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Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 11:37 AM
I’m sure a lot, if not all, of you have noticed by now that Fish Butts is having a sale. I think that's cool and I know she's going through a lot, and has had a really bad year, but as a tailmaker I'd like to know how she can afford this. Since it costs a minimum of $906.54 in materials alone.

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Now, I’ve done my fair share of price checking, both at retail and whole sale. I’m guessing it takes about 3-4 gallons of Silicone for a full silicone tail (if someone knows more exactly how much it takes, please feel free to share). The retail prices I found for Dragon SkinŽ High Performance Silicone Rubber is $183.72 per gallon, not including shipping. So if a tail takes 4 gallons, that alone is $734.88 before shipping. I calculated shipping to my own address, and it came out to $96.48. That adds up to $831.36 just for the silicone. A Finis Wave monofin, directly from the Finis website is $59.99 before shipping, with shipping (to my address) ranging from $8.25 (smart post) to $58.41 (overnight shipping).
Knowing the cost or materials at retail, the wholesale price dropping maybe $100-200 max from the total, it brings to question how the company is able to afford it. I know there has been talk that they make their tails at nearly cost of materials, but they would have to be paying for 1/3 the cost of the materials just to make the tail.

I know a lot of you are major fans of the company, so please don’t take this as me attacking them. But, the price and the cost of materials just doesn’t add up, and knowing just how much it costs for the materials brings some very serious questions to mind.

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You can see this page directly at Smooth-on (http://www.smooth-on.com/Silicone-Rubber-an/c2_1115_1129/index.html?catdepth=1). You can see, each gallon is the same price.

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My calculated shipping costs for 4 gallons of silicone.

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Finis Wave (http://www.finisinc.com/equipment/technical-products/monofins/wave-monofin.html?gclid=CK3prsLR4LQCFWaCQgodKVEAqA)- $59.99

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Finis Rapid (http://www.finisinc.com/equipment/technical-products/monofins/rapid-monofin.html)- $89.99

Fish Butts has also said that they are offering for people to choose the Competitor monofin as an option for an additional $200, $100 for having to remake the mold and another $100 for the fin. Here is what I found.

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The Finis Competitor (http://www.finisinc.com/equipment/technical-products/monofins/competitor-monofin.html) is $319.99 before shipping.

I'm not sure if anyone else can see what I see. But, being a tailmaker myself (knowing a lot about pricing, where to get deals, wholesale pricing vs. retail pricing for materials) I just don't see how it is possible to offer a full silicone tail for $500 when the cost of materials alone is a minimum of $200 more than the sale price.

AniaR
01-11-2013, 11:57 AM
First off, I think you worded this pretty darn respectfully and I think it's a valid set of points. I was working yesterday and when I came home I actually had a bunch of messages on my personal account and my mermaid account about it. People were asking me if it was a legit thing, or if the artist was a scam (honestly, can't people simply google the tail making company to see they actually sell tails? lol) I had enough messages that it made me feel a bit worried so I messaged Stevi about it specifically. From my own personal experiences I know how expensive this material can be. I didn't want there to be a big drama blowup for her, knowing what she's been going through, and I was nervous that if someone posted about it on the network that's what would happen. So can I at least say I'm very thankful you worded everything so objectively etc.

When I asked Stevi she said she does the silicone pretty thin to save on it, and I *think* (correct me if I'm wrong) she said somewhere that she gets the silicone on wholesale. I'm kinda ignorant to the whole tail making thing. People message me about this kinda stuff and I really don't know, I just go by what other tail makers tell me and what I can find online. I do see your point though about the monofins. I have a competitor monofin and they're super expensive. I think she should charge more personally for the more expensive monofin instead of just 200$. Material costs aside, I think she should charge more even if it is a sale because of how much time and effort they take to make.

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 12:05 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong Raina, but didn't Raven cast your tail thin as well? If I remember when we talked about it correctly, when I was getting dimensions for the bag I'm making you, you said even though it was cast thin, she still paid over $1,000 just in materials (again, correct me if I'm wrong).

Plus, even at wholesale cost, the minimum you could pay for silicone is about $100 a gallon. So if a tail takes 4 gallons, at $100/gallon plus the $96 for shipping of the silicone, (and not taking into account the monofin and its own shipping) that alone is almost $500.

Mermaid Melusinah
01-11-2013, 12:10 PM
Material costs aside, I think she should charge more even if it is a sale because of how much time and effort they take to make.

From what I have heard, she says that she charges at cost simply because its some thing she enjoys doing. And while that's great and i can respect that. The costs and the products dont add up.... Which has (for a LONG while) raised the question in my head, is she in fact USING the materials she claims.

