Great thread, everyone! As a few people have said, I think you can go either way (separate handling charge, or just a higher price), but whichever you do, just be very clear about it. I always hate thinking that I'm paying X for something only to find out at the last minute that it is actually X+Y. However, when I see it clearly stated on a price list, website, etc. that there is an extra charge for something, I don't see it as a problem. Obviously though, if I can buy the same thing without the extra costs (by picking it up, etc.) then I might do that.
Pricing a product or service is always a challenge when expenses are variable between transactions. Someone illustrated nicely how it works for retailers- the costs are all determined regardless of who walks through the door. I think this can hold true for shipping boxes, driving to the airport, etc. because you should know already what these things will cost. So, you either put it in the price, and offer a discount for people who pick it up (or not since they take up an hour of your time touring your collection), or you set a price for the animal and charge extra for the cases where you ship. I suppose that which way you might go depends upon whether most of your business is done by shipping or by pick up. Personally, I don't ship anything, since I don't breed anything that anyone really wants that badly. But, if someone did want me to ship them a baby corn snake, I would definitely have to charge extra for a box and driving it 75 minutes to the airport.
However this is a little different: "For example, I do drywall for a living... I get the rate that is a standard pay (same as union) and never get paid for gas that gets me to work so why should people as breeders expect to be paid to get the animals (which is your job) to the airport"
Jeff, when you work this way, are you an employee or a contractor? If you're an employee, and you get paid hourly regardless of what you're doing (which would generally include driving to the jobsite if it is out of town) that is one thing. But if you're a contractor, and you don't include the cost of driving to jobsites, then you're likely either overcharging those customers close to you or undercharging those farther away, or both. Therefore, you'll make less money (or lose) on some jobs, and not get awarded others because you overbid. For the limited amount of construction contracting I still do, I definitely include travel expenses- often a mileage charge for gas, wear & tear, etc. plus an hourly charge for the driving. If you're driving any significant distance to the jobsite, how could you not do this?
To answer another question- we generally charge less at shows than normal, because there are other people there selling the same things for less than we normally sell for. Since our typical private customers are not 'hobbiests', we can sell at slightly higher prices to them.