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Old 05-29-04, 04:58 PM   #46 (permalink)
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So many awesome posts!

I've read a lot here about what a lot of customers "just don't understand" about the business but what I would like to add is what a lot of sellers, of all sorts of products, don't seem to understand, that is: customers don't have to understand.

The customer doesn't care anymore about the expenses you incur producing the animal than you do about the cost of farm machinery when you buy bread.

It's kind of a bogus topic in a sense because in reality if you were able to somehow produce your animals for half the price of that other breeders are paying (say you learned to shoplift feeders or steal electricity, whatever) you would have no reason to drop the price.

Think about it, when General Motors closes a car factory in Michigan that was paying each employee $25/hr and moves it to Mexico where they pay $25 per day do they suddenly cut their prices proportionately? Of course not.

Demand sets the price, competion suppresses it and that's all there is to it. Products are not sold for the lowest price a seller can "afford" but instead for as much as the customer will pay, no more, no less. If it costs one producer more to get his product to market than others he will simply make less money. Breeders in Toronto will always make more than those in Weyburn, Saskatchewan for this reason.

Whether or not you decide to itemize your sales receipts is up to you, add shipping, feeders, electricity, time and whatever you like but the customer will only be looking at ONE number: the final price.
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Old 05-29-04, 05:05 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Well if all the good breeders would get on the same page as to a standard "handling" charge it wouldnt have to suck and the customer wouldnt have a choice in the matter it would just be the way it is.

I'ld say form an assosiation but in an industry like this I can be far more BS than its worth.
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Old 05-29-04, 05:08 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Although I have yet to have an animal shipped to me most places quote $100.00 for shipping. Yet others say that the airline only charges sixty something. Personally I like to pick up my animals some way to cut that out anyway. A trip to calgary or out to a show the breeder is planning on going to anyway. Depends on how far I'd have to drive and what is out that way, I have family up in BC so for me a trip out there serves two purposes, visit family and pick up the snakes. If I was ordering though from further I would have no prob paying a set shipping and handeling fee. Then again I'm willing to drive down to the states to get GTP's from Greg Maxwell eventually too, even though it will be a pain in the butt for paperwork and all, it is worth it for the animals you get.
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Old 05-29-04, 05:40 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I decide how much i want to make on the animal, then all other expences are add into the price.
As soon as you start to compete against prices you loose. The reason is that there will always be someone out there cheaper then you.
So your job as a buisness person is to sell a great high quality animal, not a cheaper animal. (Its called marketing) you want to convince the consumer that they are getting the best animal out there.
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Old 05-29-04, 05:49 PM   #50 (permalink)
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No Jeff, no candy in Saskatchewan, but we have to go to Alberta to ship out snakes.

If you are looking for honest opininons, then I think that tacking on money to package a shipment is just wrong. I am not meaning to offend anyone in the next portion of my reply - but this is my deep honest opinion on things.

Maybe I still view this as a hobby - but I've never gotten how some people will look at and apply standards from other industry practises on to it. Deciding the proper price for an animal is another one I've debated on before. You know, C.B balls are $150 in Calgary, don't sell them for less than that etc...

Another thing. Your the only person I thought I knew who put the prices up on their snakes for a show. Who else does this (in Canada)? I remembered thinking that was odd at the time (before Red Deer last year, you mentioned higher prices in your adds before the show) I am not giving you a shot, I just was curious who also does it.

Because we are more remote, we feel the added costs a bit more. With the price of gas now, it costs us about $60 / trip. I would not deliver 1 cornsnake to the airport.

I will do the drive, however, for indigos, diamonds or blackheads (in the future).

If $12 adds up so much with jungles, why not get diamonds. I guess I look at it a bit simple at times, but.

Flooding the market with certain species has been mentioned a bit already - but what happens if you can't sell all your jungles at the price you want. I know someone who didn't sell out of last years stock, and they were priced lower than yours.

People would probably pay more for Jungles by Jeff Favelle, than Jungles by Dallas Winslow (made the name up, i hope).

I might too, unless Jeff Favelle charged $12 to box up snakes and run to the airport.

