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Old 05-10-17, 04:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

^ It's not about that, it's the simple fact that most breeders of BPs actually do have a ton of other species but they just do not take them. They seem to exclusively cater to the BP crowd.

From a business perspective I can maybe understand, but for many people it is also a passion and keeping snakes is more than just having a "pet rock". Doing a program called "Exhibition" should not be limited to 5-6 genera. Variation is also a very attractive element in any such event.

But ok, whatever, my opinion. Many many people like BPs and Retics. They simply aren't my cup of tea. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old fool.. At least I found someone with Philodryas, and breeding them, so I will take a pair of (probably) Baroni's end of the year.
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Old 05-10-17, 04:53 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Answer to both: My close friend bought 3 HET for caramel albino ball pythons for $10,000 each back in the day. They didn't prove out. They proved out to be het for REGULAR albino (Valued around $3000 each) at time of original purchase. That's 2 - 3 years of growing up babies, 3 years of proving them out. All the while prices dropping on caramel albinos. He never made good on the deal.
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Further Kevin talks like he knows what he's doing with genetics but actually doesn't. Moreso, he has lied to make sales. When the soulsucker came out he said you NEED a "hidden gene" lesser of his to make the combo. He priced them at $2500 each. Turns out any ole $200 lesser does the same thing. He bred enough of them to know this but wanted more money. People fell for it. Did the same with the "lucifer" ball. It's just a really nice fire gene....

Oh and his entire business model now is built on selling animals that really shouldn't be in the hands of every day keepers like water monitors and retics.
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Wow, two questions without going off the determining price topic.
1- Did these hets get sold and guaranteed as 100% or were they sold as possible hets? Any percentage of het, at those prices that would need to be established? Did your close friend make Kevin aware of the issues?

2- For someone who doesn't know what he's doing with genetics he knew enough to author a book on the Complete Ball Python that contains a wealth of information on genetics. Is it possible that back in the day he really didn't know but has since become more knowledgeable?
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Old 05-10-17, 06:00 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Originally Posted by TRD View Post
^ It's not about that, it's the simple fact that most breeders of BPs actually do have a ton of other species but they just do not take them. They seem to exclusively cater to the BP crowd.

From a business perspective I can maybe understand, but for many people it is also a passion and keeping snakes is more than just having a "pet rock". Doing a program called "Exhibition" should not be limited to 5-6 genera. Variation is also a very attractive element in any such event.

But ok, whatever, my opinion. Many many people like BPs and Retics. They simply aren't my cup of tea. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old fool.. At least I found someone with Philodryas, and breeding them, so I will take a pair of (probably) Baroni's end of the year.
Hey it's awesome it's not you're cup of tea but for many people it is. We should always respect others choices.

Unfortunately for you it's difficult to shop at an expo for this different species. However I also think a part of the problem is those species aren't bred en masse AND they are easily sold online so breeders don't need to bring them to shows.
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Old 05-10-17, 07:32 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Ok if you dislike the shows the way they are go and buy $5000 worth of different species. Raise them. Breed them. Put them on your table at a show and see how many people buy them up. Reason those shows are like this is because people can sell the common stuff. 90% of people I see complain about common species at a show actually don't own all the rare animals they want to see at a show. They want a zoo. A cheap zoo and someone else to do it for them and take all the financial risk.
Thanks for the answer to my question about NERD.

In response to the quoted text:

I don't think it's so much people complaining that there are all common species there. Its just that once common species have been completely pushed out by the BP craze. Those once common species sold just fine but people abandoned them due to the allure of four and five digit price points.

We're at the point that finding something as simple as a gopher snake is kind of a surprise at some shows. The amphibian stand will be a crowd stopper, annoyingly especially when very few seem to buy anything and I love amphibians but just move on grab my bulk mice and get out of there before anyone touches me.

The early shows were really sort of a personal event though and I think that's what people really kind of look back on. There just weren't that many people getting primary income from reptiles back then. It was hobbyists selling to hobbyists and everyone had a pet project or favorite species to work with and cool information to share.

Never in a million years did I think the guy selling ball pythons for 10 dollars, cbs for 15 (back when they were still considered trash species quite unfairly even if I complain about their being too many of them) would end up being THE guy several years later.

A few started making big money and some businesses grew insanely through marketing certain species as the best species and those that succeeded grew into the industry giants like BHB, Mack and a few others which quite honestly was a natural progression that I think has had an overall net positive effect on the hobby at least in terms of getting people interested in it and providing enough animals to lessen impact on wild populations. And I really can't blame those people at all, I imagine if I had lucked into an early albino or something like that I would probably be in Brian Barczyk's position right now if my horrible personality and bad language didn't stop me.