Because if she is... at the sale she is running, she would be paying a large portion of the cost of materials from her OWN pocket alone for EACH tail... that just makes no sense at all....

While I might not be a tail maker, I AM a business woman and understand cost of goods and things of that sort...

And as lexia posted so respectfully, my post is meaning to be the same. I have no intention of drama. I just want to see people done right by the people they trust to make their tails. I know if I am putting down money for anything (doesnt matter the amount or product) I want to know that what im being told im buying IS in fact what i am buying....

AniaR
01-11-2013, 12:13 PM
Yeah. I can't really argue with that. My tail uses less silicone than any tail I've seen to date. So I guess that would be like my tail + neoprene so the cost would be well over 1000$ I think closer to 2000$ not including paint, time, and labor etc. (Raven's tails use more silicone than mine, hence the 3k price tag). I can't really add anything else, I totally see your point. Even on sale 500$ doesn't cover the cost of materials.

edit: (I posted while you were making your post! So I missed it)


And as lexia posted so respectfully, my post is meaning to be the same. I have no intention of drama. I just want to see people done right by the people they trust to make their tails. I know if I am putting down money for anything (doesnt matter the amount or product) I want to know that what im being told im buying IS in fact what i am buying....

That's how I've always felt about certain other tail makers I get in drama over. When it comes down to it, people wanna make sure they know exactly what they're buying. So I think it's all a fair question, and even though it's taboo in the community to directly call it out I appreciate that everyone is doing their best to be respectful!

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 12:38 PM
"IF" she were to be using something other than advertised, that is potentially a MAJOR lawsuit. One I'm sure everyone whose ever bought a tail from the company would want to get in on. And that's only one, there are other potential lawsuits that could happen should someone get sick from certain materials.

Last thing I want to see is another tailmaker end up driving themselves out of business, even if it is unintentionally. Every tailmaker has their own little quirk to their tails. But, I fully believe that, when it comes to the materials used in those tails, ALL tailmakers should be honest about the materials they use to make them.

Disclaimer: Far anyone who reads this- Yes, I am a tailmaker myself. No, I did not post this thread to spite Fish Butts. I personally felt, as a consumer, that things were not adding up and those things needed to be brought to attention. I am not attacking the company in any way, just pointing out facts and providing where I found the information to base those facts. If anyone feels that I have missed something, please feel free to share.

Sammi Ray
01-11-2013, 01:00 PM
All materials and how they are used should be known, and if casting thin that should be mentioned too. Does she cast thin on the 2000 just out of curiosity? And just to clarify this comment is not in any mean shape or form slating fishbutts. I just think all tail makers should put more about the products and what they and how they are used so you know what you are buying!

Spindrift
01-11-2013, 01:11 PM
Are you sure that the silicone she uses is Dragonskin? There are other skin-safe silicone brands, like the one used by latexmans, which is much cheaper.

Sammi Ray
01-11-2013, 01:16 PM
All tails she sells are dragon skin. Maybe it is just cheaper whole sale

Winged Mermaid
01-11-2013, 01:19 PM
You bring up valid points! It's good to question, and I than you for doing so respectfully :)

I know that her and others have said, number wise, she makes them nearly at cost. "For pennies" is what another tailmaker stated, as they did not understand and were upset that she would sell them at such a low cost. As Mermaid Melusinah said, she has stated that she does this becuase she loves making the tails and bringing happiness to mers. She has always been transparent in her use of materials, and has always stood behind her products. I've seen full replacement tails go out several times becuase there was a flaw that caused damage to the customer's tail. I really think she has earned some trust in the community, thus why she has become the most popular tail maker for mid priced tails.

I can tell you that 3-4 gallons is WAY too much. Talking to a respectable tail maker who knows their stuff, I was talking about how thick Mike Van Daal's tails are and how heavy. (Although that is an advantage for him with genuinely seamless tails, very realistic, and perfect for performing in water.) They are very thick and weigh 60lbs or more (double checked this in reviews and discussions on the review sections here)- to the point that people say they can not move the fluke at all on their own on dry land- and the tail maker said that they "probably use almost 3 gallons of silicone". So if a tail THAT thick and heavy and uses that little, then I would think maybe 2 gallons at most if it was full silicone. But she uses a neoprene lining in the body (but I'm not sure about the fluke), so she probably casts it much thinner. I mean, you can see from Raven's tails how much you can shave off ($2,000) just by doing that.

