I will be posting my income vs. expenses for the current year in Jan. I estimate I will have made a profit, of probably less than $100. I am pleased, though, because it means that I can continue with the hobby without worrying that I'm costing my family a bunch of money. Of course, it doesn't figure in the electricity I'm using or the wear and tear on the car going to shows and delivering geckos . . .
yes but how many years have you been breeding and before january how much had you spent? or make?
I just finished my 5th season and unfortunately I didn't really keep records before this. I would guess, though, that if I wasn't in the black it was because it was a year where I bought several geckos and/or a significant amount of equipment. My first year I produced 13 geckos and sold 12 of them, mostly for $20 each. If I were in it for the money I would not be doing this anymore but I love these geckos and the surprises that come out of the eggs. I also love turning people onto geckos for the first time. It's good to know that I'm not depleting the household for my hobby.
depends on your set up. Breeding your own feeders and running most of your setup on solar (my plan) then it is easy to bounce a profit. It varies breeder to breeder.
I made a profit first year. I have a small but potent colony. I sold about 50 hatchlings thru adults last year at 4 different local shows and word of mouth sales. I ran the numbers and easily paid for my materials on my racks, tanks, and purchasing of gecko's. I produce my own worms and only buy crickets occasionally or as needed.
It's easy to make a profit if you have a plan and a sense of sales. I sale by education. I enjoy the husbandry and the individual animals. I also enjoy bringing new people to reptiles into to our industry.
This year I have doubled to two dozen breeders and have already started lists for certain animals. I do this because I love it. I don't expect to ever make a living out of it. But I do have a real job as well to pay the bills. Gecko profits are used for vacations and fun stuff with the family, well whatevers left over when I buy more gecko's my wife told me not to buy....lol.
Just minimize your cost and sell sell sell.....
great post! well saidAnd next year you'll be competing with at least some of the people you sold to this year.
Not to be confrontational, but how many years have you been doing this (It's easy)? Hundreds of thousands of businesses fail EVERY year in the U.S alone- many of the sole proprietors have a business plan and MBA's as their backbone. I know a few people that have been at it (collecting, keeping, breeding animals) 10-25+ yrs and produce tens of thousands of animals every year between them. Only 2 of them actually do this for a living. The others once they consider their expenses (including labor), make it into the black. I'm just curious if you've got some secret most of us haven't unlocked or is it just the size of your collection and your particular local (niche) market that affords you this ease?
Thats very well stated Haroldo.
I think a large majority of having the ability to make a profit is not in the business realm but more in the local support of reptile hobbies (aka shows, and local shows). I too have a MBA and years of experience selling reptiles but I seldom make it into the Black (where you can say you made profit, IE more then a $1000). I breed all my own worms (mealies and supers) and yet this doesn't mean they are free. I get fresh veggies every week and go through plenty of oats and wheat germ in order to ensure my worms are healthy, (oat) mite free, and reproducing strong enough to sustain my geckos.
The only way you can make a living off of reptiles is either a reputable pet store in your home town (having a diverse reptile selection), 500+ breeders WITH A WELL KNOWN "NAME", ability to travel to shows (further than your home state), and also ship internationally. Even then I would venture to say you are simply MAKING A LIVING, not enjoying vacations or having boats and other toys....but simply living. You want to get rich then smuggle them illegally somewhere. A legit reptile breeder is always happy when they brake even for the year. JMHO
I turned out 1400 on top this past year...but then that was simply used to add new projects or enhance ones in progress.
Big breeders do usually turn a pretty nice profit, but for small breeders, it's not quite the same case. It really depends on how you're set up though, and what you're selling. If you breed your own feeders and make your own food for the feeders, go solar for at least part of your energy, make a lot of things like hides and etc., and buy used cages and clean/sanitize them, you can save alot of money and turn a pretty good profit.
You've also got to keep up with market trends, too. Keep track of what interest is picking up in, what people are more willing to pay money for, and the price trends other companies/breeders are keeping.
Everyone keeps mentioning Solar... I would like to see the set up that is being referred to. I have considered purchasing a Solar panel setup to heat my pool in the winter and that thing costs more to buy the supplies and install then I would ever spend heating my pool. I know you can write off solar use in taxes but it wouldn't be enough to justify the purchase. If they have a small solar setup that would work for a couple racks and incubator I want to see it. I would love to "go green" for my hobby/business.