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Old 05-30-04, 11:24 AM   #61 (permalink)
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Great thread...I feel that if you are willing to buy an animal from an individual and you are happy with their terms of sale, then it shouldn't be a problem. Jeff, you had mentioned at the beginning that not many businesses subsidize shipping. Too a certain degree this is true, but anyone in business who receives inventory, of any form, will likely take a percentage of the cost of shipping and it will be added into the final asking price of a product. So under these circumstances, the consumer is subsidizing the shipping., whether they know it or not. In a retail situation, it is expected that the customer will come to your store to purchase your goods. You have already determined a landed cost of goods and applied the appropriate markups to maintain a proper gross profit. Either they accept your pricing policies or they don't. But if someone wants a product shipped to them then that is an added cost and the purchaser normally picks up the tab.

Personally, I have no problem about box charges or incurred costs to pick up an animal, if it means that I am getting what I want in a timely fashion, and from someone I can trust to do business with. I would have already read the TOS, agreed to it, and accepted the charges.

Should a breeder charge, these box charges? Everyone has the right to conduct business as they see fit. I believe most people who keep any form of pet, realize that overhead is involved to bring an animal or product to the market or to safely ship to the destination.

Of course the goal is to reduce your cost of goods, so that the profit margin can been raised. That comes down to doing business, ethically and efficieintly. Should it be considered a standard to either charge or not charge a box fee? I don't think this could be done effectively. Too many variables.

The way I see it, what do the offspring REALLY cost? Before you feed them..when you think about it..they really don't cost you anything!! The parents were bought and paid for, and from there you anticipate on getting back a return in the first one of two clutches to cover the initial cost of the parents. So the initial investment really is still there, less the food required to get the parents to breeding age. Add to that the incurred equipment costs to hatch and raise the offspring to market size. Once those first one or two clutches hatch out and are sold, you still have the parents, and the equipment. So what are you out of pocket? The hydro and food, both are items that are expected in this hobby anyhow.

In many cases, these expenses are easily offset in the final asking price of the animal. Not many products give back as good of a return as reptiles. In the big picture, I think subsidized costs (ie. box charges, show charges, incurred gas and transportation charges) really depends on the value of the animal(s) being brought to the market or the size of the deal. Agreed with Ryan, in his situation, there would be no sense in selling a corn snake for 60 bucks only to have to spend 60 to get to the airport.

There is nothing wrong with fair market value but if a good deal comes along..hey I won't pass that up either..

Peace
Jim

Last edited by jwsporty; 05-30-04 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 05-30-04, 11:38 AM   #62 (permalink)
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...

Quote:
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.
I hear ya on that one brother. I had 2 people email me by the end of last summer wondering how I sold all mine. I was priced at LEAST 10 percent higher than they were as well. I have no idea why they couldn't sell them. It'll be interesting this year as well. I'm not worried in the least, and I'm even trying to move stock for other fellow breeders. Hard work and patience is all it takes. If people can't house and feed baby snakes for up to 6-9 months, then they shouldn't be breeding them.

But we digress....

Thanks for the input guys, keep it coming! I can't believe we've had a meaningful discussion over 5 pages and no one has gotten personal, attacked anyone, been banned, gotten mad, etc etc. Especially a post that I STARTED, ha ha! I must be losing my touch...............

