My view on the Ball Python Market….

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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As someone who has been breeding ball pythons for while, I figured I would offer my take on the state of the market. I have bred and hatched ball pythons for the last ten years. I have  pretty much heard and seen everything one can imagine in regards to ball pythons. In any market there are a lot of nay sayers and negative people, and that is especially true in the ball market. With that being said, think about this: I have sold every snake I’ve ever tried to sell and I’m not talking one or two snakes here people, I am talking literally hundreds each year.

If it doesn’t sell today, then it will sell tomorrow or the day after. Someone somewhere out in the world is looking for what you have to offer. You just have to find that person. That applies to anything, not just ball pythons. You have to work to market them correctly.

Selling snakes as a job is tough. It is probably the toughest job out there, but to me it is the most rewarding.  I worked as a banker for while and had a decent salary, but after making more each month selling pythons, I knew something had to change.  And it wasn’t the snakes. At this point, there have been multiple occasions where in one weekend at a show I would make more than a month’s salary at the bank. To sell snakes and be able to turn a profit,  you’re going to have to work your ass off. I mean that very literally.  It is hard work, but it can be done. I’m doing it now. And I am not a “big” breeder…not yet anyway…but I will dominate the ball market in another few short years once my “army” is fully up to size… 😉

What I have found is that marketing yourself  and working hard are the keys to your success.  That’s why I am posting on this blog, Facebook and youtube so much. I want my customers and potential customers to know what’s going on with TheOddBall. If no one knows I exist no one can buy my snakes and it won’t matter how many new morphs I’ve created. That sounds like a no brainer but most people don’t think about it that way. The picture below is of one of my female Charcoal Mojaves, a new project of mine. Check it out here.

Throughout my time breeding and selling ball pythons, I have had a positive attitude towards the market and what I am doing.  There will be many people who say the market is dead or is dying. In my experience the people who say that cannot breed and sell snakes successfully. Think about it: if they were successful why would they complain?  In any venture, there are those who say what you are doing should not be done. Many times the discouraging people are eternally pessimistic because of there own failures. Focus on what you know you can do and then do it. Most people think I’m crazy for doing this full time. I laugh at them because I’m doing what I love and it is paying the bills and then some. Part of my success is that I have a very thorough business plan that I follow, which I will discuss later. Even in a less than stellar economy, there is money to be made but only if you work hard. Working hard is what will make you stand out. When I do a snake show, I am there for one reason: to make money. That’s it. From Friday afternoon until Monday morning is considered “Go Time” and I will sell snakes during that period like a fiend. Since I have had that frame of mind, I have done very well at the shows.

Way back when, I remember when male pastels were selling for over $1,000.00 each. And at the time it was considered a cheap price. Now when I have them, I’m selling hatchling males for around $75.00 each and hatchling females for $150. each and still turning a profit. Lower prices  are not a bad thing. The longer a morph is around the cheaper it becomes. This is good for the following reason: more people can afford to buy it and the overall market will then grow. There will be more people keeping balls which means there will then be more people who will invest in new expensive projects!

The ball game is very addictive and no one is ever satisfied with their collection. I remember 10 years ago and never thought my collection would be where it is today. It is massive and has a lot of really amazing animals in it. But I want it to be bigger and more awesome. And it is going to be.

I will probably reinvest some money in several projects this year because of the direction I want my collection to go. I know others will do the same. My view of the market is that the future is looking bigger and brighter than ever! With all new projects and morphs out there, it is impossible for the market not to expand! I am expecting to have around 150 babies hatch again this year and I am confident that they will sell quickly, like they always have done.

Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

-Peter vonLehe Ruegner

  1. reptileman1 says:

    Lehe (aka Peter) you are right on, as usual. That four letter word (work) is the key! The other four letter word that is adverse to so many folks (plan) is also key. If you fail to plan you plan to fail……… Keep up the GREAT work on your blog!

  2. chrystal says:

    Interests in snakes of any kind starts with love and passion, then $ corrupts. $ drives pepole and kills the love interests slowly.. Snakes are the ones that suffer…not the market.. There will always be a price for beauty and the rare..
    I have a 20yr normal that I wouldn’t sell for $1000, just cause of the love I have for her and her massive beauty. My other morphs, it wouldn’t hurt my heart to sell. I have sold a honeybee(male) for $100 ( no wobble as of yet) to a young herper starting out. It may have not been good for the market but it was awesome for the hobby and my niece

    • I think you helped grow the market by doing that, Chrystal. I love my snakes very much and have had snakes continuously my entire life. Being able to make money doing something you love is a good thing in my opinion! I work hard everyday taking care of them and it is great to know that I just have to out to the snake building for work rather than an office.

  3. […] My view on the Ball Python Market…. […]

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