Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find your answer here, please feel free to contact anyday between 9 and 9 eastern
- Question: Aren’t your items fragile?
- Yes some are pretty fragile. The blue crab specimens are fragile – especially if they have the matte finish. That is why I recommend the gloss finish for the specimens. The gloss finish also gives good protection against dust mites. With the gloss finish the specimens can be handled quite a bit without fear of breakage – in fact the US Fish and Wildlife Service down in Florida and other environmental educators use them for some programs where kids get to hold them. The specimens will not just fall apart on you even if they have the matte finish. Do not drop them no matter what – they do not bounce good.
- Question: What happens if the items get wet?
- All bets are off. They are finished with either the polymer or the matte finish and are not waterproof with the exception of the jewelry. Allowing the items to get wet voids your warranty.
- Question: Why are your prices so high?
- I think my prices are pretty low considering I am the only one doing any of this type and quality of artwork. The time and effort that goes into producing even the smallest things are considerable- not to mention how much material and time goes into shipping. The freeze drying equipment ( I have 2 had a initial cost of 18,000 ) in 1998. I was
embalming blue crabs and mounting them on plaques without painting and without guaranteeing back in the 70’s for $25 and gas was 32 cent a gallon. One of my pieces will last a lifetime and cost less than a pair of Jordan’s athetic shoes.
- Question: What does the warranty cover?
- The warranty covers loss of color and microbial damage for 20 years. It does not cover pet damage – you know they have quite a bit better smellers than we do. Keep a eye on your pet(s). If the item is where they can get to it and they seem to be drawn to it, it would probably be better to send it back to me for a refund less shipping. The warranty does not cover insects. They are insect free when they leave here and can have insect activity in the retailer you bought it at or from your home. Ants you know will try to eat anything. If you see signs of insects, put the item in a plastic bag and store in the freezer for a couple days orspray a good dose of insectiside in a plastic bag insert the item and seal it up. Wait a few days and things should be fine. Natural history museums routinely close of sections treat the specimens and cover with plastic bags. I have only heard from 1 customer about a insect problem since 1998 and they had their specimens for over two years before experiencing any problem. Keeping your item out of direct sunlight and away from moisture will ensure they provide enjoyment for many many years.
- Question: Where do you get your specimens?
- Most of the specimens I use I get from local seafood dealers and commercial watermen right here in eastern North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. It is a marvelous place with beautiful water. But I do use a large network of contacts throughout the U.S. to get all the specimens. I have contacts in Maryland, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Washington, and California. All the crawfish come from Louisiana.
- Question: What type of electrical parts do you use?
- All the parts are UL listed. All the lamps have 3 way sockets rated up to 250 Watts so they make good reading lamps.
- Question: How many blue crabs do you sell each year?
- I used to sell a lot more than I do now. I used to have 5 full time employees and close to 200 retail accounts, but events of 2001 ( not just 9/11 ) hurt me very badly. Got tired of training assistant artists only to have them quit or move. Now it is mostly just me and when things get crazy I have my sons to help me out. I will never sell more 1000 blue crabs in a calendar year not including custom work where the customers provides the crabs.
The last few years I have average about 450 total, but I am expanding my retail clients.
- Question: Isn’t 1000 blue crabs a lot of blue crabs?
- No not really – it is less than the typical blue crab commercial fishermen catches in one normal day during the high season. Even with the industry hurting as bad as it is – there are more than 1000 dead crabs discarded by dealers everyday.
- Question: Do you ever barter work?
- Yes, I do. I trade my work for seafood, off shore fishing, lumber and specimens from time to time. I am always looking for really big crabs, certain fish, weird creatures and will discuss bartering for seafood, off shore fishing, sometimes a vacation get a way.
- Question: Didn’t You Use to do a lot of Shows?
- I did more than just a few, but I got real tired of being the first to start setting up and the last to finish. It just took to much time to pack and unpack all the time. Plus outdoor shows never seemed to work out – I got rained out 6 times in a row. Lost close to my entire inventory to the weather the last time I did a outdoor show in Norfolk. I miss the shows though – mainly meeting some many nice people and watching the way kids react to my work.
- Question: What if I do not want to use PayPal?
- Absolutely no problem. You can call me and I will take your credit card info and process it myself or you can send a check or money order. PayPal is the safest way to pay on-line and you do not have to have a PayPal account to use it. By using PayPal you can also pay by check on-line. I do believe they are the safest and highly recommend using them.
- Question: How do you ship?
- Normal shipping is by USPS priority. I will gladly ship by UPS or FedEX or any other carrier you prefer if you gladly pay the difference. The postal service has done an exceptional job delivering for the past 2 years. I prefer to help my small post office stay open by providing as much business as I can. Be sure to provide you postal address when ordering. As I get into offering tables there is a good chance these will have to be common carrier delivery.
*****All Shipping Charges on this site are for Domestic Shipping Only for addresses in the mainland USA.*****
International Shipments will require additional Shipping Charges!
- Question: How do I prepare my specimen for shipping?
- Please see the section on preparing your specimen for shipping. If you need more help or have more questions, please contact me.