The High Prices of The New Madagascar Quotas Chameleon Species?

NHenn

Avid Member
You should not make statements about people when you have no clue about what they are doing.
This is the exact point I was attempting to tell you. Don't be making statements of what another customer, importer, or breeder should be doing as those are not your shoes to fill and you have never been in their position to even offer an opinion about it. As you can read, the situation was handled professional between both parties prior to you even bringing them up in this thread.

As for not filling my shoes I have accomplished my marks!! I have hit some bumps along the way however I have accomplished what I have aspired to accomplish.
Jeremy, I'm glad to hear that you have achieved what you have set out to do. I was never attempting to take any sense of accomplishment away from you. Just having a fun discussion on our different opinions about these higher prices. No harm intended :)
 

NHenn

Avid Member
Gene, I agree with most of your statements above. I do feel that it is more of a perfect world scenario and would very difficult to execute though.

I know your pain and I know others share it with the species you are working with and mentioned. The market is just not there for some species for various reasons and that unfortunately drops the prices. I don't think anyone will ever say they are trying to get rich breeding chameleon as that is a fool's errand. The amount of time and money invested into breeding projects of virtually any species is lucky if it ever covers costs. I know my campani project and my petteri project will most likely never bring in any income as I don't expect to have much if any offspring available for future sales but the hopes and dreams are still there.

I can tell you from first hand experience, it is hard to purchase F. campani at $500-$600 a pair for them to die weeks later. It is even harder to purchase F. petteri at $700-$800 a pair for them to die the day after arrival. In order to bred you need multiple pairs so you can see the money adds up very quickly and when animals show up knocking at deaths door it takes the wind right out of the breeders trying to work with these animals.

If it wasn't for my undying love for the F. campani and the extreme challenge I seek to conquer with them I would have quit a long time ago and they are the cheapest and most realistic imo of the new quote species. So I worry that if the prices don't drop for these animals, there won't be any breeders with the means available to continue working with them. If this is the case, we should just leave them in the wild.
 

frankpayne32

Avid Member
As much as it pains me to do this, I must play the devil's advocate for a second. I would love to come across some easily affordable breeding groups of a few different Malagasy species, but I must say, the greater the number imported and the lower the price would only make it harder for any of us to get a decent return on the hard work it takes to produce quality CB offspring. Take deremensis or werneri for example, because they're imported so regularly and have a relatively low price, how many quality CB animals do you think would get passed over for a $60-$80 WC? How many Graceful and Senegal chameleon breeders are out there? The fewer the number of any species imported is going to dictate a higher price based on simple supply and demand. Breeders need to understand that any tool of commerce comes with a hefty price tag, especially if it offers a profitable return. The higher price for these animals should be regarded as a business investment. I believe that the higher prices could be a step in the right direction if a few other points follow. If only a relatively few animals are allowed to be exported annually, you can't blame the exporters for trying to get the most they can out of them. I personally would rather see fewer animals collected from the wild that go to breeders instead of becoming genetically dead end pets, and the best filter for that is a high price tag that only someone in a breeder's position could justify such an investment and risk. If the exporters would like to get the most they can per animal, they need to take special care of the fewer specimens they are working with and provide even sex ratios, possibly even sold as sexed pairs only. The importers should also take equally special care and not undermine getting these sexed pairs into breeding situations and providing top quality fresh WC bloodlines to breeders who will appreciate the ability to supply the remaining market without the competition of poorly treated mass imports being sold so cheaply they drive down the price a quality CB should command. Additionally, any importer who does prove to adhere to these ideals, take proper care of their animals and not tax the breeders with exorbitant markups should be rewarded with the offering of any surplus CB offspring that may need to be offered wholesale. I believe it could be a win-win-win-win-win situation this reciprocity and cooperation can create.

That being said, I work with deremensis and werneri and in no way do I do it in the hopes of getting rich. It's for the love of the beauty and amazement I have for these creatures and I'm sure this is the same reason these breeders complain about the high prices. I completely understand that when something is done on a deeper level than monetary gain, it's easy to resent the greedy profiteers, and most of the time, rightfully so.

The deremensis have been regularly available at relatively low cost recently but the ones I've recieved have been in such horrible condition, I'm not even confident they can be reproductively viable. A perfect case against quantity over quality. I would have happily paid more for healthy specimens that had been treated well.

