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General Herp Talk Can't figure out where to post down in the other discussion forums? Too many options and too complicated? Well post your herp related messages here and to heck with it.

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
jntreptiles
Current Status of the Reptile Industry

I am just curious to what others feelings are about the current status of the reptile industry. I have been in business since 1987 and have been involved in many aspects of this industry over the years.

I have seen some ups and downs over the years, but none to the degree that it seems to be currently. I do understand that the economy is in a definite crunch and that people are being conservative on spending. But at he same time, does anyone feel that there are to many shows up and running.

I am in the north-east, and there is virtually a show every 3-4 weeks within a 2 hour drive of me. There is no anticipation factor anymore, and the impulse buyer has been lost.

If anyone has noticed the prices on many animals, they have dropped harshly and rapidly, to the point of being all but worthless. As many of you who sell on here already know, trying to get the value of your animal is getting harder and harder. I have seen many a animal, sell for way less then what they are really worth. Great for the buyer/horrible for the seller.

I guess I am just venting, frustrated at what use to be a great and rewarding industry. So just looking for what others are thinking. Is it affecting your business? Have you noticed a decline?
 
Old 08-31-2009, 10:23 PM   #2
Kingetula
I think you are right. I noticed it here in Florida with "breeders and dealers" I visit from time to time, even the few pet shops I visit have been hurting. I've seen a few people call it quits over the past year and start different carriers in the industry, they sold snakes and now they supplying pet stores with mice, just trying to make a buck.
 
Old 08-31-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
WingedWolf
Well, it shouldn't be a surprise that the poor economy is affecting the reptile industry just as much as it's affecting other businesses. I don't think the effect is necessarily worse than it is for other 'luxury' industries. People are tightening their belts, and they just don't have the money to buy the snakes, no matter how much they want them. High unemployment rates are probably a factor there as well, and reduced hours, etc.

I think the important thing is not to let this year--or even next year's prices affect prices in the long term, if at all possible. There are a lot of people bailing just to make a living--I had to run a sale as well to pay an expense that came up, because I couldn't cover it with income from the other part of my business--it's all just limping along.

All that bailing out adds up to a lot of animals on the market that might not normally be there--and that adds to the overstock, forcing prices lower. Perhaps once people are no longer being forced to bail, prices will actually rebound a bit. (One can hope). I don't see this as a complete disaster, just really rough times. But I do think competition for customers is going to be fierce for a little while.
 
Old 08-31-2009, 11:24 PM   #4
LauraB
Quote:
Is it affecting your business? Have you noticed a decline?
Absolutely. Not only in my hobby breeding/sales, but also in my career as well.
 
Old 09-01-2009, 06:16 AM   #5
DAND
As well as the critters I breed I also sell feeders insects and I have seen a decrease in sales there too. You'd figure feeders would be a consistent need but when I'm ordering 75,000 crickets for a show that 6 months ago I was ordering 100,000+, yeah I'd have to say there has been a decrease in sales. It's not just the shows since I am seeing this with my out of shows sales as well.

When is Obama going to sign that reptile stimulus bill?
 
Old 09-01-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
jntreptiles
I am glad to see so many people responding to this thread. Like I had stated before about the number of shows, I am in Pa, and this year if I am correct there are like 35-40 shows within a 1-3 hour drive of me this year. That is all but 1 show every other week or so.

Since these shows are so close to each other, you generally see the same vendors at each show, with the exception of a small % that are local to that shows location. So therefore, the impulse buy is lost, and a chance is taken on getting that animal at the next show which is only weeks later.

Rodent sales are hurting as well, alot are feeding every other week due to finances, and I agree with Donna, competition and over stock of unsold animals are gonna force the market to continue to drop rapidly and harshly on certain animals that are already being offered at below what they should be valued at. Will prices rebound when things get better?, They may, but will they rebound enough to put those animals back into perspective where they should be?, I doubt it.

I hope everyone holds out thru all this, and continues to push forward with their current projects and future ventures.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 01:41 AM   #7
Mad4You2
Independence Day....

We opened Dragon Bytes, Inc. a reptile and exotics store the afternoon of July 4th. Business is slowly picking up and I think that's because there's not much in the way of reptiles and supplies available in Tyler Texas and the surrounding area. We've got financing to last at least another year so I'm hoping to see the economy improve and allow people discretionary funds to spend on the hobby.

We're working with some of the members of the local herp club to try and get meetings going again....we have the space so it wouldn't cost anything to meet at the store. I've run ads in the Thrifty Nickel and that has increased traffic and I also got a yellow pages ad that will come out in the October book. We've got good prices on our feeders and we're getting regular customers coming back. Everyone says our animals look happy and everyone really wants something but they aren't buying on a first trip....they keep coming back and looking and finally some buy.

I have noticed that the prices seem lower on almost all animals listed for sale across the sties I routinely visit. I hope prices rebound when the economy picks up. BTW - the show closest to us i about 1.5 hours from our location in Arlington Texas they are d doing fewer shows than they have in the past.
 
Old 09-09-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
mikeyt
I have been to a few shows here lately in the Pa and Md areas and it seems like the number of people attending the shows is still up fairly good, however as I move from table to table I notice that the competition is very stiff, most every table has the same animals, seeming to be balls, boas , and leopard geckos. All are competing with the same species, it comes down to what catches your eye and who is willing to sacrifice the most on price. I have seen some already exceptionaly low priced animals sell for even less at the end of bartering. It is truly amazing.

I do not seem to see as many people carrying around new purchases as I use to, rather most seem to be regular attendees, just hanging out for the day, while others seem to pickng up feeders and supplies.
 
Old 09-10-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
DISCERN
Everyone has made some good points!

I personally feel that while the economy does and is playing a huge part in this, I think that a lot of what we are seeing is just simply too much of a good thing, which is the lovely reptiles we are hatching out at alarming rates. That, and too many shows like another mentioned.

Whenever anyone buys a pair of snakes to breed from you, the seller, that is one more person that will become a competitor for you in the future, willingly or unwillingly. Keep that in mind as customers buy more and more pairs of snakes from people all over. Then, tons of snakes are hatched. Everyone and thier uncle has ads out on the internet, and buys tables at reptile shows. Everyone has the same thing, as mikeyt pointed out. I see the same snakes day in, day out, all over on the classifieds. Nothing seems to be rare anymore.

Then, you have what we have now: Supply exceeding demand.

Then, when supply exceeds demand, prices go down. It's just how it is. Then, you hear frustration over this happening from breeders. Tons of talking smack about one another, over money. Is that constructive? Nope, and only serves to divide.
Again, this is all about supply exceeding demand. IMO, it is all over the place in our hobby.

Maybe if people did not set out to breed everything they buy, then our supply now would not be so exhausted? Breeding is so rewarding, and always a good thing to do, but at the same time, requires much responsibility, and then the possibility of scenarios such as what the herp community is going thru now happening. It is also rewarding to not breed everything you buy, and just enjoy these fine animals as pets. Something to think about.

Also, in this time, people may just have to live with getting what they can get for their reptiles. A snake is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and this all varies from person to person.

Take care!
 
Old 09-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #10
Bill & Amy
I don't know what you guys are seeing, but everyone I know has been selling just fine. Some say the have had the best sales this year. If you put the work into building your name and produce quality animals, sales will follow. Advertising is only a small portion of selling animals, people need to know who you are and what kind of business you run no matter how low you sell your stuff. I have people asking to let them know when I produce a hatchling they want this year, no advertising even involved.
 

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