living off the hobby

creaturefiend66

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
11
anyone live off the hobby? as in breeding and dealing with Ts scorps or reptiles. if so maybe some insite on it and how it works. how you came about it.


thanks


always wondered how breeders came to be just breeders not a hobby/addiction :razz:
 

jeff1962

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
470
From what I have gathered, as far as tarantulas are concerned anyway, most people do it as a sideline. I have been told that it is very difficult to make an actual living from it.
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
I've always wondered this as well. You always here people say that it is impossible to make any real profit from breeding tarantulas. And that nobody that does it ever makes that much doing it. But my thing is: everything is relative to the individual. I mean, not very much to one person might be a lot to me. I make jack!@#% at my current job and I hate every second of it. If I was making jack!@#$ at breeding T's at least I would be enjoying what I was doing. I would like to see some real numbers from those willing to disclose this information because I'm very curious.
 

Twillis10

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
63
Maybe ken the bug guy? There are several people that do reptiles and T's, but T's alone would be hard to do at this point I think.
 

creaturefiend66

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
11
i think to make any sort of money you'd have to offer them all reptiles scorps and ts. ud def have to have a good website good name here and a reliable shop that is well know at the expos and locally. people who have large lists of ts and other inverts here on the classifieds must have a lot of extra time i can only wonder the time they put in just feeding cleaning and keeping up with theyre collection other full time job and life itself.
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
I just find it impossible to believe that no one makes any money doing it. I mean let's say I had a P. metallica egg sac. I know that you can't just pull a P. metallica sac out of your back pocket but for the sake of the argument, lets say I did. If I sold 3 spiderlings at $150 a piece I would already have more than I make in a week. Or let's say I had 150 GBB slings and I undercut the market and sold them for $20 a piece instead of $35-$50. If I sold them all in a month, that would be $750 a week which is more than double what I make now. Also I would like to note that almost all species of tarantula cost relatively the same amount to care for. So that pair of P. metallica doesn't cost me any more to maintain than the GBB's. And let's say that I already had the breeding pair of metallica's from my personal collection so you wouldn't even have to factor the startup cost in. I could sell P.metallica's for $30 a piece {D and still be making profit. I don't think it would be hard at all to sell a couple hundred P. metallicas at that cost lol.

Of course all of this is a little far fetched, I know this. But Take these principals and apply them to more common, readily available species that are easier to get a successful sac from like A. avicularia and sell sling lots. I just recently bought an A metallica lot from someone on this forum just because it was such a killer deal (I got 5 for 5 bucks a piece). A. metallica sling for 5 bucks, you can't beat that. I hadn't planned on buying anymore more A. metallica slings but I couldn't resist. I paid what you would normally pay for one and got the added excitement of getting 5 new T's in the mail as opposed to one.

Maybe you could even sell larger lots of slings to the bigger breeders at a wholesale cost (or cheaper?). Say you bred an LP. No way in hell you are going to be to sell a couple thousand LP slings yourself, but you could sell them to Paul Becker, or Kelly Swift, or someone like that for next to nothing.

Maybe, I am severely confused. I wouldn't be surprised, that seems to happen a lot for some reason. But it just doesn't seem like it would be that hard if you really put your time in and dedicated yourself to it. And no one says you have to quit your regular job right away, you could just work at. Start small and work you way up, just like everything else. And Maybe eventually you could be lucky enough to quit your job and play with spiders all day. My heart flutters just thinking about that.
 

Mattyb

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,321
I just find it impossible to believe that no one makes any money doing it. I mean let's say I had a P. metallica egg sac. I know that you can't just pull a P. metallica sac out of your back pocket but for the sake of the argument, lets say I did. If I sold 3 spiderlings at $150 a piece I would already have more than I make in a week. Or let's say I had 150 GBB slings and I undercut the market and sold them for $20 a piece instead of $35-$50. If I sold them all in a month, that would be $750 a week which is more than double what I make now. Also I would like to note that almost all species of tarantula cost relatively the same amount to care for. So that pair of P. metallica doesn't cost me any more to maintain than the GBB's. And let's say that I already had the breeding pair of metallica's from my personal collection so you wouldn't even have to factor the startup cost in. I could sell P.metallica's for $30 a piece {D and still be making profit. I don't think it would be hard at all to sell a couple hundred P. metallicas at that cost lol.

