How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

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Sc0rpi0nHunter
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How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Sc0rpi0nHunter »

I have been collecting insects for the last year but have been photographing and raising them ever since I was young, I remember watching a video that mentioned trading insect specimens with other collectors but I haven’t thought too much into it until now. I tried to do some research but have found very little besides this site and I’m wondering how to find other collectors that want to trade as well as what the legal aspect of trading specimens is. Anyway, any advice is greatly appreciated.
Attached are some pictures of some specimens in my collection.
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Chuck
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Chuck »

Well, you're in the right place. You can also join organizations such as Lepidopterists' Society and local groups (e.g., Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists)...there are many organizations at the state level.

If you post photos of local specimens you have captured, it may draw the attention of collectors. What's common in Virginia is not found in California, so trading can be easy.

You'll also want to establish a good reputation: if you swap, make sure the specimens have full data, and are as described.

As far as laws, there is a section on this forum about laws, and more on the old website (link at top). No collecting in National parks; no collecting in most state parks. You need to know which areas in your region are OK. And, make sure you don't collect endangered species, which can be found on the USFWS website.

Note too, most collectors already have all the common species. Putting the extra work into finding the less common species that people want will increase your chance of finding someone to trade.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by eurytides »

I would add that Facebook also has a bunch of groups where you can make contacts.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by wollastoni »

Be careful with facebook though, it is not moderated by entomologists and there are a LOT of scammers (including some entomologists).

You can also post some Classified ads to make exchange in the InsectNet Classifieds : https://www.insect-classifieds.com/
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by eurytides »

Yeah you have to be careful if paying money for specimens on Facebook. I am not sure many scammers will trade for common species.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by 58chevy »

Where are you located?
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Sc0rpi0nHunter »

I am located in Dubai currently.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Jshuey »

On the old forum, we used to have a specific area where just asking about trades was appropriate. You could also sell stuff, but it was all private interactions so specimen trades were fine. With the new website, this has moved to more of a commercial format - the Classifieds - where the forum owner takes a cut of the transaction to help pay for the site. Thus, non-monetary trades - not really appropriate.

I too would love to see somewhere where we could advertise trades of specimens between collectors. I picked up a lot of great neotropical skippers in those "good old days"!

John
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by wollastoni »

John, you are mixing the Classifieds with the Marketplace... :-)

-In the Insectnet Classifieds, you can post exchange ads or for sale ads for free (once you have an account). There are currently 28 exchange ads.

-In the Insectnet Marketplace, you can sell insects directly on Insectnet and we charge 5% on final value vs 13% on eBay
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Chuck »

Jshuey wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 4:15 pm

I too would love to see somewhere where we could advertise trades of specimens between collectors. I picked up a lot of great neotropical skippers in those "good old days"!

John
I'd like so see here what works great on another forum: a Buy/Sell/Trade only for Contributors. Yeah, I'd pay to get rid of some of this stuff.

On the other forum, everyone can see the title of the area, and that's it's only open to contributors. That drives contributions.

I don't want to list stuff on Classifieds or Marketplace. I'd rather have it go to a good home. I recently rehomed two cases packed with butterflies; last month I dumped thousands of fairly common papered specimens on Cornell. I'm looking at a small box of North American Hersperidae that's been sitting here for two years that Shuey doesn't want, and I hate it.

On "the other forum" I mentioned, we all know each other, some personally, some only virtually. But we cut each other deals; it's not unusual to get stuff for free. Pretty much we're all pressed for time, not money, so don't have time to screw around with Joe Average: I can't be bothered to dig out a $200 item, but I'll go do it and send it for free to those who've helped me in the past.

It would also be a great place to ask for by-catch. Specialists could appeal for field researchers to grab them specimens that would otherwise be skipped. Case in point, 58chevy last year posted a rare-to-his-area Arctiid, and fortunately the timing was right so I grabbed him a half dozen or so within hours.

