Old Timer
Nov 10, 2002
who or whom is responsible for setting the general pricing on T's in the hobby market... and why are there some huge diffrenced in price from some dealers ( cheap stuff makes me nervous , but I do have a desire to shop for the best deal ) ( ya I sell cars for a living and design automotive webpages so I always want to work a deal heh ) There are obivous answers like the rarity of the T or its import - but what I am really asking is why are some so cheap and some so expensive when it coems to the same spider and size and sex, and what makes your collection worth the big bucks when someone online is selling the same T you have for 25-65 bucks less? Whats really fair/right pricing and what is it truely based on? and whos making those decisions?



Old Timer
Jul 17, 2002
As far as I know alot has to deal with how easy they are to breed and how long it takes to grow them.

Code Monkey

Old Timer
Jul 22, 2002
The issues you're looking at are governed by three interrelated issues:

What is the public's perception of the supply? This is simple business principles at work, if the public thinks that a given species is more difficult to obtain than it actually is, it's going to get a higher price tag, at least until perception catches up with supply.
As a good example of this, I have reason to believe that this is what is going on right now with G. pulchra. For a long time successful breedings in captivity were rare and they commanded as much as $50 or more for a tiny sling. Many are still charging close to that, but my following of the market says that European breeders have, at least currently, flooded the market with a spate of successful eggsacs. The wholesalers are getting them at prices that would easily let them sell for half of what they are from many dealers. But, the general public is not going to be aware of these market fluctuations for several months. Plus, there is reason to belive that once you decrease the asking price for a species it becomes very hard to mark it back up again and it's too soon to say with finality whether the increased supply of CB specimens will be maintained.

So, you get a wide spectrum of prices based on this principle. Some are willing to go for the fast buck and undercut the other dealers. Others try to maintain the picture of the status quo and keep prices high. And others still just try to look like a good value while enjoying the extra profits for all they're worth.

What is the dealer's volume of sales? Tarantulas are no different than any other commodity. If you only buy them fifty at a time, you're going to pay significantly more than the guy who buys them five hundred at a time. Further, higher volume on the front end sales justifies lower prices for that dealer.

What is that dealer's overhead? Many dealers are nothing more than resellers of stock purchased at wholesale. Others put a huge emphasis on breeding their own stock and promoting captive breeding in the hobby. Some dealers run large operations and must pay employees to care for the animals, they may have store fronts that mean rent as well. Others run small scale mail-order sales out of their apartment and their only "employee" is their wife or girlfriend who drops packages off at UPS. As a rule of thumb, you can say the the greater the emphasis on the dealer's own captive breeding, followed by emphasis on captive breeding in general, the higher the costs on average because you're paying for that support of the hobby.

As an illustration, John Hoke does not rely upon his tarantula business to keep a roof of his head, but he also does not treat it like a hobby. He maintains thousands of specimens at any given time and has more species in stock at any given moment than anyone else in the business. He has employees that help him with the care of the many tarantulas and slings. He also engages in captive breeding on a large scale and maintains hundreds of tarantulas solely as breeding stock. Further, he makes a point of giving each sale a degree of professional attention that, for example, Paul Becker does not come close to matching. Kelly Swift doesn't run that large of an operation, but he still provides a lot of individual attention and perks like "freebies" and starter food, etc. Swift also puts a large emphasis on captive breeding and breeds much of his own stock. Not surprisingly, these two gentlemen have higher relative prices than many others, but also the best reputations out there.

At any rate, other than those three business principles at work, the rest is governed by simple supply and demand. Supply is based upon a number of factors. One, whether or not the species can be imported legally from the wild, and in what numbers: easily obtained species from the wild have lower prices even for captive bred specimens because of the competition. Two, ease of breeding, this is a combination of the available breeding population as well as the ease of getting a viable eggsac. Three, how many young do you get per eggsac? Since the amount of resources that goes into a single eggsac does not vary appreciably between species, whether that species produces 50 young like A. versicolor, or 800 young like A. geniculata makes a big difference in base price.

When you combine the base price with the individual situations of each dealer, you get the variance you see.
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Old Timer
Jul 19, 2002

yeah i think mainly has to do with rarity and how hard 5they are to grow,BUT, if you take a look at a wholesale pricelist you'll see that sometimes the prices are jacked up to extraordary price ranges, i beleave a lot of it comes from who you buy from and how much their looking to make, i'm currently almost at my 500 dollar mark to buy a ton at wholesale price to get past all that jargon, also look how many dealers their are online not that much if you put it in comparison with reptile dealers(that to i bet weighs in a lot of factors)--Jeff


Old Timer
Oct 4, 2002
Another reason you see differences in pricing is that some dealers sell both wholesale AND retail. They wholesale to ther online dealers and voila, obviously the dealers buying from the importer/wholesaler/retailer are going to have higher prices.



Old Timer
Nov 2, 2002
I have seen a Cobalt blue for 65 dollars and a Green Bottle blue for 165 at the most. They like the pricing especially high on the prettiest species. But Usumbara's have always been cheap where I look and so have Tiger rumps.


Oct 21, 2002
In addition to whats mentioned above, I would prefer to buy a spider from a reputable dealer and pay a premium, knowing that that person knows how to handle them, how to package and ship them, and has a credibility founded through his/her business. Not to say that you cant get good deals from amateurs that are honest through the classifieds-But the risks are there and those people cant expect to get the premium prices that comes along with the professional package.