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Posted by jasons-jungle on May 12, 2003 at 13:06:10:
In Reply to: AMEN, more......... posted by UrgentMike on May 12, 2003 at 02:07:53:
:Everybody thinks they have a morph nowadays. If it isn't one thing its another. I also think the high-end morph prices are ludicrus as well. $20,000 for a ball python?!?!?! I don't care if it can skate-board and is het-for-boobs, I'm still not gonna pay that much for a snake and the people who expect others to are thieves. I know that alot of work is put into breeding and whatnot, but I HIGHLY doubt anyone puts $20,000 worth of time and/or equipment into ONE snake. I know I'll get flamed for this, but oh well. I'm not saying this because I'm jealous.....I like some of the morphs, they're cool-lookin, but the bottom line is: A ball python is a ball python, albino, pied, or normal. The only difference is in the color of their scales. One snake isn't better than the other. Some morphs, like pie-balds have even shown some weaknesses, like feeding problems and the like. Morphs look cool, but no ball python is worth 20 grand.
I'm glad someone is getting this topic out in the open. It IS getting out of hand. People sell crap like it's a breedable trait (black back, reduced pattern, high yellow, etc.). Every one of those I've seen is a normal snake. Those who view the classifieds know at least one or two of the posters I'm talking about. Between that and the WC crap, it's getting out of hand. We have way too many excellent captive born animals to be supporting the import population. I agree that the 'new blood' is needed but buying imported snakes for $8 makes it very hard for our friends and neighbors to sell respectable animals for a decent dollar.
I must say that I don't agree with your statement that no ball python is worth $20K. I agree that there are some that I wouldn't pay more than $100 for but that's because I don't personally find them appealing. Everybody has their favorite I'm sure which makes the value of a snake personal. However, looking at the rarity and potential income from a snake really tells the story. We're all familiar with co-dom genes and how much money is to be made.
Scenario: buy a breeder male pastel for $2400 and 5 normal females for $300 a piece (since the co-dom market has actually caused a normal female to be about $300!). Total investment of $3900. Say each of those eat a rat a week. That's 312 rats for say $1 a piece is another $312 so our investment is up to $4212. Now, say we breed our male pastel to each of the normal females. Say 3 of the females wind up gravid and each of the 3 produces a clutch of 6 eggs. We'll say that 5 of each clutch are fertile, leaving us 15 fertile eggs. If 7 of those end up being pastel babies (we'll make it simple and say all males), then I have 7 babies that will sell for about $800/pop (remember that if they're females, they'll sell for substantially more). Okay, that's $5600 in pastel babies and say I have to sell my normals for $30 (to compete with the imported crap mentioned above) for another $240. That's $5840 worth of return on my initial investment of $4212. That's $1600 profit in one year. Say the next year I do it again, all but the $312 in food is profit. Say pastel males are $400 next year with the same scenario. That's 7 babies at $400 and 8 babies at $30. That's $3040 - $312 in food for a total profit of $2728. $4300 profit in two years on 6 snakes?! (and that's being very conservative) I'd buy that, and people are.
It's the case of the rich get rich however. Unfortunatley even if I were offered a male breeding piebald right now for 10K, I couldn't snatch it up because I just don't have that much to play with. But would it be worth it? Hell yeah! This is the way that markets work.
Sorry for the long-winded message, just a few hot topics for me :)