And, not for nothing, as I clear out decades-old specimens, some of which are now worth a good bit of money, I'd rather have them go to someone I know, someone who knows what to reasonably expect, and not some idiot on Ebay that is a serial complainer and ripoff.

Hopefully some thought will be put on this requested ability to facilitate member trade.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Jshuey »

wollastoni wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 5:19 pm John, you are mixing the Classifieds with the Marketplace... :-)

-In the Insectnet Classifieds, you can post exchange ads or for sale ads for free (once you have an account). There are currently 28 exchange ads.

-In the Insectnet Marketplace, you can sell insects directly on Insectnet and we charge 5% on final value vs 13% on eBay
Yep - that would be my confusion! I never realized that there was much of a difference between these two platform! I should pay better attention.

j
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by kevinkk »

Coincidence. This is the right spot to trade or sell deadstock. Being in dissimilar countries may present an issue. I just answered an ad posted
on the classifieds and sold my extra papered material, mostly bred stock, but some wild caught and just extra, we don't go into the field to
make money, even though what I do make goes back into the hobby at some point in some way. Having papered stock with data is a must,
I freeze all my deadstock, but I don't have hundreds of specimens. This is a great platform, and while I use eBay from time to time, they
do charge a lot, the only advantage being a different customer base that has no idea these hobbyist sites even exist.
Personally, I quickly found straight exchange a little problematic, and since opted for the money which can be put to any use, although
a trade maybe the only way to get something both parties want. The money? I lose money selling deadstock. Period. The amount of work
raising larva, or going into the field is not something I'm going to be retiring on.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by wollastoni »

Chuck : PM me the other forum url so that I have a look.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by mothman55 »

Back in the 1980's, trading specimens as well as ova and pupae was easy. I made many contacts, mostly in the USA through Lep News, sent and received all sorts of interesting things. No problem with the Canada/USA border in those days. Made contacts for collecting trips for beauties such as Speyeria diana in West Virginia and catocala and sphingids in Louisiana. Those were the days. You would think it would be much easier these days with the internet to communicate, but I haven't done any trading for years. It seems it's all buying and selling these days. I long for the old days when it was so much simpler.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by eurytides »

I agree. Shipping ova and pupae across the border these days is next to impossible.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by kevinkk »

I had good contacts even before the internet, and in hindsight, appreciate the 80's, as far as shipping livestock, I've never had an issue.
It's like anything else, once you ask for permission from the authorities, that's your first mistake. One of the problems our hobby has run into,
is that persons in various positions realized there was money to be made.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Pierre »

My personal experience: nobody will answer. But I am not living in the USA. Perhaps the problem (also) comes from this side.
Exchanges have become hard to manage.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Miguel »

One thing that I have is that talking about myself is that so many collectors doesn't want to receive Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae in the exchange when they are the butterflies that I use to collect more frecuently than the others,I suppose that it's a matter of size and people doesn't want to spread little Lepidoptera.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Chuck »

Miguel wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:33 pm One thing that I have is that talking about myself is that so many collectors doesn't want to receive Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae in the exchange when they are the butterflies that I use to collect more frecuently than the others,I suppose that it's a matter of size and people doesn't want to spread little Lepidoptera.
Probably true, in general. But there are some who do specialize in Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae. You just have to find the right people.
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Re: How do you find people to trade insect specimens with?

Post by Jshuey »

Chuck wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:36 pm
Miguel wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 3:33 pm One thing that I have is that talking about myself is that so many collectors doesn't want to receive Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae in the exchange when they are the butterflies that I use to collect more frecuently than the others,I suppose that it's a matter of size and people doesn't want to spread little Lepidoptera.
Probably true, in general. But there are some who do specialize in Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae. You just have to find the right people.
Indeed - if they are from interesting places - there are always people interested in these cool bugs on this side of the pond. I've have a hard time saying no to any offer of neotropical skippers.

John
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