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Old 05-28-04, 10:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think that it should be added to the price, I would consider it part of the shipping price because you can't ship it without the reptile box, heat pad, gel pack ect.. why should you have to spend your money to ship the snake they want. whats another $10 - $20 when your paying $500, or you could split the $12 so you don't have to use as much of your money. I personally would pay the extra $12 interesting thread
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Old 05-28-04, 10:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Heck I think that the worst one was around half a year or so ago....when I had my snow corn for sale at $38 dollars....and that guy put down $35 and I said...well it's $38 dollars..that guy took the $35 dollars back and put my snow female down....and walked a person would actually walk away from a buy for $3 dollars!!!!
Last show i had someone haggle with me over $2.. He was buying something for $5, and wanted it for $3.. Then opened it and said it was scratched.. I told him i would give him his $5 back and sell it to someone else for $3 since it was opened.. Needless to say, he took what he bought and walked away..

My main point is this....lets say Favelle has one price list that says "Jungles 500....shipping extra + 15 handling charge..." or another one that says "Jungles.....515.00 + shipping" that to me seems more reasonable and easier to digest. its the exact same thing but to a buyer when you see extra charges tacked on, it looks worse. And if I want Favelles jungles, I'll pay the 515.
I agree with that for sure.. I think a lot of people get frustrated when they see the + this and + that.. Just include your time ect. into the price and im sure you won't hear any complaints.. What's an extra $15-$20 for quality animals??
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Old 05-28-04, 10:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I would be willing to pay extra for box charges for quality animals.

Consider though, that you are arguing your amount of profit rather than an actual cost of the animal. I mean, a corn snake is cheaper to buy but requires the same care/work to get it to marketable size as some other expensive snakes. If you were shipping a corn snake and the cost of shipping/gas, etc. made it so that you lost money or broke even, that might be different. But at $500, the snake better be eating golden mice if you tell me you're losing money

BTW, I don't know a corn from a python so replace these with the proper species to understand my point.
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Old 05-28-04, 10:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If the breeder was selling babies from his/hers breeders would the money from them not be enough profit. Or would he/she risk a sale for $12 Like others have said here some people will just back out of a sale if there are extra cost put in even if it is like a $12 extra fee.

Unless you really dont care if you herps sell fast or not then i guess you could charge what ever extra fee price you want.

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Old 05-28-04, 10:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm definitely of the opinion that you figure out what the animal is worth, add the cost it would take to prep the animal for shipping, and that's your cost.

Why should the breeder lose profit, especially if they're operating on a small margin because they may not cut the corners someon else does to price their animals lower.

It was mentioned that doing this might drive away newbie buyers who just want to buy as cheap as possible. But if these people did their research they'd know what they're getting and who it's worth paying a premium to. If they haven't done any research, then you may actually lose money if they purchase something from you, kill it a day later or do something else to harm the animal, and demand money back or badmouth you on the BOI.

Either way, set your prices what YOU think is fair to you. If it means creating "shipping days" every once in a while, where you do a number of orders simultaneously so you can lower your price then go for it. If you have a higher price than your neighbor and still get regular sales, then hurray for that too.

I'm rambling now. I'm tired. But I think I made my point
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Old 05-28-04, 10:50 PM   #21 (permalink)
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spidergecko: say you have a breeding pair of BPs for a specific morph that cost you 5000 dollars, and the next year you get 6 babies. You want to recoup the initial expense as reasonably quickly as possible.

Compared to a corn snake you could say that the offspring are generating a lot of profit, but if the expense to create those offspring was significant then the profit margins could be considerably smaller percentage wise, impacting your ability to purchase more high end animals.
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Old 05-28-04, 11:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I know there are variables and of course, my reasoning doesn't necessarily apply to all cases but you understand what I mean. Theoretically, you could sell the six offspring for one sixth the cost of the parents + costs to raise the animal to marketable weight (+ box charge, haha). No one would do this of course Not only would it bring the market price down but it would be down right silly.