Of course all of this is a little far fetched, I know this. But Take these principals and apply them to more common, readily available species that are easier to get a successful sac from like A. avicularia and sell sling lots. I just recently bought an A metallica lot from someone on this forum just because it was such a killer deal (I got 5 for 5 bucks a piece). A. metallica sling for 5 bucks, you can't beat that. I hadn't planned on buying anymore more A. metallica slings but I couldn't resist. I paid what you would normally pay for one and got the added excitement of getting 5 new T's in the mail as opposed to one.

Maybe you could even sell larger lots of slings to the bigger breeders at a wholesale cost (or cheaper?). Say you bred an LP. No way in hell you are going to be to sell a couple thousand LP slings yourself, but you could sell them to Paul Becker, or Kelly Swift, or someone like that for next to nothing.

Maybe, I am severely confused. I wouldn't be surprised, that seems to happen a lot for some reason. But it just doesn't seem like it would be that hard if you really put your time in and dedicated yourself to it. And no one says you have to quit your regular job right away, you could just work at. Start small and work you way up, just like everything else. And Maybe eventually you could be lucky enough to quit your job and play with spiders all day. My heart flutters just thinking about that.
You make it sound easy, but if it was that easy everyone would be doing it. And getting a sac and selling the slings for cheap just ruins the market and costs dealers money.
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
You make it sound easy, but if it was that easy everyone would be doing it. And getting a sac and selling the slings for cheap just ruins the market and costs dealers money.
So if I gave dealers slings for next to nothing it would cost them money?? Please explain. And maybe not everyone is doing it because people are constantly being told not to because it's too hard. I don't mean to make it sound like child's play. I know it would be a struggle, but I think I still come from the school of "You can do anything if you want it bad enough"
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
Here...... link...... this might help give you an insight... has been brought up before!!!
Yeah, I read that thread, but no questions were ever really answered in that one either. I would really like someone who actually does run a business to chime and make me feel silly and get these crazy delusions out of my head. I know this topic has come up a few times but the only replies are "I heard this", or "I don't think that", etc. etc. No one ever comes up with anything concrete based on real experience. I mean, Kelly Swift wasn't always "Swiftsinverts.com" was he? and Paul Becker had to start somewhere
 

Mattyb

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,321
You said: "Or let's say I had 150 GBB slings and I undercut the market and sold them for $20 a piece instead of $35-$50."


That ruins the market and costs dealers money.
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
You said: "Or let's say I had 150 GBB slings and I undercut the market and sold them for $20 a piece instead of $35-$50."


That ruins the market and costs dealers money.
I understand there are a lot of ethics that go along with business, but until I made the transistion from "dude on arachnoboards that sells cheap slings" to "spiral's-spiders.com" (Thats kinda catchy isn't it) I could really care less what dealer pricing is. I don't think it would make a difference one way or another.
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
Arachnoholic...good link. Lots of good points and advice given for a starter. And I never noticed it before...I LOVE your signature. (The part about the greatest beauty often lying on the other side of fear.) Nicely put, and so true. :worship:
 

blooms

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
222
How does that ruin the market? The market is merely a collection of buyers willing to buy at x price and sellers willing to sell at y price. Aren't we told almost from birth that the "free market" is a good thing and that competition is good because it keeps prices low and forces sellers to increase efficiency?

When others ask why some T's are so expensive they are told that many people want them (high demand) or they are hard to breed (low supply). Basic economics teaches that if demand lessens (like through a recession) or supply increases (like through more sacs produced) then prices WILL drop.

If one seller decides that he wants to make less money per sling, that's a business decision he should be free to make. Then others can CHOOSE to match his price, distinguish themselves as better through branding or come up with more creative incentives (like freebies or discounts for preferred customers). This is the benefit of competition for the consumer.

One could argue that the only time the market is truly ruined is when there is collusion on pricing and that is why we don't like monopolies.
 

Spiral_Stairs

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
79
How does that ruin the market? The market is merely a collection of buyers willing to buy at x price and sellers willing to sell at y price. Aren't we told almost from birth that the "free market" is a good thing and that competition is good because it keeps prices low and forces sellers to increase efficiency?

When others ask why some T's are so expensive they are told that many people want them (high demand) or they are hard to breed (low supply). Basic economics teaches that if demand lessens (like through a recession) or supply increases (like through more sacs produced) then prices WILL drop.

