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Thread: Supply and Demand?

  1. #1
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    Default Supply and Demand?

    I have been building up my gecko collection, growing from one female to another and then last December I just bought my first male. Last Spring I started my first attempt at breeding with my 1.2 R. ciliatus. Fast forward to present day. I am up to 15 hatchlings/juveniles and I still have 4 eggs that have not yet hatched. As far as selling them goes...I haven't sold a single gecko yet. Originally I wanted to avoid shipping and sell locally. I have put up at least a few Craigslist ads and have put up advertisements at the local (about 15 min. away) university, etc. I have also spread this through word of mouth to friends and family. No interest whatsoever. I then decided that I would need to ship them to be able to effectively sell them. I have posted a couple posts in the Trade section of Pangea. So far i've gotten a couple interested people (about 2-3), but they either don't follow through or ask to buy them for very low prices. I really don't know how I can let them go for $30 per gecko and break even, let alone even make a profit. My first female is an awesome light yellow with a creamy dorsal and partial pinning that I bought for $35 (back then I only wanted one for a pet and didn't really care which color I got...they really are addicting!)The second female is a solid brick red/red bicolor that I bought for $100. By about this time last year I decided to start breeding, so I went for the best of the best and bought a creamsicle partial pinstripe male that goes to a really dark red. The amount of white on the dorsal, on his head and in the portholes are ridiculous! It has really exaggerated crests. The male was $300.

    When I first started becoming interested in cresteds around 3-4 years ago it seemed as if they were all going for reasonable prices (a harlequin back then may have sold for $75, but now that same harlequin is frequently sold for $40) and people didn't really have too much of a problem selling them. But now...

    Don't get me wrong, I love breeding ciliatus, but if I can't get these sold and at least break even then I don't know if I can keep breeding them. The economy is partially to blame, but the other half I think is the fact that there are just an over abundance of cresteds. They breed way too easily. The other thing to consider is that since there is an over abundance of cresteds, they sell for lower prices. The average Joe Schmoe could easily pick up a pair of buckskins or tigers for $150. He then breeds these geckos and produces other geckos just like the "dull, drab" parents and sells these at $30 per gecko. This takes a lot of business away from other breeders who are trying to breed for more refined traits and colors who might sell their geckos for $75 per per gecko. I'm not bashing buckskins or tigers or any other "elementary" morph out there, but I think that this is another factor that needs to be considered when dealing with the selling of geckos (or any other animal for that matter).

    I am really considering selling all of my cresteds (and maybe keeping my first crested that i've ever bought) and going into another species that I can actually sell and make some sort of profit. I was thinking chahoua?

    Your opinions?

    Thanks,

    Tyler
    Tyler

    Rhacodactylus ciliatus - 1.2.15.4
    Felis domesticus - 0.1.0

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    This is a great post for new people trying to get into breeding. Anyone who is breeding has to make sure they have the time, money, and room available to breed, in case they end up with 15+ hatchlings that aren't selling. I hope you are able to sell some of yours. I have found that people are willing to spend good money if you have exactly what they are looking for, but it is harder to sell the basic morphs and expect to gain a profit.

    As more people come to this conclusion, it may start a new cycle with chahouas and in a few years maybe people will say the same thing about them.

    The main thing is to make sure you prepare a plan for all the unexpected, 15+ hatchlings, emergency vet visits, etc... Also - make sure you enjoy the breed. Don't do it for the money. You can always keep your geckos as pets and keep the males from the females.

    Good luck!

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    I really don't know how I can let them go for $30 per gecko and break even, let alone even make a profit.
    I personally think that is a mindset problem. I am breeding them because I love them. I have no grand dreams of making a lot of money off them. All I need is a bit here and there to buy more supplies and a new gecko here and there and I will be happy.

    Send a pm with pictures of the babies though, I am always looking for more.

    Edit- Never mind, I found your FS ads. No offense, I can see why no one is buying them for $65 right now. With nothing super outstanding about them no one will spend that much these days. I sold off 20 or so babies at a show for $20 each, then bought a new gecko lol but I was perfectly ok with that.

