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  1. #1
    Registered User Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Angry Big Brand Name Prices (Rant)

    I am brand new to this business and don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in pricing these animals at their market value and not trying to undercut everyone. I'm not going to mention any names (i'm sure most of you can name a few of them), but the prices some of these larger "famous" breeders are putting on their animals compared to what everyone else is pricing theirs at is ludicrous! I have seen many instances where they have their animals priced at more than double what I paid for the same exact thing and I paid full market value! I'm talking about single gene and Het animals that aren't exactly considered to be"elite", either. I'm sorry, but just because someone's "brand" happens to be more known than other peoples, simply because they managed to become "Youtube famous" does not make their animals any higher quality or more valuable than any other responsible breeder that produces and sells healthy animals with the same genes! If anything, I feel that animals purchased from smaller breeders might be higher quality, because they are able to give their animals more time, care and attention, because they don't have thousands of them. Something else that irks me is, I see a lot of Youtube videos where people, who buy from these breeders go out of their way to brag about having purchased their animals from them... lol So what!

    I'm sorry, but it just baffles me how businesses like that manage to stay in business. Not just in the reptile business, but big brand names in almost any business...
    1.0 Lavender Albino Motley 25% Kalatoa SD Reticulated Python - "Sixx"
    0.1 Purple Albino Golden Child 25% Kalatoa SD Reticulated Python - "Xanthess"
    1.1 Sumatran Short Tail Pythons (Chrome Heads) - "Jasper" & "Samantha"
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    0.1 Ghost Het Moonglow/Possible Super Boa Constrictor (BI) - "Priscilla"
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  3. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    "Market" price is simply the price at which someone is willing to buy. If a buyer chooses to pay more for a "name brand" product where the quality is no different than a vendor with a lesser-known brand, so what? I choose to spend my dollars more wisely than that, doesn't matter whether it's animals, clothes, food, etc.

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran KevinK's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brand Name Prices (Rant)

    If it makes you feel better, I feel that some of the specific breeders you're talking about aim for lower priced animals to begin with as a large majority of their sales....because if I'm going to seek out for example, a super black pastel het pied in pursuit of Panda pieds....I'm DEFINITELY going to be shopping with price in mind.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a large majority of the sales they do are to brand new snake owners, not that there's anything wrong with that but when you enter the hobby you aren't necessarily aware of sites like Kingsnake and MorphMarket.

    I"m pretty sure I know who you're talking about based on this and if you watch his videos where he boxes the animals almost ALL of them are lower priced, three gene or less animals. As far as price goes, it's ALL about overhead however. I get what you're saying completely, but at the same time as someone who is WELL aware of current real estate market prices, commercial real estate prices are INSANE in my specific area at least....then factor in a sizable HVAC bill to upgrade the facility to hit your heating requirements, and then factor in your heating bill each month.

    As for smaller breeders having better animals, I would tend to agree with that but of course there are bad breeders as well, both large and small. I can tell you the name of a SUPER well known breeder that is notorious for having a mite problem (PM me if you actually want the name) and sells VERY expensive animals to begin with. However, when you're dealing with a small breeder the transaction is ALL about trust as well. Is a random guy off MorphMarket with no business contacts REALLY going to sell you an animal that is 100% het for whatever they say it is?....maybe, maybe not. However, saying an animal is het for something can earn you potentially thousands of dollars more and by the time you would find out, they could be long gone with your money in hand.
    Last edited by KevinK; 11-21-2017 at 01:57 PM.

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  7. #4
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    Re: Big Brand Name Prices (Rant)

    Not to stir the hornets nest but the power of the internet and utilizing tools such as YouTube has served a lot of people well. Heck it's made a lot of people wealthy. Another powerful tool is forums where word of mouth advertising is used amongst the members. Your rant, and I do hear you loud and clearly spills over into the accessories market as well. The latest flavor of Koolaid I have seen that is getting drank quite rapidly is Reptile Prime. Substrate has been beat to death for many years and yet we see posts weekly from people who ask "will my snake die after eating a mouthfull of substrate"? And yet with proper advertising and since it is dust less , people over look their snake eating the stuff AND pay a premium price to watch their snakes eat it. Look at Spyder Robotics. Forum posts are almost at the point where if you don't use a Herpstat your snake is dead upon contact with it's cage. What I'm saying in all of this is we live in a Capitalist society. If a person is willing to pay a certain price for their own "feel good" that is their choice. Nothing will ever change that. I know what works for me and the system I have garnered for my cheap snakes using cheap accessories has served me VERY well for many many years. For others, they prefer the Cadillac route which is ok too. Thats what makes owning snakes fun.

