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Does parking lot transfers hurt shows and the hobby?
#1
I have recently heard how 'parking lot transfers' or non-vendor transfers of animals at Reptile Shows or Frog Shows is hurting the hobby.

Maybe, maybe not...but either way, it's a sign of the times and must be accounted for. Businesses must evolve or die - fact of life. If a hobby ceases to be fun, then it too 'dies' - another Universal Constant.

The Dart Frog Hobby is just that - mainly a Hobby. For well over 90% of the people who keep Dart Frogs, they are not making a profit or acting as a business. It's a hobby.

If the 9-10% are trying to pay bills and earn a living from selling frogs, then blaming parking lot transfers ect for hurting them is overstating things greatly IMO.

The Hobby will 'find it's own level', meaning, it will evolve and continue to do so.

'We' are also our own worst enemy. We trade and gift animals to each other and much less to new people getting into the hobby so in essence - WE EAT OURSELVES. The one good thing about the Art Frog experiment was that it was geared to getting NEW people into the hobby. With overproduction and insestual transfer of frogs, you can see where we have an 'embarrassment of riches' . There's threads every week where brand new people have breeding sucess.

There's very little room for grousing here. There's also very little blame and fingerpointing that will have any effect. As much as people hate this phrase oft used as a 'cop out'...."it is what it is'

Some thoughts.
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#2
I have had a table at a couple of shows. One show I was the only frog vendor, at another one was one of 4. At the show with 3 other dart frog vendors, I could not sell a single frog. Two of the other vendors could not as well. The forth vendor was selling frogs for wholesale prices. That was worse than someone meeting in the parking lot.

Most parking lot meetings are prearranged sales. Hopefully, the lot seller and buyer walk through the show. Maybe I have frogs that interest them in the future.

Reptile shows require building an interest, educating, and maybe the next show a purchase. A show with 500 attendees has how many people ready for darts? Maybe 5 to 10 people. Having a couple set up vivs can help.

I'm happy if I can pay my expenses, and maybe a little new frog money.

The guy that pulls down his pants and under values his frogs at his table takes away 90%+ random sells at a show. The only way to compete with that is to over produce auratus, or other prolific frog and sell cheaper. How does that help anyone. It puts too many frogs in the hands of impulse buyers that will end up killing most of them.


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#3
And I bet you are describing a 'REPTILE' show, right ?

Guess what ? The same thing happens at Frog Day ! Someone is undercutting and lowering the value of their pumilio to scoop all the sales.

Fact of life and not illegal. I doubt even 'unethical'. Some could say that selling them cheap or even giving them away is what 'floats their boat' and makes them happy.

If the hobby 'evolution' makes less vendors at shows, then we can't fight that. Turn 'off' the forums? Turn off Facebook ?

Conservation shows like Frog Day CAN succeed, we just need to...evolve them.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#4
Yes, reptile shows. Most of the Midwest is too small to support a frog, or amphibian show.

As far as the vendor with his pants around his ankles, there's nothing you can do about that.

I think I misunderstood your original post. If the discussion is advertising frogs and saying that you can meet in the parking lot that's different. It sucks that the seller is getting away with not paying for a table, avoiding sales tax. On the other hand, I can advertise availability, if I have the same frogs, undercut the guy in the parking lot, and make a sale.

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#5
Parking lot, Hotel, Restaurant, Bar, inside the show at a table, inside the show in the bathroom

Frog Day, Hamburg Reptile Show, International Amphibian Day

Transfer, Trade, Gift, purchase

Frogs, Isopods, Tanks ect

All of the above = all the same. There is no stopping it. No need to debate about condoning it or changing it.

Frogs are a hobby for many people. Most people do not make money from this hobby and seek to use it as stress relief, happiness, get-away from real life or whatever.
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#6
Shows have a place in this hobby. People get exposed to animals they never knew could be successfully kept. Newbies do not trust shipping, and some people like to see in person, the animals they are buying. You can build a relationship with fellow froggers,and look them in the eye. Earn a good reputation. But new ways of reaching froggers on social media is a trend that is not going away anytime soon.

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#7
Oh shows are AWESOME, no doubt.

As to 'outside sales' hurting a show ? Ask Denise at Hamburg PA Reptile show if she is hurt by outside sales in the last 25 years !

I bet she will admit that she wishes they didn't occur but are they stopping her show ? Not even close ! The Show goes on !!

