The cost of doing business???
I always knew that the price of snakes subsidized the shipping of them. Iíve been selling them for the better part of the decade, and I always figured that shipping costs incurred was just the cost of doing business; the price of production; part of the ďinputĒ for breeding snakes.
But is it? And if it is, SHOULD it be?
I mean, not many other products subsidize their own shipping and handling. Should the profit made from selling a captive-bred reptile (sellers and re-sellers of WC garbage should rot in heck, ha ha!) be the price minus the cost to produce AND to package/ship it? Iím not counting shipping as what Air Canada or WestJet charges to get a box from A to B. That HAS to be the customerís dilemma. For sure. Iím talking about the packaging and delivery of the animal to the airport. Do people even realize how much that costs? Do they even care? Are they willing to pay it? If not, do you hide the cost of that into the animal, further driving the price up and making the buying public go elsewhere to some schmo whoís MORE than happy to actually sell an animal?
Itís a TOUGH one. No doubt.
But what is that cost? Is it significant? I think so. Obviously. Otherwise I wouldnít be writing this. Letís find out what it costs to ship and average shipment of snakes:
1 insulated reptile shipping box ($5) - and I get them at a VERY good deal
1 48-hour heat pack ($2)
1 gel pack ($1.50)
Deli/shipping containers ($0.50)
Box labeling ($1)
Gas to get to the airport ($2)
Total = $12
This DOESNíT even include time ($20/hr??), ink for the printer for labels, tape for the box, or gas to get back home FROM the airport.
So say I ship about 60 shipments a year. Thatís $720++ dollars I have to pay from my own pocket, just for the RIGHT to sell snakes. Seems like a lot. But its impossible to justify charging an extra $12 per order for ďpackaging and handlingĒ, isnít it? Some breeders already do it, but how many customers do they lose by doing so? Does it hurt or help the breeder in the long run? If I sell a pair of Jungles for $500, should I get $500, or should I get $488?
Not complaining, just thinking out loud. Ignore if you think Iím bitching about selling snakes, because if so, you missed the point entirely.
Thoughts other breeders? Buyers? Potential buyers?