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  9. #5
    BPnet Veteran cchardwick's Avatar
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    Supply and demand is a fickle thing. I see prices for most snakes all over the board, huge swings in prices for apparently no reason. I've seen all kinds of things wrong with one or another snake / breeder: mites, respiratory infections in their collections, not feeding their hatchlings (a year old snake the size of a hatchling), not really knowing what genes are in the snakes and making a lot of guesses, etc.

    You can charge whatever you want for your snakes but sooner or later people will buy or not buy based not only on the snake but on your reputation. It's not all about pricing. If I buy a female and have to wait three years before I can breed her I'll pay an extra 50% to know that the snake has been well cared for, is mite and RI free, and that the genetics listed are accurate. And a lot of people will pay more for a snake based on the pattern alone, a smiley face on the back of the snake, a mark that resembles their initials, a head stamp that is symmetrical, etc. I'd also rather buy from a guy down the street and save on shipping, especially if he will willing to do a partial trade for other snakes / mice / bedding / etc..

    One down side of big breeders that I don't like is that they don't communicate very well. Sometimes it's hard to communicate enough to even buy a snake. Some people like instant text so they can have their questions answered, like what was the hatch date? Any other possible het genes in the mix? What is it currently feeding on? etc.. The best snake I ever bought had a separate personal website with a 'buy it now' button through PayPal and instant texting with the breeder.

    I think at first most new snake owners buy based on price alone until they get some experience, then choose breeders based on other preferences.

    I've also seen people single handedly crash the market for a particular morph by 50% almost overnight by selling their snakes really cheap. Not sure the big breeders can keep up with the market trends that fluctuate so fast. Some morphs hold their price for years, some tank and never come back and some rebound.

    It also comes down to supply and demand. I've shopped around for the best price before and a day or two after I bought it another one listed for 20% to 30% less. Since I'm breeding it's no big deal, I will eventually recoup that potential loss. I've also seen morphs drop in price like a rock. Then a lot of people stop producing them and a few years later they come back into the market at a higher price.

    "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;
    they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands!"
    -Jesus

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  11. #6
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    I like to buy from people who are available and approachable. And I am loyal to a fault. My first snake was a corn from SMR. Iím sure I drove Don nuts both before and after that sale. That experience has been my frame of reference for future purchases. Iím willing to pay a bit more for peace of mind and future support, especially with hets. But I also learned the hard way that price does not guarantee satisfaction. Having a membership here has given me the confidence to expand my collection because of the support and dynamics. Iíve bought from people, or steered clear of people, based on what Iíve read here. My best advice on price? Research the type of animal, the seller, and, if the price seems a bit high, or low, ASK the seller why that price. The BOI on FaunaClassified is a great tool as well.

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  13. #7
    BPnet Senior Member artgecko's Avatar
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    I think it comes down to doing your research as a buyer... If someone wants to pay 2-3x the going rate for a morph, then they can.. I wouldn't do so, but I'm aware of the tools we can use to look at pricing in the market (MM, KS, Fauna, etc.). Newcomers might not have that info and just buy from a "big name".

    I am fine with breeders pricing a little higher for quality and high standard of care. I recently bought 2 BPs for a future breeding project. One came from a small breeder who had excellent communication, sent pics, hatch date, attempted f/t feedings for me, etc. Great snake, great feeder, and great sales experience. I'd purchase from that breeder again even though their pricing was higher than others on the morph I purchased (which I didn't realize until after the sale).

    Second purchase was from a much larger well-known breeder with a good rep. Animal should have been a much higher-cost animal that the other purchase (1st purchase was a recessive animal with 1 additional codom gene, 2nd purchase was a recessive animal with 4 additional codom genes). I paid around $50 more for the second animal (including shipping costs). However, communication wasn't as good, animal was healthy, but smaller and is a much more finicky eater.

    Both purchases ended with healthy animals, but price and service were a lot different and in this case, the big breeder was selling his animals for a lot less. Note that this big breeder doesn't have a youtube presence that I'm aware of.
    Currently keeping: 1.0 Boa constrictor amarali
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  14. #8
    Registered User rufretic's Avatar
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    I don't see it as a bad thing at all. This is much better than the small breeders that list everything dirt cheap just to get rich fast and ruin the market for what they sell. By keeping prices higher it helps keep the market value. If you don't want to pay their prices buy somewhere else. I personally wish more breeders would try to hold their prices rather than everyone trying to undercut the next guy. If everyone was trying to sell for the cheapest, everything would lose it's value so quick it would make the whole market for these wonderful animals crash and hurt the hobby. If you plan to breed and sell your own snakes, you should be happy people are making an effort to get the animals to hold their value. No body forces you to buy from them but everyone deserves to charge what they want, you as the buyer can choose if you think it's worth the price or not.

