I am wondering the same thing. I have 3 females that should be ready to breed and I am on an extremely tight budget for my last male. I decided that I would love to get a spider or cinny male (08 or 09) that is ready to breed. I am trying to hold off for a show in Dallas at the end of July but am tempted to buy online from a breeder.
On the other hand, I bought 4 BP's online over the last month or so and 3 from a local breeder. Its nice knowing the breeder in town and having him answer questions and tell me about other morphs he maybe clearing out. I was able to see his set up and see what he was breeding and that he did not have a need for the BP morph I bought. It did make me feel better and not that I was buying a snake that was a bad eater, didn't take breeding, etc.
The majority of my collection has been purchased online,and will purchase at shows if I see something that catches me.I too will wait it out to find the perfect one to suit what I am looking to produce, I dont think I have ever paid "asking price" for anything in my collection
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I have bought online and at shows and have had good experiences with both. I like buying from shows because you can hold the snake and you can make sure it's what you want. The last snakes that I got where from a show and I got them from Tim Bailey who is a great breeder and an awesome person to talk to.
I would much rather buy directly from the breeder. I am afraid of getting mites, or worse, from shows.
You can buy directly from the breeder at a show that's where I met Tim Bailey from Bailey and Bailey Reptiles and Sean from Exotics by Nature. And now that I have met them that's where I will be getting my ball pythons from.