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Old 05-07-17, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Determining price

This goes out to all you breeders out there,

How do you come up with price?

I know theres the aesthetic, rarerty of a morph, health/condition/quality of boa (or any snake), basline cost of utilitys, supplies, ect.

But what makes you look at a (i.e.) junglow and say ____ or a (i.e.) motly rosewell and say ____ or a normal for that matter.

How does the (if there are) other morph play in to it? Or whether it is het something or a super?

Is there some magic formula or baseline price? (Since most things with the same morph are almost the same within a hundred fifty dollars/pounds/euros.)

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Old 05-07-17, 11:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

The most reliable way to view value pricing of most morphs especially Pythons and Boas is by browsing" Morph Market". The classifications by genes and het status are listed and the fair market value of such can be obtained obtained there. Always refer to them when trying to ballpark fair pricing.
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Old 05-08-17, 02:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

Whatever it is believe in what you are selling. I've payed well over "Market" price for specimens of great quality. Anyone can sell any generic morph and get a certain price for it. But creating special examples of each type can get you more.

It's all about selecting stock in that case. If you're just a hobbyist with pretty good looking parents who wants to breed some snakes then probably base market price so you aren't raising babies for months trying to get rid of them.

If you're gonna make a business about it, you have to calculate time, cost of the animals, housing, cost of food, electricity, bedding, shipping materials, etc down to the last penny. Depreciation of supplies (how long does a rack last before needing replaced) If your animals are lower cost you'll need a lot more babies to recoup all of your costs. Initial cost for a baby rack for corn snakes can be 100-150 bucks if you make it yourself. That's like 7.5 baby normal/albino snakes at 20 bucks to get back 150 bucks.

If you get a morph today that's 300 bucks in 2-3 years when it's ready to breed it'll be a 100 dollar morph and that's if it remains popular and is easy to sell. Then you'll need even more babies to recoup the cost. I've done the math when deciding on whether try and create a business out of breeding in the future. But with the snakes I like, I'd be operating at a loss for years before even seeing a profit. And that's if everything goes right. Outside of the people who got crazy lucky with the super expensive boa/python morphs, that is true for most people unless someone is willing to make potentially 10s of thousands of dollars worth of investment starting out, and that's if everything works out perfect. Even then tons of those folks who did that aren't even in the business anymore either.
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Old 05-08-17, 05:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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If you get a morph today that's 300 bucks in 2-3 years when it's ready to breed it'll be a 100 dollar morph and that's if it remains popular and is easy to sell. Then you'll need even more babies to recoup the cost
Kind of reminds me of a quote a bonsai grower told me once:

'If you want to make $1m from bonsai start off with $1.5m in the bank...'

I'm hoping to take a step in to breeding also but have chosen the route of more working with valuable 'normal' snakes for this reason, snakes that have held their value for at least the last 10 years.

There is a substantial cost in good base stock though as I am quickly finding out and of course the market coul dbecome more saturated over the next few years but worst case is I have some stunning snakes in my collection that I will enjoy as a private hobbiest
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Old 05-08-17, 06:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

Breeding morphs only makes sense if you're into the genetics and imports so that you can be the first to market them.

BPs which were worth 15K USD 5 years ago are now being sold for peanuts. Unless you make very smart decisions and are very well connected within that particular industry, it's almost certain a waste of money to go that route.

Perhaps it's a better choice to breed and sell the rarer species, they do not lose their value that fast. But then again, it's a much smaller market and more often than not they have higher requirements from the breeder than your typical snake.
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Old 05-08-17, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Breeding morphs only makes sense if you're into the genetics and imports so that you can be the first to market them.

BPs which were worth 15K USD 5 years ago are now being sold for peanuts. Unless you make very smart decisions and are very well connected within that particular industry, it's almost certain a waste of money to go that route.

Perhaps it's a better choice to breed and sell the rarer species, they do not lose their value that fast. But then again, it's a much smaller market and more often than not they have higher requirements from the breeder than your typical snake.
And finding a breeding pair in the first place can be problematic. You have to be able to pounce when something interesting comes up.

I struck lucky with the olivaceus and amethystina that I had the money and space to commit quickly otherwise they'd have gone and who knows when there would be another pair.
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Old 05-08-17, 07:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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!
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Old 05-08-17, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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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!
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 05-08-17, 12:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
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.
That's definitely partially to blame! The ball python morph craze has come and gone now for the most part.
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Old 05-08-17, 01:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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That's definitely partially to blame! The ball python morph craze has come and gone now for the most part.
IDK, you been to a reptile show lately? Ball Pythons pretty much 60-70% of the snakes there. Although it had been a year and some months since last time and that's actually a better number than the last few times I've gone so hopefully you're right.
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Old 05-08-17, 02:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

I get real tired of seeing those tables full with BPs at the reptile shows, one after the other. Waste of space for more interesting stuff imo.
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Old 05-08-17, 04:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
IDK, you been to a reptile show lately? Ball Pythons pretty much 60-70% of the snakes there. Although it had been a year and some months since last time and that's actually a better number than the last few times I've gone so hopefully you're right.
I don't disagree, but what I'm saying is that those that are there won't go for thousands of dollars anymore. Some are lucky to even sell out of their stock with the market saturation. The saturation is still there and they'll always be present in great numbers because of it, but I consider the "craze" to be over in regards to crazy prices and people actually selling out for their asking prices.
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Old 05-09-17, 05:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

Sorry if I'm piggybacking off this thread, but what if you're offering a captive bred individual from a species that is generally sold as wild caught? About how much would the price go up?
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Old 05-09-17, 08:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

I write numbers on a piece of paper and have my daughter draw them out of a hat. Pretty much industry standard if you think about it...
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Old 05-09-17, 08:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Determining price

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I write numbers on a piece of paper and have my daughter draw them out of a hat. Pretty much industry standard if you think about it...
LOL! For some species, this is totally true. I think we've talked about this.
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