I also know that she gets whole rolls of neoprene at wholesale. I would suspect she gets the silicone wholesale as well. Don't forget that SwimOutlet sells fins discounted, and there's also the "mermaid20" discount when buying from Finis.

I think the sale would put the tails nearly if not completely at-cost. However, have you noticed that no one has gotten a full silicone tail from her as of yet? She wants to get these tails OUT to people and into the world. That is the best way to generate more customers, and she knows it! Since she has the ability to do that at this point , it's a very smart thing to do.

Plus, she has been going through a extremely hard time lately, and I think her getting back into tail making is something that she knows will help her. At this point I sincerely think it's her wanting to help herself, and help others, to get herself through this. Any tailmaker will tell you how happy it is to make a tail, but even more so when they see the happy faces and hear the happy/grateful words from a satisfied customer. And as a bonus help her business in the future. So that's my thoughts on that :)

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 01:27 PM
You make good points Iona. But, I ask this- If their "full silicone tails" have a neoprene lining (just like the partial tails), Then isn't it just a ticker version of the partial tail and not really a "full silicone tail"? And even if they use only 2 gallons of the dragon skin silicone, that is almost $500 just in silicone.

Winged Mermaid
01-11-2013, 02:09 PM
You make good points Iona. But, I ask this- If their "full silicone tails" have a neoprene lining (just like the partial tails), Then isn't it just a ticker version of the partial tail and not really a "full silicone tail"? And even if they use only 2 gallons of the dragon skin silicone, that is almost $500 just in silicone.

*shrug* I think she should look into changing her names and clarifying a bit for sure. Maybe "imprinted silicone" and "molded silicone" or some such to cut down on the confusion. But she has specified that the "full silicone" ones do have a neoprene lining. 2 gallons would be maximum for a full silicone (Jesse probably uses that amount in his tails). She probably uses a LOT less for one that has a neoprene lining. But really no one can give you solid answers but Stevi.

I'm just saying that she has a great track record and trust with the community about all aspects of her tail making, and that she does have a good reason behind selling the tails at-cost for a promotion as well as other personal reasons. One thing that I forgot to mention was that MerBella Studios sells essentially the same base product (molded silicone on neoprene) for $1,000. And those are with custom paint jobs (which can be costly), not just solid color tinted silicone like Stevi is selling. We all know that tails will run retail much more than they cost to make, and I believe Raven does charge for her time (as well she should, her work is amazing). So that leads me to believe you can make one of these for $500 or under. That also means that she has competition with Merbella Studios for these styles of tails, and on more than just cost. So there's yet another reason for a sale like this.

I personally trust her, but then again I'm not actually ordering form her. Just my thoughts for you guys!

AniaR
01-11-2013, 02:54 PM
I think valid points all across. It'll be exciting to see what sort of tails come from all of this. Also Iona, your signature is hypnotic

Winged Mermaid
01-11-2013, 03:22 PM
(Aw thanks Raina!)

I think they make their imprinted ones close to at-cost. I think the silicone ones she had a higher price. Perhaps she was trying not to undercut the market? Or actually make decent money off of it since making a molded tail is a lot more work than the imprinted ones are. Best I can figure. After all, as far as I know she hasn't actually sold any of the "full silicone" type thus far.

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 03:30 PM
I've got nothing against her, or anyone who works with her. But there are a lot of unanswered questions. There's no detailed description of what is entailed in either tail. The only description I have found on either tail is in her FAQ's. Which states that the only differences are that one has a full silicone fluke with molded scales instead of imprinted.

Winged Mermaid
01-11-2013, 03:54 PM
I get what you're saying. *nods* I agree, but unless Stevi herself gives us answers we don't have any way of knowing. All we can do is speculate, and that does not seem to be helping thus far :P In the end, if people order, they order. That will be up to them if they trust her as a tailmaker for her to deliver what she promises. The outcome of if it - if it's her undoing or something that lifts her buisness up- will be solely up to her. Although I think it would be smart of her to set a limit in orders she's willing to take for this sale. Only time will tell I suppose.

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 04:04 PM
I think a limit would be a good idea. I know how much stress it can cause to be overwhelmed with work, I get it on a daily basis where I work full-time. My suggestion would be to finish ALL the orders she has now before launching another sale,every tail completed and shipped. But, that's just an idea on something that would help ease stress and feeling overwhelmed

Mermaid Azira
01-11-2013, 05:16 PM
I have nothing against fishbutts. I am even planning on getting a tail from them.

On seagirls626's tail has side seams. You can see her tail in the "Show us Your Tails Thread." Didn't Stevi say her partial tails don't have seams?