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Old 05-29-04, 08:13 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Seeing a shipping and handling charge isn't uncommon in many businesses. Now one thing I've noticed is that many of the big companies offer free ground shipping (future shop) but I'm guessing they've negotiated some sweet deal with UPS or some other shipping company.

Like I said on page one, I have no problem paying for a handling fee, how ever I do have issues with people/companies that charge a handling fee when you pick up the item/pet.
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Old 05-29-04, 08:40 PM   #52 (permalink)
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What's next charging for care sheets on your website? If anyone would ever do that it would be just wrong.
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Old 05-29-04, 09:01 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Your selling the animal for market value... There are deductions in ANY business that you have, you will never be reimbursed for. 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?? Its just a cost that you must incure if you plan on selling animals to people that are not local to you or just mark the animal up to a nice round number like $525 instead of $500 and be done with it... Thats my 2 cents. is offline  
Old 05-29-04, 11:26 PM   #54 (permalink)
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why should people as breeders expect to be paid to get the animals (which is your job) to the airport??
Well, I guess some people are penny pinchers

This talk of TAX FREE $ & "it didn't cost you nothing for the babies as you were keeping the parents anyway" etc. Some will always remain CLUELESS LOL People seem to forget that these animals were aquired as babies & raised for years prior breeding. I didn't see any examples involving $30-$50 snakes which make up large protions of most CDN Colubrid breeders collections. I make about $5 off a $30 snake if I am LUCKY.
Well there is your problem, you are selling low-end reptiles, so how much do you expect to make? The cost of caring for a Colubrid vs (lets say a GTP) probably are not that much different. I can't give exact numbers cause I don't keep either. But common sense tells you that if each enclosure has a heat light, heat pad, water bowl, & substrate, they must be pretty close in comparison. Oh wait a GTP requires higher humidity, so you better recoup the cost of a spray bottle and all that water your gonna go through!!
Then add in food. Again not sure exactly how much each of them eat, but it can't be too far off. For arguement sake, lets say it costs $700 for a year rasing a breeding pair of Corn snakes and $1000 a year for a pair of GTP's. The return on a litter of GTP's is drastically greater. I believe they sell for $500-800 each (correct me if I am wrong).

It's kinda like a car dealer that sells Chevy Cavaliers vs a car dealership selling BMW's. You dont have to sell nearly as many Beemers to make a profit as you would on a Chevy Cavalier, but the cost of running each dealership is probably very close in comparison.

As far as raising these snakes from babies. Isn't that what the hobby is about??? If I ever breed my BCI, I am not going to put the cost of the last 3 years of caring for him, into the cost of the babies. That's just down right greedy!!! There is a fair market value for baby Colombian BCI's. That's what I would charge. I would make a grand or so off of a litter and I would be more than happy with that. AND THE MONEY WOULD BE TAX FREE (directly into my pocket).

Now, I understand that a large scale breeder has much higher overhead. BUT, they also have a more diversified product line. Which in turn would allow them to profit more on some animals as they would on others. I am willing to bet Bob Clark did not get to where he is from being petty. Sometimes as a business person, you have to suck up some of the "little costs" to help with future business. (ie repeat customers & word of mouth advertising.) Just my thoughts.

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Old 05-30-04, 01:52 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Boidkeeper- I was referred to a site that requires a paypal donation to access a caresheet...pretty lame if you ask me...

anyways...I'm new to reptiles, but as an experienced aquarist, I am quite used to online vendors charging standard 10-15 dollars for "box charge", so it's not so uncommon in other trades
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Old 05-30-04, 02:34 AM   #56 (permalink)
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If $12 adds up so much with jungles, why not get diamonds. I guess I look at it a bit simple at times, but.
I work with Jungles because I like to work with them, not because I can make more money with them than another snake. If I wanted to work with Diamonds, I walk down the block to Don's house and grab a bunch. Or I could have gotten in on them when he brought them in years ago. But they don't appeal to me and I'm not about to work with them to make my bottom line higher.

That's not the point of this post. The point of this post was to ask whether or not the selling of the snake or snakes should subsidize the packaging and delivering of them to the airport. It was an honest question that a LOT of people had thoughts on. Obviously it doesn't add up to "too much" for me because if it did, I would have been shipping CB reptiles across Canada for the last 10 years. I'm fine with it. I was thinking out loud to my fellow herpers in North America and beyond to get some market feedback for free. That's why I love this site. Instant feedback from the very people that drive/create the market.

