For most people the obvious answer to where they will get their next pet is a pet store.
While a pet store may be a very valid choice there is a lot of benefit to going direct to the breeder.
You can see where the animal was raised and it may not have been exposed to as many pathogens and stresses.
Breeders typically have a more diverse variety to choose from and the price may even be less then at a store. For instance a breeder of snakes may have a rare color you are looking for, and often can tell you the sex of it.
“Reptile shows” are a good place to find and talk to breeders, often there are pocket pets and reptiles available there. Talking direct to a breeder/hobbyist you can ask questions on care and background of the prospective pet.
There are also “bird fairs” where breeders converge to sell birds and supplies direct. You may find toys, food, and cage dealers there, at wholesale and retail prices.
Reptile shows tend to be once a month, and bird shows can be a few times per year. There are online schedules for event.
Breeder listings, veterinary referral, and specialty stores are other options. There are shops that sell specifically only birds and bird supplies. They can be a great resource as well.
Rescues also exist for pocket pets, reptiles, and birds. A rescue can match a specific pet with a person for the best fit. Dog and cat shelters often have exotics from time to time as well, especially the more mainstream bunnies and guinea pigs. Bonus is they are often already spayed and neutered.
Ferrets typically are either from a ferret farm, and arrive at the pet store spayed or neutered by 8 weeks of age, or shelter. But did you know that there are ferret breeders? Breeding ferrets is difficult and not for the faint of heart, but a reputable breeder strives for a healthy long lived animal. There are ferret shows just like dog shows where they compete in conformation classes. The show lines tend to have imported bloodlines so look a bit different then a typical farm ferret, being a bit fluffier and larger