But more to the point, it would only take a few sales, possibly even within the same generation, to recoup. Nonetheless there will be a time when you have recovered all you money but still sell the subsequent offspring for the original price. I know exactly what you mean, though.

But I will say this: If I buy a $5000 snake and the breeder charges me $5012, I'm looking elsewhere
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Old 05-28-04, 11:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Well that's a good point too.

With "expensive" animals, or at least ones above the $1000 mark, I'd say the breeders handling costs are well taken care of

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Old 05-28-04, 11:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Grea topic

I toally understand what ur saying Jeff........I am in the same boat but it cost me about 10.00 for gas since I am about 85km from the airport........But .......I really think that the handling charge is built into he cost of the animal same with GST (if u have to charge it ) ....Its more paper work for u at the end of the year but most of its a write off anyway and goes under ur expenses u do see some of that money back .......
I think that if u start adding that additional charge to the cost of the animal (unless its a high end one) u will see people upset about it and u might have to be explaing urself all the time while trying to sell ........there are alot of people out there that already think we make tons of money and charge to much for our animals ..... with adding that extra charge u might just be adding extra problems....

So what I do with my pricing is I roughly take middle of the raod US prices.....convert them and add GST and the cost of cooler ect....then I round it up or down to the closest dollar ....I hate change ....LOL......It has worked out pretty well over the last 15 yrs but who is to say that I might end up shipping way more in the years to come ....Then I might have to rethink a few things...But I guess thats what set shipping days are for .......
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Old 05-29-04, 12:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Well, well well... good posts and good thoughts going on here!
There's a whole lot to consider in this business isn't there? And "herp selling for Idiots" is yet to make the bookstand. lol
All the issues discussed confront all herp breeders and can be quite perplexing, and really require quite a bit of thought.
It's not easy to be both a breeder and a marketing, customer service & shipping expert.
Generally speaking herpers are animal lovers and animal experts. Making the jump to sales, marketing and forwarding guru isn't exactly a logical or easy step.
As a crude analogy,very few professional breeders or zoologists are likely equally successful used car or life insurance salesmen, nor would they want to be.

Many herpers these days chose to sell the animals they produce directly to others that want them. Buyers obviously prefer direct interaction with the producer, but this technique of direct sales, is fairly new and done primarily to win the higher near retail price.
However, it comes with a cost as you are all discovering. It's not just the out of pocket costs of shipping, box building and gas to the airport..., its time... and time is money especially in todays busy world.
It's very difficult to be a basement breeder, and full service retailer if you also have full time day jobs in other fields. And herping full time, while being done by a few, and a very admirable vocation, is not the easiest way to make a living. And it's likely to get harder as captive breeding continues to grow and competition grows in step.

Contemplating all of this many years ago is in part what motivated me away from direct selling.
I found the hassles and time required was really taking the edge off my enjoyment of the animals.

For years I have preferred to have someone else sell my animals, as I just found I didn't have the time, or temperment to both breed and sell, and I had no intention of giving up my day job. There's alot to be said for a regular paycheck.
Of course it wasn't very long ago that there was no internet, and no such thing as websites, or shows for that matter.
It used to be the norm for herp breeders to ship animals to Tom Crutchfield, or Louis Porras' Zooherp, or some other wholesaler or retailer.
For years I shipped hundreds of animals to re-sellers in the USA, as there was no market in Canada
Most breeders did it that way because other than mailing out lists, there was no effective way to direct market animals, as communication was almost non existent because to do so cost a lot of money. Mailing,long distance call, adds in newsletters etc.
I remember the days of mailing out lists... It would cost quite a bit, and result in very few enquires. There is always a cost of doing business, and other than shipping, most of it should be invisible to the customer..
I remember waiting every spring year after year to get Bob Applegates list, but confess to never buying from him. He was both the pioneer captive breeder and pioneer direct retailer. He blazed the trail that many still follow

The advent of the internet has completely upset the normal distribution, market structure and pricing of animals.. It's all still unfolding, and there are both positives and negatives to this sudden change, which has cut out many of the middle men.
However this internet driven change to direct selling, is recently having an about face, as companies now are finding they can't effectively do it all.
OUTSOURCING is the big word these days.. This means producers of a product seek specific experties elswhere, and stick to doing what they do best.
I think that the evolution of the business of herpetoculture is still unfolding and yet to find an equilibrium.

