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Does anyone have any brains anymore?

This is a discussion on Does anyone have any brains anymore? within the Ball Python Morphs forums, part of the Ball Python Forum category; I've been talking with people in the ball world about pricing and morphs. I think it's ridiculous that a friend ...

  1. #1
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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    I've been talking with people in the ball world about pricing and morphs. I think it's ridiculous that a friend of mine who knows nothing at all about the ball market can tell me that from what I tell him nobody has any long term goals in mind. He's right. The majority of breeders in the ball market only think about what they can get 'today' for a morph and not what they can make on it over years time. I see people panic all of the time and dump animals just to get some cash. Here's an example of how things should pan out. I can place an ad for a baby male GHI at $10,000.00 (yes they still sell for $10,000.00). If he doesn't sell right away...I don't panic and drop the price to $7,500.00. I wait, I feed him up, and when he's 350 grams he's offered again and will eventually sell for the $10,000.00. Now...in two to three months time I saved $2,500.00 by not dumping the price and the market is stable...and people don't panic. Prices will eventually come down and even my non ball python buddy knows this. Because of good planning, not panicking, not caving to rumors of $2,500.00 male GHIs for sale and $5,000.00 combo male GHIs for sale, and all around a good head on my shoulders, the GHI ball is the most stable morph in the industry...and they've been available since 2009!

    Why can't breeders not be so desperate to make a quick buck and keep the market elevated? There are of course the people who call me and say, "why are you selling proven breeder male GHIs on Kingsnake for $10,000.00?". I simply send a link to my ad with one for sale at $17,500.00 and get a response like, "oh man...that's not what so and so told me". You know...if people with nothing better to do would stop flapping their gums and stirring the pot it would be all rosy. Grow up, make smart decisions, don't start rumors, have fun, and make a nice living. Don't do those things and bagging groceries, writing parking tickets, and selling cars again is just around the corner.

    How's that?


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  3. #2
    Brucew's Avatar
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    Theirs quite a few with long term plans, I'm looking years ahead on some of mine..not the norm I know but each to their own

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    Because you managed the project ridiculously well Matt..

    Hats off to you.. Thank you for proving that co dom morphs when managed properly can be an awesome investment for people and proving when a project is managed well longevity goes hand in hand

    It also helps that the GHI is a sick sick morph

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    I agree. Unfortunately this can be a volatile market when folks do not keep their heads on straight. I also submit that some of issues with folks keeping some projects at higher prices through misinformation has burned a bridge or two for the folks trying to properly manage a project. It makes one very leery to invest a lot of money, especially in a inc dom project.

    I think the GHI is a great example of proper management.

    Also, DANG that snake is beyond hot.
    Dave Jenkins

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    I agree with you, Matt and I give you props for working to protect the GHI project-it's outstanding!
    Every year we see something nearly driven into the ground by a rush to sell quickly. You nailed it when you mentioned the reoccurring price drop that takes place online. When it's out in the public like that, for everyone to see, it creates a ripple effect and some people start to panic...thinking that they too need to drop the price each week until they find a buyer willing to snatch up their deal that has inevitably been reduced to a small fraction of it's original price.
    It's pretty easy to understand how the allure of immediate money in one's pocket can cloud their better judgement, but those of us who want to protect these projects, probably need to do a better job of communicating the long-term investment value of what we're offering.
    I don't like to see prices drop, but it's understandable that there will be shifts as more animals become available. If we all panic then we might as well through in the towel, because that's when things get real ugly, but, if we see these fluctuations as opportunities to open up the market to new investors, then we can continue to enjoy these projects for years and the sustained success they bring. I want my friends and customers to do well, so I put it upon myself to keep lines of communication open (those from whom I buy or sell to), price my animals competitively and keep projects exciting by taking them in different directions. I can't control what others do, but I am encourage by how often I meet people who are just getting into ball pythons or investing in certain projects for the first time and they are wide-eyed with enthusiasm about the possibilities that are ahead. I say this because these individuals are proof that there's no shortage of opportunity...we just need to be reminded sometimes of how awesome this industry is and how great we have it.
    I appreciate you starting this conversation, Matt, and I look forward to the years and new projects we have ahead.
    John

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    I agree with you Matt, but you have to take something into consideration. The economy is in bad shape, because of this from time to time people run in to financial obstacles that require them to seek a quick buck to survive. Not everyone out there is in your position where you (being smart AND lucky) made killer money on a new project and can wait through those financial bumps without having to make any choices that may negatively affect a market. When it's all said and done, the animals belong to these people and they are entitled to do with them what they please. we can only hope people are smart like you were and lucky enough not to run into problems along the way.

