Buying crickets from pet stores

I buy about 40-50 crickets weekly from the chain pet stores nearby for my small group of crested geckos, and I sometimes notice they get me a bag of 2/3 of crickets dying or even dead. So I tried to talk to the cashiers a couple of times if I could get healthier ones when checking out, and they all seemed to be a bit irritated by me asking.
I’m not sure from where, but I remember reading a post not to feed my reptiles dead insects.
Is it normal for pet stores to sell you live feeders that aren’t in good condition? Any tips on getting more fresh/healthy crickets?

I buy my feeders from a small local pet shop, and the live insects I buy have always been healthy and lively. Are there any non-chain pet shops near where you live? If so, I’d recommend giving them a try. In my experience, small locally-owned pet shops have MUCH better feeders than the big box places, and the customer service is generally much better if there ever is a problem. Though it will, of course, depend on the overall quality of the local pet shop in question. I’m sure there are some that are worse than the big chains, though that hasn’t been my experience.

You can also order feeders online. The main (potential) downside is that you usually have to order bulk quantities, so you have to be set up to house and care for hundreds if not thousands of crickets/roaches/whatever, but you can end up saving a lot of money, so long as you actually have enough animals to consume them before the feeders reach the end of their natural lifespan (or grow larger than what your animals can eat). Personally, I’ve never had enough insectivores at a time for that route to be feasible for me. If you don’t have that many insectivores, another option might be to get together with a friend (or friends) and split a bulk order between you.

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Thank you so much for your response.
A while back, I tried buying a couple hundreds of crickets from the chain pet store and had a tank setup to keep them available as I needed them instead of buying them weekly. However, I found keeping them alive(a week tops) challenging even though I provided them with enough egg crates, food, and fresh water and removed dead ones daily.
I think I have one or two locally-owned reptile stores nearby, I should reach out to them to see if they also sell feeders and try another cricket tank with theirs.

I personally will never buy crickets from large chain pet stores. Once, after feeding them, I had multiple baby geckos die within days. If you are going to use crickets, get them from a reliable place or buy them in bulk.
Help with Unknown Crested Gecko Deaths

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I’m not sure what size you usually buy, but if you’re going to get a larger number to keep on hand, I recommend not getting the large size. Get mediums or smaller, even if your animals would normally eat larges. Large crickets are often nearing the end of their life cycle, and there’s no way to know how long they’ve been in that mature stage. Once they reach sexual maturity (in other words, the “large” adult size), the clock is ticking on their natural lifespan. That’s fine if you’re going to feed them off right away, but if you’re planning to keep them around for a week or two (or longer), you’ll avoid natural die-offs by getting younger crickets.

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