So I want to start breeding bps and I for sure know k want to do bels but what other genes should I add for relatively cheap (less than 400usd/350€ each)
Have you decided on what co-dom’s you want to breed to get the BEL’s? I would start there and build out with morphs that you like the offspring that combine with them. For example, if you go with mojave and butter BEL’s you could add all kinds of interesting things like phantom, pastel, enchi, clown, etc. to breed to your mojave and butter offspring. There’s lots of cool ways to go but, IMHO, you have to start with how you want to get to BEL.
First you should look closely at the market in your area, visit local reptile shows, talk to local shops, etc. This will help you understand what will actually sell. Snakes in the $50-500 range don’t sell quickly in large quantities. I have to do reptile shows to move anything under $300, unless one of the reptile shops I work with will take them. If the reptile shops will take them, I don’t get retail for the animals. Just so you understand common 2 and 3 gene combos wholesale $60-120/each usually. Normals only go for $10. Pastels and such usually $25-40.
I’m taking 20+ babies to the show next weekend. I’ve been sitting on most of them since last summer. For me, that works fine because I’m not in a hurry to cash them in and they’re stuff that moves well at a show. Just keep in mind that I fed them about 80 rat pups a month for 4-6 months and that’s completely average shelf time for snakes in the price range you’re looking at. When new breeders are adding up all the sale prices they see online, they rarely take into account that it costs money to raise babies, and the longer they don’t sell the more profit they eat and poop out.
For anyone serious who’s getting in today, I highly suggest sticking to high end stuff. The reason being is that for a lot of us, the by product of our projects are going be snakes in the price range you’re looking at. They’re also typically going to be Het or Pos Het for a recessive gene or two. The biggest difference is, we have established reputations, established local markets, and are known in the community. Just like if I post something that Kinova also has for sale, no one will buy mine until his are sold out. The same will apply to you with all the mid market guys like me, until you develop a reputation and do something to set yourself apart.
An important thing I try to point out to new breeders is that the prices you see on MM or other places, are list prices. That does not mean that person is actually moving those animals at that price in a reasonable amount of time.
I’m fairly new to bp ands only really know the basic morphs what would you recommend as high end I unfortunately don’t have much of a local market so I would mainly be relying on MM so any tips with that are also appreciated I do have a friend who lives near me and list his snakes in the bigger city where he works everyday
Great advice from ballornothing.
Generally speaking, a good approach towards gearing your collection towards the more “high end” is lower quantity / higher quality.
For example, If you have 5k to invest initially I’d get two 2.5k value females and in a year or two the nicest male you can afford. If you have 1k to invest I’d get a single female and, again, get the nicest male possible in a year or so. The more you have to invest the better.
First and foremost is to work with what genuinely interests you. Browse MorphMarket , instagram, facebook groups, forums, etc and determine what looks like the most interesting projects. Price them out and go from there.
Very smart suggestion from you too.
I would personally recommend against this unless your willing to sit on snakes. Selling that high of value snakes right off the bat is going to be a tough sell. Very very few people sell snakes in that price range. Me personally think gearing your collection towards ultra high end with no reputation or customer base would have a high probability of failure.
What you’re saying makes sense, but I think it makes more sense to sell high quality snakes for less and possibly not making a profit than trying to sell 2-3 gene snakes that are very common. You can find those 2-3 gene snakes anywhere and often from breeders with a big reputation.
You can also wholesale bels no problem. They always have a market.
I think there’s a number of different approaches.
Considering maintenance cost per animal remains the same regardless of value it’s more efficient, from a business standpoint, to have as much value as possible per animal.
The difficulty for a new unestablished breeder to sell higher dollar animals is true but there are ways to help negate it. Leviathon Snakes has a good video series out where they talk about one way, putting in the effort to build a brand and market yourself long before your first clutch ever hits the ground. I believe this is the approach they went with and it’s paid off for them. Their entire video series on the subject is very informative and I highly recommend it:
The largest demographic is always going to be at the sub-$500 pet level but there’s also more competition at that level. Customers are more apt to buy from a new breeder when putting down $500 vs $5000 and sales are likely to come easier though, no doubt.
A lot of it boils down to the end goal.
Are you trying to build a full on primary business? Ballornothing’s advice regarding a large investment coupled with consistent efforts at marketing/brand building makes the most sense in that situation I think.
Looking for more of a side hustle in your spare time with minimal investment? Pet level animals may be adequate.
Another approach I forgot to mention earlier is to roll the dice with some hets or possible hets. With a smaller investment you could play the odds and hope to get lucky and hit on something high end. An example of this would be something like the Desert Ghost / Clown project that is very hot right now. DG clowns are 10k range but a double het DG clown is around 1k. Or something like pos het sunsets, get a group of two or three possible het sunsets and a year later get a 100% het sunset male. This would be a solid way to enter the higher end realm with less initial investment.
