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Hobbyist opening a new store

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Xroads, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Xroads

    Xroads New Member

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    HI all

    I am a long time bug lover, but have only been a passing hobbyist.

    I am opening a new store and will carry saltwater, freshwater, reptiles, amphibians, carnivorous plants, & BUGS!

    I have extensive experience in retail, and aquatic stores, but only hobby experience for bugs.

    So, give me any advice you may have, favorite vendors I can buy from, and your view of the bug market in general.

    Thanks
    Craig
    Dave Jay and MassExodus like this.
  2. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Hi Craig, welcome to the forum and good luck with your new venture :). I'm sorry I can't help with sellers as I'm in the UK
  3. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Well-Known Member

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    As far as sellers with large selections that I have dealt with, Joe Rossi is the one I would talk to (I think he is a member here, just not active here, though he is active on another). He has the largest selection.
  4. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    My best advice is: Treat the forums as a hobbyist would, check vendor reviews, classifieds(a lot of the online dealers with wide selections advertise in our classifieds. Well, some). Arachnoboards is a much bigger forum, with a larger selection. For other inverts try fauna classifieds. Spiders will be your main seller, probably. People also like whipspiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and feeder roaches. Welcome to TF and I wish you luck with your business, hope to see your ads soon!
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  5. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Do both retail and mail order. Set up a YouTube page and keep lots of fresh videos on it. Also sell quality enclosures such as Terra Blue professional series and ExoTerra. I can't wait to see what you have & buy something.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  6. LC72uk

    LC72uk Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Welcome to the Group Craig..........LC72UK:):T:
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  7. Metalman2004

    Metalman2004 Well-Known Member

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    I concur, if at all possible you should offer shipping of specimens. As for acquiring live stock, just keep checking rhe forums. As hobbyists get sacs from their own collection they oftern sell them at good prices and will do wholesale pricig too.
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  8. Thistles

    Thistles Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    I would not recommend Rossi. His prices are insane, so marking things up would be doubly ridiculous. You do not need a lot of variety in a pet store setting. Get one or two advanced and eye-catching specimens and then focus on beginner to intermediate animals. The average person walking in will not care that an albo is common and won't appreciate how rare something else is. Get stuff that's attractive and easy. Think Brachys and genics and then some cheaper stuff like albos and seemanni. Steer clear of high dollar, new-to-hobby stuff.

    Depending on how things move, you could buy bulk slings from hobbyists, but I don't think those would sell as well as adults or juveniles. Steve Tanabe at arachnoiden.com has such great prices and a variety of species and sizes. You could realistically buy larger specimens from him and mark them up. Another option would be to message someone like Austin Spears, who regularly imports (legally) and give him a wish list for adults and juvies to grab for you when he imports. Otherwise, keep an eye on the forums for deals and try to buy in bulk as much as possible.

    Set up attractive enclosures that are appropriate for the animals, but don't obstruct the customers' view of the critter. For example, for an albo set up an enclosure with nice moss and other decor, but use a hide instead of deep substrate for a burrow. I managed pet stores for 8 years and worked in them for 12, so I kind of have an idea of what's up.

    I second the "other invert" suggestions. Nothing is cooler than vinegaroons, and they're super easy to keep. One of mine just emerged two days ago after not eating or drinking since October. They're bloody unkillable, look like aliens, and can be handled.

    The bug market in general is a mixed bag. I've met a few great people, and a lot of not-so-great people. The hobby itself is built on illegal collection and smuggling of species on the supply end, and this continues on the purchasing end. Just look at the sales section and you'll see Polish sellers advertising to the US. It's completely illegal to order from these people, who get much of their stock illegally and at the expense of wild populations (all the pulchra slings that popped up recently are from smuggled sacs), but hobbyists and sellers alike do order from them. I know of people on this forum (and others) who resell stock that they brown-box into the country. IMO it is not worth the risk and people who do this are garbage.

    The bug market dynamic operates on two levels. There are the established species, which have been in the hobby for a long time and which are being bred consistently, and new species or species that are in the hobby due to wild collection. The prices for established species are consistent. Versicolors are and will probably always be $20-30 for slings on average. The demand consistently supports that price, and all specimens are captive bred. New species typically enter the hobby at double or more the price they will eventually settle to. Species that are primarily wild caught start low, then when the country stops allowing export the price jumps. I'd suggest you stick to the first category. You know what you're getting, the species are hobby staples for a reason, and there will be plenty of info available for new hobbyists to look up.
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  9. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    My only advise would be to learn how to care for the tarantulas you are going to sell. Also demonstrate it in your showroom enclosures. Most pet shops lack in this area and keep Ts in horrible conditions.
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  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Administrator

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  11. Xroads

    Xroads New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments so far.

    As far as shipping, I may consider it down the road, but I need to walk before I run.

    I agree that they should be housed in appealing enclosures, and most of the stock needs to be easy bread and butter species.

    I have a good sized back room, so I plan on buying bulk when I can, grow up the overstock in the back room.

    Down the road I will begin breeding them myself, but again I need to walk before I try running.
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