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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by SOCOReptiles View Post
    I agree with you Matt, but you have to take something into consideration. The economy is in bad shape, because of this from time to time people run in to financial obstacles that require them to seek a quick buck to survive. Not everyone out there is in your position where you (being smart AND lucky) made killer money on a new project and can wait through those financial bumps without having to make any choices that may negatively affect a market. When it's all said and done, the animals belong to these people and they are entitled to do with them what they please. we can only hope people are smart like you were and lucky enough not to run into problems along the way.
    In these situations if your smart and have the cash you can buy into a project and snatch it up before the market has been effected.

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    I guess you gotta sell the offspring to someone who won't panic as well.

    But alas.............

    Sometimes I wish I had the cash to purchase at someone's panic price
    Ritchie Luna
    HerpVenue.com



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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by HerpVenue View Post
    I guess you gotta sell the offspring to someone who won't panic as well.

    But alas.............

    Sometimes I wish I had the cash to purchase at someone's panic price
    I missed out on one such opportunity, and did not miss the second one!!

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    As far as ur rant, I see ur point but i will never pay 10,000 for a single snake unless were talking yen. As with all snakes, including your GHI's the price will come down. I know there are those breeders who rely solely on the income of their snakes, and the fact they can do that is awesome but i dont feel like bitching about selling snakes for cheaper is any better than the joe schmoe down the road offering u 5k for a snake u have priced at 10k. If u dont like his offer, dont sell it. I feel like the term "gold fever" should apply to this hobby but maybe ill have to come up with a different name like "Brown Ball Fever" where everyone just gets crazy all the time for all sorts of retarded stuff. I think u sir just need some medicine for ur Brown Ball Fever and maybe get some yoga classes lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Woolard View Post
    through
    I can't stand when auto correct does that...it should say "throw" -lol

    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    As with all snakes, including your GHI's the price will come down.
    You're right...prices will come down, but I think what Matt is referring to is people prematurely manipulating the price because of their lack of patience.
    The hypo enchi was a great example of project, well below the price of a GHI, that dropped dramatically over the past year. You could watch a couple of breeders drive the price down weekly because their animals weren't moving. Whatever the reason was for these animals not selling, the prices continually dropped (in my opinion -much too quickly). It is frustrating to watch, but, like you said, all morphs will come down in price eventually - the question Matt raised was - why force that drop so quickly? Thankfully, not everyone takes the approach of "weekly price drops" is the way to go.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Woolard View Post
    I can't stand when auto correct does that...it should say "throw" -lol


    You're right...prices will come down, but I think what Matt is referring to is people prematurely manipulating the price because of their lack of patience.
    The hypo enchi was a great example of project, well below the price of a GHI, that dropped dramatically over the past year. You could watch a couple of breeders drive the price down weekly because their animals weren't moving. Whatever the reason was for these animals not selling, the prices continually dropped (in my opinion -much too quickly). It is frustrating to watch, but, like you said, all morphs will come down in price eventually - the question Matt raised was - why force that drop so quickly? Thankfully, not everyone takes the approach of "weekly price drops" is the way to go.
    John
    I understand his point and the "weekly price drops" are in fact those people bagging groceries, writing parking tickets, and selling cars or just basically working class people who have brains, bills, families and lives. Unlike Mr Lerer, they did not get lucky flipping through wc snakes on importing..... so they adjust so they too can make money.

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    And another thing, i believe pieds are the most stable morph, with clowns being runner up

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    And another thing, i believe pieds are the most stable morph, with clowns being runner up

    I actually REALLY agree with you on this but I would add a few other lower priced morphs into the equation...IMHO the animals that will continue to hold their value AND desirability over the years, are the basic animals with the 'wow' factor at the shows...this would include pieds, albinos, bumblebees, genetic stripes (one of my faves)...even your spiders, pewters etc... These are the animals in the 'under $500' price range that you can actually get cash for at the shows. IMHO clowns are definitely in that range just a higher price, however, people WILL scrape the extra together if they see it as being within reason to get a 'wow' animal.

    I breed at both ends of the spectrum for that reason. The higher end stuff simply for my own satisfaction but the lower priced ones are the morphs that pay the feeder bills at the end of the day. Few people have the money to drop $10k on a snake UNLESS they are a fellow bigger breeder, hence the majority of 'sales' in that price range usually involving a trade or partial trade. I for one can NOT exist on trades and trade involves a HUGE amount of risk in itself unless you trust the other person implicitly (what if you acquire a sick animal, mites, some other disease-IBD for example).

