We all want a great deal, but almost everyone recognizes “you get what you pay for.” The truth in that old adage has probably applied to all of us at one time or another, and it’s absolutely true in taxidermy. Hunting itself is expensive, and the prices can soar skyward if you want to preserve those memories with an incredible trophy. To help you out, we’re sharing five considerations when you need a taxidermist who won’t blow your budget.
1. Don’t Choose on Price Alone
Dirt-cheap pricing is a warning sign of one of two things — inexperience or a bad business model that will leave you waiting years for your finished trophy. A successful taxidermy business has expenses, and it cannot afford to offer excessively low pricing without sacrificing some level of quality. If you’re considering taxidermy, this animal means something to you.
If you choose a taxidermist simply because he or she offers the lowest price around, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. What’s more, you may find yourself on the hook for remounting costs when you decide there’s no way this disaster of a mount is going in your house.
2. Be Familiar with the Going Rates
Just because you’re not falling for the cheapest offer around doesn’t mean you need to make a beeline for the fanciest place you can find. The goal is to find the very best quality at the fairest rates. Many taxidermists publish price lists online or make them available if you call. Our price list is right here — and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, we’re more than happy to discuss specifics with you. Either way, spend some time comparing pricing so you have an idea of going rates.
3. Get Referrals
Recommendations and referrals are a great starting point. Ask friends or family members about the trophies that you really admire. They’ll probably be willing to share information about what it cost, how long it took, and the general experience with a given taxidermist. If you’re getting referrals from your PH, keep in mind that there’s likely a kickback, so take it with a grain of salt.
4. Ask Questions in Order
While pricing is often the very first question out of a customer’s mouth, you’ll get a much better idea of a taxidermist’s commitment to quality and methodology by asking other questions first. Inquiring about their experience, scope of work, favorite projects, typical timeframe, and recommendations for your mount is a great way to determine if a taxidermist’s approach aligns with your vision for the finished piece. Don’t skip the money talk, but don’t lead with it, either.
5. Check Out Their Work
If you can, it’s best to meet a taxidermist face to face in their studio. You’ll get a sense of their level of professionalism, and you can take a look at finished projects and those still in progress. Think of it as a quality check — does the work seem realistic, or can you tell some corners are being cut? Can you picture your mount being created here?
You’re going to have a budget, and that’s fine. Finding a taxidermist that can work within your budget may take a little research, and you may need to adjust your expectations, but keeping these five considerations in mind is a great start. We’d love to be on your short list — contact us today!