Profits???

herpman97

New Member
Messages
95
Do you actually make a profit of of selling leos, or do u spend most of it on food? Do the big breeders like BHB make big profits? If so, who do you sell to.
 

Taquiq

JK Herp
Messages
3,602
Location
CA
Yes, big breeders do make some profit. Small breeders make very little if any, it goes back to food, tanks, more leos, etc.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
14,107
Location
Somerville, MA
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 . . .

ALiza
 

B.appel13

New Member
Messages
49
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.
 

robin

New Member
Messages
12,276
Location
Texas
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 . . .

ALiza

yes but how many years have you been breeding and before january how much had you spent? or make?
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
14,107
Location
Somerville, MA
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.

ALiza
 

robin

New Member
Messages
12,276
Location
Texas
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.

ALiza

i agree, but so many people think they can making a living on this and the majority can not. yes some are lucky enough to be in the black but most aren't. also so many people do not enjoy the animal, they just look at them as investments and money makers. i wouldn't be surprised if there are many breeders out there who may not even like geckos anymore (lost the love of the animal. ya know?)
 

Vision Geckos

visiongeckos.com
Messages
107
Location
NJ
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.

Out of curiosity, could you possibly elaborate on the solar plan? I've been interested in this for some time now, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it. If it's off-topic of the thread, then just PM me.
 

Landen

LSReptiles
Messages
829
Location
DFW
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.....
 

Haroldo

New Member
Messages
486
Location
IL
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.....

And 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?
 

robin

New Member
Messages
12,276
Location
Texas
And 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?
great post! well said :)
 

Enigmatic_Reptiles

Quality is Everything
Messages
6,779
Location
Corona, CA
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.
 

AvandisFifth187

New Member
Messages
65
Location
Broadview Heights, OH
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.
 

Enigmatic_Reptiles

Quality is Everything
Messages
6,779
Location
Corona, CA
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.
 

Haroldo

New Member
Messages
486
Location
IL
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.

Being able to breed for a living has much more to do with other factors than local support...it's national (community) and international respect. I know of no one that does this for a living that doesn't export a respectable number of the animals they produce. You'd be surprised some of the biggest "mover-and-shakers" around aren't well-known per se. (There are several subsections of our hobby including those that just want basic pets, breeders, collectors, etc.) I know people with 300-400 species in their collection (often several pairs each). Think about the number of animals they produce every year. I bet 99% of the members here wouldn't know them if I mentioned them by name. Having a "well-known name" only matters with trendy species. If I'm the only one (or one of very few) that keeps and breeds a certain species, you have to come find me to get it. I think I have a solid reputation, but not a "well-known" one. People that want to work with rare gecko species, know that I'm one of the people they can call up (if nothing else to chat geckos). But I'm getting into an entirely different conversation (rarity, perceived rarity, price, holdings, etc.)...all that can affect "profitability"...

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.

Alot of the "big" expenses like cages, supplies, etc. depreciate slowly and can be recouped first year. In my case, I've been "toying" around with custom cages for nearly 5 years now. What I've spent building prototypes might scare a few:main_yes:.

Something you said really hits the nail on the head with polymorphic species (think cresteds, leopards, bearded dragons, etc.): keeping up with market trends. You simply can't do that if you take all your "profit" year to year and don't reinvest it in your breeding program. I tend to think you'll actually be spending quite a bit more than you make just trying to keep up, only to find out the value of the morphs you are after drop every season, dramatically. That is, unless you're a trendsetter.

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.

I think everyone is referring to solar panels (mostly anyway). Dozens of companies make these cells and a quick google search will yield results. (Btw, I've found solar pool kits for under $450 shipped and don't require much for install. I'd imagine a moderate to large pool might use that in a season if you keep it heated;))

I live in the "windy city" so I've been considered compact turbines for wind energy and solar panels since they've come down considerably in price (under $2/wt and approaching $1/wt quickly). It would definitely be worth it in my case not only for the breeding program, but for personal use. Kilowatts ain't cheap in my part of the country! If anyone would like to discuss solar energy, let's start another thread or PM each other.
 
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Kristi23

Ghoulish Geckos
Messages
16,181
Location
IL
I haven't made anything from breeding. This will be my third season, so we'll see how it goes. Any money I've made has gone right back into buying more geckos, racks, incubators, my website, supplies, etc. I do breed my own mealworms and roaches, but I still buy other bugs. I really can't imagine that I'll have any profit this season either since I still need a few big purchase things. My electric bill is pretty high each month, too.:eek:
 

Enigmatic_Reptiles

Quality is Everything
Messages
6,779
Location
Corona, CA
I agree 100% about the rarity and other species being a major factor in profiting. I was speaking about leopard geckos as the staple..since it was posted in the leopard gecko forums. Of course a diverse collection of reptiles will help ensure success...which i mentioned as well. I use to breed Peruvian redtails and they would yield more consistent income than dealing with morphed animals. But anyways...I agree completely with you Haroldo, I think we were comparing from two different standpoints.

The quoting I received for my Solar Panels was 1300 was the lowest. I have a decent sized pool and water features and all that...so I have a higher use of pool electronics than most. I also would have to have some of my trees trimmed down quite a bit. Which was included in my quote.
 

jermh1

New Member
Messages
207
Location
NJ
these little buggers can cost alot, I have cut the costs of having them by breeding my own feeders; roaches, 4lbs of dog food a month for 30+ gecko supply $2.00. petwarehouse has 6lb flukers for $9.99, but I think the roaches are cheaper, 25lbs of wheat bran $7.00 for the mealies. I have not done the math yet on which is the cheapest. but it used to be around $20-$30 a week from the pet store before I started breeding my own, and I had a lot less geckos. I was thinking of cashing in my change to get some nicer geckos to try to make some extra cash.
 

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