     
  9. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Great topic joester! Thanks to all for the great points made...

    First let me say that many reputable and ethical hunting operations in Africa do not list their prices on their website.

    I think that the main reason for a hunting outfitter to not publish publicly its' prices on their website is to allow them to exercise the Euro and Dollar price list to gain the system by leaving their options open. Some outfitters will even opt to have different prices depending on whom they are marketing to (by country, shows, hunting club meetings, ...). Also they may offer different prices through an agent than if you would go to them directly. They don't want their competitors under pricing them... and they may want to leave their options open depending upon how early or late in the season it is and how full their booking calender is. I think that you should look at it as a way to gauge who you are dealing with. Not putting prices and what is included and excluded in detail on a website just to get a potential client to contact them is a sales tactic, but one should be very cautious about getting everything in writing, an opportunity for up charges on things that you were not made aware of or that were never mentioned...

    Looking forward to more input...
     
  10. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    Thanks for your well-thought-out reply, Jerome, everyone's responses have been enlightening... I had recognised, as you pointed out, that some outfitters "tailor" their pricing depending upon audience/clientele...This reminds me somewhat of vendors who will have one price for locals and another for touristas...fully understandable. Having said this, do you think its appropriate to negotiate listed prices with an outfitter? Please note I am not wanting to undermine anyone's livlihood; just wondering if prices may have a bit of inherent flexibility?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Personally, I don t care one way or another, I only hunt with people I know, and they treat me well.

    However, when someone uses the internet, he is looking for information, and pricing is a part of this.

    If prices are on request, you ask yourself, what kind of deal am I being offered ?
     
  12. johnfox

    johnfox AH Senior Member

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    I tend to bypass outfits who don't list their prices on their sites. When I have requested pricelists from some outfitters, I've found they weren't significantly different from their competitors in the same area, so why not list them?

    Absolutely. You may not get much of a reduction in trophy fees, but you may end up with an animal or two for free. That option has just been offered to me for a father and son hunt that is in the 'enquiry and planning' stage right now.
    If you don't ask, you don't get..:D
     
  13. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    Everything is negotiable if you are prepared to be flexible. You can't have without also giving.

    It is always interesting to note high daily rates listed with low trophy fees, or listed in reverse. I avoid impressive web sites without prices as they are probably marketed towards consumers far more affluent than me.
     
  14. Tom071

    Tom071 AH Member

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    I guess this thread explians a alot to me. I have my first safari book ed for May. When I was doing my research I wondered why there was sometimes a large differance in trophy fees. I ignorintly assumed that it was the same as the US and the trophy fee was the same as a license fee. While it was nice to see prices on the web sites, a picked several outfitters that had what I wanted for what I could afford. From there I read thier reviews on this site and others as well as contacted people on thier refferal lists.
     
  15. chemarq

    chemarq AH Senior Member

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    In my opinion, in the internet era, when all the hunters compare... it is fair game from the outfitters to publish their pricelist, and keep the prices fixed all season long. Having the "hidden" pricelist and sending to each different clients makes people feel cheated... like if maybe they could get different prices for the same game in the same farm, depending of different factors.

    In Spitskop Safaris, we have been publising our pricelists from many years ago; we know we have quite low rates, and really affordable daily rates... and that makes us very competitive. We want the clients can compare our prices with other outfitters, and this has been a great success for us.

    We know that there are different reasons to choose one outfitter or other, BUT price is one of the main ones for many of the hunters; and lets be realistic, our Gold Medal Springboks costs 150€ (200 USD) , and is the same than any other Gold Medal Springbok of other farms. A Blue wildebeest in 475€ (655 USD) is an excelent price, and we know our clients know we have those prices.

    Best regards
    Jose
     
  16. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I'm going to jump in again, one other thing I think they should have if they have a price list they should have a currency converter on the price page even if all they except is Euro dollars. That way hunters all over the world will be able to figure out what its going to cost them to hunt with that outfitter without having to search the web to find one. Which is another reason why some outfitters don't list there prices as they can give you a quote in your currency.
     
  17. mallard14

    mallard14 AH Member

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    Jose,

    Please PM me, I am interested in your Kalahari area.

    Thanks
     
  18. Baobab

    Baobab AH Veteran

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    Sylvia I do agree with you except on one point. If a hunter books a special size egKudu eg 59inch then I do think it is fair to charge an extra price as it take a great deal of time looking for the animal. If a hunter takes what the bush offers him, then no problem. All our PH always try and offer the best there is available.
    We have not taken a kudu under 55 inch this year!
    Putting info on te web. is in our country not always the easiest. In the bush our systems are extremely slow.
    Emails still go out faster and the prospective client can ask questions re the hunt while asking for the price list. This does save time. Please don't think that we are hiding things from you. Some of the Consultnts also have a problem with us posting price lists on the Web.
     
  19. Baobab

    Baobab AH Veteran

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    Not always. some are really fair.
     
  20. Baobab

    Baobab AH Veteran

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    prices

    It is a pity as most guys who do not post prices are honest.
     

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