I get the ball python market is over saturated but why do we sell snakes for as little as £10-20. Not even normals or animals with genetic defects should be so cheap. Is there anything we can do to balance pricing out within the hobby?
Do you guys think its still possible to create a solid business with ball pythons as a main focus?
Prices are low because there’s so many ball pythons, and in order to sell them, people keep lowering prices. If there’s 500,000 snakes produced each year, and a demand for only $300,000, people will be competing for theirs to be the ones that sell.
lol no, at this point I think that ship has sailed. At this point there’s so many breeders and so many ball pythons that I think it’s going to be very very difficult for a new breeder without an established reputation to sucessfully sell snakes, even at a loss.
@chesterhf ok thank you is this the same for the UK as that is where I’m situated. Also I don’t plan on ball pythons being the main focus long term I’m coming from a start up standpoint to build a solid foundation where I can then progress down other avenues.
As both yourself and Hilary have mentioned, the ball python market is looking oversaturated. This oversupply drives down prices.
Add to this that many breeders are hobbyists who may not have the same overhead costs as professional breeders or pet stores, allowing them to sell at lower prices.
Some combos and newer morphs can fetch high prices, but the market is flooded with a wide range of common morphs. Because new projects are so expensive, people settle for the “lower grade” animals and hets that go on to produce lower grade animals and pos hets.
Also, take into consideration that breeders still need to feed, care for, and house these animals. A few weeks in already passes their value, so many get them out of the gate as quickly as possible to keep costs down and the ball rolling. Pricing low helps.
What we can do is educate newcomers about the true costs, heartache, planning, and dedication breeding takes, so they better understand why they might not be cut out for it. And encourage those who still believe they are to focus on quality, uniqueness, health, taking projects to the next step… the good stuff.
We should also be pushing ethical breeding practices … like this, which is not Ball Pythons specifically, but is how we all should be looking at the hobby.
I think MM adding a wholesale category will help pet stores swipe up the bottom stock and get them animals to pet owners… which will hopefully encourage future breeders to purchase high-quality animals that will have more visibility with fewer listings.
My oldest ball python is 23. I purchased him for $20 as a hatchling. Normal phase.
The problem is that as much as we think otherwise ball pythons ( and corn snakes and leopard geckos) are cheap pets to begin with.
Sure, cool new morphs can fetch a pretty penny for a while… But eventually the market just gets saturated and everyone is looking for the next big morph combo. Banana/CG ball pythons were over $1000 10 years ago. Now they’re 150$. It’s just what happens.
@eaglereptiles you make some good points that I have been thinking about for a while. I am going to make a few changes to my plans and restructure a few things over the next couple months. I have a few two gene bps that I was hoping to breed in the coming years but the offspring they produce would be some of the most common genes in the industry I just don’t think there’s much room for two to three gene snakes with common genes especially incomplete dominants.