I personally wouldn’t recommend ever buying your first reptile from a pet store, especially chain stores like PetSmart or Petco…
My first ball python, Delta, was bought from a local chain store called Pet Supplies Plus. This was on August 12th of 2018.
She was pretty small and scrawny when I got her, and they were feeding her f/t mouse fuzzies… once I figured out she needed bigger food, her growth shot up from there. She was around 100 grams if not less when I got her. I didn’t get a scale until about a month and a half later but the first time I weighed her she was 118 grams.
Here’s her now, around 850-900 grams or so. She’s been a slow grower but is one of our sweetest snakes and is not head shy for the most part!
I also bought a little pinstripe female from this same store, but she unfortunately just didn’t eat or thrive and despite trying all the tricks I could find online, she eventually just passed away on her own. Made me realize pet store snakes were not a good choice and since then have only bought animals at expos or on MorphMarket.
I’ve also bought some snakes from a local breeder.