Keeping and breeding freshwater shrimp is relatively new in the hobby. Red cherry shrimp have only been globally available since 2003, according to one website I checked. So perhaps the market has yet to reach an equilibrium. Maybe the prices will get more reasonable in a year or two as more hobbyist breeders get going. I started my colony with 6 bought at a LFS
marked at something like $7 apiece (8O but I didn't get charged that much
) But those didn't fare too well, so I got a couple dozen from Aquabid at a much better price, and now I've got over 60 at last count.