The problem with Dart Frogs is twofold:

1. We are a tiny niche hobby with FAR fewer participants than Geckos, Torts, Inverts, snakes, HOTZ ect

2. The prices are low - not a lot of $$ to be made on the whole

Both of those sometimes = butt hurt / hurt feelings and stress for those who are 'bizznazz' oriented.
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#8
Phil, we may be having a little miscommunication. I have no illusions of paying the bills. I am happy cutting down my expenses a little. I am happier with a good trade. I also enjoy meeting new people a couple of ti.es a year, and talking frogs.

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#9
By the way, I agree with your thoughts on this.

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#10
FrogOly Wrote:By the way, I agree with your thoughts on this.

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I realize that, I'm just trying to have a full-on discussion. Not directing everything towards your posts -just hoping to see some other perspectives, is all.
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#11
"floating your boat" does nothing for the frogs. Everyone wants to make the money of the "big" boys but no one wants to do the work. If you can't beat them, join them. I stopped doing shows when I saw $4k flow thru people meeting(none of which to me in sales or a table fee for the convenience and me "vouching" for their animals to get into the show) at my table and $400 into my hands for traveling, hoteling, bringing more animals than actually sell, and the 40 hours i have to work to do a show(feeding, packing, deriving and unpacking), the $100 cost of a table. But I sold to the vendors, not retail sales.

The reason the hobby runs like a "pyramid scheme" is because a lot of people get into it because they see the money and associate it to the frogs(brain works in mysterious ways), but they don't see the work and no time off. They breed the heck out of their frogs and when they realize it's work to sell them they drop prices(which makes people think there is something wrong with them, sometimes). And if 2 people are involved there is a race to the bottom. You don't see vendors doing that because they know it would be the end of their business because they can't survive on that. And since people (not all, but it doesn't take many on an internet forum) are only in it for the cash they find out it's work or they can't do it and they ditch. Clamping on to a show for delivery is riding coattails. Have a meeting at your house, your own show. Buy a table. Or else, if they think like me, they'll all jump on the bandwagon since they can't make enough and it's not worth their time. $100 -$200 can make or break you doing a show It's not easy to do a show 8 hours away. If hobbyists cut corners, everyone will start cutting corners.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#12
No, someone will always fill in a table. Good vendors it is hurting. If they can't pay for AC and if vendors are always reporting terrible sales then then it is hurting the show. Eventually you only have local vendors and you don't draw the crowd. It's a race to the bottom. You may not notice it but being a vendor for 10 years I heard it all the time. If people cut corners on feeding their animals because there is not enough money at the tables at the shows, it hurts, belive me. Usually it's the animals that suffer when they are not worth enough to feed.

Philsuma Wrote:Oh shows are AWESOME, no doubt.

As to 'outside sales' hurting a show ? Ask Denise at Hamburg PA Reptile show if she is hurt by outside sales in the last 25 years !

I bet she will admit that she wishes they didn't occur but are they stopping her show ? Not even close ! The Show goes on !!

The problem with Dart Frogs is twofold:

1. We are a tiny niche hobby with FAR fewer participants than Geckos, Torts, Inverts, snakes, HOTZ ect

2. The prices are low - not a lot of $$ to be made on the whole

Both of those sometimes = butt hurt / hurt feelings and stress for those who are 'bizznazz' oriented.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#13
Look at it this way. If you have 2 levels of pay to play, who's going to win out? The one that packs extra animals, has to charge tax, pays for a table, possibly a hotel, and has to pack and unpack 4 times, pays to have the advert and show go on so others can make some free cash, etc. or the ones who advertise for free, pack only the animals sold, has no other overhead and can do it in 1/4 of the time(est)?

If the sales go down because of cash available, who is taking a bigger hit?
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#14
Some Frog sellers TRY to be a pyramid scheme like the Ball Pythons and Leopard gex but Frogs are not the same for some reason. We don't have the shifty blood-thirsty, immoral crowd that some of the Reptile hobbies have and I LIKE that about frogs. Higher class of people. Better moral compass. More conservation oriented. Smarter. heh. All for the 'most part.

The made-up inflated Ball python prices hurt the Shows in their own manner as well, but that's for a different discussion.
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#15
Don't try, and the ball python group does? Does it really matter if the outcome is the same? Why would people buy expensive frogs from the top people supporting amphibian conservation, shows, etc. if people just drop them thru the bottom because they don't want to go outside the "boards" to sell them? They buy groups ready to breed and then breed the crap out of them till they're unhealthy and dump them. To me that's taking advantage of someone else's great product and using it to their own advantage.
Inflated price? Whose to say what inflated is when they didn't pay for the original animals and got some to breed them and the possible problems that come with that. Just because you won't spend 10k on an animal doesn't mean it isn't worth that much. So I imagine $700 for a frog is out of this world for you too? If it is then they are the same.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#16
First let’s get oriented, you go to a show for what? You think it’s to sell high priced animals? You think it’s because people value you so much? Nope you are in fact a leech. You are just some migrant who rolls into town and steals business from the local pet store by under cutting their sales and then leaves without any thought or care, you don’t spend the money and have the overhead of lights and shop and employees, you just pay a measly couple hundred dollars for a table for 1 weekend. How ironic that argument sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? You then cry about the parking lot seller for leeching off your show, when you never stopped to consider who you really are yourself or what type of customers are going to the show.

