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Posted by Bryan OKC on April 15, 2003 at 13:25:26:
In Reply to: Re: The real problem... posted by John_White on April 15, 2003 at 07:45:52:
:The core problem is supply and demand. As long as there is demand there will be supply. I think it's possible to reduce the demand by educating potential buyers.
Amen. I have a retail reptile store and have been wrestling with these issues for 15 years. We only sell crocodilians to potential owners who are adults, own their own homes in municipalities where they are legal, and can show me a finished facility for an adult. Last year I sold a total of one.
But it isn't just crocs, we have all the breeeders pumping out Burmese and Retic morphs, selling them to more wannabe breeders who can't think more than one or two years down the road. And iguanas. We really must carry iguanas to stay in business. That's because a potential customer can't be adequately educated over the phone. If he calls with the question "do you carry iguanas?" and we say "no", he goes right to the next phone book listing and finds someone who'll sell him a baby iguana and a ten-gallon aquarium, with the assurance that it will "only grow to it's environment." If we say yes, the customer comes into the store and frequently leaves with a leopard gecko or bearded dragon, after we explain how the long-term costs of an iguana will be more than those of a smaller lizard, once heat and housing are factored in. Some people think we are trying to "bait-and-switch" and, in a way I suppose we are. But not for a profit motive, just to try to match potential owners with animals they'll realistically be able to keep for life.
As long as I have to compete with other local stores, flea markets, mail order dealers and--often the most irresponsible of all--herp shows, I have to carry at least minimal stock of animals that I don't think most of my customers have any business with.