Prices in this hobby

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Victor_C3

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As a collector of hobbies this one is on PAR if you will... with the others. (ham radio, Jeeping, physics, water sports, gaming) there is always some bit or bob that is eager to eat a spare $500+
I’ve noticed that as well. I typically spend $10,000 - $15,000 getting set up in any major hobby I get into. The same with this hobby.

By the time I get my current system setup and filled with corals, I expect to have spent about $10,000 to $15,000.

Years ago I was into astronomy and to get a decent telescope with all the fixings, I spent about $12,000. Before that, I bought and restored a classic Corvette and I spent about $15,000 on that. When I was getting into woodworking, it took about $10,000-$15,000 to fill a workshop with tools.

Unlike food, paying for housing, or any necessities, you’re not stuck having to buy anything in this hobby, or even participating in the hobby to begin with.

I’d love to get into collecting vintage Ferrari’s, but buying multi-million dollar cars will never be something I can do. I don’t spend too much time complaining about it, I spend most of my time doing things I can afford.

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Fezbearer

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Is just like most adult hobbies. Pay for what you want. I do historical reenactment (Victorians/ACW) and while some of my stuff is semi-pricy," you could get a midsize tank up and running for what some of the military guys pay for their kit.
 

lakai

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Everyones comparing to show this isnt the only hobby that cost $$.
You could theoretically make a scrapbook hobby cost more than your reef......

Its about how involved and invested you are and if its ultimately worth it to you...

Sounds like its not worth it for the OP ...clearly ...since we all dont share his opinion lol.
I know why people are comparing, but imo its irrelevant to these types of threads.
 

IKD

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I know why people are comparing, but imo its irrelevant to these types of threads.
I think folks are just putting this in perspective. To your other comment about pricing, I think you and I agree that it’s simply supply and demand. People are paying the higher prices so we’ll keep seeing them at the same price until demand goes down (or up).
I also want to believe that we have more hobbyists today and therefore more money and demand competition.
 

S2G

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This is just business nothing personal. I think the issue is a lot of people feel entitled. They want the ferrari or that prestigious tank. However, it's not within their budget, but for reason it needs to be made available to them within their budget range. Instead of rising to the next level playing field the playing field should be dropped to them.

My clients gripe about price all the time. Its some weird expectation of staying out of state free & getting paid for 40s while getting workload for 80s.
 
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Odd. I think I will have to agree with the OP. I live in a major city and have seen things go down hill. No SPS in display tanks anymore. Dino everywhere. What used to be crappy blue mushrooms that nobody wanted are now “crazy blue mushroom rocks” for $159.00 and they’re babies. As far as supply and demand goes. I haven’t even ever met another reefer in real life outside of forums and LFS and the LFS’s don’t even seem interested in stocking coral anymore. It’s not because there are “so” many in the hobby now that prices have had to go up. When LED’s became the trend coral that wasn’t popping was “popping”. I don’t think it’s a demand issue. It’s definitely a supply issue. This is why the price is so high. There isn’t any good coral out there anymore. What good pieces are available are priced to stay where they are. A banana is only a banana. Nobody will pay $300 for a banana because it’s rare or Because of supply and demand. Coral are one of the most abundant things on earth I believe. China harvests more from the ocean than I can wrap my head around for pennies and sustainability isn’t driving that price up. Instead of picking on somebody about being in the wrong game if he doesn’t like the prices, we could take an honest look at what he’s pointing out. It’s sad out there and things are only being offered that are ridiculously priced. It’s actually true.
 

JaimeAdams

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Indonesia never shut down collecting Fish for the hobby. They did ban the collection and distribution of coral. Prior to that ban probably 80% of the coral in the trade came from Indonesia. When Indo closed that was a big upset to the hobby. Indonesia now allows export of Maricultured coral. There has also in the last few weeks been wild harvested colonies also being shipped out. The prices of your "fad" coral (ie torches, special goniopora, special paly/zoas) are significantly higher than they used to be. Also I am currently paying an extra $200 in shipping over what the normal prices were, basically landed at my local airport for a box of 20 coral I have around $600 in shipping charges. There are still those $20 mushroom rocks or common button polyp rocks. Now when I go to mark up my percentage on that 20 mushroom rock I now also need to factor in that I may have as much as $50 shipping on that piece and the risk factor of loss. Every box there are a few that don't make the trip. So currently I am starting my markup at the cost of shipping plus the cost of the coral so a run of the mill mushroom rock I might honestly have $70 or $80 in, so the guy saying stores selling mushroom rocks for $159 were crazy, they may not be as crazy as you think. That also just goes for the cheap stuff. Factor in these Hot pink Yellow Center Long poly goniopora or interesting gold type torches that I've been getting, those can cost over $100 for a finger nail sized frag or single head. Then do the math again but start with a $150 or $200 purchasing direct and factor in shipping and loss. Oh and it's like a lottery system with 200 other LFSs all asking for the same 20 pieces off each list. So I get 1 or two really nice pieces 10 decent pieces a few DOA and the rest filler crap. I of course need to keep ordering every week so we can build up my "Brood Stock" You know that 1 really special piece that I get out of the 100 that I order. So you know in essence spent 8 grand to win the Indo tranship lottery to get a piece or two that we then will aquaculture and sell for decent money.

