Geckos Leopard Price
Reptile expos are a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of species and morphs, meet breeders who may otherwise be only a name on a website and, most important, to buy some new pets. At the early stages of our reptile keeper “lives”, we endeavor to learn how to vend at a show and how to effectively attend one. As we gain experience, we continue to challenge ourselves to become even better vendors and customers.
These issues were very much on my mind as I prepared to vend at the first show of my season, the Portland (Maine) Reptile Expo, organized by the Maine Herp Society. The Portland Reptile Expo was the first show where I ever vended, in 2006. It’s a small show with approximately 25 vendors and is less overwhelming than some of the regional extravaganzas.
During the show, I kept a journal of what was going on at my table in 15 minute increments in order to give those who attend and those who vend a perspective about what sitting at that table for 7 hours is like. I was also hoping to gain insight about a few other issues:
- ? Some people feel that pricing on the high side encourages people to buy because they feel they’re getting something valuable. Others feel that the prices should be low in order to move the geckos. There’s also the issue of pricing geckos so low that the average prices decline and it gets harder for breeders to cover expenses.
- What’s the proper balance between being a good salesperson and supporting potential customers’ decisions and needs? When someone is wavering about a purchase, does encouragement help them to make a good decision, or push them into purchasing something they will ultimately neglect? What’s the proper way to respond to a potential customer who asks extensively for care details and then proudly comes to show the vendor the reptile they’ve bought . . . from someone else?
- Last year I sold about 55 leopard geckos, but only 9 of them sold at reptile shows. Is this a trend, or an exception?
Diary of a Reptile Show
7:45am Arrived earlier than expected, following a 5am wakeup and 6am departure, and set up my table; sold 2 Coleonyx to a former customer/current vendor before the doors even opened!
8:15 Took a picture of Maine Herp Society table; bought a hammock for my bearded dragon from a table near me
9:03 It’s 3 minutes after the advertised show beginning time and there’s no sign that the doors have been opened. Everyone walking around the show seems to be other vendors. I’m spending my time playing Words with Friends and filling in my morph sheets to give to each buyer so they know what they’re getting.