For what it's worth folks, I have a bit of experience in this business,(24yrs) and most of you have the right idea.
Breeders don't have people to their facilities for all the reasons stated. In fact quite a few don't even sell directly to buyers but prefer to use a broker or to wholesale stuff off to another party, like a retailer for example. This is generally done because it's simpler and less time consuming. Not all breeders are good marketers or retailers. Some do both, but just as many don't even try.
I have on occasion sold directly, but I never take deposits, because I don't find it necessary. It can create nervousness on behalf of the buyer, and it makes more work for me trying to keep track of it.
I will send pictures, then when the snakes are feeding and ready to go we will meet somewhere, usually my office or a donut hole. That is how it has worked for 20 years. More herp deals have gone down in donut holes than have yet to go down at swap meets. LOL
At that meeting the transaction can happen cordially and on a COD basis.
You see the animal is in good health, and is what was discussed and represented in corresponence and photos, and then I expect full payment, then and there..... Simple!!
This of course is only possible with local sales, and obviously things are a bit different if animals are to be shipped out of province. In that case I still don't usually take a deposit unless it's for a huge order, and its a new relationship.
Many breeders do take deposits, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the buyer can be expected to be nervous if the seller is not well known. I think it is fair to ask for a reference from another satisfied customer. New breeders should be willing to provide such, and not be offended when asked.
Also if the consumer isn't comfortable with a deposit, simply refuse, and look for the animal you seek from another source that you feel more comfortable with. You should never feel obligated to pay a deposit, but of course the breeder also isn't obligated to sell to you.
I avoid the hassle of keeping track of deposits and possibly having to return them, if I can't fill the order, by simply accepting no payment, until final 100%payment.
If there is a waiting list, than thats what it is, a list...when they are ready to go, I contact the people in the order they are listed.
They have only one chance at that point. If there is a huge delay and the meeting cannot be arranged, or the funds aren't available,then the person forfeits their place in line, and is probably out of luck till next season.... I think that's fair.
Some breeders selling expensive stock, (albino & Pied balls for example) might be willing to take a number of installments over an agreed period of time. This is fine too,if the exact terms can be agreed by both parties, but custody of the animal does not transfer until pament is made in full.
In deals like that , there must be a high degree of trust in the supplier, but it will be up to the buyer to decide if that trust seems warranted.
Most breeders are good people. Nothing is more important than reputation, and that only comes with fair and honest dealings.
Herpetology - more than a hobby
It's a Lifestyle
celebrating 26 years of herp breeding
Last edited by Stockwell; 08-07-03 at 01:45 AM..