Reptile Show (Denver) - Is VIP worth it?

Chris Fullmer

New Member
Hey everyone, I'm headed to the National Reptile Expo in Denver tomorrow (Saturday, February 21st). I've been to quite a few reptile Expos in my life, but I've never really gone with the intent of buying anything more than a single frog or a box of crickets. This time I'm hoping to do some buying. So my question is, is it worth anything to get in an hour earlier than most people? Can I get any better deals (read: cheaper price) on critters? Or is there benefit to seeing the animals earlier so I can get first pick (better quality)?

Also in general, are prices better, worse, or the same at these expos? If I buy a light, am I paying the same price there as I would if I bought it from the same shop outside the expo? I'm hoping the shops offer "20% Show Discounts" or something like that. Is that a thing?

Also, this is my first post here, so hello! :) Anyone else going to be at the Denver show tomorrow?

Chris Fullmer
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
For equipment I've always heard its best to go the last day, because they don't want to take the stuff back home with them.

If you have a certain animal in mind, first come first serve is probably the better way to go so that you can purchase the best of the best.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Hey everyone, I'm headed to the National Reptile Expo in Denver tomorrow (Saturday, February 21st). I've been to quite a few reptile Expos in my life, but I've never really gone with the intent of buying anything more than a single frog or a box of crickets. This time I'm hoping to do some buying. So my question is, is it worth anything to get in an hour earlier than most people? Can I get any better deals (read: cheaper price) on critters? Or is there benefit to seeing the animals earlier so I can get first pick (better quality)?

Also in general, are prices better, worse, or the same at these expos? If I buy a light, am I paying the same price there as I would if I bought it from the same shop outside the expo? I'm hoping the shops offer "20% Show Discounts" or something like that. Is that a thing?

Also, this is my first post here, so hello! :) Anyone else going to be at the Denver show tomorrow?

Chris Fullmer
So here's my experience with reptile shows and expos:

Prices are all over the place... in the same expo you can get a male ambilobe for $400-200 and females for $50. One tip I can give you is ask about the pedigree or lineage, not that it matters much, but a good breeder will readily answer your questions while someone whose just pushing a cham won't. Also, make a few rounds if you can, check to see cham behaviour, activity etc - lots of sick and/or questionable chams come from these settings. That's not to say you can't find a deal...

Early entry is only good for having your choice of the livestock. Otherwise, waiting as late as possible will get you the best chance to haggle and deal. Equipment prices are pretty decent and don't typically fluctuate much... but it's only a good price if you're stocking up as you have to calculate ticket cost and parking fees.

Overall, I'd say if you're looking for a specific cham, your best bet is a breeder. If you just want a cham and are open to the type, you can do well at a show. If you're trying to get more than just a cham, you can find some pretty good deals - I've seen some cheaper geckos and dart frogs used as a marketing tactic. (Advantage to going earlier).

I prefer the last day of a show as that's when animals are at peak stress, usually have a poop or two in their enclosure, and sometimes food roaming around - all good things to note!

Best of luck!
 

Chris Fullmer

New Member
Yeah, thanks @Tony_S and @Hashtag ChamLife. That all makes sense. I think I'll just get there first thing, not pay vip, and roll the dice on finding what I want. I know there will be a couple local chameleon breeders there that I'll be checking out. Fingers crossed!

Chris
 

Mrjamwin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chris, what did you think of the Expo? I went Saturday as well and thought it was Ok. I picked up a nice vivarium there for my wife's dart frogs but overall it seemed to be lacking from previous years.
 

Chris Fullmer

New Member
This was my first show in Colorado (and my first show in years), so I don't have anything from that past to compare it to. I thought it was ok-ish. I expected more herps. There were SOO many geckos. The crested, gargoyle, satanic, eyelash, etc. I like them a lot, but wow they were overrepresented IMO. Very few quality chameleons there. But I bought a bunch of gear I needed and I was happy with the prices at the Nature Box booth.
 

Mrjamwin

Chameleon Enthusiast
This was my first show in Colorado (and my first show in years), so I don't have anything from that past to compare it to. I thought it was ok-ish. I expected more herps. There were SOO many geckos. The crested, gargoyle, satanic, eyelash, etc. I like them a lot, but wow they were overrepresented IMO. Very few quality chameleons there. But I bought a bunch of gear I needed and I was happy with the prices at the Nature Box booth.
That was my thoughts exactly. I get all my supplies at Nature Box they always take really good care of me. Thanks for the reply. :)
 
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