But no coral is just too expensive and it's all the end retailers fault :rolleyes:
 

JumboShrimp

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When I was younger I performed magic professionally for about 12 years. It’s also a relatively expensive hobby, but in a unique way: As the saying there often goes, “You are paying for the secret.” ;)
 

Rick.45cal

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Back in the 80’s and 90’s all the coral and fish collectors were kept in the dark about the true value of what they were selling, fish and corals were dirt cheap largely due to exporters and importers paying pennies for livestock. People in the Phillipines were dynamiting their reefs and using cyanide to capture fish because it was the easiest fastest method to make enough money to feed their families. Exporters, Importers and Retail stores made the lions share of the profits. Fast forward to the internet and widespread usage, and everyone in the supply chain is now distinctly aware of the monetary value of their specimens. Now the people doing the collecting are getting their fair share and now respect their reefs as the natural resource they truly are. The only reason it was ever “cheap” was because of exploitation of both the people who inhabit the areas doing the collecting and of the reefs themselves. Not all of it is bad in my opinion. It’s also pushed Mariculture and aquaculture into an economically feasible position, which has contributed to making our hobby sustainable.
 
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I’d love to get into collecting vintage Ferrari’s, but buying multi-million dollar cars will never be something I can do. I don’t spend too much time complaining about it, I spend most of my time doing things I can afford.

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I think to be fair, that what the OP is saying is, when did everything become a Ferrari. If you were in the market for a car and every dealership you went to were only selling Ferraris..

It depends. I shoot for 15 - 17 dollar per frag range which factors in shipping. Sometimes I will splurge and pay around 40 if I want to support the business. I do not have any boutique corals in my tank so it isn't expensive for me. However, i will say that when you look at the tank as a whole it isn't uncommon to spend as much as a kitchen remodel. You need to know this going in because we are talking about water. Saltwater. And if done incorrectly or with short cuts - the wrong ones - it can cause serious damage to both living quarters and personal.

Prices in other hobbies are no different. Scuba diving - check. HPDE? Have to be able to walk away from the car and in my case that was 55k. I've seen others walking from North of 150k and as low as 10k (older miata). Just depends on what you want to do and how practical you are.

If you are upset because you are not able to, or choose not to, play in the boutique space. Don't be. Plenty others to choose from. To put this into perspective one night after a really good filet dinner I looked back at the table and saw the wine bottle. I chuckled and said to my better half - well, there goes my Gem Tang...

One last thing. There are really some good people in this hobby that share frags. It can be a self sustaining hobby between hobbyists because we cut, trim, and rehome. Clubs, meet and greets, all work. If you are not as outgoing say or a bit more recluse (as my wife calls me) then no, you probably won't see as much. But it happens.

We have all been there. Two in college. Tank upgrade. I wanted to use TBS rock. I couldn't make it work so I went with dry pukani. Worst decision I made with the tank but here I am two years later and saying while I don't like it - it worked in the end.

Enjoy the hobby. It is what you make of it. Best of luck to you.
Nice thoughtful response. Encouraging, without shaming.

Corals are still the same. Its the same corals 5 years ago and its still the same corals 10 years ago. What you’re paying is the crazy name and who has the best photographer. You can pick up a GSP from lfs/hobbiest for $5 or pay $50 for a “ultra rainbow kryptonite green star polyps”.
LOL, exactly!

As for corals and anenomes... That I truly do not understand. My lfs had a big rose bta $100, it split into 12 tiny btas $80 each.
2" frag of GSP $60. I mean I understand there is overhead to growing corals and anemones, but I'm guessing there's an insane markup as well.
Nice example. Bah haa ha! That’s funny.

There used to be more coral available when blue saturation wasn’t so dominant. If I put a Iwasaki on some of the show tanks nowadays it would look drab. I do see coral I want at the same prices they used to be too, just not at my LFS’s.
 

BlazinNano

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Here is my unpopular opinion. You pay more for names. Simple as that. I live in central Florida. We all know how many LFS are here. Some of the biggest ones are sponsors on here and they have some beautiful corals in their stores. But there is a small LFS that has been around for a very very very long time. Now they dont have this grand selection and they may not have anythign that stands out to me when I go in. You will not find crazy color acros or bounce shrooms at the store. They just have a more simple coral selection. Nothing has a fancy name. I bought this chalice for $30, acan for $30, and a Duncan frag of 4 heads for $9 a head. Zoa frags are $15-$40 depending on the size and color but if you ask them the names they dont have have any.

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ca1ore

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Don't have the mental energy to retype, yet again, a long explanation that it's simply supply and demand.
 

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