I agree, and have agreed for the last decade (longer?) that its a "cost of doing business". Overhead if you will. Heck, when I was still in university a while back (don't as how long), that was when I first started breeding reptiles and amphibians. I had frogs and colubrids and salamanders and Leo Geckos and Day Geckos etc etc. I would go to school every day until 3pm, then I would come home and deal with all the animals (I rented TWO rooms in a 6-bedroom house with 4 other students). On Saturday and Sunday, I would trek ALL ACROSS Vancouver, Surrey (yikes!), Abbotsford, Langley, North Van. Po-Co, and even Vancouver Island selling CB animals to all the pet stores. I MAILED (this was before I even HEARD of the ďNetĒ) price-lists and newsletters about what I had and was going to have for sale. Then I would get calls every day/night for animals wanted and I could get them all ready for the Saturday and Sunday journeys. I would HAND DELIVER the freeeakiní animals! Leo Geckos were $125 (heh heh) and Day Geckos were $150 (again, heh heh) and I had corn snakes, Cal. Kings, Mantells, Fire Salamanders, Pueblans, Kenyan Sand Boas, etc etc. I probably spent more money on gas and bus tickets than I ever made, ha ha!

But thatís what started it. And I never added a shipping cost or a packing cost. I still havenít charged for packing to this day, as Iíve lumped that together with feeding, electricity, etc etc. But I was just curious to know if people even KNEW the costs incurred. I mean, if I told someone that they had to give me $720 every year to have their life the EXACT same way because it was some unknown ďtaxĒ on their occupation, they would slit my throat! But hey, the customers dictate the market on items that are readily available. Iím sure if I had Pastel Pied Albino Ball Pythons, I could charge for digi-photos of the damn things! Ha ha! J

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone, especially the people who took the time to think it out and write something legible and eloquent. That means a lot to me. It means a lot because it shows that you were willing to take the time to express your feelings and thoughts when you could have easily ignored me. For that I thank you. Cheers.

Great post jwsporty.
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Old 05-30-04, 12:05 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Good posts everyone. One thing I DO NOT agree with was this statement:

"It also hard to garner sympathy for your shipping expenses when breeders make post like this."

In relation to Favelle posting about a new "toy" he will be purchasing with some profits off snakes. Why is it hard for you to give him "sympathy" as you call it? Do you get angry at Ford when the head guy buys a new house? LOL. If you invented Ford, YOU'D have that house. If you had the collection Favelle does, then YOU'D have the projector.

All I am saying is do not allow material jealously to come in the discussion. If many of us were on the other side of the stick, we'd have different outlooks on what should be charges and what shouldn't be.

Another thing I am suprised to see is some people saying there is little to no cost once to produce snakes once you have gotten a clutch or two....this is just CRAZY talk! If my snakes breed or not, they cost me the same as they day I got them to upkeep aside from their own purchase price. Every week someone needs something else, and these purchases add up to a lot at the end of a year. And then you decide to breed, and the year you are breeding will cost you FAR more than years you do not. Then you add in money for your time???? Holy cow...! It seems some people are still looking at reptiles like the "get rich fast" type of business.

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Old 05-30-04, 01:19 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Marisa,

I think you misunderstood what I am saying.

Of course the collection will always cost you money. And yes, you would have to feed the parents to get them to breeding age, regardless. Whether you breed or not on any given year is not the issue, the food and consumable bills will still be there. What was said is ultimately the day the eggs pop out, the hatchlings have not cost you anything but the time, effort and funds to get the parents ready. Obviously once they are living animals then the cost on that animal starts. Most offspring will consume what food is needed to get them off to a good start before they are either sold to wholesalers,petstores or private individuals. So the hatchling cost still remains relatively low.

The fact remains, you still have the parents, you still have your initial equipment, and now you have the babies to sell. This is not crazy talk. It really depends on how you want to look at it. Just like in any business, equipment (or animals in this case) simply becomes tools of the trade and assets to the company. Once they outlive their usefulness then they are disposed of. Naturally there is a cost associated to hard goods like hatchling racks, tupperware, bowls, etc. but if amoratized over the life of its usefulness, represents a small part of the overall investment. All that has to be taken into consideration when doing the math.

The short sighted view is "It's costing me all this money to get things going" The long sighted view is "All this money I am spending will pay returns downstream". If anyone is in it for the quick buck, then they will get their eyes opened pretty fast.

