Impulse vs thought out purchases

I ask this here and now because theres SO many bp morphs and so many options out there. What makes you pull the trigger on a purchase? Is it inpulse, based on what you see in the moment? Or do you have a list of things you look for?

Ive been looking for a mojave female (preferably het pied) to get to pair to kane eventually, and happened across someone local whose got a really pretty little girl. Shes KIND OF an impulse, because i was planning on looking for something at the expo this weekend. But shes local and still fits into my plans. Im already loving her.


My strategy for buying is multi-layer, and some might even say neurotic. But since I don’t have a ton of space and I’m operating on a budget, and I have very specific goals for what I want to make, the snake needs to be perfect.

First, I have a list of traits that I’m looking to add into my project. In order to buy a snake, it needs to have at least two of those traits (although the more the better), unless it’s a higher end recessive. There’s also a list of traits I don’t want in any of my projects (pastel, fire, etc) and even a single one of those is enough to make me pass up a snake, because I don’t want to hit my “dream combo” and have contaminated with something I don’t want. That would be so disappointing.

Then I’m also picky about breeders, because there’s certain ones I would never buy from no matter what, and if it’s a breeder I’m unfamliar with, I’ll spend a good amount of time combing through reviews, their social media pages, etc. I like to look through their photos to see how their snakes look as adults (do they age well? hold their color?), especally combos that have the morphs I’m looking at buying and I will usually ask for pictures of the parents.

The snake also needs to be visually what I would like from the combo, because there’s always some variation and if I’m selectively breeding for a certain phenotype, then I want the snake I buy to be what I think the perfect example of that morph should be.

I never buy from expos because they tend to promote impulse buying, and also I think it’s a bit of a biohazard (even though I do quarantine). They are a good place to vet breeders though

So if a snake is posted that meets all of my specifications, and I have the money already earmarked for a snake, then I allow myself to “impulse buy”. Because the sale process itself may move relatively quickly, but the process has been in the works for a while


I used to impulse buy snakes a lot when I first got into the hobby, but now I only buy if it’s something that will fit into existing projects or if it’ll start me into a new project I’m interested in.


For me, it’s never impulse. I may pull the trigger on something I hadn’t intended to buy at the moment, but only if it;
A) Fits my breeding plans
B) Is a great example of a gene/s I have been pursuing.

For example, I spent two years looking for a very balanced medium patterned Pied. I ended up spending more than I had intended because what I found was a Pied Ghost, but it was exactly what I had been looking for in a medium balanced pattern Pied. It wasn’t impulsive, but it was immediate. If that Mojave you have pictured is what you feel is the perfect example of what you’re looking for, then don’t hesitate and get her. If it is just the genes but not what you envisioned, then hold out for what meets your mind’s eye.


Fantastic responses! Thank you each for taking the time to respond.

I personally have a general idea of what im looking for as far as morphs go, with what my plans are for the future. I know i want mojave in my lines, and yb eventually. But im slow in venturing into breeding bps so havent gotten much further than that.

Im moreso picky eith hognoses because they are my immediate plans. The bps will take a few more years to get going.


I never have less than 100 reptiles, and several of my close friends are the same. I don’t think very many of us in this hobby are anything but neurotic :joy:

@jverz Everyone gave you good advice but we all go through a bit of a whirlwind phase until we figure out exactly what we want to work with. When I started breeding ball pythons people still wouldn’t even share what genes were in snakes they posted pictures of. We didn’t have the luxury of looking at each combo we were interested in, they hadn’t been made yet lol. You had to gamble. In doing so, you make cuts here and there. You also have big wins now and then and all those things guided us to where we are now.

I suggest doing both. Carefully select your main body of projects, and if you have the space and the money, pick up some stuff that grabs your eye in the moment.

It’s easy for those of us who’ve been producing them for years to say “take your time, invest in specific projects, etc.” most of us give that advice because we learned the hard way, but learning that way is also how/why we’re here offering advice :man_shrugging: We also mostly speak from the comfort of many guaranteed clutches a year…


If I had the money I’d buy whatever I want but seeing that I don’t I just have to buy what I need to further my projects when I have the funds lol


Half of what I have Ive semi impulse bought, the other half I sought out.

I impluse bought this guy because he was the right price, I liked how he looked, had genes I didn’t have, would pair up awesome with another female I have. I wasn’t looking for him at all.
Leopard Enchi Yellow Belly Lesser

I impulse bought this girl, I wasn’t planning on buying a snake like her for a year or two. I was looking to get an adult multiple gene hypo ghi a year+ from now. I saw her, thought the price was fair and I would be a year or two early with my project with her. I like how she looks, much better in person.
Hypo Pastel GHI(she’s in shed in this pic)


For me it was a mixture of impulse and market research. The carpet pythons i got were very planned out, but half of my balls were an impulse buy from an old breeder getting out of the hobby. The other half were breeds i wanted to work with and that i thought would work well.


So… this one was definitely impulse .