But I think in the midst of all that money the hobby kind of lost a bit of it's heart unfortunately, but I think now that the crazy money is sort of returning to earth, people are getting it back which is nice.

To your statement about buying 5000 dollars worth of random species. I'd say maybe pick a few species that maybe a hobbyist thinks is underrated and cultivate that species, show them off, tell people why they are underrated and worthy of other keeper's attention and sell them. That process, even if someone never makes any money is a great way to learn a large sum of valuable skills and lessons not only about the hobby and reptile husbandry but about many other things as well.
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Old 05-11-17, 01:43 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
Thanks for the answer to my question about NERD.

In response to the quoted text:

I don't think it's so much people complaining that there are all common species there. Its just that once common species have been completely pushed out by the BP craze. Those once common species sold just fine but people abandoned them due to the allure of four and five digit price points.

We're at the point that finding something as simple as a gopher snake is kind of a surprise at some shows. The amphibian stand will be a crowd stopper, annoyingly especially when very few seem to buy anything and I love amphibians but just move on grab my bulk mice and get out of there before anyone touches me.

The early shows were really sort of a personal event though and I think that's what people really kind of look back on. There just weren't that many people getting primary income from reptiles back then. It was hobbyists selling to hobbyists and everyone had a pet project or favorite species to work with and cool information to share.

Never in a million years did I think the guy selling ball pythons for 10 dollars, cbs for 15 (back when they were still considered trash species quite unfairly even if I complain about their being too many of them) would end up being THE guy several years later.

A few started making big money and some businesses grew insanely through marketing certain species as the best species and those that succeeded grew into the industry giants like BHB, Mack and a few others which quite honestly was a natural progression that I think has had an overall net positive effect on the hobby at least in terms of getting people interested in it and providing enough animals to lessen impact on wild populations. And I really can't blame those people at all, I imagine if I had lucked into an early albino or something like that I would probably be in Brian Barczyk's position right now if my horrible personality and bad language didn't stop me.

But I think in the midst of all that money the hobby kind of lost a bit of it's heart unfortunately, but I think now that the crazy money is sort of returning to earth, people are getting it back which is nice.

To your statement about buying 5000 dollars worth of random species. I'd say maybe pick a few species that maybe a hobbyist thinks is underrated and cultivate that species, show them off, tell people why they are underrated and worthy of other keeper's attention and sell them. That process, even if someone never makes any money is a great way to learn a large sum of valuable skills and lessons not only about the hobby and reptile husbandry but about many other things as well.
I completely agree with you on that the insane growth has been overall positive for the hobby. I also agree that it seems to have come full circle and I see a lot more people working with different species.

I find/found the early days of shows were the young age of the hobby/industry. People were finding out what works/how to keep species alive to breed/thrive instead of constantly importing wild caughts with all their issues. We've refined keeping of snakes and lizards and now there's so much more out there people are expanding and using techniques picked up with more basic species and using them with something tougher. I.E. using a rack system for acclimating some animals that were once tough to do in a glass enclosure.

I get that the shows aren't what we grew up on but they are what they are. Basic sells and people don't want to spend money on a table rental without it paying for itself. I get that.
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Old 05-12-17, 12:03 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

I guess I still don't understand the huge desire for morphs. A few are interesting but I have to go with ball pythons a waste of space mostly because they are annoyingly everywhere to the point don't bother buying local anymore. If you are lucky the store has corn, kings, and milks in the light morphs and then they all have endless bp. When I first looked at snakes as a teenager in the towns nearest me the stores had 8-10 species over a few months even when they had maybe 1-2 large cages and a few 10s turned sideways in a row. Now they have 1-5 and that 1 is always ball pythons. I might see the same ball pythons for 6-8months. It's not worth going in the store to look. No one seems to even know to look for anything else. Everyone just buys that neat ball python probably overpriced for what the morph is now worth if you look at more sources. The only reptile specific stores I knew of I cleaned out their cheap tanks when they went out of business. Furthering the knowledge breeding morphs may have helped knowledge of breeding captives overall but it has not really trickled down to help the local hobby and certainly not the local stores (partially their own fault for not daring to try anything else). Which does spill over into prices and what people will pay for things both those who will pay a lot to get something unique and those who don't bother because they can get a ball python for cheap so they have no desire to fuel any other species. Also, it impacts the overall price of anything that is not a ball python which has a $40 minimum cost tacked for shipping in the limited window available. Depending how temps go in the fall I'm possibly driving the 4hrs to chicago again because I've got a kankakee bull (or pair depending how he decides to sell them) and a pair of northern pines reserved.

