hobby and handling
Well, as to the hobbyist question, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation".
This means that if your regular occupation is breeding reptiles, you are technically not a hobbyist. That doesn't mean that you do not find joy and relaxation in your work. But to be precise, it doesn't fit the actual definition of hobby anymore.
Besides that, I'll add my opinion in on the original question. The animals I intend to breed are not old enough yet, and my older animals do not have mates. So, I've not gone further into my hobby than keeping animals so far.
As a buyer, I will say that I always would prefer to buy animals from someone nearby. I like to see the animal before purchasing it. However, I do want some animals that are rare, and won't get them locally, at least not for a long time, and I'm hoping to have them long before that! So, I will save my money, knowing that I've got to pay shipping too. And if I go to my chosen breeder, and they say upfront that they will be charging handling as well, that's fine. I'll add it to my price. If it's a surprise, I'd still likely buy the animals, but probably not go back to that breeder next time.
Just my two cents.