20220223225904.460-paradoxalbinohead-550x550s (1)


A wonderful impulse


Excuse you, what are you doing with my snake? :rofl::rofl:

Kidding. Thay is a freaking beautiful animal. What genetics has it got going on there? So i can loook for one of my own?


So far as i know is a chimera albino, my guess is the breeding was 2 het albinos, and the “normal” half was either a normal or a het, however, it has proven that its… business area has albino genes, so for the purposes of breeding, it will produce albinos (or hets if not bred to an albino).

Usually true chimera looking paradoxes cost 5k+ so when I saw this guy i imediatelt sent an inquiry. Ill deal with breeding plans after, or just enjoy having an absolutely 1 of a kind snake :slight_smile:


You can search & search for the perfect snake…& somehow…the perfect snake just happens. Meant to be…


First half of my husband and I’s collection was definitely a lot of impulse. We’d see something that we thought was pretty that fit our space we had available and would pick it up. Kinda helped the husband is crafty and very fast at building and assembling enclosures.

As time went on we both decided we were really enjoying the fat tail geckos, and the hognose snakes plus their ease of care. (We love all our pets honestly I’m hard pressed to pick personal favorites) and we talked about potentially breeding.

As such our last handful of purchases have been planned out to fit future breeding plans. But we’re also trying not to go overboard. We want to dip into it slowly. Get maybe half a dozen pairs of geckos/hoggies to start so we’re not overwhelmed and see if we can handle it without stressing out over it.

Will say it’s been hard to say no to stuff that doesn’t fit the plans but doesn’t keep me from living vicariously through many of you all looking at all the pictures and reading the stories :heart:


I’d have to agree with @chesterhf on this one. I too have a small amount of space, so I have a google docs of all the reptile species and morphs I want to acquire and I stick to it. I even have a very specific list all the specific morphs, combos and hets I want to get for my hognose breeding projects, as well as a list of breeders I like and would be willing to do business with. I stick to the list of hognoses, but I do allow the breeder list to be flexible. I’d suggest making lists like these, as they’ve really helped me set realistic goals breeding and keeping wise and helped curb impulse buying urges.


I had every intention starting out clowns. But bought a bunch of non clowns on impulse cuz they were good deals. Before i knew it, i was out of space, and only had 3 or 4 visual clowns, and 20 het something else. I got all side tracked. Since then, i sold all non clowns and bought all clowns and het clowns. Now i have 8 visual clowns and 12 het clowns. The sexes im not getting into. But i gota stop the impulse buying, and buy what i need.


I only have a couple of corn snakes but they’ve all been pretty well thought out. My first one was a pet store snake so… y’know, kind of an impulse but I was planning on getting a reptile because they live so long (and then she passed while still young sadly but that’s besides the point). The second one was an adoption that I spent months preparing for, but I did just kind of get him because I wanted to adopt a sweet adult corn snake after the bad experience I had as a teen with my first one. My mom has a corn snake that we picked up at an expo, but we knew we were going to get some kind of albino, probably a tessera (which is what we got). The most recent two have been a lot more deliberate, though. I didn’t go through mapping out what exact genes I want and don’t want, but I knew I wanted a lavender corn snake and I managed to find the perfect one with the most beautiful aztec pattern and I had to have her, even though her ultra gene meant little to me (although I appreciate it more now). I next wanted to get a future mate for her. I followed a breeder who bred lavender corns and eventually picked up a little peach lavender masque male from her. Hoping to add to my breeding project of “just breed a lot of lavenders until I find out what my favorite combination is” in the future some more, but for now I’m just focused on raising those two little ones. Here’s a picture of those two!


I’m in the list-maker camp, but I’m not afraid to pull the trigger immediately when I see a snake who fits. I had my carefully curated corn snake collection (say that 5 times fast! Lol) and breedings were going well, hitting my targets, expanding gradually with high quality snakes from reputable breeders. Then I had a serious accident and life changed in way too many ways. I had to downsize my snake collection but I kept a core from whom I hoped to build again one day.

Last year that day came. After a lot of thinking, imagining and reimagining, I did a couple of pairings, sold some adults who didn’t quite fit the new plans, and started seriously snake shopping for future projects.

I’m being very intentional about it because I understand my limitations. There are traits I’m on the lookout for, traits that are fine if they’re present, as well as the important and sometimes frustrating list of traits I specifically don’t want. My collection will never be huge, although I’m quite serious about what I’m doing. When people ask, I tell them I’m a “small scale professional.” :wink:


So I already had my male banana here.

But then, My boy Blaze was impulse, I saw him, fell in love with him, wouldn’t stop talking about him, literally every day… and the other half got him for my birthday for me… Best decision ever!

Rikka though, was planned, I wanted her for Blaze. She’s a Bamboo and he’s an Enchi Firefly.

Now if you’ve seen a Bamboo Enchi Firefly you’ll get why i had to have her for him!

And the end goal is to then get a female one out (need luck on my side here haha) to then put
to my banana, Hideyoshi, to make a Banana Bamboo Enchi Firefly…
Years down the line that will be but worth the wait :relaxed:
May get a female banana by then so if I get a male out I’m ready! Haha :banana: