Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Sales or Trades- but only Dart Frogs
Michael Lawrence
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Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Michael Lawrence » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:44 pm

I have been witness to numerous posts over the years and quite a few more in the past few months that mention that you cannot make money or should I even suggest a living breeding/ selling dartfrogs. While I understand the aspects of this debate I see it used against mostly new people to this hobby with intentions of warning them not only is experience needed but there are costs to keeping the frogs in a respectful manner.

I am not asking anyone to bring up any personal financial info on this subject but I do know for a fact it is possible to make a decent profit in this hobby breeding frogs without slacking on the care of the frogs or flipping the work of other breeders for a profit. I have heard of people selling plants and supplies to help in that area but I know of three people that make a profit selling their froglets and only their froglets without venturing into selling plants and supplies but I'd guess due to a very large collection other factors may weigh in that do not with me as I can tell you as of right now I have roughly 37 pairs or probable pairs with about twenty holdbacks and another 26 frogs I have recently purchased to raise in hopes of breeding and another 35-40 of my own breed frogglets getting established and growing to be sold at a later date. I even know for a fact that two of the breeders making a profit include the power bill and all other frog care expenses into their records before they claim a profit. I wont name any names but I will tell you it has and is being done with everything from auratus to thumbnails and although I think that most species of dendrobates are being overbreed in this hobby I can also name a couple that have never sat in my frog room waiting to sell.

So my question is, Are the people saying this to detour future competition from entering this hobby or do you really think there is no chance of making a profit? I also understand that there are many different views on how well off your frogs are but I have never really seen a thousand dollar difference in one persons viv to another unless it was created for the reasons of being shown off and still there is usually only one of those setup in each persons collection.

Take for example my reticulatus collection. Even as difficult as they are to raise eggs to tads to froglets and so on my average number of healthy juvies each year is 16-28 depending on what pair or if I switch the males out to create new blood lines. That means that with obviously more than thirty healthy froglets a year sold at lets say $100 a piece that more than covers all of my expenses for my collection each year as my tanks are well established. So where does the money from my other species go? Where ever I want it to go as It is all profit.

I know as well most will say that I haven't covered the cost of the 30 55 gallons or the 100 vert 5 gallons or horizontal 5 gallons that I used to house single froglets but being that I purchased most of them almost eleven years ago when I began collecting the frogs I can pretty much guarantee you that they are all well payed for by now.

Now I can tell you it is getting harder these last two years but I am cleaning out a nice chunk of my collection to focus on a few important species to me and I would be willing to bet that my profits will increase due to having to put out less money on supplies and thanks to some new info I have recently acquired on feeding practices it will only get better.

I however do not see this as a business but a hobby as I often ask for advice or even help from people that are far more advanced in knowledge than I am about this hobby and I even tend to give away frogs when I think I'm being over run with them so maybe my kindness or willingness to deal with the beginners in this hobby help my situation and the situations of my two friends in Florida are different from everyone else's so from what I read all the time maybe we are the only ones but I seriously doubt it.

Now this wont work with all species of darts as they are being wholesaled out all over the place but for the frogs that the average beginner or even a reptile shop or even some others in this business cant or don't have the experience or time or even the know how or skills there is potential to make a profit I guarantee it.

If you disagree Id be more than willing to hear it but it wont change the fact that there is profit being made in this hobby>

Michael Lawrence
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Postby Michael Lawrence » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:54 pm

Just thought Id add in that I do not and do not plan on making a living off of this hobby however I do profit from it in many ways. I have had a couple of emails in the last few hours asking that question and how do I do it but the simple truth is everyones access to items needed in this hobby is different and the means of aquiring frogs and feeders differs by everyones preferences. You should be more focused on what you want out of this hobby other than a profit as everyones has said but the potential for a profit also depends on the quality of your frogs and not the quantity. I was told by a few unnamed people back in 01-03 when my first breeders started producing that if you did not already have a big rep in this hobby that you would never have one and after that I knew this hobby would eventually be all about the money. Quality frogs are quality frogs, It doesn't matter who breeds them but keep in mind the knowledge of the original line and all the info as far as being site specific is whats going to further this hobby and make a difference between us and most amphibian and reptile dealers/hobbyists. There is a right way and a wrong way to enter this hobby. Enter it with care as first mistakes such as creating hybrids or neglecting your frogs come with a price and not a profit.