Nyxie
01-11-2013, 05:46 PM
i understand why some might be skeptical, however, it might just be what it is on the cover in my opinion. As a daycare provider for military in an overseas location, i face the same dilemma. i am considerably cheaper than others and most person's think there's something else going on or that it doesn't add up as they're used to and think i should charge more. because of certain rules in place, i do come out of pocket for daycare...i have to cover automobile insurance, child-care insurance, food (shopping on the economy is super hard since only certain USDA foods are approved and most of it has to be american made so what i would pay for minute maid in the US, i pay triple for in here)not to mention certain equipments you have to get that arent provided (like the quad stroller i had to ''invest '' in last month. Add this to the fact that there are only 3 providers serving the base (each only allowed 6 children total) and the wait list for the CDC is outrageous, i actually get encouraged by parents to charge more. the fact is, i do it because it will benefit me. it benefits my own children to have interaction , broadens the market for potential customers considerably and i just plain enjoy it. it also provides a sense of job security so to speak, i am counting on my satisfied parents to spread the word of the type of care their children receive and basically sing praises...parents WILL pay any amount of money if they know their children is getting the best care bottom line...as the competition grows, ill eventually raise my prices ( which my contract is set to increase prices june 2013 because that's high PCS season and i'll lose and gain some families), but by then, my name will be out there because of all the families that had the opportunity to afford me back then and are now singing my praises and worth, no matter the cost. pretty soon i wont have to come out of pocket to keep daycare running, so taking a small hit now, guarantees a reputable business in terms of service care provided later.

For most us watching the piggy bank the reality is, even if you know from what everyone else says that a tail made by another maker is worth the money you don't have, you will still be looking for something SIMILAR but cheaper. you start thinking what you could be doing with the money left over...you wont be thinking that you are not getting the same style, you'll settle...but what if you get this tail you thought you were settling for and you Love the heck out of it? you cant believe you got it for the price you did? the 1st thing you're gonna do is tell everybody!! lol

maybe this is stevi's strategy...she has basically expanded the market to those who would've normally not been able to afford her tails and she aims to come out of this with satisfied customers who will later bring her more business, so to speak; when her prices go back up...its a good strategy IF that's indeed her plan and will pay for itself in the end. so maybe the sale is just what she has presented it to be. That's my take on the matter anyway.

NOW: with all that babbling up top. I DONT know stevi, so i dont infact know this IS what's happening, like i said...its my take and opinion based on everything i've observed.

AniaR
01-11-2013, 05:50 PM
All good points. I think the whole community is just sensitive in general because of past issues. And I think because some of us know Stevi pretty well and stuff she's been through recently we don't want to see anymore drama etc.

Nyxie
01-11-2013, 06:04 PM
All good points. I think the whole community is just sensitive in general because of past issues. And I think because some of us know Stevi pretty well and stuff she's been through recently we don't want to see anymore drama etc.

ahhh...im a newbie to the community, so im mostly confused when i see skepticism when i think its something good and innocent, lol...im not privy to the past issues so im a bit ignorant there:eek:

Morticia Mermaid
01-11-2013, 06:19 PM
Nyxie- It could be, but with how much trouble and personal issues she's been dealing with lately, I'm not sure stressing herself out by overwhelming herself is a good idea.

Thalassa
01-11-2013, 06:49 PM
Just my two cents: Personally, other than to be a bit worried about Fish Butts being able to continue as a business, I don't really care that the numbers don't seem to add up. Maybe that's just my personality. I chose Fish Butts for a starter tail because her tails looked better than any other tailmakers out there and were affordable. I looked at fabric tails and other latex options, and didn't see anything I liked as much. I ordered a product, found Stevi wonderful to work with (a lot better than some others) and received exactly what I ordered. It works great, looks great, has held up as well as can be expected, and was at a price I could live with. So...yeah. I guess I could see where some people would be worried, and many of your posts make it clear you have doubts about the way Stevi runs her business...but it's not a concern for me as long as the product I get is good. It's entirely possible that I'm the exception.

