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Octopus Availability

ceph

Wonderpus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 20, 2002
Messages
225
They barely had time for me, and I now own a brick and mortar aquarium store and buy wholesale with all the appropriate paperwork and certifications. Even so, I was not allowed to buy an octopus that they had right there when I was right there. . . They want to sell $5000+ orders of larger fish and inverts to large insititutions; to be blunt they don't want to sell to hobbiests (or even me in person with all the needed paperwork unless I buy a lot of other stuff and also pay for shipping). I might go for this someday and try to get a female and raise the offspring again but not right now. The Cali octopuses are a deal!
 
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captain nemo

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
6
I'm in the Florida Keys on vacation right now and while I'm down here, I thought I'd look for wholesale sources of octopuses. I found one, they know what they are doing and the octopus looked healthy. The good news is that I can buy Caribean Reef Octopus wholesale for $30 Sounds GREAT but that is where most of the good news ends.

  • The minimum order is $300 (of livestock, excludes shipping and other costs). They don't have a lot of other items that I would want as the prices they are asking.
  • The octopus is put in a dive bag so it doesn't escape, bite through the plastic bag, etc. That is $15 more. OK $45, no biggie. . . but there is more.
  • A CRO takes a full box, the cost of shipping of a full box with an octopus and enough water to likely keep it alive overnight in state to Coral Sea Aquarium is $100.
  • Local pickup isn't an option from this wholesaler. Wholesalers deal in volume and large orders and for their business model to work, many don't want to deal with individual one-off requests that slow them down. They too have a biz to run.

So, for $30+$15+$100 = $145 I can get a CRO shipped to my shop. That is my wholesale cost. $30 of that counts toward my minimum order. Their prices on other livestock run high but the quality os great. This is challenging as customers rarely want to pay more for the same exact fish. . . only it isn't the same exact fish. How it was collected and quarantined matters. . . but you can't see that.

Live arrival of octopuses is not guaranteed. This is typical. Octopuses are a pain in the $#%@# to ship. If their box is dropped and they ink that can kill them. In nature, they ink and move away from that ink.
I've had great success collecting them myself and not much luck having them shipped to me. I bring lots of extra water and pay attention.


So we are at $145 to get one to my shop, no guarantee of live arrival.
At least another $100 to ship it from my shop, more if out of state. Overnight shipping and also the risk of losses are huge obstacles. Successfully shipping a live octopus isn't anything at all like shipping a frozen one. Not even close. Now we are at $245 cost, assuming no losses (ha!) and nothing for time or towards rent. Like many brick and mortar businesses, I pay commercial rent. Rent is a BIG NUT. This is not a good business model. No many are going to pay $500 for an octopus that may not arrive alive.

$185 for a bimac is a deal! Take that deal.

I had originally hoped to catch an octopus and scouted out a promising area but the weather turn bad on Thursday and has stayed bad since. If I do manage to catch one, I cannot legally sell it. And I will not. I have a Fl saltwater fishing license but not the commercial fishing license needed to catch and sell. The cost for that is $1000/year and I wouldn't use a license enough o justify that cost.

So this is what it looks like from my end as a potential supplier of wild caught CRO. I did ask if my wholesale source could direct ship and am waiting for a reply; so far "no" has been the answer to everything "special" I've asked for except "can I visit the facility?". And I understand that. Wholesalers deal in volume, not one off little stuff.

I've not given up on this, and have some ideas but they will take luck and time. This should give yall some idea why shipping a live octopus is nothing like frozen food.

Dr. James
What's the name of the shop in the Keys?
 

captain nemo

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
6
I posted a separate thread seeking an octopus, but I guess this is the conversation. I am in Florida and looking for an octopus. All the sites listed on this site are defunct or only waitlist you. Any suggestions?
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
70
I posted a separate thread seeking an octopus, but I guess this is the conversation. I am in Florida and looking for an octopus. All the sites listed on this site are defunct or only waitlist you. Any suggestions?
There really aren't a lot of places to get an octopus these days. From the shops we've asked or inquired about in the Socal area most places have said they are "horrible pets." We know of one local shop that supplies some every now and again. I'm not sure what kind they are but if you want I can let you know when they have one and I would be willing to ship for you. You would just have to paypal the funds so I could purchase it for you. My boyfriend and I just recently and successfully shipped a freshwater Tiger moray from San Bernardino, CA to Westwood,NJ. We keep all the boxes we get from buying livestock online and we have quite the selection. We also have 18 hour heating packs as well as a shop that will supply us with O2. The only issue I can forsee is shipping is going to be as much, if not, more than the octopus itself...
 

pkilian

GPO
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
118
Yeah, In addition to what dleo said, shipping is often the most expensive part of the process. For me it costs more than the animals themselves but is a necessity to ensure they're alive upon arrival.

I have shipped a lot of octos in the past and can give advice if you need/would like specifics @dleo4590, I've learned it's slightly different than shipping fish.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
70
Yeah, In addition to what dleo said, shipping is often the most expensive part of the process. For me it costs more than the animals themselves but is a necessity to ensure they're alive upon arrival.

I have shipped a lot of octos in the past and can give advice if you need/would like specifics @dleo4590, I've learned it's slightly different than shipping fish.
Yes any and all advice helps!
 

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