Right now prices to me are only what I can afford to pay on what interests me. Which hovers around $200 at the upper end and anything I can find under $100 is bonus. For my own pricing if I ever get there I'd just go over what everyone else is selling for, debate what makes theirs or mine more unique, what the original pair cost and any loss to their price over the years which is probably fairly marginal given I am not dealing in the latest morphs, if a morph at all, instead of a locale specific pattern/color variation in the wild, if I want to ship (probably required for most), and then how fast I want to sell it. With other things I often start a bit high to test and if I'm not selling anything or have too many left from the previous breeding start lower in the future.
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Old 05-12-17, 08:44 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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I guess I still don't understand the huge desire for morphs. A few are interesting but I have to go with ball pythons a waste of space mostly because they are annoyingly everywhere to the point don't bother buying local anymore. If you are lucky the store has corn, kings, and milks in the light morphs and then they all have endless bp. When I first looked at snakes as a teenager in the towns nearest me the stores had 8-10 species over a few months even when they had maybe 1-2 large cages and a few 10s turned sideways in a row. Now they have 1-5 and that 1 is always ball pythons. I might see the same ball pythons for 6-8months. It's not worth going in the store to look. No one seems to even know to look for anything else. Everyone just buys that neat ball python probably overpriced for what the morph is now worth if you look at more sources. The only reptile specific stores I knew of I cleaned out their cheap tanks when they went out of business. Furthering the knowledge breeding morphs may have helped knowledge of breeding captives overall but it has not really trickled down to help the local hobby and certainly not the local stores (partially their own fault for not daring to try anything else). Which does spill over into prices and what people will pay for things both those who will pay a lot to get something unique and those who don't bother because they can get a ball python for cheap so they have no desire to fuel any other species. Also, it impacts the overall price of anything that is not a ball python which has a $40 minimum cost tacked for shipping in the limited window available. Depending how temps go in the fall I'm possibly driving the 4hrs to chicago again because I've got a kankakee bull (or pair depending how he decides to sell them) and a pair of northern pines reserved....
Actually it does help the local hobby and local stores for morphs. I know of plenty of reptile specific stores that have gone under because they tried to do what you suggest. Cater to you and your hobby. They go out of business because people want to SEE cool and rare species, they don't want to pay for them.

Morphs have helped the local hobby/store scene immensely. It's no longer just corns, kings and milks with the cool colours for the new person stepping into our world for the very first time. There's awesome colours in boas and pythons too now! That don't achieve large sizes like burms and retics originally.

Morphs bring in people, they catch people's eyes and then they buy. Trust me. They buy. I sell to the local pet stores so I know they buy. It's a business for these people, it isn't their hobby. So they cater to what makes them money...beginner animals. Lots of them. Sure you'll get some mid-level species but it's mostly all beginners because they can sell to ANYONE not just the elite keeper.
Further to my point, a lot of "elite" keepers buy online or from specific people they are connected with so why would they goto a store? They don't. Stores are for the beginner. That is 100% their market and anything above that is a bonus to them.


EDIT: The desire for morphs comes in many variations for many people. Some of it is money (they never last long) Some of it is the idea of cool puzzles to put together for years. Some of it is wanting to be the first to create something in the world. Some of it is a bit of all of it.
I personally love the genetic puzzles they pose. How each gene interacts with the others and what it looks like. Predictable at times but often not. I also don't mind the money as it funds my entire hobby and additional pet projects.
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Old 05-12-17, 08:48 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

Another thing to consider is that the animal is only a percentage of the price.
In my case with the black headed pythons....because I'm one of very few people that I actually breed them consistently year-to-year, the information on how to keep the animal successfully how to breed the animal and how to hatch the eggs is sometimes more important than the value of the animal itself. People are paying for peace of mind that their animals will have "customer support" throughout the duration of their animals lives. Something that a lot of keepers can't offer whether it's because they move onto another species get out of the hobby in general or just plain don't want to help their customers. I've seen it all
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Old 05-12-17, 08:50 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Another thing to consider is that the animal is only a percentage of the price.
In my case with the black headed pythons....because I'm one of very few people that I actually breed them consistently year-to-year, the information on how to keep the animal successfully how to breed the animal and how to hatch the eggs is sometimes more important than the value of the animal itself. People are paying for peace of mind that their animals will have "customer support" throughout the duration of their animals lives. Something that a lot of keepers can't offer whether it's because they move onto another species get out of the hobby in general or just plain don't want to help their customers. I've seen it all
Derek that's a fantastic point often over looked. I'd pay more for your blackheads because I know if I run into issues you're there to help me afterwards in 2 years! It's exactly as you said.
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Old 05-12-17, 09:22 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Derek that's a fantastic point often over looked. I'd pay more for your blackheads because I know if I run into issues you're there to help me afterwards in 2 years! It's exactly as you said.
Cheers Aaron.
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Old 05-19-17, 04:16 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Some things to note in regards to morphs...