I just think if the op wants to produce bels the best option would be to get visual bels. And pair bel to bel and make all bels. They have expressed that’s what they are interested in so I wouldn’t add more genes would just only keep bels. And bels are one of the easier sells they never go out of style. And they all look the same so don’t have to worry about other breeders producing more visually appealing versions. I’m assuming the op meant white bels and not dirty bels.
I was more carrying on ballornothing’s advice regarding people getting into it seriously today and the OP’s follow up question regarding high end recommendations.
From what I hear BEL’s are extremely good sellers at the pet level price point. I personally think it would get boring pretty quick producing only all white snakes with little to no variation but to each his own.
I agree! I used to do a lot of bel and ivory clutches got a bit boring for my taste. But pieds got boring to me as well. My main point was the op stated they wanted to produce bels. All bel clutches would be the most viable to do in my opinion considering that’s what they enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what you produce you will fizzle out no matter what genes you work with.
Would something like a mojave orange dream het clown x bel(butter/mojave) het clown pos black pastel pos orange dream be good that’s what I can find on the market rn that I like and seems to have good potential to me
Thank you so much for the shout out! I was just reading through the thread and had to let you know that we really appreciate the kind words! Love your ideas on taking on additional risk to push a project further too!
That’s a great start. Anything het or double het for a recessive gene is a better investment than something that’s not.
Both @biologicalcanvas and @saleengrinch made great points. The reason that I suggest staying towards the higher end, is that I’ve personally learned there is a limit to the market for snakes in the affordable range. After considering their conversation here, I do see where at least a middle ground is a safer bet to move the animals without a reputation or established market.
What I’ve seen is, as other breeders in Northern California have saturated the market with 1-3 gene inc dom combo animals, it’s become difficult to clear out the cheaper stuff in a reasonable time frame without wholesaling or competing directly with my local reptile stores (I can’t bring myself to compete with them). $100-200 stuff doesn’t move well online once you factor shipping, and when it comes to shows it just depends on the crowd what sells. Wholesaling can be a little kick in the pants when it’s anything but Pieds or BELs and even then, when you’re used to getting $400-500 for something all day and the market shifts it can be upsetting to have to wholesale it for 1/4-1/3 of that (or less). When I refer to a market shift I don’t just mean popularity or speculation value, I mean with your local market too. New breeders crop up all the time. Not all of them will be bad at it and eventually you’ll have to learn to share the market, set yourself apart, or find a niche and live in it.
The biggest thing I would say, is don’t overproduce. Dip your toe in the water, a couple clutches at a time, or even just one. Don’t produce anything you aren’t willing to keep for 6-8-10 months. If you go at it that way, by the time you get to where you learn breeding you’ll have a feel of what you can sell.
Great discussion on this topic. Ballornothing nailed it in his 1st reply and Saleen & bio added more excellent viewpoints as always. 1st as stated always work w what you’re going to like every time you see it genes & species, mine are BPs, carpets & BRBs.
Obviously whatever the big social media names are doing will garner immediate interest and $ but I would add that there are certain genes/combos that you can always count on being in demand like clown, pied, banana/cg, anything bel/ivoryish/white/mostly now desert ghost(again). And the additives that come along w them ie; pastel, enchi, yb, spotnose etc etc. So what I’ve tried to focus on is not only the “expensive” gene but also the best quality in my “additives” so when I do have that “by-product” of a 1-3 gene codom in that more flooded $/quantity range it still stands out as cleaner, brighter, better than most.
However all of that said I have a concern with the original question and how it was phrased. Not a criticism completely on the OP as I know they’re not alone and it’s far from the 1st time we’ve seen this same thing asked/discussed but I always cringe when reading thru that soooo many people need to do soooo much more research and practice before “getting into breeding” any species. I wish anyone who wants to attempt this hobby the best of fulfillment because fortune most likely won’t happen. The more it grows the better for all of us in it but what are the best “cheap” animals I should start with asked repeatedly concerns me.
Lol As to your last part I see what your saying but I said 500 each if I remember correctly witch is 1,000 total witch is a lot for some people. While I could do upwards of 2k each if I wanted to I just don’t think that’s smart for what I want to do I just want to extend my hobby and maybe eventually break even lol also for a lot of people this is part of there research so I wouldn’t criticize people for asking questions and asking more Experienced people for advise witch sometimes is better than any article out there I also don’t know how your saying that this question needs more research lol I didn’t ask about any of how to breed or other things that can be researched elsewhere I simply asked what the best morphs to start with and I’m interested in producing bels that are in a certain price range that isn’t too expensive for a first time breeder
Edit I see I did say 400 each not 500
Personally I think there is a much smaller market for ultra high end stuff. Think there is a way bigger market for bels than a thousand something dollar recessive morph.
Personally, I am kind of in the middle of the debate about high end or low end. I think choosing a pair that can produce high and mid end snakes would be your best bet. Though I am aiming high end first. Best thing is to focus on is positive media presence. And make sure you are always ready to help with any questions even if that means you find someone else that knows.