In the 1980's the first Pot-bellied pig sold in the U.S. for around $25,000. When people speak of price gouging the pot-bellied pig serves as the classic example of how an exploitive market can sometimes be a detriment and harmful to a breed. When a breed becomes a breeders market and anything will sell, usually anything does, and this will often attract the less scrupulous marketers to a breed. By the 90's dishonest breeders had outbred many pigs to meet the demand and bad breeding practices produced many pigs that were too large and aggressive. Bad breeding leads to a bad breed and when the pig market collapsed the unethical breeders whose only interest was the money left the breed. A few dedicated breeders remain but today you have sanctuaries set up to try to find homes to adopt a pig. So one should never stick their head in the sand like an Ostrich and ignore the reality that there are those that play rare breeds like the stock market and whose actions can be exploitive and leave a breed in a less than exotic shambles. Just as being the highest priced breed may not be a true measure of a breed's worth neither does an exorbinate price necessarily bode well for a breed's future success.
Most people expect to pay a little more for a pedigreed animal that comes from a reliable registry. There may be variations in price in accordance to regional availability and the quality of an animal's production traits and training. Some may charge a little more for a novelty such as a rare color, although color is one of the more insignificant traits of a breed. Some breeders might pursue fads and trends within a breed but a breed association should always keep the focus on production traits which lead to a breed's sustainability and conservation. Usually, valuation can be determined from a criteria of type, production records and pedigree. All purebred animals have pedigrees but pedigrees can be sometimes more useful if they come from a breeder that has established consistent desirable characteristics. Generally, this is most useful within the first four generations, which is one reason why a popular family line today may not be meaningful in the future. Breed type is usually established from showing and from records such as classification. Production can be valued from those animals that have been properly recorded. Dual-purpose cattle by their nature have long been considered farmers cattle which is less prone to the exorbitant prices that may exist in some of the more specialized breeds. Dexters in particular have been in recent times attractive to homesteaders and usually priced accordingly. Early Dexter breeders in America disallowed the use of the term "miniature" in association advertising perhaps because they recognized this is a term that might make others view the breed as a novelty as opposed to being a small productive breed of cattle.
The purebred cattle business can be rewarding but those entering the purebred cattle business to become wealthy are likely to be disappointed. Breeders can and should expect a fair price but always with an ethical breed overview of a breed's honest valuation.