If one seller decides that he wants to make less money per sling, that's a business decision he should be free to make. Then others can CHOOSE to match his price, distinguish themselves as better through branding or come up with more creative incentives (like freebies or discounts for preferred customers). This is the benefit of competition for the consumer.

One could argue that the only time the market is truly ruined is when there is collusion on pricing and that is why we don't like monopolies.
Very well said, friend. I was thinking that in my head but I didn't want to start anything with anyone tonight. heh
 

creaturefiend66

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
11
i agree with blooms on this one but still want to hear from someone with expierence. wheres botar for this i bet he would help out in questions like these.
 

Smitty78

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
303
How does that ruin the market? The market is merely a collection of buyers willing to buy at x price and sellers willing to sell at y price. Aren't we told almost from birth that the "free market" is a good thing and that competition is good because it keeps prices low and forces sellers to increase efficiency?

When others ask why some T's are so expensive they are told that many people want them (high demand) or they are hard to breed (low supply). Basic economics teaches that if demand lessens (like through a recession) or supply increases (like through more sacs produced) then prices WILL drop.

If one seller decides that he wants to make less money per sling, that's a business decision he should be free to make. Then others can CHOOSE to match his price, distinguish themselves as better through branding or come up with more creative incentives (like freebies or discounts for preferred customers). This is the benefit of competition for the consumer.

One could argue that the only time the market is truly ruined is when there is collusion on pricing and that is why we don't like monopolies.
Comments like this prove that you have not thought things through clearly. Just for an example


I sell species X for $20
You sell species X for $19
Someone else sells species X for $18

Where does the price war end? Do we end up with a $1 spider in the long run? How many breeders would stop breeding due to this? How many dealers would quit importing?
 

blooms

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
222
Comments like this prove that you have not thought things through clearly. Just for an example


I sell species X for $20
You sell species X for $19
Someone else sells species X for $18

Where does the price war end? Do we end up with a $1 spider in the long run? How many breeders would stop breeding due to this? How many dealers would quit importing?
You are using the technique of "argumentum ab absurdium" or arguing to the point of absurdity. There is a point of diminishing returns in pricing. That point is when it is no longer in any seller's interest to go lower. Usually, but not always, this point is when the seller's cost is greater than the expected profit.

Now, let's say that SELLER A paid 300 USD for a pair of P. metallica. He bred them and they produced a sack with 50 slings. All other things being equal, he would break even with a price of 60 USD each and therefore he probably would go no lower than 60 USD per sling.

Now let's say that SELLER B paid 300 USD for a pair of P. metallica. Then he bred them and they produced a sack with 100 slings. All other things being equal, if he sells them for 30 USD each, he broke even. So probably he would reach this point somewhere above 30 USD. His greater return on investment would allow him to basically out compete SELLER A.

Now let's imagine that seller B paid 250 USD for a pair of P. metallica and bred them and they produced a sack with 100 slings. He would break even selling them for 25 USD so the point he would be willing to go to would be lower than seller A or B. His lower cost basis and greater return on investment would allow him to basically out compete both SELLER A and B and thus dictate the market price, unless someone else could out compete him. This is how the free market operates.

By the way, after the first sac his costs would have been covered and he could afford to go even lower or make more profit for no additional investment.
 
Last edited:

blooms

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
222
How many breeders would stop breeding due to this? How many dealers would quit importing?
Since most people breed out of love of the hobby rather than financial reasons, most would probably continue breeding. If however, there were fewer breeders, then supply would tighten and prices would rise again.

Most dealers import rarer species that are new to the hobby or are difficult to breed. Once a species becomes established in the hobby, prices should fall due to increased supply based on captive breeding. The only way that an importer could change this is to manipulate the market (restrict who they sell to to make captive breeding difficult or impossible). Since most of the species being bred differ from those being imported, competition in the captive bred market shouldn't affect their business.
 

Mattyb

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,321
Comments like this prove that you have not thought things through clearly. Just for an example


I sell species X for $20
You sell species X for $19
Someone else sells species X for $18

Where does the price war end? Do we end up with a $1 spider in the long run? How many breeders would stop breeding due to this? How many dealers would quit importing?
This is what i was trying to get at, but didn't want to get into an argument.
 
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