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    Don't get me wrong, I love my geckos and I love breeding them, but I would at least like to break even. It isn't economical when you have 15+ geckos you can't sell and are out $300-$400 on breeders.

    I'm not too sure it will be the same with chahoua (or any other non-prolofic animal)...or at least I hope not. Chahoua are such slow breeders that your lucky if you get a couple clutches per year, if you get any at all. Because of this the price will always remain higher than cresteds and the demand will be higher due to less animals. Or that's what my logic is anyway.

    If I were to get out of breeding ciliatus I would still keep one or two as pets. But like I said, it really doesn't get me anywhere to be out hundreds of dollars, not break even, and have dozens of geckos that I can't get rid of.

    P.S.- I think that I'm going to significantly reduce the price that I'm selling them at so I can just get rid of them.lol
    Tyler

    Rhacodactylus ciliatus - 1.2.15.4
    Felis domesticus - 0.1.0

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycresteds View Post
    I really don't know how I can let them go for $30 per gecko and break even, let alone even make a profit.
    Give me a break...

    You are obviously into breeding Crested geckos for the wrong reason.

    Assuming from your post that this is STRICTLY BUSINESS, let's look at your business plan for a moment shall we?

    EXPENSES:
    LIVESTOCK COSTS
    $35
    $100
    $300

    FOODS AND FEEDING
    $40-60 for CGD for the year or so you've had them...
    _______
    = $475-$495 TOTAL INVESTMENT AND EXPENSE FOR THE YEAR!

    INCOME POTENTIAL:
    15 Geckos (possibly 19) at $30 each
    _________
    $450 to $570

    IF all you care about is WHAT YOU CAN MAKE... looking at your costs, at $30 per gecko sold, you would make as much as $75 for your year of efforts.


    In looking at your ads, what exactly defines "HIGH END" to you? Can you ascribe a particular trait or morph that you have invested more than one generation into isolating? Partial Pinners are getting more common these days. That was the best one I saw in the handful of ads I looked at. In current market is likely a $40-$60 gecko.

    Don't get me wrong, some of your geckos advertised look like they have good potential, but it is hardly demonstrated yet, or isn't demonstrated by the photos posted. Buckskins with speckles are just that... ...Buckskins. I've seen a buckskin fire up to an absolute FIRE ENGINE RED... ...but until it does (and is captured on camera) it's still a buckskin.

    You need to sit down and ask yourself, is this a hobby or is this a business?
    Either you need to re-assess you hobby and motivations (do you enjoy it, what is that worth to you?), or you need to take another look at your business plan and adjust it/revise it according to what MARKET PRESSURES DICTATE.

    (Keep in mind, most business models look at a 3-5 year return on investment (ROI) as a pretty good prospect.)

    Sincerely,
    Paul E. Turley


    BTW: If you are trying to sell an item that needs to ship, it helps to include you location in your profile, or in your posts.

  6. #6
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    Thats why you will see so many people tell people considering breeding geckos to seriously think about it. We are not telling you this because we dont want you to take away our possible customers, we are telling you this from experience that it can be very hard to sell these guys. Which is why we also suggest if you feel the need to do it, start with one that way you are not holding onto 15+ babies, instead roughly about 8 babies, an easier number to maintain.

    But also because there are so many people breeding, and babies not moving, it is dropping the price on these guys. And to sell a gecko, you have to know exactly what your gecko is worth. If it is your first time you may think your gecko is worth every penny at $75. But obviously if it isnt selling at that price others disagree. There are things like crests, morph, color, and even how defined the morph is that plays a big role.

    But also if you are just trying to recoop your loss on your adults, $300-$400 worth of adults means you could easily sell off all your babies at $27 and recover your losses. Yes they may be worth more, but again if you find these are to many geckos for you to maintain, you need to thin your stock. This shouldnt feel like a chore to do, and if it feels that way then steps whould be taken and not look at it like "oh I know I could be making more off of them". You could consider selling them off as a lot instead of individually like $500 for all 15. Or consider holding onto the best ones then selling off the lesser ones in a lot. If you have a pet store near by you trust you could try selling to them. A website really helps with online sales we then you can be viewed more often and can be found doing a search. Going to a reptile show, 15 isnt a bad number to start out with, even better find someone to share a table with you. And do remember not every region is good for every species. I do really well selling local here, but some places are not so lucky and depend more on online sales. This may be your situation.