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  16. #9
    BPnet Veteran Sauzo's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brand Name Prices (Rant)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedryan Methyus View Post
    I am brand new to this business and don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in pricing these animals at their market value and not trying to undercut everyone. I'm not going to mention any names (i'm sure most of you can name a few of them), but the prices some of these larger "famous" breeders are putting on their animals compared to what everyone else is pricing theirs at is ludicrous! I have seen many instances where they have their animals priced at more than double what I paid for the same exact thing and I paid full market value! I'm talking about single gene and Het animals that aren't exactly considered to be"elite", either. I'm sorry, but just because someone's "brand" happens to be more known than other peoples, simply because they managed to become "Youtube famous" does not make their animals any higher quality or more valuable than any other responsible breeder that produces and sells healthy animals with the same genes! If anything, I feel that animals purchased from smaller breeders might be higher quality, because they are able to give their animals more time, care and attention, because they don't have thousands of them. Something else that irks me is, I see a lot of Youtube videos where people, who buy from these breeders go out of their way to brag about having purchased their animals from them... lol So what!

    I'm sorry, but it just baffles me how businesses like that manage to stay in business. Not just in the reptile business, but big brand names in almost any business...
    If it as animal that it is obvious to see the gene like sunglow boa, pied BP, albino retic etc, then i understand. The problem comes if you are buying something especially locality BCC stuff where paying the extra from a reputable well known breeder would be better. Papers can be faked so i wouldnt rely on those unless you are talking something like CITES paperwork but that is for something imported and even those can be iffy since animals are usually shipped from certain ports yet can be collected a ways away. Buying from a reputable breeder in those cases, there would no question in the business if you ever went to sell said animals or sell their offspring that it would be taken as being what you advertise. Like for me, my Suriname came from Chris Wolf who is well known for his Pokigron stuff as he got all of his stock directly from Gus Rentfro who everyone knows and pretty much acknowledges as the Suriname godfather. So something like that, i gladly pay the little extra for. Also there is Vin Russo with his Peruvian BCC stuff as well as Chris Wolf. Now i understand if you just buy a 'generic' suriname for cheaper if you dont intend to breed and just want a pet. Nothing wrong with it and some are very pretty. Me personally, i tend to like to know the lineage my snakes come from if i can.

    Bottom line is I have certain people i like to deal with for my stuff and generally i just stick to them. Mostly from the 'i dont want to get ripped off' standpoint though lol.
    1.0 SD/D White Albino Tiger het snow Reticulated Python-Caesar
    0.1 High White Pied Ball Python-Dottie
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  18. #10
    BPnet Lifer wolfy-hound's Avatar
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    Let me point out something that I don't think anyone else has addressed....

    When you are a "Big Name" and you have animals available to purchase, you get FAR more interest in your snakes than a typical "small unknown breeder". So where someone with no name has to hustle to find buyers, or even put out advertisements and social media feelers, the flip side is that the big name breeder has literally thousands of emails from people SAYING they want to buy an animal.

    Now, in this business, you will get several inquiries for each actual sale. This isn't because all people are trolls, but many don't quite know what they want... they find animals in person instead of shipping, they find something cheaper, they change their mind about which one they want, change morph needs, just are comparing with other options... etc. So a small breeder has say ten emails to sort through. A big breeder gets a thousand.

    You have to cut the numbers down somehow so it's more manageable. The easiest and most effective way to do so is to raise the prices. Many inquiries will go to other cheaper options. The higher the prices, the fewer inquiries you get.

    This lets the big breeder manage the emails coming in better, they get higher prices for all the time they have to spend sorting through potential buyers and lookie-loos and lets them spend more time caring for snakes and dealing with those buyers.

    This is ALSO why most people end up complaining that "Big breeders don't communicate well!" because your email is one of a thousand emails. It's not that they don't care, but that they only have so much time, especially for things like "You have a photo but can I get more photos" or "can I get a photo of that $10 normal"... which while important to that buyer, takes up even more time that they just don't have to spend. Not that they don't WANT to spend just as much time talking about even the most normal male BP for sale, but that they can't.

    You can also figure in the reputation factor for "hidden" genes like hets because a big breeder has more to lose if they were scamming people.

    So big breeders are no better or worse than small breeders, when it comes down to it. There's good factors for both types and everyone can choose which breeder to buy from, always. Just another side to the story that many people don't think about.
    Theresa Baker
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    "Stop being a wimpy monkey,; bare some teeth, steal some food and fling poo with the alphas. "

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