    Now, all that being said, I absolutely LOVE the Ghis and yes, Matt your marketing has been spot on in holding back and sticking to a price, I respect you for that. I think the problem with many other morphs though is simply a ton being DUMPED into the market (people convinced they will be the only one who has it in their neck of the woods), those people then pairing the animal (if male maybe to upwards of 5, 6 females, and bam you have a glut..especially when they see that 6 or 7 other local breeders all have that same snake and did similar if not identical pairings. THAT's when the race is on to just try to get a return on your investment. I am very lucky being in a position usually to just pay cash when I see something I want to add but most I know will put rent money, borrowed money, etc into the 'dream' and thats where you will see the desperation and the price drops because its suddenly a dog eat dog market and its my snake or theirs...Sadly the buyer IS in the position to shop around a TON in the ball python market (for most morphs) because there are a ton of breeders now producing many of the same things...in the end, for most people, price is the bottom line. I hope this makes sense. Locally, for me, I know of SIX people (plus myself) within a 35km radius all working with Orange Dream/combos...guess what that means...

    Great thread though and Matt, that combo is KILLER!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    And another thing, i believe pieds are the most stable morph, with clowns being runner up
    All ressisive genes are, look at albinos, they been around for decades and still have a solid price. The last 2 seasons they have stayed at the $300-400 range.
    I think one of the problems is with people dropping prices so quickly has to do with poor planning. Lets just say joe down the block decides to invest 10 grand in a GHI male because he thinks it will be a great investment. All of a sudden he loses his job at the local walmart, now he has bills, mouths to feed, and still has to try to find away to get his investment back. So his choice is breed the GHI to a bunch of females, and sells the babies quick for much lower than what they should be because he needs the money fast. You see it all the time, need to pay the car bill so prices are lower for a limited time, check back in a month they are even lower.
    I think people also need to take into account is the quality of the animal when pricing, the ugly mojo should be lower then the best example anyone has ever seen. Most people are willing to pay more for a quality snake compared to a ugly one. The people who are willing to purchase the ugly one produce ugly babies and will be harder to sell. people are more likely to remember someone with the top quality animals over someone who is producing ugly animals.
    I also feel buyers have to take some responsibility for price drops, people are always talking wow got such a great deal on this ___ from ___, but fail to mention the other half of the deal. Such as got this male GHI for 3 grand, but do not mention i also traded 8 grand worth of other combos(just an example). And most importantly people need to learn how to budget their money, if you have to think about if you lose your job next week how would i pay my bills there is no way you should even consider spending 5+ grand on a snake. that is just my $.02 since i have not produced a single clutch yet
    And as eveyone has said yes the GHI are amazing, if i had the extra money laying around i would get one for my own pleasure. I think everyone needs some dark morphs in their collection.
    Tom Metelenis
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    I stand corrected and a buddy brought pastels to the table as being the most stable. I was thinking more along the lines of high end morphs because the price of GHIs hasn't changed in years. I agree that there are surplus animals but I don't feel that continually lowering the price on Kingsnake will make something sell. I think it will more likely than not inform everyone that the posted animal is NOT selling...which means people aren't interested in it...which makes others who have the same thing panic...hence a downward move. If you need a new car...sell your animals quietly.
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    Here is my two cents. I have been actually working with two new morphs(and a possible 3rd) that I attained from WCs a few years back. I have actually taken Matt's game plan on the GHI to heart, along with some of lessons learned from the Orange Dream project. At this point I have already proven one of these morphs to be Co-Doms and one to be simple recessive. With that in mind, I will likely release HETS of the recessive ones first and will not release any Co-Doms until I have unquestionably proven if there is or isnt a super form. I have refrained from posting any pics or naming despite multiple request from friends who have seen them in person.
    The reason for this is simply market manipulation. Now this may seem as a dirty tactic, but in reality its all about protecting the investment of the first few customers to take a chance on the morph. In my opinion this accomplishes two goals:
    1. Slows down depreciation value once the morph hits the market(at least for a while).
    2. Protects and Rewards initial investors in the project.
    Now I know some folks wont agree with my tactics, but the reality is that I dont want to see a crash like that of the Champagne these last 3years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    Unlike Mr Lerer, they did not get lucky flipping through wc snakes on importing..... so they adjust so they too can make money.
    I totally get what you are saying, but the reality is that whenever people create these price drops a snowball effect occurs that hurts the entire marketplace.
