Difference between a pro and a hobbyist

I contacted a “pro” to try and trade a leo black pastel yb clown het pied. And it took 3+ days for them to even reply to me. And even then it was “you produced this snake”. Yea I did. Its been almost 4 days. You obviously don’t have time for a hobbyist. Then its some excuse like my dad was in the hospital…which was the same exact excuse I got the last time I contacted you last year. My father had a stroke over the 4th of July weekend and is now almost incompacitated and lives with my wife and daughter and I. I’ve had some snake issues, work a full time union job own a franchise with my brother in a different state, and still love to talk to other snake hobbyists. I don’t understand this


I’m so sorry you have been treated like this :pensive: Try not to think of it as all professionals do this because the vast majority are not like this. I’m a new breeder this year and everyone I have reached out to have been amazingly helpful so far. We have to remember that these professionals also have a lot on their plate with 100s of snakes to see to (I have 28 and that’s hard enough :joy:) as well as family life ect. I hope you find your swap as you have gorgeous snakes :fire::fire: :heart_eyes: congratulations :raised_hands::clap:


It can be like this with Cresties. There’s one well known breeder, and she’s not great, she’s blunt, sounds rude when talking to you and now even couriers don’t want to work with her as she packages her cresties up horribly. Spoke to her once, never again. This was after trying to contact her a couple times before too.
I’ve spoken to other ‘pro’ if you like, well known breeders who can’t help you enough!
So don’t worry, it’s not great but there’s others out there who will be nice and want to chat!
I love speaking to people and I’m always more than happy to help people with anything too! I get a lot of people are busy though don’t get me wrong, but I know how you feel, makes you feel a bit crappy!


I dealt with one “pro” in the process of building my collection (small at this point, but growing).
I bought a female banana pastave, because I just had to have her. The breeder barely answered my questions about her, unless it was about payment. When he shipped her, he sent her to the wrong address, even though before shipping I repeatedly told him I was moving and she had to go to my new address (probably sent him the shipping address a dozen times). Sent it to the wrong one anyway, I tried to get FedEx to hold her at the hub, but for some reason they ended up dropping her outside of a dollar store in another town. Couldn’t find her all day. Finally someone found her and called me.
Every “hobby” breeder I’ve talked to have been great, helpful and really willing to just talk snakes.


I’m sorry for your bad experience with a breeder, but dang, those are some nice clowns. Congrats on producing a stellar clutch.

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They doesn’t sound pleasant, but at least you have wonderful snakes :grin:

I had a truly awful experience with an “industry pro, has the largest collection of x genus in the US whatever” last year. It was even someone I had purchased from a couple years prior with no issues. There was a drop dead gorgeous Stillwater hypo bullsnake they posted on MM that I just had to have. I texted them since that was their preferred communication method prior, waited a couple days no reply but I saw they had read my text. Tried my best to be patient so I waited a full week before sending another text. Again saw they read it and no reply for another week. At this point I’m like okay weird. I go to a Facebook group where I know they post their stuff at too sometimes, asked some people there is anything was going on with this seller as I couldn’t get into contact with them. No one seemed to really know but one person PM’d saying that they were fed up with them and never got a reply either. Since someone tagged the seller in the convo THEN I got a Facebook PM from the seller asking what snake I wanted. I was like cool here we go, told them what I wanted and asked if I could specifically get a Paypal invoice to pay for it. Conversation got to me sending the hub address and my PayPal email and then just nothing. The seller completely ghosted me for whatever reason. Kept seeing they were reading my texts but they never replied after that. Never ended up getting that snake as it was sold to someone else a couple week later. Was the most frustrating seller interaction I’ve had so far by a large margin…


Its just crazy to me that you would want breed for a living. This is my fun money, its what I enjoy doing to get away from the stress of work. And I’m definitely not a people person but I like talking to other enthusiasts and hobbyists. You can tell you’re talking to a “pro” when you only have like 5 grand to spend and they hardley have the time to talk to you. But whatever man your life not mine.

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Why wouldn’t you want to do this for a living. I left a cr**py job to do this full-time and it’s been the best decision for my mental health. I love my “job” now. To generalize all breeders as only caring if you have 5g to spend is simply not true. Some people are just not good people and it isn’t just in the reptile industry. Move on and find the breeders that treat you well. Many in this business are very condescending. Try not to take it personally. This community is a pretty good place to be and we can all benefit from each other contributing. I’m busier than ever but I still do my best to take time to add whenever I think it’s worthy of conversation. I’m not the best but I try my best.


I really believe that I will carry this kind of integrity when I sell.


I love talking about reptiles, especially snakes — and enjoy helping those that approach me the best I can! I get people can be busy, but people being rude or straight up ignoring you is just a huge turn off.

I’ve only ever reached out to one “pro” breeder to ask if he thought my hognose was gravid, since it was my first attempt breeding them. Now I know what to look for, but that simple “yes” helped a lot!