I felt the frustration Favelle is feeling, many years ago, and that is what set me to "Outsourcing" the sales of my animals.

I think it's as true today, as ever that there is a place for specialized wholesalers and brick and mortar bona fide "retailers"
These guys fill a niche. There expertise is business and selling... They understand the dynamics of preserving markets and they are the onramp for most new herpers. They also showcase the animals breeders produce. Most breeders aren't zoos, and don't want the public in their facilities, but the public needs to see it somewhere to furthur promote sales.
I personally feel there is lots of room for more specialized herp stores, and herp wholesalers and distritutors to directly interface with both breeders and buyers.
Direct selling means holding animals, getting them feeding, sexing them, and addressing all the niceties of dealing with strangers. A breeder really has to weigh the perceived increase in profit against the convenience and real saving of moving out entire litters at once, if that option exists. Sure you take a smaller piece of the pie, but not as small as you might think.
Holding and feeding stuff for months, costs real money, in food ,housing and TIME. There is also a cost in terms of your mental well-being if you're sitting on hundreds of high maintenance babies.

The bottom line price of the animal to the buyer will continue to be the principle factor in the buyers eye, but in addition to that, the market price can rarely be higher than the going rate elsewhere, plus any currency exchange.
Unless you have an exceptional reputation for high quality, unique bloodlines or have some other good reason for demanding more, the lowest price for a comparable product, is generally what will always be sought by customers.
It's also important to recognize that low balling sets a price that from that day forward will become the market price..
It's important to have a marketing strategy and to try to avoid over producing only to flood a market that you'll then be tempted to low ball. That negatively effects all your peers, and sets the new market price. This is happening all over the US these days and is why the price of everything is dropping so dramatically. It all works out eventually, but the process can be painfull.
Breeders that find they just can't get enough to justy breeding , eventually stop.. Eventually the supply dries up until it meets demand.

In general one must always look to the USA to calculate herp prices, then add the exchange. Asking much more than that often turns buyers off.
What happens is that psychologically all buyers will weigh the cost of buying domestically to the cost of bringing one across the border. I regularly get mail from people inquiring about importing common stuff that Canada is full of.
Almost always the main motivation is the perceived lower cost. This is especially true now with the high value of the loony.
In the past I've even had perspective customers expect the US price at par, without any exchange.

Fortunately the herp industry is growing in Canada, and for that matter herpetoculture globally is growing and with it will be growing pains, as we all grapple with the diverse facets of the business.
Ultimately all businesses and markets find an equilibrium. This is the backbone of free enterprise.
The business of herpetoculture is still an industry in it's infancy, and as such we're all pioneers, but everyone that becomes a breeder is instantly a part of it, like it or not.
It's going to be a bumpy ride.
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Old 05-29-04, 12:45 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I'd have to say, it's much easier to just include your "costs" into the end price to the consumer.

You have to admit though, even if you spent $15 dollars per snake shipped, (and this amount would stay the same for a pair as they would share the same box..right?) you are still making out like a bandit. I mean, how much money did it cost you for your male snake to impregnate your female? Probably not much, since you would have to care for them either way, weather you breed them or not. But for arguement sake, lets say it costs you $500 dollars from start to finish (give or take a few dollars). If you get 20 babies, that is 10 pairs. At $500 a pair, you have made back your money after the first pair is sold. The rest is all gravvvvy!!

So if it costs you lets say $20 dollars (and this is being generous) per pair shipped (not including shipping charges, the customer pays that) that is $200 total for supplies. The next pair is sold giving a profit of $300. Now the other 8 pairs ($3500) is all yours. I'd say it's well worth the "cost of doing business".
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Old 05-29-04, 01:03 AM   #27 (permalink)
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What it really boils down to is what do you have invested in the animal itself and how much profit do you want to make.

