Reptile Forums banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys,

This is a thread I've opened up over on the Royal Python Forum (Yes, hiss, boo, whatever lol). I've copied and pasted it into here because I want a wider view and to gauge the common barometer more effectively.

I hasten to add, I am NOT a reptile or Pet Shop owner, nor have I ever been. I don't work in retail, and have no hidden agenda, I'm just pointing out a few home truths about our spending habits these days. It's a debate, so feel free to point out how wrong I am!! :bash: Ok here goes......


I'll make my personal opinion clear, I buy a LOT of stuff online. I've just got into snakes, and have bought a mixture of things from a mixture of places. The bulky substrate I'll buy from a shop, chuck in the car, the frozen food, I'll buy from a shop, the snake itself, I bought from a shop.

But the vivarium, 2 x dimmer/pulse thermostats, various lamp holders, lamps, ceramic heaters, etc etc, all bought from online discounters, and why not? They were all items I got way cheaper than the local shops tired to sell them to me for!

Let's explore this argument from a less self-centric point of view:


I have a degree of sympathy for the small high street retailer/specialist.

They don't have lots of money.

They don't have 1000's of customers per week buying from them.

They don't have huge volume discounts from the wholesalers, because hey can't but '1000 of everything'.

They have to pay business rates, high electricity bills to keep the shop warm enough for racks and mats, with customers wafting in & out leaving the door open.

They can get lumbered with stock, and end up having to reduce that sun-faded old Lucky Reptile Pro Controller after 2 years of people ignoring it.

They suffer occasional theft, vandalism, and have to tolerate the public using them as a 'showroom' to have a look, cop a feel, ask all the relevent questions, and then go and order the same thing online.

This is why they (the high street) are struggling, and gradually dying out.

No, THIS is why the high street is dying out:

Internet/Mail Order companies (like the ones I have mentioned, and buy most of my stuff from)

Get incredible supply discounts for bulk ordering.

Are cash rich.

Have dedicated online/telesales staff to handle enquiries / orders.

Have good deals from the couriers/delivery companies.

Have vast warehouses full of current stock.

ARE CHEAPER AS A RESULT!

It's a vicious circle. The more slick these big boys get, the easier it is to use them, and way cheaper. The problem is, when (insert name of snake owner off The Royal Python Forum)'s local shop had sold him a load of overpriced gear, they were probably looking to make a huge margin, because he might have been the best customer of the day. When it came to the Thermostat, he was hoping to make maybe £30 profit on that item, whereas Swell or Surrey or 888 might make £7, but they sell 30 a day, you see?

It'll be sad if the smaller places die out, and I can see why they try to be 'greedy', because each sale is a rarity and an opportunity to cover wages/overheads etc.

But think about it, if we all keep buying from online retailers while politely telling Mr Shopkeeper that "we'll think about it", then they won't know what they're doing wrong.

I say we need these shops, I wouldn't have a snake, or be on here if it wasn't for walking into a reptile shop by chance one lunch time and being casually handed a Boa to hold. I took a photo of it coiled around my wrist, and couldn't get the idea of owning one out of my mind, it was a life changing moment.

Looking at pictures of snakes on the internet, or watching videos on YouTube just wouldn't have snared me in like the 'hands on' experience in that shop gave me.

We need these shops, but we need to save our pennies too, so we should ALWAYS give these people/small businesses a CHANCE to compete for the business. Maybe they CAN get within a few quid of www.cheapreptilestuff.com IF YOU ASK and EXPLAIN what you are able to get it for online.

Don't be apologetic, ask them if they can match it, if they (most likely can't) ask them what their best price would be, and then make a decision whether to pay a fraction more with the peace of mind that buying locally has its advantages too:

You get to walk away with the product there & then.

You don't have to try to be in when they deliver or go to a depot to collect it when you're not.

You get to take it back without incurring Returns Forms and Postage Charges (not to mention the red tape and delay) if it's broken, or not fit for purpose.

You can see the actual thing you're buying (useful if you don't know how big a certain thing is, in the flesh, so to speak).

You can get a demonstration of how to use it, both when you buy, and when you go back scratching your head because you've made a basic mistake.

You build a relationship which means in future, maybe after not too long, you have a friend, who's an expert, who can help you, give advice, 'take a look at this for me' and all the other one to one help you can't get from a call centre.

