Advertisement Low prices don't mean they are a great dealer! Just because you got something for cheap doesn't mean the dealer is great. In fact, G. pulchra spiderlings sell for $25-$35 on average. Letting them go for $5 shows a certain attitude that they are just "stupid bugs" to them. This attitude is common in the herp world. You might have gotten a great deal in your mind, but practices like that kills the value on that species, hurts captive breeding programs in which when Breeder "John Doe" finally produces G. pulchra (which isn't easy to do), you and others will NOT want to pay him the normal, average price for G. pulchra spiderlings, because you will remember you got yours for so cheap. Also, in the U.S., too many animal keepers will equate price tag with quality. If you get something for dirt cheap, it must be dirt or better said a "trash animal". With that said, keepers will not read up and/or buy a good book at it, keep it in a nice tank/enclosure and care for it well. There thinking is something like, "Hell, it only cost me $5. So, what it died, I'll just get another one. " I've heard this line way, way too many times. There are a few dealers, mainly reptile ones and about three invert ones that do this currently. They are not looking at the long-term effects of such pricing practices and don't do hardly any captive-breeding themselves, so they don't give a hoot about what that does to kill the incentive and financial motivation for a breeder to invest heavily in a species just to finally produce it and see a dealer sell it for so cheap. This also hurts invert importers trying to obtain new species for the hobby. They have to worry some dealer like this will kill the value of something overnight. What this does for the hobby is decrease the variety of species available on the market. Anyway, I wanted to expose this problem. There is this growing mentality that cheap prices mean everything. In evaluating a dealer, I think you need to look at ALL the below things: 1) Knowledge - do they know their animals that they are selling?, or are they good BS artists that will tell you whatever you want to hear to make the sell. This is one of the most important traits to look for. Very few dealers really know a lot about what they are selling. Maybe 3 or 4 out of the 20 or so currently selling in the trade right now. Do they belong to professional organizations, write in hobby publications and generally show an geniune interest in furthering their knowledge of these animals? 2) Quality - Are their animals well-fed, no mites, no fungus infestation, no bacteria, packed in clean tissues or substrate, etc.? Are the missing legs or other body parts? Do they have strange "bumps" on their abdomens? Are their mouths clean without obstruction of anything? 3) Identification -Do they know the latin names of what they are selling? Do they get their animals from suppliers that sell things corrected identified with latin names? Do they care and keep up with taxonomy changes? Do they make up their own names? Are their shipped cups/bottles labeled? Do they often mix-up their name labels in their shop? Do they know and work well with arachnologists and taxonomists? To they have lots of reference publications on-hand to assist in confirming IDs? 4) Sizes - Do they grossly over-estimated legspans? Do they sell you a spiderling that they charged you an adult on? 5) Sexing - Do they know how to sex their animals with BSing? How much can they tell you about this? What guarantees to they provide and honor concerning this? 6) Experience - How long have they been breeding, importing, selling, feeding, unpacking and packing these types of animals? Are they familiar with a wide variety of these types of animals or only a few of one group or type? Do they understand, study and can predict these types of animals behaviors and tell you why they do what they do? 7) Packing/shipping - You could have great animals, but if you don't know how to pack, that won't matter. This is a HUGE problem with a few dealers. I think 50% of the problem is the attitude towards the animals being shipped. The other 50% is not using good packing techniques. 8) Customer service - Are the nice and pleasant to talk to? Do they answer all of questions? Do they provide care information on everything they sell? Do they encourage you to buy and read publications to better educate yourself? What are they guarantees? Is their price list, web site, brochures easy to read and understand. Are they responsive to emails, phone calls and faxes? 9) Pricing - Are their prices competitive? Is there a good mix of prices, somethings are cheap, some are high value, etc. (Note: A red flag should go up in your mind if their whole list has cheap prices. This means that can't compete except on price alone, or something is wrong with that stock, or they are probably are just hardcore herpers that just want to get rid of these stupid "bugs" and get their $$$.) Do their prices go up and down on the same species of the same lifestage in a relatively short time frame very frequently? Do the respect captive breeders and programs that are related by not devaluing a species with letting them go for dirt cheap or overly importing way too many or overly producing a species in a short time frame? These are the qualities and traits one should be looking at. Notice my #9 and dead last in importance was pricing. Price is not everything!!! Todd Gearheart www.tarantulaspiders.com firstname.lastname@example.org "The Cutting Edge of Arachnoculture"