If you are looking at getting a pet lizard, then the crested gecko may have piqued your interest. But how much can you expect to pay for one of these fascinating reptiles? Both upfront and in terms of ongoing care and maintenance? Intrigued, I spent some time pulling together all this information and looking over the numbers to see how financially viable they are to own. I will be sharing it all with you here today.
So, how much do crested geckos cost? Crested geckos typically cost between $30 to $200 to buy upfront. However, it has been known for more rare types to cost upward of $1000. Factors that will influence the purchasing price include the morph, age, season, gender, breeder, and the supply and demand in your area.
Additional costs for owning a crested gecko include shelter, food, accessories, feeding dishes, substrate, and of course, any veterinarian visits. This can cost anywhere between $100-$500.
Some of which will be an ongoing and recurring cost that you will need to continue to pay for the duration of your gecko’s life.
It was once believed that crested geckos were extinct. However, this all changed in 1994, when thankfully, they were rediscovered.
Since then, they have become increasingly popular and are commonly kept as pets. And for good reason too!
Crested geckos make an excellent choice of pet, especially for people new to reptiles. They are relatively low-maintenance and have a good all-around and relatively docile temperament.
For this reason among others, they are even appropriate for children – although some caution will be necessary regarding their handling.
When it comes to purchasing a gecko, a lot can dictate the price.
Perhaps the main one to be aware of and familiar with is the range of different colors and marking they come in. Their availability is the rareness of course plays their part here.
Let us now take a closer look at all the respective costs of buying this specific species of lizard in further detail. We will be looking at the price of the gecko itself and those additional items you will need.
We will also be looking at where they are typically available for purchase and if you should indeed proceed with buying one.
So, be sure to keep on reading to get all the information you need before making a decision!
It could save you quite a bit of money over the long run while also helping to ensure you can meet their unique needs and requirements!
Cost To Buy A Crested Gecko
Crested geckos vary in price; some cost as little as $30 dollars, whereas others can cost over $200. In fact, there are some breeders out there who will charge upwards of $500.
The total cost will ultimately depend on a range of different factors, this includes their: age, gender, morph (and rarity of such), the time of the year, the breeder, etc.
In economic terms, the supply and demand largely dictate the price you can expect to buy.
So, if there are a lot of crested geckos available, it is the height of the breeding season, you are purchasing from a lesser-known breeder, etc., your costs will likely be less.
On the other hand, a highly rare crested gecko from a specialist breeder will likely cost you a lot more.
Let’s explore the four primary factors that dictate the pricing a costed gecko in further detail:
Crested geckos come in a range of different colors and patterns. The most common are pinstripe, Dalmatian, and harlequin crested which have been refined over generations of breeding.
This has enabled breeders to create different types of crested geckos, and present different traits that can be sought out by prospective owners.
These types are also known as “morphs”; which essentially means the same species can come in very distinct forms.
So when it comes to pricing, the specific morph, its breeding history, and the number of breeders available for that specific morph will largely affect the price.
Breeders try to develop unique morphs such as the lily-white, and this process of selective breeding takes time and effort, which results in individual geckos being a higher price.
Young juveniles and hatchlings are often sold without any certainty of gender. Most owners will get their young crested gecko without knowing the gender until they sexually mature, much later.
Unsexed crested geckos generally sell for a lower price than geckos that have already been classified as either a male or a female.
Females tend to have a slightly higher price than males because they are easier to keep in small groups, unlike their male counterparts.
Furthermore, females lay eggs so owners can begin their own breeding, which in turn also impacts their price.
Young crested geckos usually are cheaper than adult crested geckos; as soon as a gecko’s sex can be determined, the gender can influence the price.
This is partly because older geckos reveal their actual morphs.
Availability In Your Region
Crested geckos continue to grow in popularity as a pet in the US; so it naturally follows that they are cheaper to purchase now than back when they were first rediscovered in 1994.
However, on a more local scale, it also depends on what is available in your specific area.
If there are but a few crested geckos in your area, but the demand is high, the price will naturally be higher.
