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  1. #1
    Loves Reptiles! Freshman
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    Default I want to have a reptile shop / small business, where do I start? :)

    I accidentally put this on the wrong thread before, I am so sorry. Seeking some questions and opinion from professionals businessmen and women. I admire and idolize the owners of http://www.geckosetc.com/ http://www.leopardgecko.com/ and http://www.hisss.net/. (I hope it's okay to post their sites? If not, tell me, I'll remove the links). You guys have inspired me! I want to learn all I can about the reptiles I want to sell in the future, how did YOU start? Did you read up everything you could on your own? Did you start at home? If this is all too personal, could you give me some tips and pointers? Like where should I start? Or what should I go for in college so I can have a reptile shop and breed reptiles, etc? I used to want to be in the Air Force, but... reptiles have just captured me! I've always had them, but I really want them to be in my life ALL the time, so I want to be the owner of a Reptile Shop.

  2. #2

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    The first thing you need to realize is that all 3 of the people that you mentioned after quite literally have spent tens of thousands of dollars to build their collection and reputation. I would suggest start small. Breed a 1.2 group of leo's and see if you can sell them and house them. Most people think that since taking care of reptiles is so easy (for the most part) that you can jump into the deep end of the pool and swim with the big dogs. 90% of this business is a good reputation. The other 10% is going to be the quality of your animals.

  3. #3
    Loves Reptiles! Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retribution Reptiles View Post
    The first thing you need to realize is that all 3 of the people that you mentioned after quite literally have spent tens of thousands of dollars to build their collection and reputation. I would suggest start small. Breed a 1.2 group of leo's and see if you can sell them and house them. Most people think that since taking care of reptiles is so easy (for the most part) that you can jump into the deep end of the pool and swim with the big dogs. 90% of this business is a good reputation. The other 10% is going to be the quality of your animals.
    Oh of course, that's why I asked for their advice! They're experienced. Could you explain this... to me? I've seen people refer to their number of Geckos in that form and haven't a clue as to what it means or how to read it.

  4. #4
    Geck~OCD Sophomore tlbowling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retribution Reptiles View Post
    90% of this business is a good reputation. The other 10% is going to be the quality of your animals.
    I dont think I agree with this part?

  5. #5
    Rhacs and Uros, oh boy!!! Sophomore Northstar Herp's Avatar
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    Default

    It's not as simple as all that, I think... but Ryan does have a point. I had the prettiest NOVA I've ever seen this year, IMO anyway, and couldn't give the thing away. I ended up almost giving it away in a package deal with another leo, and I'd call it paying my dues. I see established breeders selling lesser quality animals for four times what I got for mine. Reputation is HUGE in the herp industry.

    However, reputation is built by your customer service AND the quality of your animals. If you're selling junk, you won't have a good rep.

    To the OP- as long as you plan to get a good job that will allow you to pursue this dream without ever paying your rent with herp money, you might be alright. Go to school for something else and start your shop on the side, then if it blossoms into something bigger, fine. But that's very unlikely, and you shouldn't put all your eggs in the herp shop basket.

    To your question though- Forums are a great place to learn and contribute to the herp community. Start small and get a few sales/purchases under your belt. You can learn anything through google as well. Good luck with it.
    http://www.facebook.com/NorthstarHerp

    Breeding Genus Rhacodactylus, Uroplatus and Blaesodactylus.

  6. #6
    Rhacs and Uros, oh boy!!! Sophomore Northstar Herp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SidAndCira View Post
    Oh of course, that's why I asked for their advice! They're experienced. Could you explain this... to me? I've seen people refer to their number of Geckos in that form and haven't a clue as to what it means or how to read it.
    It's a quick and easy way to reference the sex of your animals. For instance, one male, two females and three unsexed animals would look like- 1.2.3
    http://www.facebook.com/NorthstarHerp

    Breeding Genus Rhacodactylus, Uroplatus and Blaesodactylus.

  7. #7
    Geck-cessories
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    It's a good long-term ambition to have with many stops along the way. When I was in high school and college, one of my ambitions was to breed parakeets for color. I never had the time and opportunity but it has to do a lot with why I breed geckos now. You may end up having a reptile shop someday, but this desire may also take you other places your're not expecting. This week's article on Gecko Time (www.geckotime.com) by someone who has a gecko business is about the trials and tribulations of starting an online gecko business and is well worth reading if you're thinking about this.

    Aliza

  8. #8

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    Honestly, if your passion is reptiles and you haven't even started your college career yet why not work toward a degree in the veterinary field? You'll end up doing most of the research you need and getting a degree at the same time. It will also give you an opportunity for alternative job with a steady paycheck.

    My husband opened an reptile and exotics shop (storefront) back in the 90's. He was the only USDA certified facility in the county and bred many of his own reptiles. He enjoyed it even made a very small profit but things have changed a LOT since then thanks to the internet and the large chain pet stores. Practically every pet supply and every reptile is available at the touch of your fingertips.

    It is much harder to make a profit from breeding reptiles these days. With exception of a couple of the big Leopard Gecko breeders, all of them have another source of household income. If you decide this is what your passion is then go for it. But the best move for you and your animals is to have a plan for a second job so you can pay for your passion! lol

    And as far as getting started, start reading everything you can. Some of the information you read will be inaccurate, some opinions will vary from keeper to keeper, but if you read enough you will be able to see which answers pop up over and over. These are usually the right ones.
    - Mel
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  9. #9
    Loves Reptiles! Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakinjak View Post
    It's a quick and easy way to reference the sex of your animals. For instance, one male, two females and three unsexed animals would look like- 1.2.3
    Oh, wow, that's easy! Thanks.

  10. #10
    Loves Reptiles! Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel&Keith View Post
    Honestly, if your passion is reptiles and you haven't even started your college career yet why not work toward a degree in the veterinary field? You'll end up doing most of the research you need and getting a degree at the same time. It will also give you an opportunity for alternative job with a steady paycheck.

    My husband opened an reptile and exotics shop (storefront) back in the 90's. He was the only USDA certified facility in the county and bred many of his own reptiles. He enjoyed it even made a very small profit but things have changed a LOT since then thanks to the internet and the large chain pet stores. Practically every pet supply and every reptile is available at the touch of your fingertips.

    It is much harder to make a profit from breeding reptiles these days. With exception of a couple of the big Leopard Gecko breeders, all of them have another source of household income. If you decide this is what your passion is then go for it. But the best move for you and your animals is to have a plan for a second job so you can pay for your passion! lol

    And as far as getting started, start reading everything you can. Some of the information you read will be inaccurate, some opinions will vary from keeper to keeper, but if you read enough you will be able to see which answers pop up over and over. These are usually the right ones.
    Thanks a lot! I think I will do that, then. I also draw and get commissioned from people, they pay me to draw something specific. The prices there range from $50 to $200, so that'd be a little mini job I'd do in my spare time. Thank you for your helpful answers, I will begin reading everything I can before I go to college for it!

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