    Take a look at the price of female pastels. In my opinion this is easily the most powerful morph on the marketplace, along with enchis, yet they are being slung for $100-$150(for female pastels). Now one could argue that since there are so many being produced, this lowers the price....and they are right from an economic standpoint....but only partially. This is because the demand has consistently increased over the years due to their genetic potential as base ingredients. In all reality they should be selling for at least $500 a piece.
    But why are they not....simply because of the temptation of an easy quick buck. Afterall like Matt said, if you take that $150 pastel female and feed it well for a couple months and get it to...say..500g, no one will bat an eyelid if you sell it for $500....and chances are you can make that sell relatively easily.
    Knowing that, why dont we simply hold on to them for those extra months....because we are impatient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USNHM242 View Post
    we simply hold on to them for those extra months....because we are impatient.
    In the real world bills are due, things happen and a landlord wont like it if u tell them to be more patient. In 2010 i hatched my first Blue eyed lucy. I was so proud of her and myself for having the patience to raise up a female mojave and produce such a beautiful animal. Im a matter of a week i was laid off ant the company i worked for went bankrupt (i was a vet tech at camp verde veterinary clinic just south of where u live). I had 1 paycheck left and no where to go and the day i got laid off i posted the Bel for market price (was about 1200$ at the time i believe) and waited as long as i could. I posted her up again for a bit less a couple days later, not because im impatient but because the bills dont just stop if u tell them they are being impatient. Bottom line i sold her finally for 650 which is way below market price. I didnt sell her because i was impatient and if i raised her up5 more months i could have sold her for 1k.... but i didnt. I sold her because i had to. If a big breeder lost his company due to some unforeseen situation and had to get money he would too. Its hippo critical hearing these things when everyone knows the market drops, WHY? because there are more every year so supply and demand both go down. Do i think the GHI is a nice ball python? yes. Do i think the banana is a nice ball python? yes. Do i think the price on the GHI will hold better than the bananas this year? yes. But i think more people will want the banana's in the long run even tho they are being bred at crazy rates right now. Dropping prices on kingsnake might hurt u selling ur GHI's if someone is selling them for 2k less, but there not ur snakes. U may feel like they are because u started the line... but there not. Imagine a world of snakes where they all sold for $50 no matter what the color of them were. I think it would take some of the drama straight off the lips of some of the ppl in it for mostly money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    In the real world bills are due, things happen and a landlord wont like it if u tell them to be more patient. In 2010 i hatched my first Blue eyed lucy. I was so proud of her and myself for having the patience to raise up a female mojave and produce such a beautiful animal. Im a matter of a week i was laid off ant the company i worked for went bankrupt (i was a vet tech at camp verde veterinary clinic just south of where u live). I had 1 paycheck left and no where to go and the day i got laid off i posted the Bel for market price (was about 1200$ at the time i believe) and waited as long as i could. I posted her up again for a bit less a couple days later, not because im impatient but because the bills dont just stop if u tell them they are being impatient. Bottom line i sold her finally for 650 which is way below market price. I didnt sell her because i was impatient and if i raised her up5 more months i could have sold her for 1k.... but i didnt. I sold her because i had to.
    Totally understand a situation like that, but the reality is that situations like yours are an exception to the rule and dont accurately reflect what is truly happening. Most people that are price dropping come into the market place thinking they are going to make a quick buck. Once they see price dropping they feel like the sky is falling and sell quickly and cheaply in order to cash in "while thy still can". I've been involved in the herp market since 96....how many guys that were around then are still around today...heck, how many guys are still around today that were around 2 yrs ago. What is really happening out there is a combination of impatience and market fear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USNHM242 View Post
    Totally understand a situation like that, but the reality is that situations like yours are an exception to the rule and dont accurately reflect what is truly happening. Most people that are price dropping come into the market place thinking they are going to make a quick buck. Once they see price dropping they feel like the sky is falling and sell quickly and cheaply in order to cash in "while thy still can". I've been involved in the herp market since 96....how many guys that were around then are still around today...heck, how many guys are still around today that were around 2 yrs ago. What is really happening out there is a combination of impatience and market fear.
    I dont know anyone who buys a GHI as their first snake to make a quick buck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumblebee Tuna View Post
    I stand corrected and a buddy brought pastels to the table as being the most stable. I was thinking more along the lines of high end morphs because the price of GHIs hasn't changed in years. I agree that there are surplus animals but I don't feel that continually lowering the price on Kingsnake will make something sell. I think it will more likely than not inform everyone that the posted animal is NOT selling...which means people aren't interested in it...which makes others who have the same thing panic...hence a downward move. If you need a new car...sell your animals quietly.
    So the most stable morph on the market is in fact the cheapest morph their is?

