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Do people really 'invest' money in ball pythons?
Since the introduction of the albino ball python the value of certain mutations went 'through the roof', with the albinos selling for $7500 dollars for many years, Pieds fetching over $20'000 and the first spiders to reach the UK at over $20'000. With these high prices came the 'investors', these to start with were reptile keepers who could see great potential for a large return on the money they spent on buying their breeding stock. It was easy for a breeder to spend $20'000 on one animal and the following year produce $100'000 worth of babies!
Over a short period of time many people jumped in on this 'easy' investment and a good number had a nice income from this. Times have changed now and the days of the $20'000 morphs have all but gone. Prices have dropped and many ball morphs that were selling strong for $10'000 just 18 months ago are now closer to $800. Many people did get 'burnt' by this sudden (although predictable) price drop.
The market has now settled and prices are starting to reach a sensible level that allows most people to buy the morphs they like, NOT for profit but actually to keep as the stunning living works of art that they are. Pet pieds and albinos are now with us, with many keepers happy to keep these animals with no intention of breeding them. This is why the market on the ball morphs is still good, prices may of dropped but the potential market on the colour mutations is still massive.
'Investing' in ball pythons even now will always be a winner so long as you buy good stock and actually breed them. An example is buying a Male Spider this year (2007) for £750, this male is more than capable of breeding in the coming '08/'09 season and can conceivably sire 6 clutches. Being a co-dom animal you can expect 50% to hatch out as spiders. If the 2009 price on spiders has dropped to £100 each and you have 6 clutches averaging 7 eggs you could easily end up with 21 spiders equally £2100 in value. Obviously you would have to take into account your feeding and heating bills and the time you have spent but you will still be in profit and that's of course in it's FIRST breeding year.
Should I invest in ball python morphs?
This is a question that I am often asked and my answer is simple, if you like the animals for what they are and can afford to buy them and enjoy working with them, then YES go for it. If however you just want to earn some quick money breeding snakes then NO steer clear.
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