My local herp community has been super helpful, supportive, and friendly, @osbornereptiles being one of the local breeders I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person at the local show.
I know who I’ll go to when I start looking to add more higher-end pied stuff to my collection! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I would hardly say I’m the best as well, but I do my best. Ive worked my whole life to be where I am today. Ive never left any crappy job. Ive used them as stepping stones. Im a union directional boring foreman for the largest energy utility in the Seattle area on the natural gas side. I own two small business’s, ones a beer and tap cleaning business in the Seattle area, and own a sub shop franchise with my brother in the bay are San Fran who works for Lockheed Martin. I have a snake that is as old as my teenage daughter that drives now. Ive been treated like dirt from the first time I bought 2 66% het pied brothers from Pete Kahl in 97 with my graduation money from major breeders. I enjoy this, thats why I’ve stuck to it. It just seems to me major breeders don’t enjoy this. We used to travel to shows all over the states from IRBA San Diego to Daytona. Went to Tinley once. Now I dont even let my kid to the biggest show in the NW 10 minutes down the hill from us. I tell her if this is what you want to do don’t be like them.


I’m not the best at getting the point across. All of the “pro” breeders I know personally are excited and passionate about what they do. As I said, I do this for a living as well because I’ve been passionate about it for 35 years. I used my day jobs as a stepping stone as well, to build my collection to what it is now. It’s a modest size but exceptional quality and my wife and I made the decision to keep the collection to a number we can maintain easily by ourselves.

I’ve had those negative experiences as well, and it seems generational. It seems to have been pretty common in the breeders that paved the way in the 70s and 80s…not all but many. I don’t know why but there have been a lot of a-holes from that era but I’ve also met many that have been extremely helpful and friendly. We still see a mix of those personalities in the hobby today. If you’re experience isn’t satisfactory it’s the breeders loss. There are plenty of others that are happy to help.

If you’re ok with a 9-5 and keeping reptiles as a hobby, that’s great. Please don’t hold it against those of us that would rather do thing on our own terms. I love what I do and I’ve made some amazing friends I’ve never even met.


I don’t know if being a professional breeder or a hobby breeder makes a difference - to me, I think it’s just a personality issue. One of the largest corn snake breeders is wonderful to deal with. He personally responds to inquiries and even after a purchase, when I’ve had questions, he promptly and politely replies. I’ve also dealt with hobby breeders that are only interested in getting the payment and shipping the snake off, and although the snake is healthy and they did a good job packing up the snake for shipping, it didn’t leave a great taste in my mouth. But anyway, almost all of the breeders I’ve dealt with, both large scale breeders and small time breeders, have been great to talk to and clearly passionate about the hobby. I haven’t noticed a direct correlation between the size of the operation and politeness.


This. A lot of us assume that breeders with massive operations are going to be the worst when it comes to customer service. Sometimes its true and sometimes its not. But as @osbornereptiles said, move on and find the breeders that treat you well. Because they are definitely out there.

I’ve had fantastic customer service from a pro breeder before and I’ve been ignored by them too. I’ve also donated to many of the funds that have been set up for hobbyists in need and been ignored by someone who directly benefited from that effort - and that stung.

Personally, I “vote” with my wallet. I’m definitely at the point in my snake breeding career where I can afford to spend the extra $100-200 to get good customer service vs. buying cheaper and having to send 4 unanswered emails just to get a tracking number.


Maybe this is my autism, but what was the point in making this thread? Just to complain about a “pro” breeder not responding to you in a timely manner? What is the definition of a pro as well? Are you going by the title next to someone’s MM page, or a full-time keeper, or what?

Please don’t read this with emotion. It’s just a question. Just trying to understand the title of this thread.


One thing to keep in mind most “pros” don’t take animals in trade. So when there are people willing to buy animals outright right or wrong you probably got pushed to the back of the line. I to work a 9-5 but in my experiences there are just as many awesome “pros” as there are awesome hobbyist.


i don’t think you can really make these kinds of assumptions. Good and bad eggs everywhere in every industry that has both hobbyists and full time professionals.

I bought mine from a big breeder (sells hundreds of BPs a year) and had a good experience. Corresponded with another who has sold over 5,000 here on MM, and though I didn’t buy from him, he was great about answering questions and I’d definitely go back when I’m ready to buy another.


Knock on wood I’ve bought from some of the better known names without issue and of course I’ve bought from you. I think even if we hadnt met being rather local to one another, you would have still given me the great customer service as an “unknown entity” here on this platform. I feel alot has to do with a persons integrity.


No, a “pro” is someone that thinks they know everything about everything. And they run hobbyists into the ground so bad that they give up and quit. A “pro” is whats totally wrong with this hobby to start with. They think just because one thing worked for them for years, that they try to force it on everybody else. I’m no pro. I’m still learning. But when I hear a “pro” talk, right or wrong, I always just shut them out.