I'm not saying I'm prepared to pay more for stuff just to help some small shopkeeper buy a new car every year. I am however prepared to sacrifice a few percent here & there to have a relationship with an expert who KNOWS who you are, and knows your snake/s.

These are the people that you can turn to for advice in a crisis, because you're a CUSTOMER.

If you never spend any money in their shop, why would they go the extra mile to help you out?

I wouldn't!


............................................................................................

It illicited, amongst others, this response:

(From a TRPF member)

"
I'm not a huge fan of local shops to be honest, I think a better comparison would be private breeders and online sellers.
Most shops, no, all shops i've been to are in for the money. Private breeders at home who do it for a love of the animals are the ones struggling to make sales, me having to sell my boas to a shop for eight pound each is absolutely rediculous, it cost me quadrouple that price just to make sure they survived and when they enter the shop they get a 70 quid price tag, make a profit sure but 62 pound per snake profit is greedy."



To which I responded:

Salty Turtle:

I think you're talking about a whole different comparison there to be honest. There's nothing to stop you debating that in another thread.

When you complain that this local shop ripped you off, and was being greedy, it might be worth remembering that when Mr Shopkeeper woke up that morning, it wasn't his intention to buy your (mostly adult I assume) snake collection, 'en mass'.

I also assume you didn't ring weeks in advance to discuss whether he'd want them, and at what price?

I'm guessing he reluctantly agreed to help you out because you were undergoing some kind of personal crisis with depression etc (which I read about elsewhere on this forum - hope you're feeling better by the way!)

The fact is, you had the option to walk out and refuse his price. When you asked him to buy all your snakes, YOU took control of HIS business effectively telling HIM what to stock.

Now I'm no expert but I assume a bunch of cute little hatchlings are easier to sell to the 'new snake owner' and expert alike, since they get to start with a less intimidating size of snake, and to nurture it, relate to it, and watch it grow.

Not to mention the space required would be greater, as hatchlings seem to occupy the tiniest of RUBs.

It's a bit like a 3 or 4 year old dog. Go to your local Dogs Trust or RSPCA or Blue Cross Dogs rehoming centre today, and have a look around. (You'll see a LOT of Staffordshire Bull Terriers!)

These dogs as puppies were 'hot property' selling for hundreds of pounds, yet now, due to not being 'cute' anymore, and having a rather dubious history (why did the other owners get rid of them? Most people will be skeptical, even if a plausible excuse is offered by the kennel, not enough time etc).

So now these fine dogs, which may be perfectly good companions and pets, are virtually impossible to give away! Everyone's still buying the puppies.

I used to see this mentality from customers when I worked in the motor industry many years ago. Mr Jones bought his 10 year old car brand new, and paid over £30,000 for it! He's always kept it in the garage, and hasn't done very many miles in it. He used to wash it one a week, and only used the best oil & fuel. He always put a blanket on the driver's swat to protect the leather..SO HE THINKS IT'S STILL WORTH ABOUT £30,000!

Wrong, the market's died for such 'gas guzzling' cars, nobody can insure them, and the parts are ridiculously expensive. His car's worth £1200 to the trade, maybe £1700 in a private sale, and may be up for £2495 at a dealer.

He thinks he's being fleeced, but surely if it were worth more the dealer would offer him more, not to miss out on this rare find, this bargain? Well it aint, and he aint.

The fact is, it's all about supply and demand.

So how come if he's greedy for wanting to pay only £8 per snake 'because he's not doing it for the love of it', that you're not greedy for WANTING more than £8 per snake, works both ways, if you're also claiming to be doing it 'for the love of it'.

You may think £62 per snake profit is 'greedy' but then deduct the shop's overheads, the electricity bill, staff wages, VAT, business rates, National Insurance etc etc. Then factor in the food he'll be chucking down the snakes throats until they're sold, and allow for people making him 'offers'.

Yes he's in it for the money (partly) but who isn't? Unless he's a lottery millionaire I'd say his motives are quite honourable. I wouldn't list owning a small high street reptile/pet shop as being on the Top 10 list of 'Get Rich Quick Schemes'!

We've all got to earn a living, and I doubt you do/did your security work for the love of it, working nights, long shifts, crummy uniform etc... But nobody called you 'greedy'.

