Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Here is the place to discuss anything not related to reptiles and does not fall into any other catagories.

Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Urucone » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:01 pm

This is bothering me a while now, before my “incident” I’ve noticed a decline in reptile interest and now with my return to the pet trade there’s still a decline in reptile trade and I’m not talking about customers towards shops, I’m talking about people that I know for years and even people on this forum (I’m not mentioning names and please don’t feel it’s aimed on you), I was just wondering what is your input in this, everyone is selling and less people are buying, is it because people are to narrow minded to notice that there’s more than bearded dragons and corn snakes caused by poor marketing or is it because people already own all the cheap animals and don’t want to invest in more expensive animals, I don’t know, what is your input on this?
as long as you keep quiet, no one will notice that your dumb
User avatar
Urucone
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Gauteng/Northwest province

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Chamssss » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:54 pm

Well maybe people just dont have the cash right now, or are buying other things... I heard someone made a purchase on a pair of reptiles for R16 000 earlier today
Chamssss
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:42 pm
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Nineve » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:15 pm

Everybody wants to make a buck or two extra on their income, in result more breeders. I stand to be corrected but maybe there are too many breeders and not enough buyers, also not nearly enough marketing and not nearly enough perks. We need to get more people involved. And sorry if I’m stepping on some toes but the reptile crew is a very hard group to fit in too. If you own a normal corn snake then sorry you don’t have enough balls to fit in....... where in actual fact that is where the hobby starts, with a normal corn snake.........
Take Mgiddings for an example, young and fresh in the hobby with a lot of enthusiasm that can be a great advantage in the future will be lost if he keeps running into closed doors.
Crazy, not stupid...........
User avatar
Nineve
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:09 am
Location: South Africa - Gauteng

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Urucone » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:25 pm

@ chamssss - I've no doubt that there is still people buying reptiles, take me for example I've spend approx R5000 this past 2 weeks and tommorow another R1500, my point is that there is a decline, There are loyal reptile collectors and breeders, but If there is a market value of lets say R1 million a year, we will probably be half that amount, where has the other half gone and for the guy that has spend that R16000, go have a look he probably have a few animals at home worth double that.

It's as if the new generation is vading away.
as long as you keep quiet, no one will notice that your dumb
User avatar
Urucone
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Gauteng/Northwest province

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Reptiles Unlimited » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:43 pm

The younger generation of herpers are not being brought into the trade as much as before. We have a group of 6 - 8 boys all below 15 years of age that have only just discovered what an amazing hobby this is. They are all from the neighbourhood and friends of my son. It does not happen by itself. It requires that each of us create an interest, whether it be by giving educational talks or giving an interested beginner time and attention.

Good topic Urucone
JP Wittstock
Reptiles Unlimited
http://www.reptilesunlimited.co.za
User avatar
Reptiles Unlimited
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:37 pm
Location: Durban, South Africa

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Nineve » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:01 pm

Maybe we can pull together to give the THA, WRA and all the other organisations a small donation to put up posters at local pet stores and schools.
This can help in making people more aware of the reptile community and attract new members.

@ BV - What is your thoughts on this.....
Crazy, not stupid...........
User avatar
Nineve
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:09 am
Location: South Africa - Gauteng

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Carpetpythons » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:10 am

Hi Guys, it is happening here in Australia too. The global financial crisis definitely had an impact on people spending money. We have just started to see morphs popping up here within the carpet python complex. To give you guys an idea on what it's like I'll use carpet pythons as an example. 6 years ago albinos were selling for $6600. They have dropped down to a $1000 each now. Last year jaguar carpet pythons came on the scene over here and they are currently worth between $5000-$6000 a piece. They are fresh on the scene here so the demand is high for them. They will also start to drop in price over the year.