Coradion
01-12-2013, 06:22 AM
It just seems like marketing to me, 50% off now, get her tails and styles out there. Most mers can see a tail and ID the maker right away. Like a Rayven tail or mertailor are pretty easy to spot. If she wants the same level of branding it's probably the same strategy as others have already said. Even if she eats some of the cost on a few rounds of silicone tails wouldn't selling only a couple at regular cost bring her back to even if not on top? I know Mermaid Harmony's partial silicone tail is 1 mil neoprene which is a bit cheaper than the thicker makes. If all you need is a stable backing so a thinner layer of silicone doesn't rip that makes sense to me to have 1 mil backing. Harmony and I ordered a roll of neoprene for our new tails. With shipping to Hawai'i it was a little less than a hundred dollars for enough neoprene for two tails. If Stevi already has all the molds for the silicone there's no cost for that anymore and she'd only need to pay for the silicone. If it took two gallons of Dragon Skin, that's one order of the two one gallon parts that's a bit less than 200 dollars. 250 for the main supplies not including paints/pigments isn't too horrible. Add a 200 dollar monofin and that's 450 and that's assuming none of this is wholesale. It definitely seems doable since I'm guessing she already has the molds.

Coradion
01-12-2013, 06:30 AM
Also, just because we can't figure out how she may be doing it by no means makes what she's doing impossible. If I were her I wouldn't want to tell anyone. She may have a deal with a silicone or materials rep that no other tailmaker has. Why would you give up a secret or a source when you might be able to corner the market and ensure long term business? Already we've seen Stevi change tails from fairly basic latex tails to more complex ones with different materials. Everyone who got a latex tail and then a partial silicone one seems to have gotten a lot of detail and effort put into their tails. Most of Stevi's feedback has been absolutely glowing even if there were flaws. Then she upped prices and made things more limited like color options for new buyers, but everyone who has bought from her and is seeing these full silicone tails at HALF price from someone they already like might be about to pounce on one. It's like a mermaid treasure. If I were a new buyer I might be skeptic, but if I were someone who had already interacted with Stevi and has a good experience I might buy one. It seems like a gift to her customers that know her and are willing to put faith in her new product line.

Mer_Adella
01-12-2013, 09:23 AM
Also, just because we can't figure out how she may be doing it by no means makes what she's doing impossible. If I were her I wouldn't want to tell anyone. She may have a deal with a silicone or materials rep that no other tailmaker has. Why would you give up a secret or a source when you might be able to corner the market and ensure long term business? Already we've seen Stevi change tails from fairly basic latex tails to more complex ones with different materials. Everyone who got a latex tail and then a partial silicone one seems to have gotten a lot of detail and effort put into their tails. Most of Stevi's feedback has been absolutely glowing even if there were flaws. Then she upped prices and made things more limited like color options for new buyers, but everyone who has bought from her and is seeing these full silicone tails at HALF price from someone they already like might be about to pounce on one. It's like a mermaid treasure. If I were a new buyer I might be skeptic, but if I were someone who had already interacted with Stevi and has a good experience I might buy one. It seems like a gift to her customers that know her and are willing to put faith in her new product line.

Thank You Coradion...very well said and explained. I understand how this conversation is going. Some just want to know "why" and "hows" and that is fine. But as Coradion said its possible that its not impossible. I plan on buying a full silicone from stevi when I get my taxes back. I like her style, I like how she does business with her customers, and everything else. That's just my choice to go with her for my tail. Just as it is that someone else would choose Mertailor, or Shelley, or Raven. So expect a review from me after I get it because I will certainly be happy with it...actually more like estatic

Nyxie
01-12-2013, 10:20 AM
Nyxie- I think it goes further than just a strategy. The numbers literally do not add up. Other than doing parties (which with how many orders she has, I don't see how she has time to do them), this is Fish butts only income.

The point of the matter is that the cost of materials alone is over $500, her sale price is $500. So the company is paying for a pretty decent portion of the cost of materials out of pocket. And since she says she was already making them at cost, before the sale, it raises bigger questions as to how they are able to do a half off sale.

It's like I said, I've got a lot of questions, and those questions will probably never see true answers because there are things people just will not answer truthfully.

im confused as to why you think it goes farther than strategy, looking at the numbers i agree that for the quality of tails she seems to be selling, her prices are dirt cheap RIGHT NOW...but he sale only lasts for a lil while and mermaiding is a growing phenomena that will be here for years...so, i think its an excellent strategy for her business and will certainly pay off once her name gets out there a lil more. I dont see why she would be doing anything that could hurt her business considering how the community is expanding and the backlash she will receive if she provides anything but quality tails. so i think maybe you reading too much into it, maybe due to other past circumstances (i've heard that there were, but have seen nothing pertaining to these issues now)... but either way, this sale isnt going to break her if she does and continue to do a good job on her tails...it will possibly do the opposite and set her up with customers for years to come

AniaR
01-12-2013, 01:56 PM
check it out, here's the full silicone tails in action at an aquarium that recently bought some. Lookin good to me!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jiA3gIKiW4&feature=youtu.be

Morticia Mermaid
01-12-2013, 02:51 PM
check it out, here's the full silicone tails in action at an aquarium that recently bought some. Lookin good to me!