Lets just say it costs you $500 to keep a pair of your breeders for a year. They breed and have 10 or more babies. Now you get say $100 clear profit from the babies(after expenses of shipping).

Well you just made $500 tax free profit with the enjoyment of keeping animals you love. Now you do that with your collection and you just made some nice pocket change from your hobby.

Dont get me wrong I agree with on teh part with people selling alot of animals and that they are eating more of teh expences then the average buyer. But if you are selling that many animals then you are also producing that many more witch will increase your profit margine anyway.

Just my thought on things
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Old 05-29-04, 02:34 AM   #28 (permalink)
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in business terms that's called overhead

your overhead will be the same, regardless of sales
you can evenly distribute the overhead costs to all of your products and estimate $12 overhead/shipment

if your overhead costs are hurting your profits a considerable amount, you may need to consider only having one shipping date per period to be determined by you in order to reduce your overhead costs per unit

otherwise, like most companies your overhead will be just that...a part of your cost of goods sold and how you account for it is up to you

when you order products from a dealer online you are not expecting to pay extra for the cardboard box they ship it in...they have already included that overhead cost into the price of their product

I would say that when you set the prices of your animals, you need to consider the overhead costs I've discussed and adjust your prices accordingly

does one snake actually cost 500 dollars to produce....probably not in most cases, so I would think that you could ask 500 and theoretically get 488

in the case of the $500 snake, unless the costs of the animal + labor + food + electricity + etc is equal to $488 or higher, then I'd say you've already accounted for your $12 overhead and that like any other company you have to accept fewer profits
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Old 05-29-04, 05:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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if you guys are that hurtin for 12 bucks ill send it to you for nothing. lol im not being rude but obviosly if you are breeding and selling its not for unicef your making money. And i see your point you sell 100 reptiles a year thats 1200 bucks. All in all im pretty much saying its the cost of buisness.
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Old 05-29-04, 06:20 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Excellent post Jeff helps get the majority of people thinking in a different light (breeders aside of course) If you look at it in a total cost stand point over a whole lot of animals it could be an alarming amount of money per year. Concept3 a lot of breeders make very little money when and if they do the bottom line at the end of the year cost versus sell. You have to figure in energy costs food costs meds housing costs and so on and so forth. Lets do a cost over sell for Colombian boas for example and see what we come up with(very rough figures) Energy consumption for one male and one female for one year $100.00 each give or take food bills for one year 2 Jumbo rats every 2 weeks @$3.00 each times 2 snakes $312.00(rabbits cost more) say one vet trip per year $150.00 Lets say the female drops 25 little ones and you hold on to them for 6 weeks to give them 4-5 feedings and a couple of sheds before selling them. Energy cost for each in an efficient rack system 50 cents each snake per week times 25 snakes times 6 weeks $75.00 four feedings each at 50 cents per feeding $50.00. Doing the math on the above we would get a total cash outlay of.

Parents inclusive costs per anum

Offspring costs (ready to ship)

Total outlay
$785.00 and that is if all the neonates ship out and you don't have to keep housing them and feeding them for any length of time.

$785.00 divided by 25 neonates equals $31.40 per snake plus $12.00 for packaging equals $43.40 per snake. Even if you got $150.00 on average per each this leaves $ 107.60 per snake. If we figure in our time based on what we make in our jobs (hourly or salary) the above $107.60 shrinks really fast and probably becomes a break even or a net loss. High end animals will net you more and cost you more. I take my hat off to all of the breeders here in Canada the majority of them do it because it is something they love to do and if they were in it for just the money we would currently have a lot less animals to choose from on the market and we would all suffer.

“You know its funny I was thinking about what you said. The preeminent truth of our age is that you can not fight the system. But if as you say the truth is fluid that the truth is subjective then maybe you can fight the system. As long as just one person refuses to be broken refuses to bow down” “But can you win?” “Every time I say NO”
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