Trouble selling

Honestly I give up it’s been a dream of mine to breed snakes but guys I’ve had snakes on here for so long that are such great quality at good prices but they’ll never sell due to the fact that I don’t have a reputation. If I can’t sell 1 single snake within months and months that I’ve basically priced as an absolute steal then I’m out people really won’t buy anything from a new breeder they only focus on the people that have been doing it for years and years and sadly most of those people I see not being gentle or caring for there animals near as much.

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It can take a long time to establish a reputation. It might help if you have either a website or facebook page. Also, aside from cornsnakes, it seems like ball pythons are the most common snake in the pet trade. Thus, there are a lot of listings, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. There’s this one snake that has been listed for a long time, it’s a dream-snake, and it’s driving me nuts! I’m not in a position to buy her, and I’ve never owned a snake of my own, but I want her sooo bad!

In general, at the moment, I’m mostly a leopard gecko person, and I’ve seen a ton of geckos that have been listed for many months. I recall seeing a listing for a gecko named Elvis that I could have sworn was up for over a year, but I’m not certain. Maybe one of the ball python folks on here (which would be almost everyone on the forum, :joy:) can go over morphs and stuff with you to see if there’s an ingredient you’re missing?

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Hmm, I’m a fairly new breeder as well, but haven’t had any issues selling my snakes (besides my banana het pied male, but I think people are just skeptical on him actually being het pied :unamused:)

Do you have a business page on Instagram and/or Facebook? A great way to build up a reputation is also by having an online presence. Post often (daily or every other day is best) and engage with your followers.

I personally use both, and have my Instagram page set up to automatically post my images and videos on my Facebook page.
I also have a YouTube channel, but I find it a bit difficult to come up with video topics outside of my breeding progress and whatnot :joy:

I’d also recommend checking local reptile related Facebook groups and post in them with your ads, as long as you follow the group’s rules you should be good. It gets more eyes on your animals at the very least.

You can also PM me with your MorphMarket page, and I can take a look at your ads and see if anything might be amiss with them.

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I recommend both the above videos.
(Skip to 10:10 on the mutation creation one)

I believe @nathan_e posted one a while back (I can’t find it for the life of me) about building a audience with social media which would be useful here.

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Another thing to consider beyond just building your reputation up and getting your name out there is to work with morphs that people will be interested in. Everyone always says to work with what you love, and while I agree with that wholeheartedly, if you’re breeding it’s important to know the market. If you listed a bunch of normal males on here, even at a great price, there’s a pretty good they might be on here for a while as there’s no shortage of normal males floating around. I’ve also noticed many spider morphs stay on here for way longer; when I was shopping for a clown female they were selling for $400 and were always sold almost instantly after the ad was posted. Meanwhile there were several clown spider females on here for $350 that sat there for months. So it’s also possible that the morph(s) you posted were also not what people were looking for.

Edit: Something else I thought of - make sure your pictures are good! This is going to be the first thing that catches someone’s eye, so make it count

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#1 Know who you’re targeting to sell to.

#2 In any business, marketing is king. The more eyes you get the more likely someone will buy. Be on every platform you can think of. Keep them all up to date. Put yourself out there on anything you can. Buy ad space if you’re really serious. Have pictures of your best examples and what projects you’re driving for.

I like the Olympus Reptiles video. It’s good about explaining financial expectations. A business is expensive, and it takes time and cultivation to grow one.

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I hate to be “that guy” but everything you are complaining about are issues you should have thought long and hard about before you decided to breed. Just because you see snakes selling does not mean that your snakes are guaranteed to sell too. It takes work. And it takes time. My first year breeding, it took three years before sold a single animal from that.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Three. Years.

(And the ultimate irony is that they guy I eventually sold to beat me to the end product I had intended to make by breeding in the first place. I could have given up, but I was breeding towards my own specific end point and not for the of making any money so I did not really care.)

This is just the way it goes.
.

Heck, I would argue that at this point my name is actually fairly known in the hobby and yet I still have an animal on the market right now from 2018.

This is just the way it goes.
.

There is an old adage that if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is? Have you considered that might be your issue. If your animal is so massively underpriced compared to all the others of the same morph/combo, then maybe people are wondering what is wrong with it…

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So out of curiosity I did look up his MM store and see what the snake was. $55 for a male Mojave seems reasonable to me and I didn’t see anything alarming about the ad that would scare people away. If I saw a new seller and they only had one snake listed and it was a monsoon for $500, then I would be suspicious. Honestly I think it’s just a market issue; probably not many people are looking for a single gene male Mojave.

