How to Buy Taxidermy Animals on eBay

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How to Buy Taxidermy Animals on eBay

Helping You Out

When it comes to searching for taxidermy animals on eBay, there are plenty available to choose from; however, if you’re not sure which type of animal it is that you’d like to purchase, the process can be challenging and time-consuming.

This guide has been produced to help you out buying taxidermy animals on eBay, making the process of purchasing easier and more time-effective for you.

What are Taxidermy Animals?

To begin with, it is probably best explaining where the term “taxidermy” derives from. Deriving from two Ancient Greek words, the first “taxis”, meaning movement, and the second “derma”, meaning skin, the term taxidermy loosely translated means the movement of skin.

Although there are many methods involved in taxidermy, it primarily involves:

  • removing the skin from the body of an animal
  • transferring it
  • placing it over an artificial armature, a framework in place of the skeleton
  • to recreate an accurately crafted replica of the animal’s body

What are Taxidermy Animals Used For?

Taxidermy animals are often found mounted in museums and educational institutions for educational purposes. Taxidermy animal mounts are also found in businesses, restaurants, and homes, especially of those who are hunters, enthusiasts, and collectors.

What Makes Taxidermy Animals so Special?

Quite simply it’s the time and hard work that goes into their production. A taxidermist, the name given to professionals who practise taxidermy, must be very talented, as it involves a number of crafts which include:

  • carpentry
  • woodworking
  • tanning
  • moulding
  • casting

Not only does a taxidermist need to be talented at these crafts, they need to have a creative, artistic talent, as taxidermy often involves sculpting, painting, and drawing.

What Does the Process of Recreating Taxidermy Animals Involve?

In a nutshell, recreating taxidermy animals involves taking the actual skin, including fur, feathers or scales, and mounting them over an artificial armature; however, in some cases, the taxidermist may recreate the specimen completely with man-made materials.

Some taxidermy animal mounts, most notably saltwater fish, do not contain any parts of the animal, and are completely recreated by the taxidermist using man-made materials. This is ideal for catch-and-release anglers, as they can release their game fish unharmed. If they can provide a good quality colour photograph, as well as measurements, a taxidermist can recreate a life-sized trophy.

What Type of Taxidermy Animals Do Taxidermists Recreate?

Professional taxidermists recreate a variety of species of animals, including:

  • fish
  • birds
  • mammals
  • reptiles
  • amphibians

When an endangered species dies, taxidermists will create a mount of the animal so that it can be used for educational purposes. Taxidermy is also used when a creature is unique to its species. For example, if the animal was the largest, smallest, or oldest of its kind.

Searching for Taxidermy Animals on eBay

When it comes to searching for taxidermy animals on eBay, there are plenty available to choose from.

The following are some examples of the many different varieties of taxidermy animals available to purchase on eBay:

  • Bird Taxidermy – Examples of bird taxidermy that can be found on eBay include: Owls, Magpies, Ducklings, Herring Gulls, Pheasants, Parrots, and many more.
  • Fish Taxidermy – Examples of fish taxidermy that can be found on eBay include: Carp, Pike, Piranha, Puffer Fish, Trout, and many more.
  • Reptile Taxidermy – Examples of reptile taxidermy that can be found on eBay include: Crocodiles, Lizards, Snakes, and many more.
  • Insect/Spider Taxidermy – Examples of insect/spider taxidermy that can be found on eBay include: Beetles, Butterflies, Scorpions, Tarantulas, and many more.
  • Wild Animal Taxidermy – Examples of wild animal taxidermy that can be found on eBay include: Squirrels, Monkeys, Rabbits, Moles, Foxes, Deer, and many more.

Are Taxidermy Animals Only for Enthusiasts?

Taxidermy animals are purchased by hunters, enthusiasts, and all manner of collectors. The hard work and time that goes into recreating mounts for display purposes can only be respected, regardless of whether you’re an enthusiast or not.

During the Victorian era, affluent people travelled the world and wanted to keep mementos from their adventures. They returned with wild animals from across the world which they would hang on the walls of their homes to complement the interior design and decor.

Caring for Taxidermy Animals

With a significant amount of time and effort going into this art form, it is vital that you know how to care for it.


The ideal location to place taxidermy animal mounts is:

  • under low light, ideally 50 Lux
  • out of reach of children and pets

When choosing where to place your mount, you should avoid:

  • direct sunlight
  • fluorescent lighting
  • air ducts
  • fireplaces and other sources of direct heat

 If you expose your mount to bright light, it is likely to fade.


Irrespective of the type of taxidermy animal you own, you must clean it once a month using a feather duster. If you own bird taxidermy, you should always brush towards the tail end of the bird or animal.


When you own taxidermy animals, you should regularly inspect them for insect damage, especially during late spring and summer months, as insects such as Silverfish and Moth Larvae can destroy feathers quickly. If you detect insect damage:

  • It is vitally important that you place your mount inside a plastic bag.
  • Freeze it for several weeks.
  • You should then allow the mount to thaw so that any remaining eggs can hatch.
  • Then repeat the process, leaving the mount to freeze for another couple of weeks.

With taxidermy animals, it is important to determine whether they contain arsenic before attempting to clean them. The older the mount, the more likely it is to have had arsenic compounds applied to the inside of its skin during preparation. These compounds will have, over time, migrated to the outside of the skin.

One sign to look for in mounts that have been prepared with arsenic compounds is a white microcrystalline substance. In bird taxidermy, the skin surfaces around the beak and glass eyes are one particular area to keep an eye on.

As well as arsenic compounds, compounds of mercury have also been used on some taxidermy animals. They were used as general biocides during preparation to limit pest damage; however, they both constitute health risks today.

If you find that your taxidermy animals have arsenic or mercuric compounds present, you must take steps to protect yourself. Whilst cleaning you should use:

  • a fume hood
  • gloves
  • a respirator

Why Choose eBay for Taxidermy Animals?

eBay is a popular place for users to purchase taxidermy animals mainly due to the diverse selection of animals available on the site, and low prices not found elsewhere.

How to Search for Taxidermy Animals on eBay
Now that you’ve found out about the different types of animal taxidermy and how to care for mounts, you can now begin your search on eBay. To start your search, go to the All Categories link on the homepage of eBay. Click Collectables, select Animals, and then click Taxidermy under Item Type.

Keyword Search

Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find bird taxidermy, type the keywords "bird taxidermy" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click, "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy Taxidermy Animals on eBay with Confidence
Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know Your Item
Read the details in the item listing carefully.

Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.

If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.

Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.

Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

Know Your Seller
Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.

  • What is the seller’s Feedback rating? 
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • How many positive responses do they have?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? 
  • Are they positive about the seller?

Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.

  • Do they offer a money-back guarantee? 
  • What are their terms and conditions?

Buyer Protection

In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection covers your purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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