The Market over here is also only sustained by maybe a 150000 enthusiasts. There was a significant influx of new people into the Market about 4 years ago. Most of these newcomers wanted to make a quick buck and have since fallen out of the hobby again, because people are just not spending money anymore.
User avatar
Carpetpythons
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 10:52 am

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Doug Anderson » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:30 am

The reptile industry started taking a huge knock a few years back already...and has never been the same

There was a perfect business model in place - well known serious reputable reptile breeders sold predominantly to petshops (of which there were a FEW that specialised). They did this because they didn't want to deal with hundreds of questions and calls, dificult customers etc. The end user bought from petshops. This model worked well because petshops bought bulk and took care of feeding, electricity bills, time taken to clean cages etc and the risk of stock sitting. Some money hungry private breeders thought that they would bypass the petshops and go directly to the end user, hoping to make more money...what happend instead, is that these breeders soon realised that raising the stock that they bred costs quite a packet when you are buying the food from petshops ....so the same breeders dropped prices to give away prices, just to get rid of the stock - beardies a case in point, leopard geckos a case in point...interestingly those same breeders went in other directions because they didn't make the money they anticipated making - but this hurt the industry because now the end user wanted stock at rock bottom prices and petshops simply cant sell at those prices because they have overheads to cover. Petshops stopped buying stock from breeders, more stock was available on the market - prices dropped further. Once the end user had access to the private breeder, the whole industry dropped over night.

Now every petshop "specialises" in everything. Many of the original main shops that specialised in reptiles sold or closed

Moral of the story - there is no such thing as a quick buck.

So now it is up to the private breeders to sustain the hobby - but it will never be where it was. Everybody lost, the breeders of reptiles, the breeders of live food, the importers of products - everybody. Snakes that were imported for R15k couldn't be sold and still battle today to sell for 1K in less than a year of the snake market dropping...

The end user is now in the habit of waiting for expos to get the the lowest prices, so the shops dont get supported - I dont believe those that sell at expo's actually make serious money - except on rare high priced stock. All the average normal stuff are loss leaders in my opinion and it is used as a marketing opportunity, unless you bred it yourself - petshops are making money on marine and other areas now, not reptiles - those areas that the want to get rich quickly person actually cant do in their private capacity. Maybe if you have bred the reptiles on sale, then you can make money - but certainly not buying in stock and trying to resell it at expos. If you try do that, the prices just get dropped further at expos.

There are long standing very reputable private breeders of reptiles that have gone through the thick and thin in the industry, many of them on this forum and I understand that they have to sell to the public now and shops every now and then to survive and recoup costs incurred in breeding. The want to get rich quickly "breeders" are long gone - having said that, the damage is done.

My opinion...
Doug Anderson
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:39 pm

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Doug Anderson » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:36 am

you see, the strongest industries worldwide have control - diamonds is a good example - there are thousands of carrats "available" but the supply is controlled and so demand is high and high prices are achieved.

Sadly nothing like this has ever been implemented for the pet trade and so it is a free for all - if there was, then we wouldn't have this problem today.
Doug Anderson
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:39 pm

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Chamssss » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:11 am

Well said Doug, thing with the U.S breeders is most of them have gotten their name out as being really good and most of them are. They keep their bloodlines clean and the whole shabang.
Baby panther chameleons there sold by the known and trusted breeders amke $300 a baby, which is still a good amount, I heard of people starting to ask why are they so common but still so expensive, and we can see why.
Chamssss
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:42 pm
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Nineve » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:12 am

Working with Urucone the past few years I’ve noticed that the same reptiles is getting sold over and over again ending up with different owners - ironically it’s going to be someone you know or heard of.
Doesn’t this prove that there is only a hand full of people active in this hobby? A little community trapped in a vicious circle of trade.......

@ Doug, I agree in a sense. But unfortunately it’s not what you have anymore but who you know. I don’t think the private breeder is the only ones to blame, pet shops is as much to blame. Not all of them but a lot really don’t care what quality they sell to the public.. Thus, they are opening the gates to back yard breeders. They were not forced into buying the stock, it was by choice. Unfortunately what goes up must go down, the good part is if its rock bottom it sure to go up again. For example the bearded dragons started out very good with a price tag of R350 - R450 a juvenile, prices went down to R50.00 a Juvenile.... But the prices went up again to R100.00 a juvenile, not much but there is an increase. The same with the leopard geckos; everything in life I think works like that. There is something new and every second household gets one, soon the market is full and it will stay that way for a while forcing the prices to drop. Before you know it the (for example) the beardies will die of and people will want to replace the family pet. Because it wasn’t worth the while to breed beardies for R50.00 a juvenile a lot of breeders will have sold of their breeding leaving only a few left, resulting in market demand.
Back to Urucone, I really think that there are maybe some problems with our youth as well.
Nothing seems to amaze anymore.......
I’m scared that our hobby will soon die with us leaving no youth to lead the next generation.
Crazy, not stupid...........
User avatar
Nineve
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:09 am
Location: South Africa - Gauteng