If there are many crested geckos in your area, but the demand is low, the prices will be lower.
Another important factor to consider is the breeder’s reputation, or where you are specifically looking to buy your crested gecko.
The more experienced and reputable the breeder, the more their geckos are likely to cost. This is because their previous sales history can attest to a high quality of offspring – and people are willing to pay for this.
At the other end of the spectrum, a hobbyist who is looking to sell geckos for the first time is less likely to be aware of their true market value, may be more willing to sell, or cannot command a higher fee due to a lack of trust from new buyers.
Are Crested Geckos Expensive?
Whether or not you perceive a crested gecko as expensive will depend on what you are looking for and your budget.
For example, crested geckos can be expensive if you are buying a very rare morph and a time of very limited supply, or perhaps if you are looking to start your own breeding line.
However, if you are looking for a commonly available crested gecko and you are just looking for a great pet, prices should not need to exceed the average range of $30 to $100.
But is this a lot?
Well, when you compare those prices to a pet rodent, they are somewhat expensive. Although, the cost is relatively low compared to dogs and cats.
It depends entirely on your reference point.
The truth is all pets do come with costs and there is no way of getting around them.
Taking shortcuts is not generally advised or you risk purchasing a pet that has either not been bred properly or is at risk for a range of health conditions that can result from inappropriate breeding practices.
You therefore will have to think about what you are looking for in owning a crested gecko.
Below, we document some tips that you can apply to get the best price for your crested gecko:
- Buy a male or unsexed gecko as both are usually priced lower than females.
- Get a popular crested gecko morph, especially if you aren’t looking for a particular or unique variation.
- Visit reptile expos as you can get great deals and even negotiate the price if inclined. Sellers are known to fluctuate their prices at these kind of events. For example, if it’s the last day of the expo, you might get a unique morph for a lower price.
- By a crested gecko from a different location as there will be a different supply/demand ratio there and you may be able to save a decent amount of money for the same morph!
Cost Of Owning A Crested Gecko
The cost of owning a crested gecko will vary depending on the owner and the budget. Thankfully, you can decide on whether you want to invest a lot upfront in your pet or you can simply seek out the more budget-friendly options.
That being said, there will be additional costs involved for everyone looking to purchase a crested gecko. Regardless of what they are, they will exist to some extent.
Therefore, it does help to have some money put aside.
Most owners will tell you that the majority of the costs of owning a crested gecko are upfront. From there, the cost of owning one is relatively inexpensive.
Let us now take a closer look at some of those additional costs you will need to consider.
Geckos do not require much space. Nevertheless, it’s better to house them in habitats or terrariums with climbing walls so that they can move freely and hang upside down if they like.
The cost of terrariums is influenced by many factors, including the size, quality, materials, if any additional accessories come included, and where you buy them.
That being said, prices of terrariums generally range from $25 to $300.
Crested geckos are omnivorous, and in the wild, they eat fruits, plants, and insects in their natural environment.
You should try to replicate this diet as closely as possible, but you can also provide a commercial diet that has been designed with their nutritional requirements in mind.
Captive crested geckos should be fed every night. Treats like insects can be offered twice or three times a week.
Commercial food can be purchased in most pet and reptile stores, or online on sites such as Amazon. It typically costs between $5 to $20.
You can also offer live and dead feeder crickets, which can cost anywhere between $10 and $35. It ultimately depends on how many you buy at any one time and how long you want them to last.
Another cost to consider is supplements. Calcium powder is advised for this lizard as they have a high calcium requirement and it essential to support healthy bones and bodily functions.
Again, these supplements can be easily bought online or at your local pet store. They typically cost between $5-$20.
You can sprinkle calcium supplement powder on their food twice a week for an added calcium boost.
Substrate is essential as bedding, and it makes your pet’s habitat more comfortable.
It also plays an important role in helping your gecko adjust to their new environment by aligning with their natural patterns and it can help to keep the enclosure hygienic too by collecting your geckos’ waste.
Substrate is also widely available and will cost anywhere between $5 to $20.
