The Millionaire Snake Breeder Blog: State of the Market...
It's December 2021 and we're ending the year with a bang! More records set and once again expectations have been exceeded. I have always been bullish about Ball Pythons, but never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated the hobby going where it has. For most of my Ball Python breeding career I have underestimated the potential of this industry... Here's my feedback on the market based on my own personal experience and feedback from fellow breeders. Sales really ramped up going into the Pandemic in 2020 and this occurred after a 6 year bull market that showed steady growth in sales and fairly stable pricing. I don't think anyone was ready for the volume of sales we experienced. Shipping was a lot of work with 20 boxes going out 2-3 times a week pretty common.
This continued well into 2021 and to my surprise this years sales have exceeded even last years sales. Now there are several reasons why I believe my sales have increased... one is volume, but the other is mainly my approach to breeding called "the upgrade method" which helps me to increase the value of each clutch year after year. Check out this YouTube video on the topic. In speaking with other breeders, I believe this years record sales was widespread among most established breeders. The past two years we were selling everything! Lower end animals that I would normally wholesale where selling the same day posted further increasing profit margins. You see wholesale groups usually go for as low as 60% retail. When selling direct, a lot of that lost profit is realized. Most breeders usually wholesale to save time and make space, but when stuff is flying off the shelf there's no need.
One of the most exciting and encouraging facts about the market is this... the highest demand I'm seeing is for higher end animals selling between 8-20k. Many of these animals never even hit Morph Market. They're being sold that fast! Try to find a male Desert Ghost Clown, Axanthic Desert Ghost or a triple Homozygous combo. It's damn near impossible. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to know if I had 20 OD DG Pied combos I could sell them all for 10-20k. The problem is these animals are not easy to hit. I predict lower end animal sales may slow in 2022 as the stimulus and free money dries up, but higher end sales will remain strong and especially if you have the right projects. Double, triple and even Quad recessive combos will be in big demand for years to come. We were very lucky to hit this Hypo Leopard Clown Pied girl this season!
She's developed very nicely and is hands down one of my favorites from 2021. Animals like this are way more valuable than what they sell for... especially in my grubby little hands! As JZ said... most know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. At least that's how I think he said it. True words for sure!
So just to recap... the past two years we have experienced record sales and crazy demand. Lower end sales seem to be slowing a bit and may slow more as we enter 2022 and the end of monetary stimulus by Governments all around the World. Higher end, investment grade animals are still in high demand and show no sign of slowing! No one really knows if this 8 year bull market will slow, adjust or end. That being said, we are pretty excited about the future and I'm eager to see how things play out in 2022. Smart breeders and entrepreneurs will be prepared to take advantage of any market. So hope for the best, plan for the worst and know that the patient breeder is the one holding all the chips!