All species could benefit.
I hear what you are saying but I don't think anyone is saying that these animals should go for less than a $100. The price that sticks in my mind is about $500 a pair for these new quota species. A price like that will keep many impulse purchasers away while still allowing the average serious hobbyist to work with them AND hopefully be able to sell CB offspring for at least what they paid for the WC adults. You are definitely spot on that too cheap is probably worse than too expensive for the sake of the animals.
 

Cameron B

Established Member
You do not have a clue what is going on.
I've been around the chameleon community and these forums for a long time. I have a very good clue as to what's going on. YOU don't have a clue as to what I do or don't know. :)

You should not make statements about people when you have no clue about what they are doing (your own words, Jeremy).

I finished reading your post.
Then it beats me why you kept posting about Bob. Clearly my discussion was not about Bob, and I made that point clear.

My name isn't "Guy." Surely you're smart enough to read a username.


you're posting on my thread
You're thread is on a public forum. You do not own this thread.


This forum is hysterical sometimes. I just came to read the comments :) Carry on.
Amen! :)

I hear what you are saying but I don't think anyone is saying that these animals should go for less than a $100. The price that sticks in my mind is about $500 a pair for these new quota species. A price like that will keep many impulse purchasers away while still allowing the average serious hobbyist to work with them AND hopefully be able to sell CB offspring for at least what they paid for the WC adults. You are definitely spot on that too cheap is probably worse than too expensive for the sake of the animals.
This is exactly how I feel about the situation too. There are price points that still work to move these animals quickly out of the hands from importers or retailers and on to caring chameleon keepers, while keeping novice people out of the picture. Seeing Willsii go for $1200+ is painful. Not because I don't have the money, but because the probability of them living is not very high.
 
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Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
These Forums make me laugh sometimes. There have been some good points brought up for high prices and for making the prices of these chameleons lower such as other African chameleons species. Lets go 3-5 years and have a go at breeding these difficult to breed species first then decide where we stand.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
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luevelvet

Established Member
I took some time to read through a bit of this thread and having a decent amount of experience in dealing with Malagasy imports I feel I have some insight into this. I do apologize if this perspective is redundant. Admittedly I didn't have time to read the entire thread. :-/

We act like we have a choice as to how these animals arrive here but we don't. We get what comes in, period. Aside from fixing the issues with the numerous collectors and exporters in Madagascar, the best we can hope for is to get the animals as soon as they arrive so they can be acclimated and treated accordingly. All of that costs money. Loosing an animal costs money. Meds and vet bills costs money. Time costs money. Unfortunately most collectors/exporters/importers/dealers don't take the time to house these species properly and thus the prices increase with every loss.

So if you're in this for business (which most importers/dealers are) then all of those elements raise the price of these species. We barely cover our operating costs with sales from the species we work with because often times we can't sell what's been imported. For instance, out of roughly 30 C.nasutum, not one male has made it's way here. Every male I've seen is actually C.fallax and thus it would be unethical to attempt to sell someone a "pair" when they are in fact not the same species. So now I have a few dozen female nasutum (costing me anywhere from 175-375ea) with no males to aid in establishing the captive population. If you purchased those C.nasutum for 3-500/pr, you'll see what I mean. I've lost literally thousands on that "deal" but thankfully that's not why I'm in this hobby. :)

The same has held true for C.aff.boettgeri, C.brevicornis (some come in as C.crypticum), and many Brookesia species. There is also the fact that some of these species have very little wow factor so they're not desirable, which means their fates are sealed to stay wherever they are, as is the case with the majority of the C.gastrotaenia that have come in. We haven't sold a single one yet I'm sure they wouldn't have thrived if there were stuck at the wholesalers. Should we consider selling them for less than cost just because we lost money on them too? I don't think so. Since they're thriving here, I'd much rather see them here then take a loss because some folks don't think they're worth it. For those who I know are capable, I will work on prices, because I know where they're going and hopefully they can do good by them. Whatever is best for the species is the right decision in my book.

Again, all of these factors contribute to increased prices for all of the species they're offering, at least they do for us and I know our prices are considered high. However, I do believe you get what you pay for. I can't sit here and say that we've never lost an animal or that anyone who's purchased from us has never lost an animal but I can say from experience that the amount of effort that is put into them up front goes a long way in the end and that's why we do what we do.

