So I’m slated to hopefully start breeding small scale next year. And because it’s small scale I don’t think I’m gonna do shipping until I see how this whole breeding thing goes. But if/when I do have a clutch to sell I was planning on doing the “local pickup only” option on MM and was wondering if anyone has had any experience in it. Is it worth the time to post on MM with the local only option?
I haven’t done local pickup only ads on here, but I have discussed possible local pickups a few times and actually did a local pickup sale once. I also have bought one snake as a local pickup, although that’s just because the person happened to live so close - not because I looked specifically. So you can definitely reach people interested in local sales sometimes.
Most of the interest I get though, just due to the size of the market, ends up coming from places that don’t happen to be nearby. So not having the option to ship does put some limit on your potential to reach customers.
I can totally relate to the intimidation and anxiety about the idea of shipping. But at least with ball pythons, there’s a lot of resources and support through the major reptile shipping services to get you set up and feeling a bit more confident. I assume the same is out there for other reptiles etc. I’d recommend looking into it a bit more because once you learn how to pack and ship safely it really starts to go smoothly.
If you do end up feeling like just local pickup is the right thing for you I’d still personally recommend listing here because the quality of the inquiries tends to be quite a bit better than some other options in my experience. So you’re more likely to hang on to your sanity lol.
I sell a decent amount locally, though I’ve just started using MM. It definitely limits your scope if you can’t ship but for the additional exposure, it’s probably worth it just for another venue with a more dedicated and likely more knowledgeable group of buyers.
From a buyer’s point of view, I love going to pick snakes up in person.
You get to know the breeder first hand rather than just over messages, you get to see how your new snake has been living, it’s parents, it’s grandparents and so on. You also get the opportunity to make a friend in the community rather than just another sale.
Genuinely one of my favourite experiences so far in this hobby was going to buy 2 of my snakes from a breeder. I spent around a hour and a half just sat in this dudes snake room while he showed me his collection one by one. The enthusiasm he had to have someone new there to show his babies to was amazing. I could tell that this wasn’t something he just did to make money on the side, he has a real passion for his project and it made me feel 100x more at ease buying from him.
Thanks for all the wonderful advice guys. I’ll only have the one female prepared for breeding next year so I’m not wanting to “invest” in shipping supplies and such yet. Eventually if this works out obviously I will. But yall are right about being excited to share snakes and experiences in person. I’d love for all my purchases to go like that. The buyer gets a good feel for you and visa versa.
My account is local pickup only, I’ve had 3 inquiries ask about shipping and one even after I said I didn’t ship sent me their zip for a quote. There are some who will still ask and maybe even ask to meet since they may be further away than an hour or so. It’s a gamble for sure but you definitely still get interest.
There can be good experiences like there can be bad ones and you learn as you go.
I have had people wasting my time and standing me up so I started to demand a 20% deposit prior to meeting a first time customers.
I am cautious always meeting in a public place of MY choice (gas stations with high traffic are often best for you,)
Keep in mind over the years there as been some scary stories from collection thefts after people invited strangers in their home to pickup an animal to a breeder being shot in a public place while meeting a customer.
Now of course you also have covid 19 that complicates things.
So you need to be cautious.
I am part of many local groups on FB for reptile enthusiasts, I’d recommend that you join as many as you can find too, then you will get to know more of the local reptile people and they you. I almost never meet anyone at my house for a first buy but at a public place. I have made some good friends over the years though that I am comfortable having in my house and knowing where I live. FB sucks for ads though, so having them on MM does give you an easy way to just send a link to anyone local that is interested, with all the information, so you don’t have to keep typing it out.
Our local FB groups are SO sketch but you’re right, if you’re only going to offer local pickup you may not have any choice but to network everywhere you can.
I’m not gonna do Facebook. I don’t like the environment as a whole. Never had a FB never want one. But I am gonna have a Tumblr and a Twitter (already on both with my personal accounts) to post information and pics ect outside of MM. But I do appreciate the advice.
As for letting people into my home… I’d have to have talked to them a lot beforehand. I’ve sold 3 out of my collection as I’ve honed in on what exactly I want to breed and twice I’ve let someone in my home. Both times, amazing people. One I still get updates on the snake they bought. But I assume the risks and understand them.
I’ve enjoyed picking up snakes in person, and have always reached out to sellers nearby in Texas and asked if I was able to come and pick it up directly rather than have it shipped. Most of the time people say yea, and when they say no, I don’t usually buy the snake.
Always use your sense of caution. I always bring my husband and we meet in a public area, usually at a walmart parking lot.
Speaking of me talking about meeting people in person I got someone coming over tomorrow from the Dallas area (a 3 hour drive) to come see one of my girls im selling since I’m getting an adult of the same morph. So yeah. Always surprised how long people are willing to drive. Knocking off 20 from the price for the length of travel they gonna be doing.
Our local cop shop has some parking reserved for “local pick up” for the many online selling sites that I won’t mention. I was a buyer once, and a seller once. I think, in both cases, the other party appreciated the sense of security it added. One cash sale, and one I actually accepted Venmo! Neither was a living creature, though.
I did some local sales years ago. Actually sold some neonates to a local reptile shop. I’ve also seen local reptile shops offer consignment sales. I have also done local purchasing. Never any issues. I’m lucky, though, as I have a terrific local breeder who I’ve made several purchases from. As also stated, most police departments will let you make transactions on their premises, although I’m sure they would be interested in a reptile transaction.
Hi, I have only picked up my ball pythons and never received any in the post. Some of us like the journey and peace of mind of a collection, we get the car nice and warm, head out with a box, spare bags and heat ups just in case, then go meet the breeder which 9 times out of ten will show you their collection and set up.
My wife and I really enjoy this aspect of the hobby. But we are lucky to have very reputable breeders no more than 50 miles from our location.
Good luck with your venture, stay safe.
@adam101 Hey dude thanks so much for that. This is an exciting and uncertain time with us eventually breeding next year for the first time ever. So hearing that people actually - like - to drive out to meet a breeder is encouraging. And it is true. I love any excuse to show off my small collection.
Your welcome. I have not met a breeder yet who doesn’t want to spend at least an hour showing off their Gene’s and projects… apart from the secret projects👍
@adam101 Well I’m not that down the rabbit hole lol For me it’s showing off snakes great temperaments and general colors or size. But then the few sellers I’ve had for snakes that aren’t part of my breeding projects have been new owners and don’t understand the first thing about morphs, genetics, ect. They want a nice pet.
Maybe I have been particularly lucky. Remember that in this hobby you must do you, as long as you look after your animal’s well everything else is opinion and preferences. Take care and enjoy yourself
Once we add local search, it will help local pick situations.