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Getting pet snakes at a reptile expo

There are many places to get a new pet snake, but one of the best places is at a reptile expo if you have a chance to go. If you’re new to the world of herping you might not know what a reptile expo is. That’s simple. It is gathering of reptile and amphibian enthusiasts in a specific location. There are reptile expos held throughout the United States as well as many other nations throughout the year. It’s like a giant flee market where everyone is there for one purpose. To buy, sell, or just browse snakes, lizards, frogs and any other manner of reptiles and amphibians you can think of.

What makes a reptile expo a good place to get a snake? That’s simple.

  • You get to meet the breeder face to face

    You get to ask them questions about the snake. You get to pick their brain a little bit. But best of all you actually get to see and handle the snake before you buy it. When you order online you don’t get to do this. You don’t get to do that with a snake you order online. Sure a good breeder will answer your questions but it’s hard to get a feel for them. And that is just as important as the snake you buy.
  • You might end up with two

    It’s happened to me. Went in with enough money to buy one snake, talked to the breeder and ended up buying two others that had the potential to breed and produce the one I came in to get. Haven’t bred them yet, but that potential is there. I look at it as a two for the price of one with a 50% chance of getting what I wanted originally. That’s 50% per clutch (they’re ball pythons) so eventually… who knows.
  • You can network with others

    Fact is that you’ll meet a lot of people at expos. Into a lot of different snakes (and other creatures) you never thought anything about. Probably never heard of a lot of them. You’ll get to promote yourself in the hobby as an enthusiast, make contacts and all that kind of good stuff. Finally let’s face it. While snakes are gaining in popularity they aren’t exactly everyone’s first choice as a pet. So the more people you know who keep them, the better.

Yep, going to an expo to get a snake is a great experience. Unfortunately there are some downsides to it as well.

  • The early bird gets the worm

    If you want the pick of the litter get there first thing. Before the doors open. The first few expos I went to I’d arrive a few hours after they opened and a lot of the one of a kind stuff was already sold. Granted I didn’t go there with the kind of money needed to buy those snakes, but I would have missed out if I did.
  • Lots of people

    Remember earlier I said you can pick the breeders brain? I lied. Sorry. What you can do is listen while 5, 10, 15, 20+ other people are picking their brain. You can get the answers to questions you’ve never even thought to ask. But fact of the matter is that you aren’t going to be able to get them one on one for very long.
  • Things run out

    The animals run out. The supplies run out. Time runs out. A person has a finite amount of space to put their reptiles at an expo which means they generally bring a limited number of animals with them. I’ve found that they will generally bring a decent amount of mid-range snakes, a few higher end snakes and a nice helping of the low-level pet quality snakes.
  • The snakes are stressed

    Snakes are solitary creatures. An expo has a ton of people running around and handling them. It’s hard to really gauge their temperament until they are out of that environment and settled in for a while at home.

Have you ever been to a reptile expo? If so did you buy anything while you were there?

If you are interested in attending a reptile expo in your area check out this list of reptile expos maintained at the Reptilechannel.com

  • Sorry for your bad experience, but I don’t know that I would blame it on the dealer. A lot of things can factor into a reptile’s demise.

  • Most of the time they will have everything you need to house a lizard. But if you’re going to get a lizard at the expo I’d recommend having its setup already in place. That way you know everything is working, temps are correct and if there are issues they are worked out before the new occupant moves in.

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