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9:06 AM   October 20, 2014
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Herp Marketplace: Missed Sales Opportunities with Live Foods


Sending your customers home with live foods makes sense from a nutritional standpoint. But making sure they have everything to care for that live food makes good business sense.

Live insects for reptiles
Better care given to food items means fresher food for the reptiles they’ll eventually be fed to. It also helps the owner get the most out of their investment in live food, while at the same time offering retailers the opportunity to sell another enclosure, additional substrate and specialized food designed specifically for prey items.

Each of the most common live food items for reptiles has its own care requirements to ensure optimum health and freshness. Use the live food sale as an opportunity to increase sales of those items.

Crickets
The sale of an additional enclosure for crickets gives hobbyists a chance to inventory their live food and ensure it is healthy enough to be offered to their pet. With every “critter keeper” sale, make sure to encourage a purchase of commercially developed cricket food and gel water media. A well-hydrated cricket, gut-loaded with plenty of nutrients improves the health of the next member on the food chain.

Earthworms
Earthworms can be sold bundled with commercially produced worm farming kits to the reptile enthusiast who wants to provide their own source of live food. Kits need to be restocked throughout the year with growing media, worm food and egg inoculations – leading to continuing sales, in excess of the larger, up-front sale.

Fruit Flies
Fruit fly kits and replacement parts can keep tarantula enthusiasts coming back for more month after month. An average kit produces more than 500 flies, but lasts a little over a month. Use the recurrent opportunity to sell other specialized items to complete the animal’s complex captive environment.

Mealworms and Wax Worms
Ideally, these prey items should be kept in a cold environment until ready to eat. For hobbyists who are forbidden to keep these critters in the family fridge, offer small coolers and reusable ice packs to maintain the proper temperature for optimum freshness. Another solution is to offer worms in smaller quantities. Offer enough for one or two meals and you’ll double the number of trips that customer makes to the store, affording you more opportunities to asses their special needs and develop stronger relationships.

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