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Pet stores see surge in reptile sales during pandemic

'People who were into reptiles as a kid are now coming back," store owner says
Pet snake for sale
Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 18:50:04-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — An unexpected result of the pandemic has been a surge in the sales of pet reptiles.

A local reptile business says the pandemic has caused a boom in business, saying snakes and geckos are in high demand.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Rebound South Florida

Steven Spitz has owned Big Apple Pet Supply for 27 years.

For 27 years he's sold reptiles, like snakes, geckos and frogs.

Steven Spitz
Steven Spitz says sales of reptiles have been booming over the last 12 months.

Spitz said before the pandemic the demand for reptiles had died off.

"It wasn’t so good, and then covid hit and boom,” he said.

Spitz said he was already set up online, so when the pandemic shut everything down last March, he didn't have to alter his business model.

"The trade shows closed down and everyone went back online to get their reptiles," Spitz said.

He said year they were up 450 percent and this year the demand keeps climbing.

Boom in reptile sales
Reptile experts warn that prospective owners should do their research before buying any pet.

"This year we are looking at an 850 percent increase. It's pretty insane," Spitz said. "We are running out."

Phil Goss with U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers said the reptile industry is in big demand.

"I sum it up as people were not taking vacations, so they had to do something with that money," Goss said.

Spitz said he loves seeing people invest in these scaly creatures.

"We shipped like 30 orders of corn snakes on Monday," Spitz said.

He said like any pet, research much be done before anyone buys an animal or reptile.

"What I am observing most is people who were into reptiles as a kid are now coming back and getting reptiles," Spitz said. "It is great to see the excitement."