They are some awesome looking tails. I'm sure they will hold up well.

MerAnthony
01-12-2013, 02:55 PM
The tails are great an I would love to aford full or even a part silicone tail. Now don't get me wrong I love my fabric tails an I will use them till they fall apart. But maybe someday I can aford one.

Thalassa
01-12-2013, 03:09 PM
I guess I'm confused as to your issue here. Are you concerned about Fish Butts being able to keep running a business? Are you worried about the quality of the product (which my post addressed)? Are you concerned about the time (which seems to be your main point)? Are you upset because it seems like we're not being told the whole story? Are you trying to prove that you can run a better business? I think that's why you're getting answers you consider off topic...people don't understand what you're trying to do with your main points.

Thalassa
01-12-2013, 03:30 PM
You've said that, and I went back and read the main post AGAIN (as I did before) but I still don't get a clear picture of your goal here. I'm particulary dense. What is your goal in saying the numbers don't add up? Because you keep saying that, and that the backlog is not a good way to do business. Then you keep saying that you wouldn't do it that way, that you have learned a better way. That's good! But when people say that it's not a concern to them or that just because the numbers don't add up to you doesn't mean it's impossible, you tell them they're not getting the point. So I asked the point. I'll ask it a different way: Why are you so very concerned that the numbers don't add up? Are you worried about her being able to keep making tails even though she may be losing money? Are you worried about the backlog of work she's having and the fact that she's still doing sales even though she has that backlog? Are you just trying to clear up your own confusion as to how she could make them so cheaply? Are you trying to make the point that she's running a bad business?

As a teacher, I tend to have to put things in simplest terms, so maybe this will help you understand what I'm asking: "The numbers don't add up. Why should we care?" This isn't an insult, just trying to clarify what I'm ASKING (not telling, not insinuating, ASKING).

Thalassa
01-12-2013, 03:34 PM
I thought of another possibility: Are you trying to warn Stevi that she can't keep this up? Just trying to give you options...

Morticia Mermaid
01-12-2013, 03:36 PM
I just think she needs to be careful that she doesn't overwhelm herself and cause un-neccessary stress, specially with everything she has been dealing with.

Winged Mermaid
01-12-2013, 03:44 PM
No on ever called you a liar in words or in assumptions. You came here with concerns that we took as questions, and we were trying to provide you with possibilities and answers to help you with that. Then after that you seemed to get upset for us "not seeing your point" when we were trying to help sort out your confusion, and get upset that we're confused about you getting upset from that. I think this is a whole gob of misunderstanding on both parts.

AniaR
01-12-2013, 03:46 PM
I think, I can summarize a bit here from reading everyone's posts:

1) There was concern over the materials Stevi was using. Due to common knowledge of the costs, as well as the community experiences with other tail makers lying about materials, there was concern and nervousness that she might not be using the materials she advertised.

After some discussion, we see it's possible. I actually spoke to Stevi about this twice, she told me how she makes the tails to use less silicone, and she also told me HOW and where she gets her silicone and why it costs less. Now, I don't think it's my business to share that personal info here, I figure if she wants to tell or something on her page etc that's up to her. but I believe her, and I do agree that she is able to make her tails at this low cost. BUT It was a totally valid concern I think, and now it's been addressed.

2) I think there is also concern about her taking on more orders after having the Christmas blow up. A bunch of real life stuff happened to her, then the materials weren't curing, and she got behind and there was a bit of drama about it and a lot of stress etc. Nobody wants to see her take on more than she can handle and end up disappointing people and getting a bad rep for her business etc. I think that's a valid community concern too. But at the end of the day, that's Stevi's decision to handle, and it's also our discretion to use when thinking about buying.

3) I think some valid points were raised about the clarity of her descriptions on her sites as it could be a bit misleading. E.g. "full silicone" actually is used with neoprene like other tail makers "partial silicones". So I think with that in mind, it's a good suggestion to make to her to show the differences. That being said, people still have trouble understanding the differences between Raven's performance tails and partial silicone tails, even with details and photos.

I think these are all areas that all tail makers have to work on, and learn. Usually, it has to be learned the hard way. You really don't know what your capacity is for orders until you throw yourself into it and see how much you can get done and how long it takes. It's a learning experience. It's also a touchy subject for tail makers. No one wants to be undercut, and everyone wants to be valued for their work. Customers don't want to have long waiting times either.

the end :d

Elle
01-12-2013, 05:04 PM
You make good points Iona. But, I ask this- If their "full silicone tails" have a neoprene lining (just like the partial tails), Then isn't it just a ticker version of the partial tail and not really a "full silicone tail"? And even if they use only 2 gallons of the dragon skin silicone, that is almost $500 just in silicone.