I would imagine matey will still have a lot of your snakes in stock in a month or so, eating their way through his freezer.

I would also doubt he went to the pub that night and bought the whole bar a round to celebrate his 'lucky find'.

If it's so easy, you should have rented a unit, had it fitted out, and sold them yourself for £70 each, 'Simples'?

Oh you can't afford to? Well maybe that's why he needs a £62 per snake starting margin when stock is 'forced upon him'.

And if we boycott this greedy tyrant, and send him deservedly out of business, like he obviously deserves, then next time you need to 'offload' a 'harem of snakes onto someone, you'll turn up and find out his shop's become another Pound Shop, or worse still, for the snakes, a Kebab Shop!

Discuss! :whip:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,924 Posts
Couldn't be bothered reading all of your long start to the thread (talk about long winded), sorry, but in a nut shell I would NEVER buy any type of animal online - would rather go to a reputable breeder/reptile shop and see the animal is fit and healthy before buying, but that's just me. :2thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Couldn't be bothered reading all of your long start to the thread (talk about long winded), sorry, but in a nut shell I would NEVER buy any type of animal online - would rather go to a reputable breeder/reptile shop and see the animal is fit and healthy before buying, but that's just me. :2thumb:
Great, but if you'd read the thread lazy bones, you'd have seen that I wasn't talking about buying animals online, more equipment.

Anyway, thanks for your input. :lol2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,294 Posts
all of my local shops are really far away so i always go online for equipment and often food and keep networked with local people when it comes to the animals side of things
 
  • Like
Reactions: SaltyTurtle

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,924 Posts
Great, but if you'd read the thread lazy bones, you'd have seen that I wasn't talking about buying animals online, more equipment.

Anyway, thanks for your input. :lol2:
Maybe then you should've made your thread short and sweet instead of a little bit too long, that way I'd have actually read it all :lol2:

Also, I just buy my snake things and frozen food from pets at home, I don't find them all that expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Maybe then you should've made your thread short and sweet instead of a little bit too long, that way I'd have actually read it all :lol2:

Also, I just buy my snake things and frozen food from pets at home, I don't find them all that expensive.
The devil is in the detail, my dear, the devil is in the DETAIL!:whistling2:

Anyway, with nearly 3000 posts since May 2011, you're not exactly 'lost for words'!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,058 Posts
Maybe then you should've made your thread short and sweet instead of a little bit too long, that way I'd have actually read it all :lol2:

Also, I just buy my snake things and frozen food from pets at home, I don't find them all that expensive.
Why reply to a thread that you were too lazy to read??

To the OP, I do buy allot of equipment online. Shops near me are way too expensive and I need to shop around for the best deals and almost always these are to be found online.

I have no problem going to a local shop to buy the item if it is nearly the same price as online because at times, delivery cost can bump up the price anyway. Having said that, most online shops do deals that if you spend over a certain amount, delivery is free or greatly reduced.

Surrey Pet Supplies is a shop and they sell online. They are one of the cheapest places around and I have bought from them in the past. I order online rather than visit the store as I don't drive.
 

·
Massive Member
Joined
·
11,823 Posts
My fairly local shop is also one of the cheapest online retailers..........

I support my local shop and get good prices :2thumb:

Of course I buy elsewhere when i need to, for instance, If I want a megaray bulb (kimbos) or bulk frozen food (TSM)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,924 Posts
Couldn't be bothered reading all of your long start to the thread (talk about long winded), sorry, but in a nut shell I would NEVER buy any type of animal online - would rather go to a reputable breeder/reptile shop and see the animal is fit and healthy before buying, but that's just me. :2thumb:
Me neither - always see before you buy. That is why I prefer buyers to collect when I sell them a snake. If you are buying blind there is a good chance that you will get stung.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Why reply to a thread that you were too lazy to read??

To the OP, I do buy allot of equipment online. Shops near me are way too expensive and I need to shop around for the best deals and almost always these are to be found online.

I have no problem going to a local shop to buy the item if it is nearly the same price as online because at times, delivery cost can bump up the price anyway. Having said that, most online shops do deals that if you spend over a certain amount, delivery is free or greatly reduced.

Surrey Pet Supplies is a shop and they sell online. They are one of the cheapest places around and I have bought from them in the past. I order online rather than visit the store as I don't drive.
Thanks for actually reading my post, took ages to type it all initially!