chuckpowell
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Postby chuckpowell » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:28 pm

I think your confusing two things: 1) making a profit at your hobby, and 2) making a living at the hobby. I've been keeping Dendrobatids for 25 years and I know people with lots and lots of animals that produce lots and lots of animals, but I don't know of and have never head of anyone making a living keeping Dendrobatids. Making a profit I don't think is too difficult - I know many that do. I never have, but then I spend to much and give away to much. But I'm happy.

Best,

Chuck
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Dean
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Postby Dean » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:38 pm

I use the money I make to buy more things or animals and put it back into my hobby it all started with chameleons now with frogs keeps me occupied.

Michael Lawrence
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Postby Michael Lawrence » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:20 pm

Chuck I agree on the differences in making a profit and a living but I see people post that there is no profit or chance of making a living in this hobby. I do however personally think its possible to make a living doing this while I however couldn't and refuse to take on that kind of work load but I do see it being possible. I have been greatfull to all who introduced me to this hobby about eleven years ago and I have given everything from tanks, to frogs and feeders and plants away but the main point of this thread is is that I see this subject being thrown at beginners in this hobby as what I see is a push to eliminate future competition as far as selling frogs goes. While I agree that a beginner or anyone for that matter should not come in with the question can I buy a bunch of froglets or tads and raise them up, pair them off and sell the rest off and make a profit they should be told that there are other ways to aquire a pair and that flipping someone elses frogs for a profit is what I consider to be the lowest way possible to make a dollar in this hobby. If the more experienced breeders in this hobby really believe that these beginner frogs are being overbreed and tell the new people to this hobby that then why are they still breeding them? I would still recommend keeping them but it seems its all about the money. So someones making a living doing this.
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chuckpowell
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Postby chuckpowell » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:01 pm

I guess I don't read those post. In all honesty I don't read a lot of posts - just a few that sound interesting. Otherwise I'll stand on what I said.

I don't think its people trying to eliminate others from making money. I think its much more likely that its monkey see... monkey do. They hear you can't make money - they say you can't make money.

Best,

Chuck
Charles Powell

www.frogday.org

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Philsuma
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Postby Philsuma » Mon May 10, 2010 8:56 pm

I put this out all the time and I can assure you it's not to quash competition as at this stage, I'm still very much a hobbyist and nowhere close to a businesman.

You can break even

You can fund your hobby

You can make a "couple extra dollars"

You cannot make a living selling frogs.


btw.....it's advantageous to have as many people owning and breeding frogs as possible.

TimsFrogs
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Frogs

Postby TimsFrogs » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:59 pm

Cool :D

Michael Lawrence
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Postby Michael Lawrence » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:31 am

I agree Phil, But this subject has been through the ringers. I just wanted to open up the talk. Everyone needs to be on level playing ground.

Michael
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Philsuma
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Philsuma » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:48 pm

Nice year old thread to dust off as it seems a few people are striking out with new businesses...

Michael Lawrence
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Michael Lawrence » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:56 am

And still I only know a few who actually have the ability to make a living off the hobby. Primarily breeding darts. Its really becomming more common now than over a year ago when this was brought up. Only issue is they are buying up provens and then asking questions. The lack of knowledge, contacts and experience will never allow them to prosper.