I asked this on dendroboard and received zero answers. So I will ask it again. What do you think the point of a show is? When no person even bothers to answer that question it is very telling. How can you work out a plan for improving if you don’t even know what you point for existence is?

Also ball python and crested gecko people have all the same issues. I heard at NARBC a vendor had his life threatened by another vendor because he was selling a particular snake breed too low. Price is set by supply and demand when did dart froggers suddenly think that it is ethical to start turning into OPEC?
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#17
Are you talking to me? A show is for the patrons of the show, vendors and attendees and there are certain rules to make it work. There, question answered. You can be an attendee or a vendor. Vendors can sell and attendees can buy or sell to a vendor.
Pet shops don't sell dart frogs. Or ff cultures. Or hi end ball pythons. And people travel from all over to spend money on your local vendors(if they are smart enough to get a table, then they can get money from the people who travel to the show). Maybe the pet shops should go to the show too. They can get a table just like a business/hobbyist. It's open to all vendors.
And we operate like a petshop. We pay for lighting, rent, taxes, etc.
What are you talking about turning into opec? Just because you can offer a 10% discount(NYS SAles tax) off the bat and then further discount because you are not spending the time or money on the table doesn't mean opec, it means level playing field.
Of course if your one who just wants to cut corners to beat the other guy to the sale, I'd see why you'd think that.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#18
Why don't you ask the show to set up a tableless vendor area, where people can donate $20-50 and meet in an area to exchange animals and see what they say. These people pay locally for security, they bring revenue to the area from people traveling. Gas, snacks, hotels. Vendors spend a lot of the money they draw in at the show and in the local economy. They even pay state and county sales tax. Imagine how much that is on a hi end ball python.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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#19
Roadrunner Wrote:Are you talking to me? A show is for the patrons of the show, vendors and attendees and there are certain rules to make it work. There, question answered. You can be an attendee or a vendor. Vendors can sell and attendees can buy or sell to a vendor.
Pet shops don't sell dart frogs. Or ff cultures. Or hi end ball pythons. And people travel from all over to spend money on your local vendors(if they are smart enough to get a table, then they can get money from the people who travel to the show). Maybe the pet shops should go to the show too. They can get a table just like a business/hobbyist. It's open to all vendors.
And we operate like a petshop. We pay for lighting, rent, taxes, etc.
What are you talking about turning into opec? Just because you can offer a 10% discount(NYS SAles tax) off the bat and then further discount because you are not spending the time or money on the table doesn't mean opec, it means level playing field.
Of course if your one who just wants to cut corners to beat the other guy to the sale, I'd see why you'd think that.

I am talking to anyone in the discussion. Your point about what a show is for is not very good. Anyone could say something that generic, a pet store, an online vendor, a craigslist poster. You will not get to the bottom of the OPs question with answers that do not have any value. Why should anyone bother to go to a show? If parking lot vending is so good why don't you just do it?

Your second paragraph actually says something. You think you offer something unique because you assume pet stores do not or cannot sell dart frogs. So I ask this, do you know this? Because at least 1 pet store in my medium sized town has lots of dart frogs for sale. And in larger cities there will be at least 1 pet store that does such. So do you avoid shows in larger cities?

So ask again to offer a real point to the existence of shows why should I get off my butt and go all the way to a show, in the same town or 4 hours away? This time make it a good point.
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#20
It's simple. I can't help if you don't understand it. The store paid to sell their wares, the vendors paid a price to SELL their wares and the patrons pay a price to attend,buy things and sell their wares to VENDORS or a PET SHOP. There are rules in place to protect the shows so everyone doesn't just start meeting in a pking lot and the show dies. If you advertise on a board where people are paying to attend and advertise and you have to compete against people who don't collect taxes, don't pay for a table or to advertise and are doing nothing to contribute to that show and all the work involved, than your riding coattails.
"I don't want to believe, I want to know" Carl Sagan(my fav. stonerSmile
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