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    With that said, whats the most expensive unstable morph?

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    Look i dont mean to be the one who "screwed the pooch" and im always open to learn. Hell i'd love it one day if i could make a living on my collection of snakes. Right now i work at a American legion making 8 bucks a hour serving vets who are about the pickiest eaters ive ever met lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    I dont know anyone who buys a GHI as their first snake to make a quick buck.
    You would be surprised. I personally know of a few guys who bought into the champagne project and never owned a BP. They were inticed by the ability to get a quick turn around on their money. All but one is still involved in our industry....the rest sold their collections(of which I bought a couple) and cut their losses and left.
    In reality had these guys had a bit more patience(cause they sure had the money), they would have seen returns on their investment. Instead they got scared, become inpatient and got out.
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    I wasn't really talking about the guy who just lost his job but breeders in general who have no common sense and who want to sell their animal before anyone else. I recently spoke with someone who wanted a male GHI. He asked me what I thought they would be selling for this season and I said I was asking the same...$10,000.00 for a male. He said, "great, if I am lucky enough to produce any I will try and sell them for $9,000.00". I asked why he would immediately drop the price and he said so he could sell a few before mine would sell. I took it in stride and said, "what if someone sees your 9k price and they advertise theirs for 8k"? He immediately said that he would advertise his for 7k to get the sale. Needless to say all of the male GHIs were suddenly spoken for.
    Oh yeah...it's me alright.
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    Look i dont mean to be the one who "screwed the pooch" and im always open to learn. Hell i'd love it one day if i could make a living on my collection of snakes. Right now i work at a American legion making 8 bucks a hour serving vets who are about the pickiest eaters ive ever met lol.
    I think you are bringing up good concerns, but the reality, like it or not, is that in order to get to the next level...you need to be a hardworking, patient, and shrewd Businessman...and lucky as hell. The reality is that most of us arent that....thats why very few of us ever get to the professional breeder level.
    As they say dont hate the player, hate the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USNHM242 View Post
    You would be surprised. I personally know of a few guys who bought into the champagne project and never owned a BP. They were inticed by the ability to get a quick turn around on their money. All but one is still involved in our industry....the rest sold their collections(of which I bought a couple) and cut their losses and left.
    In reality had these guys had a bit more patience(cause they sure had the money), they would have seen returns on their investment. Instead they got scared, become inpatient and got out.
    Yes yes yes!
    Oh yeah...it's me alright.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumblebee Tuna View Post
    I wasn't really talking about the guy who just lost his job but breeders in general who have no common sense and who want to sell their animal before anyone else. I recently spoke with someone who wanted a male GHI. He asked me what I thought they would be selling for this season and I said I was asking the same...$10,000.00 for a male. He said, "great, if I am lucky enough to produce any I will try and sell them for $9,000.00". I asked why he would immediately drop the price and he said so he could sell a few before mine would sell. I took it in stride and said, "what if someone sees your 9k price and they advertise theirs for 8k"? He immediately said that he would advertise his for 7k to get the sale. Needless to say all of the male GHIs were suddenly spoken for.
    i gotcha, ill prob be that poor peasant waiting for the crumbs.... or wait till next year when there 500$ lol JOKE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by USNHM242 View Post
    I think you are bringing up good concerns, but the reality, like it or not, is that in order to get to the next level...you need to be a hardworking, patient, and shrewd Businessman...and lucky as hell. The reality is that most of us arent that....thats why very few of us ever get to the professional breeder level.
    As they say dont hate the player, hate the game.
    I am all but lucky lol. Tho i do have a shot at hitting a albino pied this year off of a investment of 270 bucks lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishanaconda View Post
    With that said, whats the most expensive unstable morph?
    Probably Banana/CG
    Dave Jenkins

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinx667 View Post
    Probably Banana/CG
    I was gonna say desert females lol

