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General Business Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to business related topics concerning Reptiles and Amphibians that are neither appropriate for the Board of Inquiry, nor sales, purchase, or trade solicitations.

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Old 05-02-2019, 12:47 PM   #1
What do you feel is fair to charge

Last year had a friend ask me to care for a few animals out of their collection. Was supposed to be 20-25 animals . I agreed they were going through major life issues and they said breed them split the clutch. We go to pick these up and they are having big issues and look at me tell me to take the whole collection and do this with as they are going to die otherwise. Me and my girlfriend didn't really want to but many of these snakes had no water etc bad space. We had the extra room so we did it to help the friend and the snake. Otherwise we were worried they all would die. "they are separated from our collection completely. Well instead of 20-25 it was 140 adults plus some hold backs etc.
Most were in bad shape dehydrated and underfed . "Some died within the first couple weeks " We have held these taking care of them feeding cleaning etc for 8 months . Most are just now back to what I consider healthy weights. Not even breeder ready weights .
Now they decided they need money and are planning to sell all the animals .
In this 8 months I have been buying or breeding all the rodents and bedding etc. No money has been given for the care of these animals .
What do you think I should charge them for this . As I have spent Thousands out of pocket to nurse their animals back to health and they act like I shouldn't get anything.One in common friend said to pull out a few animals and say these are payment etc.Another feels I should invoice them for rodents,bedding.

What do you all feel would be the right thing to do?
Old 05-02-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
What do you have in writing, even if via text?

What kind of snakes?

Did any have to be taken to the vet?
Old 05-02-2019, 02:46 PM   #3
All through text. As I consider them a friend almost family. All Ball python's. Main cost is feeders . when adding that many feeders per month.
Time spent is just that time spent and lost .
Old 05-02-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
Have you asked your friend what he would think is fair for the effort and expenses you put into his animals? If you cannot keep the animals until you are able to breed them and produce babies to split the income off of, then where does that leave you if you return the animals to him now so he can sell them off?

Certainly invoices of direct expenses you made in his behalf would help to support your argument of being due some compensation. And if you have the text messages, make sure you retain them so any statements made can be brought forth if needed.

In your shoes I hope for the best, but plan for the worst. I wouldn't turn over any animals until you had this matter resolved to what YOU are willing to accept as being fair. You are holding all the cards by having the animals in your possession. But there is also the opportunity for things to get ugly real fast.

As a likely outcome, are you prepared to lose this friend as a friend? Chances are, that is what is going to happen. These sorts of things seem to rarely end well for both parties. Someone is going to come away unhappy about it.

Old 05-02-2019, 06:17 PM   #5
Originally Posted by CFexotics View Post
and look at me tell me to take the whole collection and do this with as they are going to die otherwise.
Originally Posted by CFexotics View Post
As I have spent Thousands out of pocket to nurse their animals back to health and they act like I shouldn't get anything.
IMHO with the completely about face, you were taken for a ride by your so called 'friends' from the get go. While they may indeed have been facing difficulties, there is no universe where a friend would not offer their friend something for this mountain of work that you put in.
You need to be paid for your time and expenses. Present them with a bill for $6,000 or whatever you feel the time and expenditures come to. Expect a lot of noise from them, maybe some publicity, even threats of legal action.

A LOT hinges on any sort of agreement that was made. Any piece of writing. Any verbal agreement made when witnesses were present. If it is a bailment and that is what it sounds like it is, the original agreement allegedly did offer you compensation as you are saying here, that you were offered a divide of any clutches. I think that this offer for compensation could be raised in court (if it goes that far) as an implication that some payment was indeed planned. That being the case, negotiating a fair amount for your bill with written backups of rodent.bedding costs and an estimate of your time should be persuasive.
I tossed out $6,000 but to me that is a lowball guess. You were caring for 140+ ball pythons . I've owned ball pythons and they are heavy bodied snakes with poops to match, you have to clean all that up, with fresh water in the water bowls, that takes a lot of time.
Old 05-02-2019, 08:20 PM   #6
Conservatively, IMO you're due at least $9000 just for snake food. Here's how I arrived at that number:

You brought home 140 adult ball pythons, all underweight due to neglect. While ball pythons are known for being picky eaters, if you've ever rehabilitated an underweight neglected one then you know that they will eat every chance they get.

So, I figured they'd be eating a small rat every week, and the average price for frozen small rats online is $2 per rat. I did not include shipping in that cost.

You also did not say how many holdback snakes so I did not include them in this calculation.

For the feeding cost, you had 140 adult ball pythons at $2 per snake per week = $1120 per month. Multiply that times 8 months and you're up to $8960 just in feeders, and while you didn't have to buy the feeders because you raised them, you could have sold them to other snake owners.

Hopefully you have feeding logs so you can calculate just how many feeders your friend's snakes ate over the eight months.

You also have costs for snake substrate, electricity to run the heat tape in the racks, water (both for drinking and cleaning), cleansers and disinfectants, etc. For one or two snakes it's not a big deal, but for 140+ it adds up.

That doesn't even include what you think your time is worth.
Old 05-02-2019, 09:48 PM   #7
I think Melinda's breakdown of costs was spot on.
The reason I am asking about what was written or said at the time the critters were picked up is the quote below sort of leads me to believe that the unexpected 120 (over and above the 20 you were expecting) which the owners expected to die if you did not take them, might be characterized as a gift rather than a bailment and as such would not need to be returned at all because the previous owners would have no rights to them.
Originally Posted by CFexotics View Post
tell me to take the whole collection and do this with as they are going to die otherwise.
Old 05-03-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
Looked at records and yes even going low end saying all eating small rats and using wholesale price on Small rats here at 1.50 each I am well over the 6K out of pocket in feeders.
The crazy thing is late last night after telling them I have spent over that much only response was well we both figured they would give us eggs . Here is a list of prices I want for them and I am going to try sell them to another local guy when are you available for him to come look at them .

I am sending a reply now that I will not be middle man in a sell where I am not compensated for my time and the feed/care I have given your animals. As you said yes I expected to be getting payment through breeding these now that you want cash right now I am not expected to just lose the $XXXX amount in care .
Old 05-03-2019, 10:08 AM   #9
Wow that's ballsy. While I don't share the sentiment I know many keepers absolutely do not permit buyers to come to their homes to view/purchase animals; that activity is always done off-site. There are a variety of reasons, including biosecurity (not spreading diseases between collections), personal security (not having just anyone come over and case their home), etc.

On top of that you're supposed to schedule times the buyer can come over and look at the snakes, essentially turning you into their consignor, and with no additional compensation?

I have kept snakes for friends who find themselves in a bad place, but always a handful not racks full, and they would cover feeder cost or stop by and help with cleaning my full collection (which includes retics and burms so it's a big messy job). None of them ever just dropped the snakes on me and disappeared for eight months.
Old 05-03-2019, 11:34 AM   #10
If you *want* to keep some that you feel would be fair as payment, have you offered that as an option?
They you can give him the rest back and he can set it up with the buyer.
No way would I be a middle man and let someone else into my home.
This sounds sketchy.

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