Michael
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Stu&Shaz
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Stu&Shaz » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:40 pm

Interesting,maybe as we are so obsessed with the frogs..not money, we have never really noticed anyone trying to put us off by telling us cirtain frogs wouldn't be saleable don't keep them,i frequent several forums both here and over with you guys in the US,have been searching for knowledge for around 2 yrs Michael,and don't think i have come across this. We have one guy here making a living i think,but although he does lots of darts he doesn't breed them all,and his slogan is everything amphibian,which he pretty much does,together with a wide variety of actual amphibians. I'm sure its a big ask to make a living as a dart breeder over in the big ol' USA , i would guess its utterly impossible here. Would we like to make a bit of money from our frogs hell yeah,you already know what i want to do with some of it,but money at the cost of skimping,in some way on the frogs is not for us,ha and i imagine in the long run, wouldn't be best business practice anyway. I really don't think that i have ever come across what you are saying,or leastways if i have,i have read the meaning differently to what I understand you to mean . I have made money from livestock in the past,but only as a breeder,and only after years of graft,maybe one day we will make a bit who knows,and i see nothing wrong in that,i feel its good to breed and pass on fit healthy stock,the more hands they are in the safer they are. but i get more pleasure talking to tadpols,watching the miracle of meta, seeing 2 lady frogs chasing the same bemused male frog .... ,than i ever will making bucks
Fascinating post Micheal,even if it is an old one
regards
Stu

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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby cbreon » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:39 pm

When I first started getting into pdf's around 2001, I met a breeder who was nice enough to spend a lot of time with me teaching me, talking to me, etc...I was getting a bunch of different tincs and some o.terriblis, thumbs, I had a pretty nice collection going. During one of my visits, I mentioned that I hoped to make some money with my new hobby and he laughed and said 'you'll never make a bunch of money breeding pdf's, if you want to make money buy some snakes.' Since then, I've found with few exceptions this has proven to be true. Even most of the guys that make money breeding frogs, don't make enough to make a living or at least a living standard that most of us are use to. Then there are some who flip frogs and make some money, or breed successfully for a while only to burn themselves out. Most of the longtimers seem to settle in to somewhere between paying for their hobby or covering some of their cost. from what I've seen, a longtime breeder, making a living off frogs is defintely a rarely accomplished feat.

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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Philsuma » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:00 pm

Wonder who your Mentor was Craig ? Heh...

Paying for your hobby involvement and breaking even with keeping and breeding dart frogs is easily attainable. What more could one ask for ?

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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby cbreon » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:21 pm

Phil, you can probably guess who my mentor was, in fact I think I might have told you this story before...

As for breaking even, yeah, its doable, but I don't know about easily attainable. I guess that depends on what frogs you keep and how well they produce. But unless you buy someone's 'frog-factory' fully stocked with froglets, there's usually some ramp up time. I guess what I would say about breaking even is; it takes time, patience, research, and some know how.

Some "know how" you can get from reading plenty of posts on Dartden--(that's a shameless plug for your site Phil, hahhahahaha)

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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Michael Lawrence » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:25 pm

The issue with the snake hobby is you only make money if you stay ahead of the game on the morph race. Otherwise you need to just stick to whats always been a fav and that albino burms, they havent dropped in value in ten years and wont. Unless your breeding something unique you better just like being a part of the hobby and hope to break even.

As for darts most will never be able to pull it off. It is fully posible though.
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Philsuma » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:30 pm

Dead-on with the Morphs and the snake and most other reptile (Geckos or "Gex") hobby, Mike.

That's the other reason I love, and gravitated to Frogs....none of that designer B.S.

Michael Lawrence
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Michael Lawrence » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:33 pm

At least it was that way. There's been a push as of late to buy up albinos and anything different.

Michael
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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby Philsuma » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:41 pm

cbreon wrote: I guess what I would say about breaking even is; it takes time, patience, research, and some know how.


True....it takes all those things, but also:

Commitment and "putting yourself out there"....posting. Showing people that you are a nice human.

Seriously. Attend every SINGLE frog meet or get together within 70 miles or so. Hit the local Reptile shows. Post often.

No one is just "going to find you" out of the blue or look you up like the big boys. You have to pound the pavement. But if you put in the work, not only will the hobby reward you with friends and enriching experiences, but you'll be able to afford it with trades and froglets. It is very attainable to have this hobby "pay for itself".

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Re: Making money in the Dart Frog Hobby ?

Postby D3monic » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:48 pm

Im not in it to make money...I just love frogs. I have even been known to give a few away to friends. A little date night money every now and then is always nice though.
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