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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    You guys ever wonder why warren buffet, Marc Cuban, and Donald trump are not heavily invested in the ball python market? All of them (and there are hundreds more) are filthy rich and seriously risky investors that will invest in anything that will make them money. The reason is snakes are not a good long term investment, they're just not. These guys know a good investment when they see one, and they're constantly looking for new markets to break into. The reason I bring it up is because it points to what I think is the answer to your question. It's not to say an individual cannot make money Selling snakes, you can. Matt and others have proven that. But you can't do it with a traditional business model. Like Matt said, you've got to be patient, and you've got to have a passion for what you're doing and see it through. Patience is not in the minds of big investors using traditional business models. You've got a plan and if the return isn't there when its supposed to be there, you get out. The snake market ha spoiled many people in providing a quick return. Most business investors would kill to have a return on investment like you can get with some of these animals, but unless you have a passion for the animals, you're not going to put up with the fickleness and volatility of the snake market.
    Shane Whitaker D.V.M.
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    yup
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    Quote Originally Posted by quality serpents View Post
    You guys ever wonder why warren buffet, Marc Cuban, and Donald trump are not heavily invested in the ball python market? All of them (and there are hundreds more) are filthy rich and seriously risky investors that will invest in anything that will make them money. The reason is snakes are not a good long term investment, they're just not. These guys know a good investment when they see one, and they're constantly looking for new markets to break into. The reason I bring it up is because it points to what I think is the answer to your question. It's not to say an individual cannot make money Selling snakes, you can. Matt and others have proven that. But you can't do it with a traditional business model. Like Matt said, you've got to be patient, and you've got to have a passion for what you're doing and see it through. Patience is not in the minds of big investors using traditional business models. You've got a plan and if the return isn't there when its supposed to be there, you get out. The snake market ha spoiled many people in providing a quick return. Most business investors would kill to have a return on investment like you can get with some of these animals, but unless you have a passion for the animals, you're not going to put up with the fickleness and volatility of the snake market.
    I agree, but there is also more money washing in this hobby then Whirlpool which i feel has allot to do with investors getting out. I hear complaints too about prices, when these same people give back door deals at all the big shows.

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    Wow, it's pretty hostile over here lol. I have experienced what irishanaconda is talking about. In 2009 I got into this hobby because I wanted a killer clown and a few other high end morphs that I couldn't afford making $30,000 a year. So I purchased a few single gene females and a bumblebee female with some military money left over from my schooling (I'm a veteran). Anyways, Garrick DeMeyer is who I purchased my initial stock of ball pythons from since I live about 5 miles from his facilitly, and he gave me great advice and has helped me a great deal in understanding this "market". Yeah, I thought that it would be cool to sell some ball pythons and earn some extra money, but the first and foremost reason I got into this hobby was for myself, because "I" wanted some of the morphs...everything that could be sold beyond that would just be a bonus. My job paid the bills, and for the first 3 years while everything was growing, it paid the extra electric expenses and snake food, bedding, etc. I made room in my budget for my "hobby". I worked at my job for 4 years when a promotion was offered to me, so I took it. I was then making $40,000 a year...things were looking good, I invested into a few more females and by that time had a few more males that in 2012 I produced 4 clutches. I produced 18 ball pythons and held back 3. A few were split between myself and another breeder due to a joint project, but I still had 12 babies to sell, which for the most part almost all have sold now. No big deal, I'm a manager at a good family owned company that has been around since the 1920's...what could wrong....oh yeah, budget cuts... and guess what, that job promotion I took, screwed me. They had to let the manager with the least time at my branch go, which was me. So now, I have a wife, a baby, a stepson, 2 sons from a previous marriage that I pay child support for, and NO JOB. But my child support is under review, until then, they are basing it on a $40,000 a year job. I don't have enough money from the unemployment to take care of my family unless I take drastic measures....meaning possibly selling stuff cheap so it sells fast, to pay the bills until I find another job. I only have 17 adult breeders, and that will not pay the bills while I'm waithing on eggs. However, I have worked too hard, and dedicated a lot of time to my hobby to give it up and sell my whole collection. Now, I am still waiting on payments from some of the people that bought babies...but those aren't consistent like a paycheck...it's whenever they have money to send. I don't want to even sell my reduced pattern clown that is a proven breeder, but since I have a pastel clown, it makes the most sense to sell him first, if anything has to go. If I all of a sudden got all the money people owed me for the babies I sold, I'd have enough income for the next 2-3 months based off what I had for sale and actually sold, but we are talking 3-4 month payment plans from some of my customers. Now, a breeder that I don't want to sell, will be offered at a price that is going to be at whatever someone will be willing to pay for him and pay him off as soon as possible, so me and my family don't end up on the street, or so I don't have to sell my entire collection or everything I own. Sorry this post was so long, I just have a lot on my mind and this topic really hit home with me.
    Doug Nacker
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    I see where you're coming from Doug but it's not the guy who just lost a job that we're really talking about here. There are emergency situations that require people to do things like their animals cheap. People actually post in their ads something like out of work need money, just lost my job so the collection has to go, and other things like that. I think were talking about people that are financially secure or that are able to cover all their bills but just sell something extremely cheap to get some kind of money quick without the thought of what it might do to future sales. I turn down coral glow sales quite a bit because the money that's offered to me is not what I would like for the animals. Would it be nice to get $7,500 for a snake? Of course it would but I don't think it's the thing to do when there selling for quite a bit more.