Check out what everyone else is selling said morph for AND for how long these animals are up for sale (morph market, expos, local/reptile classifieds websites)

As mentioned, morphs depreciate and it can very much be almost like a pyramid scheme in it's progression...the only ones who make the big bucks are the ones on the ground floor. After that you get people undercutting each other and more competition/sources to buy from so they simply don't hold their value unless they are an exquisite example of the morph with desirable traits...even then it's just going to be a few bucks to a couple hundred bucks more than the "average" in a lot of cases. In the end, snakes are only worth what people are willing to pay.

It's already been mentioned, but I must reiterate that the animals that really hold their value are the rarer species. One example here in Canada is eastern indigos...there are only "X" amount here and we aren't able to legally import any more to introduce new blood, the species is also known to be affected by inbreeding...so the people who do have this species that don't have any genetic flaws and come from unrelated lineages have gone up from $1000-$1200 each for a hatchling 10 years ago now to about $2000-$2500. There may come a point where everything is genetically flawed because nothing can be outcrossed and all captives become related, but with a species that's quite hard to breed successfully like the indigos it probably won't happen for a while. When it does, prices will probably drop hard or people will lose interest.

Prices fluctuate even for common species as well, though. About 10 years ago nobody would pay over $80 or $100 for mexican black kingsnakes...everybody had them and they were in great numbers...now sometimes people are asking $200 and getting it!

Andy this post was so important for me. I had determined a ways back the Eastern Indigo would be my long term goal for a big snake. This changes everything. So happy I joined this forum. Is there any other internet sites that provide close tracking/info of the Eastern Indigo market?

Thank you
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Old 05-19-17, 04:30 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

I'm in central NJ and it sucks. There used to be a cool reptile/pet store with all sorts of crazy stuff. Naturally they went out and now it's breeders or Petco for an albino corn or king. Stinks. I was at the expo last year here in NJ and I asked a guy if they had some odd snake, I soon omitted from my brain because there are agents in the building and if they even hear me talk about them I'll be kicked out. Paranoid much!?
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Old 05-19-17, 05:55 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

Determining Price may not be the question here, but what makes one snake worth $60.oo, and another worth $15,000.oo, or even $150,000.oo when the cost of breeding and rearing them is the same... It all boils down to supply and demand... You can stick whatever price you want to put on it, that doesn't mean you'll get it... Something is only worth, what someone else is willing to pay for it...

There may come a day I breed my two ball pythons but it will be for my enjoyment, not for the money... It would be nice to offset the cost of the rodents but that's not the goal...
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Old 05-19-17, 06:20 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Direct side effect of the crazy ball python popularity. People sold all their cool stuff for stuff that everyone had. But just like with any of those balls or any other snake if you're charging more for it, I expect that black king to be a perfect black with no pattern.

Someone who lives within the Indigo's natural range needs to get some on their private property and try and get a male breed with one of their females.

I don't think it would be illegal considering you didn't really catch the snake that long. But that project overall needs some new genetic code the whole captive population is based off of a WAY small sample size. I'm trying to come up with loop holes.
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Old 05-20-17, 10:35 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

I try to do some searched on fauna or anywhere else I can find the approximate price the species has sold for. Then I take a look at how many are out there for sale. Since it's a hobby for me, I only keep snakes that I like. So far, I've not had any problem selling any of the snakes that I have bred so as long as they feed on rodents. The rarer stuff that I breed, I ship directly to keepers/breeders because they are easy to sell. The more common stuff, like red mountain ratsnakes, I sell to pet stores and a couple of resellers who I know take excellent care of the snakes they breed or resell. The profit margain is smaller on those but they move quickly and it certainly more than pays for the costs of the parents upkeep. Species whose young need to be assist fed can be more of an issue because you either have to send them to advanced hobbyists or raise them up for an extended time before sale. There is a lot of bad information out there regarding some of these species. The difference between assist feeding an animal on the verge of death and a species we simply cannot find the right food for initially is a large one. One is likely to die, yes, but not because it was assist fed, but because of the underlying issues that caused it to never feed in the first place. However, I've found willful ignorance a difficult problem to overcome in teaching people about some of these animals.

I almost never go to a reptile show. I already know what's going to be there and I could get the same thing shipped to my house from a hundred different people. The Hamburg, PA show is kind of an exception -- I will probably go once a year or so. That show, IMO, attracts a wider variety of species than most. I am very pro-expo, I think it introduces new people to the hobby and that's a great thing, but honestly I don't get a thrill out of seeing the same stuff over and over so it's just not for me.
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