In Parts 1-5 of this taxidermy series, I mentioned the importance of choosing a good taxidermist, how to find a good taxidermist, what questions you should ask a taxidermist and things to avoid when dealing with your taxidermist. Navigating the arrangement between you and your taxidermist should be easy and stress free for both parties involved. Here are some actions you can take to not only help your taxidermist serve you better, but can also help make you a more valuable client.
If you have done your due diligence and have chosen a reputable, trustworthy taxidermist, most of the process is over. However, being a good client is essential to being welcomed back and getting your mounts done at a higher priority in the future. Always be prepared to give your taxidermist half the cost of your mount when you drop it off. This is called a deposit. Good taxidermists demand a 50% deposit, so be ready for it and have it in hand. This will make an impression on your taxidermist and he or she will appreciate you saving them time by not having to come back when you have the actual deposit. Also, no reputable taxidermist will even touch your specimen without a deposit.
As mentioned before, time is money so don’t constantly call or stop by your taxidermist’s studio or shop. Try to think of a taxidermist as someone in the service business like a waiter or barber. To get better service, the formula is simple; make their job easy and appreciate what they do. Send your taxidermist a Christmas card with a small gift card just to show your appreciation for what he or she does. A lot of people are militant about not tipping someone ‘who is getting paid to do the work anyway.’ If you feel like this, fine, but don’t expect anything more than the minimum of what you agreed to.
I have done taxidermy for over 20 years and when people go above and beyond the normal by showing their appreciation, I rewarded them with simple things like faster turn-around times or maybe a free antler plaque or a free turkey tail mount. As mentioned before, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation. Believe me when I say that tippers are welcomed back to any taxidermy shop like old friends.