    Sticking to my guns on pricing works well for me. I know at times I lose sales but I have pride in not helping to tank the market. Some guys just don't care where prices are as long as they have a sale.
    Oh yeah...it's me alright.
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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    There is another side to this thing that hasn't been talked about yet. I only use myself as an example, not to toot my own horn, but its actually happened. I was offered right here in the BLBC last year a pretty good lot of tessera corn snakes at roughly 1/3 of what seemed to be the going price. A friend of mine had just bought a few and invested quite a bit into them. I told the guy, that's a great deal and is love to have tesseras in my collection, but I'n not going to be part of the reason this market gets crashed and people lose money. I saw this past week at a show in Birmingham tesseras for $80. But I was able to call and tell my friend who bought into them at $800 a pair what I saw and not have to worry about feeling guilty that I was part of the problem. I have no problem with friend deals. If you want to do something nice for a friend or if you want to take a great deal your friend has offered you, great, but just because your friend sold you a male ghi for half and you can get him to breeding size in the first season doesn't mean you ought to be selling your babies at half price or less. But I've turned down more than that one offer from a person I didn't know just looking to offload something cheap because it just adds to the drop. Of course some people are going to say, well if I don't buy it someone else will. Then let them do it and they can be the reason your friend loses money. Here is another true story. A friend of mine had a snake for sale at a show recently for $1500. The person who wanted the snake said that's too cheap. So, I think, somewhat jokingly he said ok how about $1700. The guy paid him the $1700. So there are a few people out there that care but it takes integrity and what you do when no one else is watching is important.
    Shane Whitaker D.V.M.
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  40. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Woolard View Post
    When it's out in the public like that, for everyone to see, it creates a ripple effect and some people start to panic...thinking that they too need to drop the price each week until they find a buyer willing to snatch up their deal that has inevitably been reduced to a small fraction of it's original price.
    John
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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    According to famous sociologist and philosopher Max Weber, a capitalist isn't about a profit. It's about profitability. There is a distinct difference between the two. You can sell now, and make a profit. However, profitability is being capable of making profit over an extended period of time. So, be a capitalist and strive for profitability like Matt has obviously.

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    Correct Senor Brant....I couldnt have put it better myself. If you want to be a success in this business in the long run, think profitability, not profit.
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    Re: Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    I think it sounds like we need a reptile mafia.

  44. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumblebee Tuna View Post
    I wasn't really talking about the guy who just lost his job but breeders in general who have no common sense and who want to sell their animal before anyone else. I recently spoke with someone who wanted a male GHI. He asked me what I thought they would be selling for this season and I said I was asking the same...$10,000.00 for a male. He said, "great, if I am lucky enough to produce any I will try and sell them for $9,000.00". I asked why he would immediately drop the price and he said so he could sell a few before mine would sell. I took it in stride and said, "what if someone sees your 9k price and they advertise theirs for 8k"? He immediately said that he would advertise his for 7k to get the sale. Needless to say all of the male GHIs were suddenly spoken for.

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    One thing I can't stand is when 1 person drops their price on a specific morph, even if they only have a handful of specimens, and everybody immediately thinks the entire market just bottomed out. It's ridiculous.

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    My ex-gf and I started a very modest collection of ball pythons in 2008. Our first breeding season was 2010, and we made a profit on what we spent after the first breeding season. I'm talking about your "average" morphs. Some Pastels, Bumblebee, Mojave, Cinnamon, Piebald, Albino..., we spent probably ~3000 over a year and a half. Since then, that breeding group has paid for itself many times over. It is not difficult to make back your money on these snakes.