I'm much like you, would prefer to be able to walk into a shop 5 minutes away and buy everything for the best price, but am forced to buy online because of price (I'm tight, basically! :grin1:)

I think the likes of Surrey Pet Supplies are going to be the future, they have a walk in shop, but I bet MOST of their turnover is from their massive online presence and aggressive discounting.

For the record: Swell had a stat I wanted £8 cheaper than Surrey, but the viv was £8 more. Since I'd ordered from Swell a few days before and they had my details, and had delivered on time, I called them up and got them to price match the viv, which they did willingly. I may have mentioned this in my OP, but I can't be bothered to read it to check, as it's too long & boring :lol2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Me neither - always see before you buy. That is why I prefer buyers to collect when I sell them a snake. If you are buying blind there is a good chance that you will get stung.
Read the thread please. It's not about buying animals online, just equipment.:bash:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,058 Posts
Thanks for actually reading my post, took ages to type it all initially!

I'm much like you, would prefer to be able to walk into a shop 5 minutes away and buy everything for the best price, but am forced to buy online because of price (I'm tight, basically! :grin1:)

I think the likes of Surrey Pet Supplies are going to be the future, they have a walk in shop, but I bet MOST of their turnover is from their massive online presence and aggressive discounting.

For the record: Swell had a stat I wanted £8 cheaper than Surrey, but the viv was £8 more. Since I'd ordered from Swell a few days before and they had my details, and had delivered on time, I called them up and got them to price match the viv, which they did willingly. I may have mentioned this in my OP, but I can't be bothered to read it to check, as it's too long & boring :lol2:
:lol2: Long post coming up now from me...

Perfect example of small petshop prices. I used to buy my frozen rodents from my local pet shop. They weren't the cheapest around but actually worked out around the same price as TSM once they add the delivery charge, so rather than buy online, I used the petshop.

I went in one day to ask about bulk orders and if they would be willing to do me a deal on say 100 large mice. The manager looked at the price they buy them in at and then the price per mouse and stopped. Looked a bit confused and at that moment realised he had been selling the mice at less than he was paying for them. He was making no profit at all, infact a huge loss.

Me and my big mouth asking for bulk orders meant he then spent the next day re-pricing all his frozen rodents. The next week when I went in to buy some rats I was horrified to discover they had gone up form £1 each to a massive £2.75!!! Now I know he has bills to pay etc etc and of course he doesn't want to make a loss but there is no way at all I am spending that sort of money just to be loyal to my local shop. I explained to him that he sadly had now lost my custom and I normally spent around £15-£20 a week in there.

I went home and did my first online food order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,924 Posts
Read the thread please. It's not about buying animals online, just equipment.:bash:
I don't bother paying retail prices as I can get trade which is much cheaper than you pay either online or in store :2thumb:

Also I imagine the vivs that you are buying online are crap contiboard knock ups which you would be better off making yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
:lol2: Long post coming up now from me...

Perfect example of small petshop prices. I used to buy my frozen rodents from my local pet shop. They weren't the cheapest around but actually worked out around the same price as TSM once they add the delivery charge, so rather than buy online, I used the petshop.

I went in one day to ask about bulk orders and if they would be willing to do me a deal on say 100 large mice. The manager looked at the price they buy them in at and then the price per mouse and stopped. Looked a bit confused and at that moment realised he had been selling the mice at less than he was paying for them. He was making no profit at all, infact a huge loss.

Me and my big mouth asking for bulk orders meant he then spent the next day re-pricing all his frozen rodents. The next week when I went in to buy some rats I was horrified to discover they had gone up form £1 each to a massive £2.75!!! Now I know he has bills to pay etc etc and of course he doesn't want to make a loss but there is no way at all I am spending that sort of money just to be loyal to my local shop. I explained to him that he sadly had now lost my custom and I normally spent around £15-£20 a week in there.

I went home and did my first online food order.
:bash: Doh!!

Sounds just like the sort of thing I'D do! I often wish I'd just let sleeping dogs lie in situations like that. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

I'm now petrified to ask my local food supplier ANYTHING relating to price, as he's quite cheap too. I'll just walk in with the right change, ask for it, pay and shuffle off, like those men do in the 'Adult Shops'. :lol2:
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top