Nothign wrong with that.
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Old 05-30-04, 08:04 AM   #57 (permalink)
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The cost of doing business is one factor in almost all of our reptile dealings. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the purchaser as far as airline transport goes. The costs of packaging and transport to the airport are something we have learned to deal with. The nearest airport is 160 km away, 1 way. I cant imagine asking the buyer to pay the extra $60 for fuel that it will cost us to get to the airport (yes, I know the truck sucks up gas). That is also why we do not sell corns and other common colubrids anymore...a $100 snake would cost me $60 to get it to the airport, and the buyers grumble enough about shipping costs already.
We also factor this in when we purchase snakes, what the purchase price is for the snake, what shipping will cost, and the costs for us to go to the airport to pick it up. Sure, if we lived in the city we would save some money on trips to the airport, but it would be spent elsewhere on housing and higher costs of living.

The cost of doing business, as you say.
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Old 05-30-04, 08:57 AM   #58 (permalink)
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In the end retailers and wholesalers think of it this way...... You get what you paid for! if you see a ball python for lets say 50$ and the next guys selling them for 150$ sometimes it's the guy at 50$ just simply don't know what he's doing and is underselling himself but most times they do know why there snakes are so cheap! And there not saving you any money there just unloading there crap at any cost literaly. When your snake eventualy breeds and the patterns etc etc are just not up to standard you to will be selling those 50$ pythons eventualy because no one want's them (atleast no one that knows ball pythons) Jeff does have some decent pythons i am not going to trash him in anyway but there are some people with nicer!.. but with nicer always comes a price1 after all mcdonalds don't discount there hamburgers just because burger king did. Because the majority and demands with mcdonalds. Alot more goes into breeding then one thinks and sometimes the costs of breeding etc is way more then the actual purchase. what happens if the parents took 5 yrs to actualy breed?! let's remember alot of the breeders have these snakes for the soul purpose of breeding may it be 2-3 yrs ... 3 yrs is 156 weeks at 2$ a week to feed we will say so we are at 312.00 for the male and 312.00 for the female in 3 yrs now add the vet trips the heating device any lighting your time to care for the snake among other things not to mention the stress of running these operations. As far as shipping goes it's roughly 65.00 to ship and i have had someone want 2 rat snakes shipped to B.C now i sell the pair at 75.00 but shippings 65.00 would'nt it be more worth your while to go to your local dealer and purchase the 2 ratsnakes rather then ship them?.... I thought that way as i sell my rat snakes in store at 49.99 but talking to many people on snakes .com i am learning these snakes are being sold as high as 125$ each in local petshops should i raise my price?... Are those rat snakes worth more then mine? do they have gold fangs? lol can they dance? sing me a song?.... no it's taken into account there overhead there boarding of the snake and what they paid. Most petshops though don't buy unless there geting a deal and most don't know a ratsnake from a cornsnake! it's all about set prices typical ball pythons sell where i am for 125$ anywhere may it be through me or a petshop 125$ is the price in mtl I sell mine for 99$ - $175 depending the color the length the sex and breed, there's many factors in buying the right snakes and i guess it's better to shop around before buying this way you can maybe have the best deal but remember people in the end your really geting what your paying for because a good business man and not in it for the hobby will always think about cash before the actual transaction. One last tip i have bought about 15 snakes through pics then being shipped i have yet to recieve a snake that actualy looks like the pic i seen of the snake!!!!! It's not only about cost of doing business but buyer beware .... So i end this note on this : If your paying high and buying from someone with a good reputation chances are your geting what you pay for and actually geting the snake that you seen at first through pics as they are a business and would'nt be in business long if they played those types of games with customers because customers always right after all they are your business!

thanks for reading hope it makes some sense!

Rob.. :
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Old 05-30-04, 09:16 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Jeff, who else charges more for their snakes at shows, than on their websites or in classifieds.

We also look at doing shows as a "cost of doing business".

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Old 05-30-04, 10:01 AM   #60 (permalink)
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I often see price breaks for shows.
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