If it took two gallons of Dragon Skin, that's one order of the two one gallon parts that's a bit less than 200 dollars. 250 for the main supplies not including paints/pigments isn't too horrible. Add a 200 dollar monofin and that's 450 and that's assuming none of this is wholesale. It definitely seems doable since I'm guessing she already has the molds.

Sorry Lexia, but you pricing is a bit far off. Those two tubs/buckets/whatever you want to call them are a gallon each. When you combine them you get 2 gallons. (Pretty sure Kanti mentioned it in her silicon thread)
While I understand that you are simply making sure that people don't get ripped off, it does seem like you're going the wrong way about it (I did read the entire thread from your first post to the end) while at first you weren't attacking her business, continuing to comment on the fact that she could do this or that or the other, it came across as such.
Nobody ever called you a liar or anything nasty.
Someone asked what the goal was to your 'rant' as they were confused and obviously the questions they posed were cruel and outrageous in your opinion.
I think if Stevi thinks she can do this then she should be allowed to freely and with support

Maybe her tails take less than 2gallons of silicon, maybe she has excess. maybe she recently won the lotto and wants to share her winnings with everyone, who knows. If she purchases from a distributor, that distributor may have over stocked and she got a lot extra for a discounted price.
But going on about how it's all a bad idea and won't cover costs etc, comes across as an attack.

I'm sorry you felt so attacked from everyone however. Try and look back, a majority of the post where constructive.
Love and peace

New York Mermaid
01-12-2013, 05:28 PM
Since I know some of you are concerned on the fishbutts sale i figure since i'd answer a bit. People forget this is her first official year as a tailmaker, and she's been thru it all from personal attacks to tail issues. But she's learned alot from those mistakes and works on keeping them from happening again.

*She was having a hard time with the silicone curing a while back but got the issue fixed, She also was a bit overwhelmed(personal life and such) which happens, but now has a personal assistant (*Waves*) to keep her on track and get the tails done. She realized its better to take limited orders and orders with no rush times which she can take time to make sure they come out perfectly, than take all orders and people constantly rushing her to get the tail with intricate/wild details done in a few weeks instead of the 6-8 weeks. She had one customer recently who wanted to puchase a partial silicone tail with 2 tops done in less than 2 weeks. But after the christmas fiasco she's learned which is why this time she's making sure she doesnt make the same mistake again.

*She will be taking orders for the $500 full silicone tails but the tails will be with the Waves & Rapids monofins, I know she added that in the note somewhere.

* As for the partial and full silicone tails, partial tails- have a thick layer of neoprene in the tail completely, even the fluke is neoprene and painted with the thin silicone. But The full silicone - only the body is lined with a thinner layer of neoprene(yes neoprene not neoprin- yay spandexworld) and thicker layer of molded silicone scales is used. but the silicone is pigmented/painted and sealed and the fluke is entirely molded silicone.. (which is probably the reason it weighs anywhere from 15-25lbs dry)

Hope that helps.

Morticia Mermaid
01-12-2013, 06:19 PM
Lanai~ Are you sure its Spandexworld you order from?

EDIT: just checked the Spendexworld website, it's actually Neoprin, not neoprene.

8928

And a search for neoprene-

8929

AniaR
01-12-2013, 07:36 PM
Didn't we have a thread recently though where people discussed that they actually did get neoprene from spandex world? I know they have a website which I assume is linked to a wharehouse or factory, but they also have more than one location. I think I'm one of the few mers on here who actually did have a neoPRIN tail for a while. They're pretty easy to spot. Neoprene could have been sold for a limited time too, or clearanced (I've read a lot about people finding neoprene sold off through clearance and not being ordered back to the store again) gotten from a different store, or phoned in etc.

What it comes down to is people are going to have to decide for themselves, and ask Stevi their question, do their research, like with every other tail maker I think.