Regarding the "get rich quick" type of business. I won't disagree, that there are many in the hobby who are in it for the money only or under the impression that herp breeding is the" be all end all" to financial success. But realistically how many animals will they have to sell to get rich. Resellers, will pay a premium for the animal in the hopes of moving it at a higher price, there's a risk in its own. Importers may have to put out huge chunks of cash to buy inventory from overseas and of course there are many risks there as well. Retailer have their overhead to deal with. Anyway you want to move animals, is still going to require a certain amount of financial output, dedication and effort. Very few people actually make a decent living doing nothing but selling animals they produce. I am sure you are well aware of the fact that most people in this and other forums, do have day jobs, and that their other "job" (keeping of herps) starts either before the 9:00 am whistle or after the 5:00 pm trek home. I don't see many getting rich here.

Anyone who keeps a collection for breeding, will pay dearly in maintenance, dedication and sacrifice in both time and resources. Large or small, the demands on every breeder are high. But I truly believe that those people that breed, do it for the love of the species and the experience learned. As far as I am concerned it is one of the best hobbies anyone can get into. Always something new to learn, always something to do, always something to experience, always someone new to meet.

If you are able to offset your costs and your time, and maybe make a profit in the process, then that's great! There is nothing wrong with being rewarded for our efforts. But I would never consider this to be a "get rich quick" scheme.

Likewise I would never fault anyone for buying the things they like just because they were successful in what they did or do. We all have a right to the finer things in life. It is up to the individual to make it happen. That goes for anything in life, herping included.

Peace
Jim

Last edited by jwsporty; 05-30-04 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 05-30-04, 01:38 PM   #65 (permalink)
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I don't think that the cost to produce one clutch can be factored into it. Because the cost to produce one clutch of Pied Ball Pythons is the same to produce a clutch of normal Ball Pythons, given that the snakes are already in your possession.

Ha ha, thanks for the vote of confidence Marisa! :-) The reason I posted about the projector was actually 2 fold. One, I was pumped about getting it as I've been researching it for some time. But more importantly, I was trying to drum up interest for higher-dollar animals in Canada. People in the country are cheap. No question. Animals over $500 do not move fast in Canada. Much like on the SnakeKeeper's site, I was trying to show the possibilities of what can happen if you make an investment with the right animals. I bought a Pastel for $1500 from Mark Mandic (thanx buddy) and in 8 months it bred and produced 2 clutches, generating $7,000. This year, its produced $8,000 worth of Pastels already, with 30 more eggs to hatch. Even if the price drops in HALF for Pastels, it'll still produce $15,000 worth of animals! That's insane. People looking for their hobby to support itself of to generate some serious side income have to realize that its there for the taking. I always look back at Trev's (Boidkeep/Chewie) signature. "Keep doing what you're doing, keep getting what you're getting". Its so true. Think Corey and Mark and Don and Henry and Mark I. and Craig were just content to sit back on their laurels? Nope. They had visions of taking the next step(s), and they did.

I was just trying to show people what's possible with a tiny investment. I don't really care how people took it though. But I know for pretty much certainty that I won't have any Pastels for sale past October this year, LOL! The resonce was phenomenal.


Also, people keep talking about how much work and time it takes to keep care of snakes (reptiles). That may be true for like 1000 animals, but really, its not THAT much work. Having a few Ball Pythons, a couple pairs of boas, some Carpets and maybe a few colubrids that could generate over $40,000 a year easily isnít that much work. Maybe Ĺ hour a day if set up correctly. Its really amazing what can be done with breeding a few select animals. Itís a hobby with unlimited potential. Thatís why I love it. And even though Iíd do it if there was zero or minus money involved (which I did for 10 years), its nice to have the hobby supports itself, and by chance, support not having to work as hard in life to be able to enjoy it even further.

Thatís totally cool in my mind. I donít know how you could argue with that!

Cheers all!
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Old 05-30-04, 02:00 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Well said Jeff, It all comes down to how efficiently you want to do things. All the best with your efforts. My pastel year will be next year..fingers crossed..


