Happenings at the Hudson Valley Reptile Expo :
- Our initial application to be a vendor at the Hudson Valley Reptile Expo clearly stated that we offered bearded dragons and dubia roaches. The application was accepted.
- Mario DellaTorre, of Dales Bearded Dragons, fussed about us and some other vendors also offering feeders at the February show. I was very upfront about this and addressed the whole issue with Jen before committing to vend at the May 18th show.
- Jen, of HerpNerds, ASSURED me that there was no problem with what we offered to the public and encouraged me to bring as many feeders as I wanted. (As long as they were not crickets because Dales Bearded Dragons had “exclusivity” for that one item.) **Not a problem. My concern was the dubia roaches since that is actually a growing part of our business and a supportive product that we breed on premises in order to serve our customers more fully.
- We booked an additional table for the May 18 Hudson Valley Reptile Expo based on Jen’s previous assurances and our current availability of dragons and feeders.
- Sunday morning after setting up, we are notified by Mike from Angels-R-Us, that he has sole exclusivity for feeders going forward. **Mike is another bearded dragon breeder who also offers feeders to the public, as well as being Dales Bearded Dragons supplier of some feeders for re-sale to the public.
- Mark, of HerpNerds, confirms this is true – that he had in fact made an agreement with Angels R Us allowing him exclusivity for feeders at the show – BUT he would check with him to see if something could be worked out.
- A short while later, Mark re-visits our table to tell us that we “need” to speak with the other vendors who were selling bugs at the show to “coordinate” our pricing.
- At the end of the day Mark drops by the table to let us know that Mike said no. Even though he has countless other feeders exclusive to his table, Mike would only give permission for us to offer buffalo worms because “he doesn’t know what they are” (Mark’s words) and that the supers and dubia were a definite no because “he makes too much money” (Mark’s words once again) selling them.
As of the May 17th, the Hudson Valley Reptile Expo (Mark & Jen of HerpNerds) instituted “exclusivity” agreements that resulted in prohibiting us from offering feeders to our customers in the future. Under these agreements, we are not permitted to display and sell feeders at our table. We are also no longer permitted to fulfill pre-orders for our customers who attend the show. ALL feeders sales may now only occur through Mike Winzer (Angels-R-Us) and Mario (Dale’s Bearded Dragons). **Dales Bearded Dragons also has “exclusive” rights to offer dry goods.
Now, instead of Hudson Valley Reptile Expo vendors being able to serve their customers to the best of their ability, ALL vendors must send them to two other dragon breeders who also offer feeders (Angels-R-Us and Dales Bearded Dragons). Sadly, this arrangement takes all supportive product sales away from current vendors. But even worse, it takes the purchasing-power and all related choices away from paying door-customers.
Adding insult to injury, the suggestion that we “needed to coordinate” our prices with other vendors offering feeders is offensive. We have been in business for over 20 years. We have vended hundreds of reptile expos in that time, but we have never-EVER been approached by a show promoter and told to “coordinate” our prices for any reason.
Those actions have a name : “price-fixing”.
Our prices are our prices, period. Over the years we have gained a very good reputation for treating our customers with fairness, not overcharging simply because we can. Our prices are posted on our web site. Those same prices are on our price list at the shows. We will not raise our prices to the public to make other vendors happy.
We have chosen to not return to the Hudson Valley Reptile Expo in Poughkeepsie, NY. We have however, filled our schedule with 2 different shows in New York. These show promoters encourage competition and do not offer “exclusivity” agreements.
Hopefully we’ll see you there!
Buffalo Niagara Reptile Expo
REXPO (Rochester Reptile Expo) / Rochester, NY.