    You just need to put effort into it and realize that yes, this is a hard hobby to get into and do well in. And before you invest more into it if you do, what I do is the babies I sell are put into a "gecko fund" this way I dont really loose money like you are thinking, instead they are investing themselves. So a note to yourself, before breeding again, maybe start with just one female and only incubate a few eggs to see how your sales go. Then if they do well, take your sales and recycle it into a fund for more females.
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    I am breeding geckos because I am so excited at the possibilities of what I can produce. I want to breed a gecko that no one else ever has and make my contribution to the gecko world I've put over a thousand dollars into my geckos this year and have prduced (so far) one hatchling. And I am totally satisfied. I will probably not break even (at all, ever) but that's okay because I got into this because I wanted to and could afford to spend that much and not get any return. I am moving into a house so I can have a dedicated reptile room where I can fit all my geckos so if some don't sell I never have to say "What do I do! I have no room!"
    I am generally opposed to breeding dogs, but in my mind geckos were different because I wasn't going to be pumping out a bunch of animals that would go homeless. Even if no one bought them I could keep them all. If I kept breeding them and no one was buying then I would simply keep my males and females separate and only breed the ones I was really excited to see what they would produce, for my own enjoyment.
    I feel like when it comes to a hobby like this you shouldn't put in anything more than you can comfortably lose (and I don't consider it a loss, I have a ton of fascinating, gorgeous geckos and I get satisfaction out of just knowing that I provide them a good home)
    Seriously, I have 17 geckos, 6 guinea pigs, 2 cats, 5 fish and a dog, and I am not making a profit off a single one, but that doesn't mean I'm going to turn around and get rid of any of them.

  8. #8
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    The money spent for shipping is another expenditure not included in your list...roughly $150. The money spent on tanks, thermometers, lights, plants, substrate, etc could also be included...just saying.

    Who said you couldn't breed because you loved it and tried to make a profit at the same time? I originally started because I loved it and I still love it. I'm just saying that i've noticed that crested geckos have really reduced in price over the last few years and I hope they don't turn out to be $10 per gecko in the on coming years.

    It is true that what shows up in the photos is what people are paying their money for and unless you can capture that extreme red harlequin, it's still the buckskin in the photo. Maybe if I said that the parents are high end geckos and the hatchlings could possibly end up turning into high end geckos could have been a better description. Some of my geckos could turn into bright yellows or reds or creamsicles...but I guess that goes back to the photo representation thing.

    I'm really not trying to argue, I'm just trying to describe my predicament.
    Tyler

    Rhacodactylus ciliatus - 1.2.15.4
    Felis domesticus - 0.1.0

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    The thing with babies, you can have high colored parents, doesnt mean the babies will be also. Over time you will learn what to expect from your breeders and the possibilities from them. But you will also learn what customers want and you can tweek your groups over time to find you will consistantly produce one morph which sells better for you.
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    I've come to the conclusion...to just chillax . I guess I originally thought, " Well if I like the geckos, why not breed to make some money from it?". I mean, I still love breeding, but my hopes were probably too high.

    I think I might want to get a chahoua or maybe a leachianus as a Christmas present (hey, I'm still in highschool, I still get Christmas presents.! haha). I'll still breed ciliatus, though I want to work on refining the traits I'm going for. If that means letting go of a few breeders and acquiring new ones, then I'll do that. I'll use the money I get from selling the hatchlings to help out too...and if I need to sell them for less than what I think they are worth, then that's ok too. Then in the future I'll get a mate for the said chahoua/leachianus and breed those.
    Tyler

    Rhacodactylus ciliatus - 1.2.15.4
    Felis domesticus - 0.1.0

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