In order for you to provide food and to prevent your gecko from consuming substrate, you should look to provide a number of food dishes.
These are perhaps the least expensive items to buy and usually on-off costs.
You can find them for as little as $5 to $10.
Accessories for the terrarium are essential to prevent your crested gecko from becoming bored.
Crested geckos in particular love to hang around and climb, so they will require a sufficient accessory that enables them to do that.
There are many types of accessories, such as fake and real plants, bark, mini-houses, and much more.
Again, these are easy to find at almost any pet store or online, costing between $5 to $50 an item or in total.
Like any pet, a crested gecko will likely experience health challenges. It is always advised to seek out a vet if your gecko is not behaving, as usual, you suspect something is not quite right with them.
A regular checkup, including an examination, can cost $40 to $60 per visit.
Emergency care can cost more than $100 a time, so insurance does come advised.
Additional Cost Overview
I’ve pulled together the above costs referenced into a handy reference table, that you can see below:
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Where Can I Buy A Crested Gecko?
You have three main options when it comes to buying a crested gecko. You can either look in your local pet store, visit a reptile-specific store or visit a specialist breeder.
Ultimately, it will depend on the morph of crested gecko you are looking for, your budget, and what you are looking for in your lizard.
Nevertheless, it comes strongly advised that you only look to purchase your gecko from a trustworthy and reputable breeder.
Before taking a crested gecko home, it also comes advised that you see them and are able to make a decision on the gecko itself.
Make sure that they can climb well, you cannot visibly see any pelvic bone or ribs, and that they are energetic.
They should look lively and alert with bright eyes, a clean nose, and vent.
They should also be curious and not look generally lethargic and disinterested.
Should I Buy A Crested Gecko?
Whether or not you should buy a crested gecko is a decision that you will need to make.
Firstly, you must consider if crested geckos are a suitable pet for you and your home. While they are considered low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for, they still do require a certain amount of very specific care and attention.
For this reason, you need to be willing and able to educate yourself on your own specific needs and requirements.
You also need to be able to monitor them routinely throughout the day. Even if it is for a few minutes at a time.
Small geckos can be delicate, and if you have small children, you will also need to supervise – especially if any handling occurs. Rough handling can prove fatal, or your gecko may even lose their tails!
Crested geckos also live for up to 14 years, sometimes longer. So you need to be able to commit to keeping them for this time. The costs involved with this also need to be taken into consideration and accounted for.
Thankfully, they are not overly big and their terrarium should not take up a lot of space. However, you do need somewhere to safely house it and that will be comfortable for your lizard.
They do not need live food, which is also a plus for those of you who do not want to handle live prey. Although live insects make great treats and if you can provide them, you certainly should.
One other thing to consider, especially around where they are kept, is that crested geckos are nocturnal. They tend to be noisy at night, so they are unlikely to suit a bedroom.
Another benefit that may swing the balance of whether or not you should get this reptile is that they do not require company. They are solitary by nature and are happy to be alone.
Just be sure to monitor their environment and their wellbeing at all times. This includes ensuring their enclosure is at the right temperature, and they have sufficient access to food and water.
If you feel you can provide the right level of care for a crested gecko, then this pet is definitely one to consider.
Regardless of the cost and fancy morphing of a crested gecko, these lizards are known to make excellent pets.
It’s little wonder that they have become more popular as the years have gone on and that they are far from the verge of extinction which at one time threatened their very existence.
If you are looking for low maintenance, easy to care for, and relatively docile pet, then look no further than a crested gecko.
But, regardless of their morph, traits, or coloring, the most crucial thing to look out for when purchasing one of these reptiles is their health.
Look for a gecko that is alert, climbs well, has a straight back, and has a clean nose and vent.
Hopefully, by now and through the information contained in this guide, you will know what to expect when it comes to the financials of owning this pet.
You can set your expectations and equally go out knowing what is a fair price to pay.
Just remember, they should live for up to 14 years when kept well in captivity, so it is a commitment if you proceed and decide to get one!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.