Expo sales (Q&A)

Didn’t know where else to put this but Im going to jump right into this.

So in 2020 I went to my first reptile expo. I choose to look at this experience as an amazing one; something I won’t forget for a long time despite why I’m creating this topic.

I’ve stumbled across a large number of posts on Reddit and a few other sites, with titles requesting help for one or another reason relating to getting a scale friend from an Expo.

The first time I went to an expo I came across a table with multiple people tending to customers at this one table. They had a large number of crested geckos for sale as well as pangea and some other stuff for geckos. I ended up purchasing one of my geckos from them but when I did, I was told they didn’t need any type of cover, hides, ledges, or any of that. I wasn’t even told they were arboreal, my point being why does it seem like there is a select few of breeders who choose to leave out certain key factors of owning a certain species just to make money?

I get it. Times are hard, even harder when you’ve got to feed you possibly other family members and who knows 200 extra tiny mouths. I’m not asking anyone else to really answer this question because I don’t really think there is an answer to it. But I’m creating this topic to remind people who, wether you’ve been a reptile owner or breeder for a while or you’ve just got your first day gecko to watch out for this! These guys and gals are not just breeders or family pets but friends and living breathing organisms :smiley:

Now that is out of the way…



As a buyer it’s up to you to make an informed decision about who you buy from. Good breeders will do their best to educate you and answer questions later if you run into trouble. Less skilled or more profit driven breeders are likely to give you bad advice or lead you into a sale. Anyone can get a table at a reptile show, the promoters are not able to vet every vendor because they typically don’t have experience with species outside of what they’ve worked with themselves.

The problem with regulating it in any larger sense is that the community doesn’t have a lot of solid science behind it. A lot of people’s care regime is based on what they hear and see in the community and not something that necessarily has good solid science to stand on. We’ve got what we’ve got science wise and it’s quite incomplete. A good example is the UV craze that’s taken the hobby over recently. Take ball pythons as an example. I’m told by people who are barely as old as some of my reptiles, that ALL snakes need UV and depriving them of that is cruelty. Without solid science to determine the amount and intensity of UV exposure, you’re much likely to harm an animal than help it, especially given BPs are crepuscular/nocturnal.


I highly agree with your opinion. I also love the fact you brought up the UV craze as well as larger regulations regarding this.

I’m barely a second year crested gecko breeder (2024 would be my second) already feeling the adrenaline rush and it’s just beginning this year and this morning I just found out crested geckos are viewed as vulnerable on the endangered species list now at least for New Caledonia. This to me is so large, if we’re going to be breeding these little dudes I feel like we should at least have some studies and tests started to help ease the fatality rate I’ve seen from improper husbandry which starts at pet stores, expos, etc.
Circling back to them being listed as vulnerable now-
We take these dudes from the wild to improve our gene pools for breeding (some of them) I feel like now more than ever proper housing and feeding should be something we definitely need to discuss! If they drop any lower than vulnerable we might have to start sending some hatchling to make it on their own to repopulate which is why it’s crucial in my eyes to talk about what we do know.

Yes you as the buyer hold all responsibility for making sure you know what the requirements are for the species’s housing and food. But also there’s making a quick buck and being a good salesman/saleswoman. I’ve got all my geckos in bioactive setups I understand how expensive that cost. If I had someone tell me they couldn’t afford that I’d offer a solution like “fake plants as coverage for the time being” but that’s just me. I would also like to add I am not hating on anyone who doesn’t do this. It is just something I will do in the future when I sell to make sure the buyer and gecko are happy.

Id also like to say this doesn’t just go for geckos it goes for any scale friends! Also my views are a bit different, I’m aiming to go to college for genealogy. Repopulation of species is something I absolutely love to do research on and would love to be apart of.


Thank you very much Don! I don’t know how to express this in scientific terms but there is a UV craze out there but when it comes to ball pythons, they simply do not need it! Period! And they don’t need artificial light either! Natural light is more than sufficient! It seems the first thing new ball python owners do when they bring a baby home is stick them in a 40 gallon tank with 6 or 7 different kinds of lights on top. Not Necessary! :+1:


I agree with how you feel and where you are coming from Hogan. The cold hard fact is that there are people who will sell an animal without the slightest concern about how that animal is going to be treated after the sale and the money changes hands, for example the people you bought that sweet little gecko from. The operative word here is “sale” or, “money “.

In this case, it was assumed that if you were told of everything you would have to buy so that little critter could thrive, or even live, you may have decided to go buy a pet rock. No sale no money. And the love of money (greed) is the root of all evil, no matter what suffering it may cause………:pensive:

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Honestly you couldn’t have phrased it better… I don’t like to think of it but I know it exists, I worked at a vape shop I understand how cut throat businesses sometimes have to be. Honestly once I start getting into more expensive morph crested geckos (and get some money saved back ) I might start getting little starter kits to go with expo sales. Not including enclosures, but maybe small bottles of powder calcium for feeder dusting and a small sample pack of pangea. Maybe I’ll even go as far as to incorporate my STEM skills and 3-D print some ledges and hides to go with them.

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Yep! That’s a great idea about the starter packs and the extra info. You can’t stop all unethical sales of animals but you can do your very best to do your part to educate people when they purchase one of your precious little critters. Hopefully it will have a ripple effect. At least you will be able to sleep at night……. :pray:

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