Buying a Reptile from a Breeder vs Store

At Modern Reptile, we focus on high quality pets and investment reptiles. From CBB, CB, LTC, and unique animals. When purchasing a reptile should you go for a big box store, your local reptile shop, or a reputable breeder? We always recommend going DIRECT TO THE SOURCE!

Why Choose a Reptile Breeder Over a Retail or Big Box Store?

When considering buying a reptile, where you get your new companion can significantly impact your experience. While retail stores and big box outlets may offer convenience and variety, there are compelling reasons why purchasing from a reputable reptile breeder is often the superior choice.

1. Health and Quality Assurance

Reptile breeders specialize in specific species or breeds, ensuring the health and well-being of their animals. Unlike mass retailers, breeders prioritize quality over quantity, meticulously caring for their reptiles from birth or acquisition to sale. This attention to detail results in healthier animals less likely to carry diseases or parasites found in crowded retail environments. Reputable breeders generally have better care standards and most of the business owners actually get hands on experience from each individual animal that they are offering for sale.

2. Expertise and Advice

Buying from a reputable breeder grants access to invaluable expertise and personalized advice. Breeders are passionate about their animals and eager to share knowledge on care, habitat requirements, diet, and handling techniques. This guidance is crucial for reptile owners seeking to provide optimal care. Most information that you may find at a store originally came from a breeder.

3. Ethical Breeding Practices

Ethics play a crucial role in choosing a breeder over a retail store. Reputable breeders prioritize responsible breeding practices aimed at species preservation and genetic health. They may participate in conservation efforts, adhere to ethical guidelines, and prioritize the well-being of their breeding stock and offspring.

4. Variety and Pricing

While retail stores offer a wide range of reptile species, breeders often specialize in specific species or morphs, offering specific variety and flexibility on pricing. You can find breeders that specialize in your preferences. Also, dealing with less overhead costs means that the "cost per animal" is generally smaller.  This means reputable breeders can usually offer you better prices. Retail stores are mostly third parties and purchase from importers/breeders so they will usually have a premium pricing.

5. Supporting Small Businesses

Choosing a reputable breeder supports small businesses and independent entrepreneurs within the reptile community. Many breeders operate on a smaller scale, relying on passion and expertise to sustain operations. 

6. Long-term Relationship

Building a relationship with a reputable breeder can lead to a long-term partnership. Breeders offer ongoing support and advice, fostering connections beyond the initial purchase. This relationship proves invaluable as your reptile grows and evolves.


While local retail stores and big box outlets provide convenience and immediate availability, the benefits of choosing a reputable reptile breeder are clear. However, If you do not have access to a breeder for your exact needs, we definitely recommend a local reptile store over the big box store. Supporting your local reptile community should still be paramount. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or new to reptile ownership, always search for a well-cared-for reptile, and for that we recommend a breeder as your prime source.