Jim
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Old 05-30-04, 02:14 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Fingers crossed for you too buddy! Make it happen. There's so much potential there, it'd be a crime not to try!

Cheers my man.
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Old 05-30-04, 02:52 PM   #68 (permalink)
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hehe Marisa in regards to the
"It also hard to garner sympathy for your shipping expenses when breeders make post like this."

comment I was just making a point that the 12 bucks shipping could be seen as kind of petty after a post like that.

Anyway anyone who knows or has dealt with Jeff know that he is a great guy to deal with. All the time he spent answering questions for me when I bought my JCPs was well worth the price I paid for them. If he had wanted to charge me a 12$ handling fee its highly unlikely it would have dissuaded me from my purchase.

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Old 05-30-04, 03:26 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Jeff, I don't think Canadians are cheap. I think most of us are overtaxed with less disposable income than others.

I would love to fork out $1500, not a pastel mind you, they hold no interest for me, but a nice bamboo rat, or a group of cave dwelling rats, but considering, I have high ultility bills and a $20K student loan to pay off, I have way more important things to be paying off. Plus very few people allow payment plans, those that I know (Henry P, SCALES, Dean, Stav, David K) I thank greatly for, for allowing me to purchase some snakes that I otherwise could not have afforded in one lump sum. Saving up in a bank acct doesn't work either, b/c mentally, I think, oh, that's my water bill, might as well pay that off now.

I'm not cheap, I'm just poor.
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Old 05-30-04, 03:50 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Jeff

I think there are a lot of ppl out there that wish they had the "cost of doing business" problem that you have!

Dave
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Old 05-30-04, 03:51 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Stop tripping over the pennies on the way to making dollars
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Old 05-30-04, 05:21 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Actually I hear the same complaint from a few canadian breeders who don't want to deal with canadian buyers cause they are cheap... often they get emails from people that want to pay the price of a single hatchling for the adult pair that produced that hatchling plus they want free shipping too.
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Old 05-30-04, 05:56 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Wow, I can't be believe how many amazing posts there have been. I've followed this from the get-go and I am now realizing why I like this site so much. From the top dollar breeders to the ones like myself who do it on a smaller scale with the more readily available reptiles, we are all the same. Same interests, same goals, same passions.

Yes, I too have often wondered how much of my own expenses could be recouperated by charging more based on packaging, shipping, gas and time. Then I realize that shipping a $50 gecko and a $200 gecko with an added % for those costs will only force people to go somewhere else. Which in the long run means that I will be recouperating even less by the end of the year. So basically, for me it's part of the breeding process. And really I don't mind. I do it out of the love for the hobby. I have a regular job that allows me to work upwards of 65 hours a week, and I get paid well, but like most other people I have a lot of expenses to pay for. I just like when the animals pay for themselves, which took a good 5 years to get to that point.

I am considering some higher end animals now, just because I really like them, not because they will make me more money. I'm with Katt on the thought that I will never quit my stable day job to do this breeding thing full time. Though I would never give up the reptiles either, even they put me in the hole. Though it would be nice to make some real cash to buy that Harley Ive been drooling over. Ah well, someday...

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Old 05-30-04, 06:22 PM   #74 (permalink)
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LOL! Didn't know you were a biker babe Julie. And to think Tim prefers them non-motorized mountain scalers!
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Old 05-30-04, 07:32 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Its tough Julie, but great post! I think we all feel very very similar deep down, to what you are saying. No one likes to subsidize certain aspects of their business/life with other aspects of their business/life. Reptiles or not. It doesn't matter. And it doesn't matter if you're making $500 a year at it or $500,000 a year at it, you HAVE to weigh the pros and cons, as a good business person. That is why I posed the question. Free market research! How beautiful is that?!

Thanks for replying. Great post. Get a chopper!! LOL!
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