Also, if mentioning the morph/price/ad in question is breaking community guidelines, let me know and I’ll get rid this post. I just thought it was relevant to the discussion

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So having troubles means that someone didn’t put thought into anything? Thanks to the people who put help in instead of criticism

Thanks man and no I have no problem with posting reality!

Lots of users have offered methods of improving, if you see a response you don’t like don’t pinpoint and reply to that comment, choose another and keep the place flowing with enthusiasm.

The only criticism on Travis’s part was constructive.
He isn’t saying your heart and head are not into it, but using personal experiences to explain that you are going down the wrong avenues.

Now my personal opinion on your ad:

  • You have only one picture.
    Add some more, preferably in daylight. Your picture is your main selling point.
    Prove your Mojave is better than all the 1000s of others on the market.

  • No links to your social media.
    Get out there and get active. Let people know your breeding snakes.

  • June 2020 single gene male hatchling
    No offence meant by this at all, but this is probably the least likely to be bought by a breeder or anyone planning to breed. People are after adult females with multiple genes → adult males with multiple genes → juvenile females with multiple genes → → → and so on.
    Your target audience for that particular animal is likely a future pet owner.

Be patient

This isn’t the stock market, it is a gentle hobby that you have to believe in and enjoy, with most barely breaking even.

Again, non of this is meant to offend, words are misread out of context online. We’re just trying to help :wink:

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I think I have the video saved but I know which one you mean! I’ll look for it and post it up if I can find it.

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He is not trying to criticize you or be rude in any way whatsoever. I completely agree with what he is saying and he is a very reputable person. not only is a he a seller but also the staff. He wouldn’t have been given the staff position if he wasn’t credible. Just saying. I understand you may want to hear certain things but I’d rather have someone be honest with me whether I like it or not instead of someone telling me what I want to hear.

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You are fine @chesterhf, as you said, it is relevant to the conversation and not an intentional promotion/review of a specific vendor

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Know your market. If you are posting a single gene male mojave, then you are pretty much limited to customers who are looking for a pet. If you think that a breeder or even semi-serious collector is going to send you an inquiry, you’re fooling yourself.

I am not being critical here - I am posting this feedback because I post and sell many single gene and possible het animals to people who simply want to buy a pet snake. I’ve sucked it up many times and spent money on a box, heat pack, and 42 mile round trip drive to the hub so that I could get my customer a $55 snake. The payoff is that I get a positive review on my store page. So the next time one of these customers is looking for an inexpensive pet snake AND they care about being treated right, I’m the guy who gets the inquiry.

Two suggestions for you here - One, have some higher end projects going at the same time. Invest in some single gene recessive females. You treat them right, you will have good stock to bring to market every year. Then you can post some male mojaves, female pastels, and some pastave het clowns all at the same time. Pastave het clowns are going to get eyes on your store. Two, do some local shows and have something interesting on your table while you are trying to sell $50 mojaves. People will stop and look. If they aren’t in the market for a $500 animal, you still might get the $50 sale if you are approachable and can spark up small talk with a customer. I ALWAYS bring that stuff to shows and it always sells.

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So this may be a part of the problem also. Yes $55 for a single gene Mojave sounds reasonable but its quite likely the person looking to spend only $55 on a snake doesn’t want to then turn around and spend another 35-60 to have it shipped. I personally sell all my lower value snakes to pet stores or on Craigslist. Lots of people out there looking to spend not a lot of money on animals. So while that $40, $50, or $60 snake may be priced just right, selling it on a site that often requires the animal to be shipped, at sometimes a cost as much as the snake itself, may not be the best strategy.

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Yes and No. In my experience, its about a 50/50 split. Half the buyers will ghost after you provide the shipping quote. The other half don’t seem to care or are already aware of the shipping cost before they send the inquiry. I’ve even said to a prospective buyer that the shipping could be as much as the snake and the response is usually along the lines of “I don’t care, I want what I want.”

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Well if I had a buyer say something like that to me lets just say that they wouldn’t get the snake. But I agree with what you said about how you conduct yourself towards buyers goes hand in hand with how well sales go.

I think you misunderstood me here. What I was trying to say is that I’ve had customers not object to paying $50 shipping for a $50 animal simply because they wanted THAT animal.

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Ah ok my bad. I see what you mean now.

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