Outrageous Petco Prices

Must have gotten their pricing from a successful breeders website.

or this

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Honestly I think the fact that they have high prices is a good thing. Big box stores are usually known for undercutting prices. So them having higher prices keeps the market in a better position.

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Overhead costs is #1. If you’ve never looked at commercial retail space rent I can tell you rent on these places is ridiculous. That price is pretty accurate when you consider operational expense.

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This may be the case. But I’m guessing somewhere like petco isn’t paying the bills selling snakes. I’m assuming they are making there money selling cat and dog food. Things you have to buy and come back for every week.

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True but they have an across the board mark-up. All retail has a bread and butter product that keep them open. All costs add up. The snakes aren’t where the profit is made, that comes with supplies and weekly feed, but they know those purchases are usually impulse buys and why not. Most pet stores are double the breeder price unless you’re talking normals that are marked up 300-500%.

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No retail store makes money selling dog and cat food. The margin is non-existent. Live animal sales also make a up a very small percentage of the profit. Pet stores like petco mostly make money on all the overpriced made-in-China garbage they sell (treats, toys, leashes, bowls ect.). Very high margins on that stuff.

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I fear for anyone who would spend $1000 on an animal from petco O.o

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As crazy of the price seems to those who are acquainted with breeder-to-customer market value, this price makes a lot of sense coming from Petco. Multi-gene ball pythons and other more high end animals sometimes come from somewhere other than their main vendor, which may be smaller and they buy the animal at the price we would pay from the breeder. To make any money at all they mark it up so they make something on the sale. The big pet store retailers don’t actually get a big discount on more speciality animals from their vendors. They make sometimes only a 5-10% margin on an animal sale.

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I used to work for petco and did buying. The usual markup for live reptiles was actually 200%.

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So, if they are selling it for $1099 and it is not some kind of special price, it cost them around $350.

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I hope anyone who tries to buy that snake is told they’re about to be ripped off.

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Perhaps Petco does things a bit differently, because I’ve seen first hand how little some stores make on reptile sales. What I saw for some chains is stuff like buying normal bearded dragons at around $40 each and then selling them for $50. I know Petco more often gets in more different animals than say, PetSmart, and at very different price points.

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I would just rather buy from a breeder who is passionate about that breed/species of critter and not to mention the good ones are with you for life for support when you have questions about the animal you got from them. Not that Petco doesn’t have great employees, but I doubt very many are specialists in the breed/species that the store is selling.

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Wait but hang on though, on BP.net someone mentioned that they bought their pied from petco for 200 bucks and they showed proof with a receipt. I’ll try to find the link for that.

Ignore the link. Dont know why it did that.

Seriously no small or large shop is paying that much for an animal. Shops don’t pay market prices to breeders they buy wholesale. Mark up is almost always 100 on what they paid.

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@saleengrinch is absolutely right. I have worked at multiple pet stores including both chains and privately owned shops, and the markup is never less than 100%, and it can be as high as 200%. In retail in general there is such a thing as a “loss leader,” which is a product (live or otherwise) that has little to no markup, or even a loss. This is done to drive specific types of sales. My experience is that this is pretty rare at pet stores. I haven’t actually seen it being done, but it could be. However, baby pied ball pythons wholesale for less than $200, as low as $100. I think a lot of people do not realize just how inexpensive wholesale animals are. Every time you are buying animals from someone who bought them at wholesale, they are making a huge profit even if their price seems low.

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This! Probably a black friday deal

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Also when a shop is buying wholesale lots they are paying wholesale prices on every animal in the lot. Whether it’s 1 gene or 7 it’s bought as a wholesale lot. Places like petco are buying from breeders who do large wholesale lots. Not from small breeders now smaller shops may buy lots from smaller breeders but they are still paying wholesale prices. When the shops charge market value or higher this is good for all breeders. The wholesaler makes his money and the small breeders don’t get there snakes value trampled on.

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Lots of good points…
These are more like two separate industries that compliment each other.
Big Box stores are not shopping on here, or talking to individual breeders about wholesale deals, or paying the wholesale that we pay. They deal with a couple giant distributors that purchase wholesale from breeders and then sell to them at their wholesale, which can be double.
Example: I worked with them for years and would buy hundreds of normal balls wholesale at $5-$10ea, and sell them ‘wholesale’ to the distributors supplying the big box stores for $20, because they can get $30/$35/etc ‘wholesale’ from the big box stores.
The big box store is dealing with one major distributor because they can supply a consistent product throughout the year with lots of specifications that the small guy can’t or won’t. These facilities have to be inspected annually… there’s sooo much involved. This is why they charge more.
So the big box store doesn’t look and say, oh this snake retails for $150 on morph market, and breeders are selling them wholesale at $30, so we’ll charge xyz. No, they say, we are paying $60ea from our distributor, we have to X3 or 4 that to cover overhead/labor/real estate/profit, so we list it retail for $240 or more. BTW, they are not counting on the sale of that animal, but the sale of the supplies and feeders needed now and in the future :wink:
If the BBS (big box stores) weren’t buying tens of thousands+++ of morphs from us each year, these same snakes would be inundating our market, and the price will drop dramatically.
Everyone’s out to make that killer new combo! and there’s lots of ‘rejects/culls’ that come with it. Now you see tons of single genes again for $20-$50 that still don’t sell. I remember those years.
Thing about going to shows and instead of seeing 50 quality snakes, you are seeing 250 snakes on a table, and most are junk. I remember when I stopped doing shows and would just go to pick up tons of wholesale deals because I would make more money. Vendors would line up to sell me their single/double gene stuff at wholesale! I could go on and on.
People that may buy that snake at Petco, don’t know about this industry, or the shows, or MM. They are getting their first taste, and want to buy from someone they think they can trust… a local store that will help or even accept returns if necessary, not some stranger online half way across the globe.
Then they get the animal, go home and do some research, and now we all have more future customers.
Hint: WE don’t have to go to Petco and pay those prices :wink:

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