We are running into the problem of price vs want. There aren't that many who want cuttles to start with, and charging barely what these animals actually cost to raise is often a turn off to some buyers.
The worry for me, now that wild cuttle eggs are often available, is that we will see people selling hatchlings cheap in an effort to move them and then no one will be interested in paying a reasonable price, just the lowest price. I worry a little about quality with quick hatches and quick sales of the hatchlings because it is not uncommon to for hatchlings to die off in the first month. We'll have to see how the DAA to the end keeper works out. Maybe I'm worried about nothing
There is also the difference between 75 for 3 monthers and 40 for hatchlings. I think people would rather take the risk with the seemingly cheaper hatchlings, even though feeding them can potentially cost hundreds of dollars. I had limited interest in the 3 monthers, but much more interest in the hatchlings and that struck me as odd until I thought about how people sometimes feel about initial cost.
There is also some worry about who is buying them, and do they really know what they are getting into. I know I field lots (too many!) of emails about purchasing cuttles, but many of them fall through when the idea of how to keep them starts to take shape, or perhaps they are getting them cheaper somewhere else.
FWIW, it think all saltwater animals should cost more than they do now, and I worry very much about animals as a volume business where lowest cost is the deciding factor because low cost often equals disposable in peoples minds - 'just get another one'. I sincerely hope this doesn't happen in the ceph world.
But however you cut it, its still cool that there are any non adult wild caught cuttles for sale in the US.
Same thing I've been saying. I've often wondered why cephs are sold for so little. Just look at the prices for tropical fish and corals, and you'll find so many of them selling for more than an octopus or cuttlefish - sometimes much, much more. And Rich has a point that they probably should be sold for more than is asked at the present.
It makes it difficult for home aquarists to breed and sell cephs because it's hard to recover their costs, let alone make a profit.
Traditionally, harder to keep animals are sold at lower prices so they can be moved before they die. There are bagillions of people who want fish and corals, but not so many that want cephs which leads to being able to sell corals at a premium and cephs at a low.
I think there will always be a market for home raised cephs because of the long term quality produces - we have already seen it on TONMO. Hopefully more people will see that benefit instead of shopping just for initial price. At the same time, if a facility were set up near a free food source, and could produce captive bred, not captive raised, cuttles or cephs at low prices I would be really really really happy.
That's a great idea, but I'm worried about how it would work out in practice.
That might be fine if everyone agrees to it, but I'm not sure that I'd want to set things up for a conflict if some supplier doesn't think the price is fair. If we start deleting people's posts if they post a different price, we're likely to drive all sorts of people away or get in huge flamewars or other such badnesses.
I've been assuming the interest in hatchlings is high because people know that ceph lifetimes are short, and so people prefer to get them as young as possible.