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Urucone » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:36 am

I really don't care about breeders, back yard breeders or even commercial breeders, everyone has their role to play in the industry, yes, the quality of animals may differ and the way they are handled, the thing is it’s like the diamond industry, there are people that control the industry, making sure the market value stay at a maximum level, but it don't have anything to do with the demand, (tomorrow all of us wakes up and corn snakes sells for R10000 a baby, it's not going to change the demand, there was 5 people that wanted to buy one and tomorrow there's still going to be 5 people, only difference is they are going to put money away for allot longer), the main problem is with the demand, if every person that owns a corn decide to buy a king, then there's a market, if they have the corn and the king and they decide to get a boa there will be a market that enthusiasm of going bigger and better should be waken up, my headache isn't the market itself, the reptile community is going extinct, the enthusiasm and love towards these animals is dying off, solving this problem will help the reptile market and the reptile community's.
as long as you keep quiet, no one will notice that your dumb
User avatar
Urucone
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Gauteng/Northwest province

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby LeglessDragon » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:50 am

This problem has been in my thoughts too, but I think the problem is that when we sell a snake we create an enthusiasm to the buyer to become a breeder too. Roughly 2 years later that snake we sold is being bred and more baby's come into the market. That breeder though finds out that the reptile "biz" is not as glamorous as he/she thought. It takes work. They lose the enthusiasm and then pass this emotion on to the next person. The next person just wants to show off that they own a reptile and can breed... At the end of the day we have LOTS of breeders that do just that: Breed. No love for the industry, but just a "job".

Also has anyone noticed the increase in rescues? How many of those are Corn Snakes? Corn snakes are far less rescues than any other snake. I am not going to sell the idea of corn snakes over the others, but as was mentioned: That is where the ENTHUSIASM starts. Every petshop and most breeders I have spoken to tell a kid NOT to buy a corn snake because everyone has one and to rather go for something more exotic. The exotic becomes a bragging point for a kid (that has NO experiance and poor advice) instead of building of love and respect for the industry. And how many of us incourage kids to do exactly that: Buy something more exotic? When a kid comes to a ball python breader, for example, with a corn snake the breeder laughs in their face and shuts them out.

We, us a community, should start to build the enthusiasm in these kids again even if the snake is a corn snake. A corn snake is just the beginning for them.

Basically we should stop "selling" the idea of the status of owning a reptile, but should encourage the enthusiasm. To see the youth of today, wanting bragging rights and then having to go rescue the reptile, is what is bringing this reptile lover down to the extreme that I consider "throwing in the towel".
My heart always leads, my brain always lags. Words are said in the moment and friendships made or broken. My heart always leads...
User avatar
LeglessDragon
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1079
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:54 am
Location: Roodepoort

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby Fooble » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:03 am

No marketing = no sales.

One cant except the product to "sell themselves".

From a marketing perspective thats how everything else in the world works from cars to beauty products.
Breeders and or pet shops need to realise this and push forward their "brand" to the consumer in order to gain sales/profits.

In this "trade" this is seldom done.
Organized crime comes in more forms than one.
User avatar
Fooble
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:32 am
Location: Umhlanga, Durban - KZN

Re: Reptile trade going from a roar to silence

Postby rolandslf » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:19 am

Having read the above post and it's replies, I firstly want to say, this is a brilliant post.

I agree that the drop in prices has occurred, I also agree that at some stage there will be a resurgence and an upswing in pricing. The point to be made is this.

How many large scale breeders are there who use this industry as their only source of income?
If there are a large number of them. Why don't they get together with a view to regulating pricing in terms of a minnimum and maximum charge per species?

There are the part time breeders like myself who breed my animals for the purpose of increasing my knowledge about these magnificent creatures, and if it makes a few bucks for me once a year, well "So Be It". I will never ever recover the year to year cost of feeding, caring for and occasional medicating of my snakes, but "So What", I am not in the game for financial gain. It is perhaps the part timers like me that are driving prices down, mainly because I do not care about how much I make off my snakes.

If we had guidelines regarding pricing as I have suggested, then surely there would be some kind of recovery in the market.

Just my 2c worth.
It is better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On.
Roland Friskin
User avatar
rolandslf
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: Durban

Next

Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

cron