I think I went off on a tangent and it truly wasn't meant as an advertisement for what we do, however I do believe that most people have little idea how this all works and what we have to deal with in order to get these animals into capable hands. We can all sit here and dream of a world where everyone is on the same page and every individual animal is treated well during the whole process but unfortunately that just isn't the case. Prices will drop in due time, as some have already noted but don't expect every species to be 500/pr either. Some of them are from areas that cost more money to collect in. Bribes have to be made. Quotas have to be purchased and collectors have to be paid to venture into these areas to retrieve the species. Remember, we're dealing with a 4th world country that barely governs the people let alone the lizards outside of their shacks.

Thanks,

Luis
 

luevelvet

Established Member
I've been around the chameleon community and these forums for a long time. I have a very good clue as to what's going on. YOU don't have a clue as to what I do or don't know. :)

You should not make statements about people when you have no clue about what they are doing (your own words, Jeremy).



Then it beats me why you kept posting about Bob. Clearly my discussion was not about Bob, and I made that point clear.



My name isn't "Guy." Surely you're smart enough to read a username.




You're thread is on a public forum. You do not own this thread.



Oh, no, I wasn't bullying you. I already know your age. We discussed this already. 38 years old. I'd be willing to bet I know more about you than you do about me. Quite evident by your posts, actually.




Amen! :)



This is exactly how I feel about the situation too. There are price points that still work to move these animals quickly out of the hands from importers or retailers and on to caring chameleon keepers, while keeping novice people out of the picture. Seeing Willsii go for $1200+ is painful. Not because I don't have the money, but because the probability of them living is not very high.

What's interesting about the willsi/petteri situation is their quota numbers are sort of reversed. I've heard first hand accounts that willsi are so much more rare than petteri in the wild yet the quotas are so skewed it's not even funny. I've heard of people finding dozens of F.petteri for every one F.willsi found yet the quotas are 100/500 respectively! So it actually costs more for quotas (since there are fewer of them) for a more common species. :-/

Thanks,

Luis
 

NHenn

Avid Member
What's interesting about the willsi/petteri situation is their quota numbers are sort of reversed. I've heard first hand accounts that willsi are so much more rare than petteri in the wild yet the quotas are so skewed it's not even funny. I've heard of people finding dozens of F.petteri for every one F.willsi found yet the quotas are 100/500 respectively! So it actually costs more for quotas (since there are fewer of them) for a more common species. :-/

Thanks,

Luis
Luis,

I heard the same as well. I'm sure others can speak to this too but I believe it has to do with the ranges of both species. Petteri are known to only be around Joffreville and can easily be found in that area in high numbers. Where as Willsii have a much larger range so their exact location can be more difficult to find but I would be willing to guess their total numbers are larger than the petteri.
 

luevelvet

Established Member
That could very well be but I was also told that quotas are now somewhat tied to their IUCN status, which lists F.petteri as "vulnerable" but F.wilsii as "least concern" thus granting them a higher quota despite their actual numbers in the wild. I'm not an expert on their status in the field so I really can't argue either way however I have a great deal of faith in the information I receive from over there, which actually claims the opposite. :)
 

Cameron B

Established Member
I think I went off on a tangent and it truly wasn't meant as an advertisement for what we do, however I do believe that most people have little idea how this all works and what we have to deal with in order to get these animals into capable hands. We can all sit here and dream of a world where everyone is on the same page and every individual animal is treated well during the whole process but unfortunately that just isn't the case. Prices will drop in due time, as some have already noted but don't expect every species to be 500/pr either. Some of them are from areas that cost more money to collect in. Bribes have to be made. Quotas have to be purchased and collectors have to be paid to venture into these areas to retrieve the species. Remember, we're dealing with a 4th world country that barely governs the people let alone the lizards outside of their shacks.

Thanks,

Luis
Luis,

There's a ton of validity to what you have said, however, I would be so bold as to say not so many sellers care in the way that you do for your animals. So many times I have seen various species come in from people selling them on places like kingsnake where you can see the awful/subpar conditions they are keeping them in just to make a buck. And, more crazy to me, sometimes these people will blatantly post images of obviously sick animals not knowing first hand (or maybe they do) that their animals are sick because they just don't care the same way people like you do. I think this actually hurts honest people like you. Once people have been burned on purchasing a high priced animal once, the likelihood of continuing that streak diminishes.

