Unlike some people when I receive a deposit I don't spend it. I keep it in an account until the animal is paid in full, the customer receives the animal(s) and they are happy with them. Then I can turn around and spend "their" money as it has now become "my" money. As you can understand when you sell a lot of animals you get a lot of people that state "they cheques in the mail" and you never see that money. Usually I'm pretty good at telling the "good" from the "bad" however just last fall I had a guy hold me up for 6 weeks on 3 animals that were valued at $6500 CDN. After getting a little pissed at the situation I finally sold his animals to someone else (and about 1 week later he called me up and wanted to buy them again.....and was a little dissappointed that I sold them to someone else......but you snooze you lose). I also had this same situation happen after that but I only gave the guy 2 weeks of "the cheque is in the mail" before I sold it to someone else who fully paid for it by bank transfer the next day. Anyways, what I'm trying to get out is that most people are great and are true to their word.......but it is the other minority of the population that isn't true to their word that really get to you!
Also, with animals that are in short supply it is benifitial as a customer to put a deposit down on the animal(s) to make sure you get what you want. How many people have called up a breeder or dealer that said "I'll have lots....just call me back in a month or so and I'll be happy to send you one" only to find out in a month they are sold out or are all reserved up with peoples deposits.
Once you get to know people after they have purchased from you a couple times you can take their word on animals they want and then us don't have to accept a deposit on animals they are interested in.