    I'm starting up my collection again, completely from scratch. My goals are not to make a lot of money, but I know that the collection I am building right now will pay for itself in ~3 years, and probably be worth many times that now within 5 years. It just takes some patience. I think it's insane that people are offloading snakes at cheap prices when their earning potential is so much, even assuming a realistic level of depreciation from one year to the next. People that are more interested in a quick buck, or are too impatient to do the hard work necessary to be profitable, probably shouldn't be buying these snakes in the first place.
    JFB

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    Out of curiosity, those of youe, who are saying you're making a profit out of selling these guys, are you accounting for everything in addition to the snake's actual price?

    EG: the cost of feeding the collection, aspen used, deli-cups, water bowls, snake bags, racks, tubs, shipping costs, show costs, advertising, website space, domain names, & most importantly, your time spent feeding / cleaning / selling / etc.?

    Not being smart, just genuinely asking. Maybe this question deserves a thread of it's own, not sure. I just think there's more to pricing animals then what the morph's market value is. ~
    - Osy. ~

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    Does anyone have any brains anymore?

    I am including snakes, food, and housing costs. Labor should be taken into account, but considering that it was a small collection at the time, it's fairly minimal. Most selling was done online, so overhead is low.

    I'm not saying that everyone will make a ton of money, but being smart about your purchases, and having the patience to follow through can definitely return a profit at pretty much any level of the game. I'm by no means buying the most expensive morphs, and in the past I could afford even less, but the offspring paid for the collection very quickly. One thing we didn't do (and I still don't do), we avoided buying any normals. We only had morph to morph breedings. We bought the best we could afford rather than buy as much as possible. I'm following a similar strategy now of quality over quantity, and I'm thinking multiple generations into the future so I'll be prepared for what I want to do next.
    JFB

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    From what I can tell and experienced the higher end ball pythons are the only ones that people get upset over when others sell at a cheaper price. I never hear people barking when an Enchi is sold at a lower than normal price. The percentage of people who are willing to pay $5000 for a ball python are limited. You will have individuals that will or have purchased at that price, but eventually people are getting the higher end ball pythons through trade. I have recently entered the ball python market and have learned quickly that you cannot make your money back as quickly as I thought. I have learned a ton over the past 4 years and had to change my business model. Personally I enjoy the hobby and do not get caught up in the cost. If the buyer and I have a mutual agreement on the price, that is what it should be. Matt started this thread because he wants to maintain his value of his GHI's. Matt has had an excellent strategy and business plan selling the GHI. You have to understand that at $10,000.00/male, it doesn't take long to make a lot of money with limited inventory. 10 males is $100,000.00. I bet it didn't take long to produce 10 males. What Matt does even better is maintaining the price level of $10,000.00/male. Understanding this hobby industry better now, I would have done a similar business model. I purchased a couple of GHI's from Matt and made some poor decisions with breeding my male. Rookie mistake. I do feel that the GHI is one of the best morphs out there right now and will maintain the value because Matt keeps teasing us with killer combo's. Just because one breeder might sell a GHI for cheaper, doesn't mean that the GHI will drop in price. That is just one breeders inventory and the GHI is just beginning to populate amongst breeders. Now on the other hand, the CG has too much inventory because a lot of breeders have one and everybody and there brother are trying to make $20,000 a snake. The people that can afford to pay $20,000 for a CG have already bought one. They will and are dropping drastically. Love the topic though! Cheers!

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    Year after year, I continuously hear that Banana/CG's prices are dropping drastically. What exactly is considered drastic? It has been "falling" so quickly for so many years now; yet I am still awaiting to acquire a male that costs 5k or under....

    As for GHI's I think that their value will maintain for quite some time more. If I had 10k to spare, I probably would have owned one by now.

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    Well guys this is what happens in the ball game your price is your price and his price is his or hers it has been like that from day one.......
    Market price is what we all see but it not what we can pay way pay 10k when you can get it for 8k don't get made because you are at 10 he is at 8 it is all about the money in the end make as much as you can and as fast as you can
    I know guys that payed 40k for a snake that is 12k now a year later but guess what you can still make money at that
    We all do this for money if not you are reading this but if you are it is because you do this for money don't get mad at the neighbor taking your business because you are stuck on your price
    Keep your price and stick with it if that is what you won't to do but when your males are 500 grams and you still can't get your price don't get mad
    Just think if you would of takin that 8k offers you would of made more
    There is to many breeders out there with the snake that will do what they have to just to get theeeeeeeeeeeee money that is what it is
    way pay more when you know a guy that you can get it for less you are dumb not to pay less
    But all I can say is you get what you pay for so pay a little more for a good snake and sell them at what you won't do let your neighbor make your price you make it but don't get made because he made money

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