I am not for people like you taking a loss on animals. I am, however, for wholesalers not jacking up costs "just because." A lot of the time the demand is not there to justify it, and because said individual is trying to maximize profit, the animal is losing its opportunity at the best care possible. This doesn't apply to you, but I consider you a special case.
 

OldChamKeeper

Chameleon Enthusiast
<Jumps on to the couch in his PJ's, turns on the Chameleon forums channel, eats popcorn>

Yes, my cave has a couch and Satellite.
 

luevelvet

Established Member
Luis,

There's a ton of validity to what you have said, however, I would be so bold as to say not so many sellers care in the way that you do for your animals. So many times I have seen various species come in from people selling them on places like kingsnake where you can see the awful/subpar conditions they are keeping them in just to make a buck. And, more crazy to me, sometimes these people will blatantly post images of obviously sick animals not knowing first hand (or maybe they do) that their animals are sick because they just don't care the same way people like you do. I think this actually hurts honest people like you. Once people have been burned on purchasing a high priced animal once, the likelihood of continuing that streak diminishes.

I am not for people like you taking a loss on animals. I am, however, for wholesalers not jacking up costs "just because." A lot of the time the demand is not there to justify it, and because said individual is trying to maximize profit, the animal is losing its opportunity at the best care possible. This doesn't apply to you, but I consider you a special case.
You know, I was just thinking that I should clarify my post a bit to include the fact that most dealers don't do what we do only to find your post in response to mine. :)

I completely agree and know very well what you're referring to and these sellers absolutely hurt my sales because of the apprehension. I see ads posted for these rare species, knowing exactly where they acquired them and how they're being cared for and I just cringe thinking of the buyers remorse when they open the package. Imagine spending 500-700+ on a pair of C.nasutum only to find out you actually received a female C.aff.boettgeri (not even true C.boettgeri) and a male C.fallax!

I wish I had the space and resources to buy them all but there's only so much we can do with what we have to work with. Because we're a hobby business, we don't rely on income for our well being, I just try to work it so it pays for itself with a little left over for emergency vet visits or additional caging etc. I'm just glad I still have the same drive I did hen we first started. I can definitely see how many "businesses" in this industry come and go. It's a ton of work for little monetary profit. You have to love doing this or it will never work.

Anyway, I'm rambling again. It's been a long day! :)

Luis
 

Chase

Avid Member
Luis,

There's a ton of validity to what you have said, however, I would be so bold as to say not so many sellers care in the way that you do for your animals. So many times I have seen various species come in from people selling them on places like kingsnake where you can see the awful/subpar conditions they are keeping them in just to make a buck. And, more crazy to me, sometimes these people will blatantly post images of obviously sick animals not knowing first hand (or maybe they do) that their animals are sick because they just don't care the same way people like you do. I think this actually hurts honest people like you. Once people have been burned on purchasing a high priced animal once, the likelihood of continuing that streak diminishes.

I am not for people like you taking a loss on animals. I am, however, for wholesalers not jacking up costs "just because." A lot of the time the demand is not there to justify it, and because said individual is trying to maximize profit, the animal is losing its opportunity at the best care possible. This doesn't apply to you, but I consider you a special case.
Agree completely. I would rather spend the extra money honestly if I knew the animals were coming from a better starting point. It's just like petsmart or petco; you're just adding fuel to their fire.

More recently I've been doing more livestock related things. I have rescued animals from bad places and sold them to people who I knew would care for them. I've made some money, but again I've also spent a lot on high quality feed, hay, and vet bills/medicine. I have no problem with people making money, it just has to be done right.

Chase
 

Gumball Machine

New Member
Instead of raising the price of any chameleon, I would rather see requirements given to a prospective buyer, an interview and a quiz along with a signature. Besides, it isn't about buying the chameleon... like any animal, it's about caring for the animal once in possession. This would prevent someone who isn't prepared to own a chameleon a lot more. If anything, this mode would at least educate the buyer. I feel it would be a lot better than depending on the money factor.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
It's my pleasure. I do have quite of bit of knowledge on how this all fits together so if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I'll answer what I can. :)
Luis it is so nice to see you on the forums again. I am counting on you breeding your C. brevicorne, I will be happy to get them at your price, because I know they will be worth it in the quality you breed.
 
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