New York Mermaid
01-12-2013, 07:40 PM
Okay well neoprene or "high quality neoprin " its not the sack or potatoes that stretches out known as neoprin,

ask any fishbutts customer who has a tail if their tail has stretched out like neoprin does. Ive had my tail for quite a long time, lot of wear and tear (on my part cause it is latex ) but inside no stretching, holes or ripping and my fat butt has gained and lost quite a bit of weight during time with my tail, and i still have a hell of a time getting into the tail (lol) and yet ive flipped it inside out and still no ripping, holes, stretching.. Stevi stopped ordering from stretchhouse for them taking her (and a few others mers) money. Either way the tails haven't been giving anyone issues. I just dont see why this "thread" went on for 3 pages. Stevi can prove what materials she's using. If she chooses to have a sale, thats her prerogative. :)

Sammi Ray
01-13-2013, 04:54 PM
The main concern is all materials should cleatly be listed, no more work taken on until nearly complete last order, more pictures added to the website. Things need to be explained to the customers (all makers) even at a grand to some people thats still a lot (well to me) but i do like how she does instalments of payments :-).

Sammi Ray
01-13-2013, 04:57 PM
Clearly* on mobile lol

Blondie
01-14-2013, 01:52 AM
I see both sides of the story here. I feel really neutral as well..

I agree with Lexia to a point, why should she be doing another sale if she's still working on orders from previous sales. And the fact that she's moving next month doesn't seem like she's going to have a lot of time to take in a bunch of new orders. I feel like she should really finish what she has, move, settle, and then start back up. And I know what you mean. It's not fair for people to wait too long or risk getting an order that doesn't make them happy.

But then I see what the others are saying, it's Stevi's business. She can do what she wants. She's in the USA it's free country. If she wants to have a sale then so what. And how she does her tails doesn't really matter as longs as they're the correct materials and they hold up to the expectation. Like Lanai said, I've never heard of a Fish Butt tail tearing or getting seriously destroyed. So whatever she's doing is working.

I just hope that people are happy and Stevi can be steady with her business.

MermaidAvalon
01-14-2013, 02:14 AM
No Lexia I completely agree with you. I was wondering if anyone was going to say anything like this. Thank you. I saw that one guy too, how he said that he ordered a tail back in July! Now that comment is not longer there...:confused: I ordered a tail, and I'm getting really impatient, plus my mother is starting to freak out and is saying how i got ripped off.

Fifi Tigg
01-14-2013, 07:02 AM
No Lexia I completely agree with you. I was wondering if anyone was going to say anything like this. Thank you. I saw that one guy too, how he said that he ordered a tail back in July! Now that comment is not longer there...:confused: I ordered a tail, and I'm getting really impatient, plus my mother is starting to freak out and is saying how i got ripped off.

I'm trying to keep positive too as I paid for a tail back in the first week of December 2012 for my daughter :p
I just keep thinking of all the happy people with their tails that I have seen and keeping my fingers tightly crossed that any day I may get an email saying it's ready

AniaR
01-14-2013, 11:43 AM
Hopefully everyone will, Stevi told me she's nearly all caught up on her orders! That's good. :) I think iblondie pretty much shares my opinion on the matter :) She says it better than I do though lol

Coradion
01-14-2013, 02:25 PM
I think Raina brought up a good summary. That was the message I was getting from this post as well. Yeah, there have been concerns about what tailmakers are using and if we want to get nit picky about terms I guess we could. I always assumed though it could be a full silicone tail with a neoprene backing and still be called full silicone. I always thought the difference was that in a partial silicone tail you spread it across the fabric or whatever other backing and print the scales on, whereas a full silicone tail was made with a mold where you took the separate silicone scale sheet and attached it to the backing or just used pure silicone for the whole thing.

Maybe part of the issue is there's no universal list of terms and definitions used by all the tail makers, and that's fine as long as they define what it means to them so people can read it. I don't think it's fair to make a tailmaker disclose all of their materials and manufacturers. I think legally if you have a chemical product if someone asks you HAVE to provide a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that product, but it's like "Dragon Skin Silicone" then lists the make, possible dangers, like if you eat it in liquid form it could kill you etc. It's not fair though to expect someone to give up all their trade secrets just because you're suspicious. Stevi wouldn't even need to provide a MSDS sheet for part of a tail unless you actually bought one too. She may not even need to give one at all since she's not the producer of the chemical product, only a secondary consumer of it.

AniaR
01-14-2013, 03:08 PM
All very valid points.

Natalie the Mermaid
01-14-2013, 03:14 PM
i did think that they didn't have seams, but it seems that many partial silicone tails that she has made (not including Harmony's) has a side seam!
I have nothing against fishbutts. I am even planning on getting a tail from them.

On seagirls626's tail has side seams. You can see her tail in the "Show us Your Tails Thread." Didn't Stevi say her partial tails don't have seams?

Mermaid Harmony
01-14-2013, 08:52 PM
Really? It worked fine on mine, sans a few spots, but I just sent it back to get it taken in (yay zumba), I hope I get to keep my no side seams, I really like them.