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Old 04-27-04, 09:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Minimum age to buy reptiles

Recently I found the BOI (especially the US "original" one) to be like a big soap opera - yes, I am pathetic - and I've been following this particular thread.

Fauna topic

The question is: If I was a 14 or 15 year old and I bought an animal from some seller (without mommy's permission), and the animal ended up dying or arriving dead, could my mother win a court battle to get the money back? For a while I was thinking she might win since I would be under the legal age to make a contract but when I really was under 18 (a long time ago) I used to buy all sorts of small animals from the pet store. And if they died, I was SOL. Is the seller obligated to offer any warranty even if he isn't a business?

And so I ask, strictly hypothetically: if I was a crooked seller, could I send a dead snake to a kid and when it arrives at his home, claim it was alive when I sent it ? This is under the assumption I wouldn't get caught.
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Old 04-27-04, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If I was a seller, I wouldn't be selling to anyone that young.

When you start messing around with minors, then you better be responsible about it and get some sort of agreement signed IMHO. And yeah sure a crooked seller could do that. They could do it to an adult just as easily though.

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Old 04-27-04, 12:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sellers should always make sure there will be a responsible adult around to care for the animal. Pets are a HUGE responsibility, they are living creatures! Such a seller probably wouldn't be tempted into fraud if s/he knew there would be a knowledgable adult recieveing the animal.

A minor in this situation should have informed the household of their impending arrival, and, should the animal be 'defective' (dead, unhealthy, etc.) they should most definately recieve the money back or a replacement. Any reputable 'dealer' will offer certain warrenties and put them into writing before a sell is even finalized.

Just a question, what made you think of this topic?
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Old 04-27-04, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Samba


Just a question, what made you think of this topic?
I was reading the BOI on Fauna classifieds (I posted the link above). It is a LONG thread. In short, a private seller sold a snake to a couple of people who he assumed were a business based on the way they conducted themselves in email. He was asked to send the snake to a separate address because the original buyer(s) would not be home to take the animal. The seller found out later from an email from an angry mother that the buyer was 15 years old and the snake was dead. It didn't arrive dead, but it was mysteriously dead 2 days later. The seller thinks there is something fishy since the animal was fine when he shipped it and the receiver claimed the animal was fine when it arrived.

Like I said previously, I was following along thinking that since he got messed up selling to a minor, the minor would be exempt from contract and the seller would have to refund the money. But the more I thought about it, the more I remember that kids buy all sorts of stuff and are responsible for the outcome. The only difference in this case was that the animal was shipped through FedEx and not picked up by the kid(s).

It makes me also a little wary of who I would buy or sell animals to. I don't have a large collection but I generally tend to stay with reputable dealers. However, I haven't been that particular about who I sell to. Fortunately, I have only sold to people I meet face to face and I don't think too many people would cry over losing the $10 geckos I've been selling recently It usually costs me more in gas to meet up with the buyers.

Don't worry I don't plan to shipping dead animals to people
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Old 04-27-04, 03:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I spent two bloody hours reading that thread. You are an evil, evil child, posting that link. I hope your geckos get in your pants and bite your butt! It was an interesting read though

I think your question depends on the situation. The people in that thread did some stupid things, and then expected the seller to accept responsibility.

If you were a newbie considering ordering something that's going to be shipped, don't make it your first purchase. Earn a reputation in face to face dealings first (which you're doing). Once you have a good reputation, age matters so much less.

Heck, there's a lot of adults I wouldn't give the time of day over on the BOI. But there are several "youngsters" on here I would buy from or sell critters to, no problem.

It will be a lot easier for me though, as I'll be shipping animals dead and packed in dry ice If they arrive alive, then the buyer has a real tourist attraction on their hands.
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Old 04-27-04, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cruciform
I spent two bloody hours reading that thread. You are an evil, evil child, posting that link. I hope your geckos get in your pants and bite your butt! It was an interesting read though
I told you, it's just like a soap opera! It hooks you and you keep going back to find out what happens next in this trashy story of name calling and nonsense. I really hope it makes it to Judge Judy!
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Old 04-27-04, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If that happened to me i would only refund $ IF and only IF she returned the body of the deceased snake
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Old 04-27-04, 08:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with hunter. I would have outlined the return policy if there was any gaurenteeing live arrival and would only refund money if the body was returned. On the other hand I probably wouldnt have sold the snake to a 14 year old, and if they didnt disclose their age at time of purchase they would probably be SOL in this case.

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Old 04-27-04, 08:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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even then, what if the snake was killed either via negligence or malice? The seller is responsible for neither, they shouldn't be left holding the bag.
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Old 04-27-04, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think people sould just not sell to minors without a parent or Legal Gaurdian period! If the kid has kept many reptiles before I'm sure he will understand if it's just common practice. As for buying from people. Make sure you know who you are buying from! When I got my Womas one of them died a couple days later because his intestinal tract had not developed properly. Unfortunatley the person I got them from brokered them from someone else and he got them from someone else. (learning experience) So when it died I could have been SOL because the two people that it cam from first didn't care and weren't going to do nothing! Even after I sent them an autopsy report showing why it died! Thankfully I got it from someone I trust and he ended up reaching into his pocket and paid for a new one for me!!!
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Old 04-28-04, 12:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think people sould just not sell to minors without a parent or Legal Gaurdian period!
I haven't bothered to read the BOI thread, so I'm not sure exactly how this played out. The thing is, especially with all the online dealings that happen nowadays, it's hard to tell if the person on the other end is a 14 year old kid or a 30 year old adult. 14 year olds tend to 'sound' different in emails(spelling, grammar, etc), but you could just be dealing with stupid 30 year old, you never know. I'd rather not deal with either, but you just can't tell. If this 14 year old said he was over 18 just to get the snake while avoiding telling the parents, it's not the seller's fault IMO.
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Old 04-29-04, 06:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have never shipped out an animal without calling the person first so I guess that solves my problem. I guess that's why alot of people like to do dealing over the phone and not just over email.

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Old 04-29-04, 08:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In this particular case the fifteen year old kid is well spoken... combine that with the implied business ownership AND the fact that the transaction was initiated on an auction site with an 18+ clause in their TOS and it's evident that the kid was misrepresenting his age.

With regards to being forced to extend or honor any sort of guarantee... Well, alive and healthy are kind of givens, as the animal was advertised as being such, sold as being such and sending a dead animal would be fraud... the seller is responsible for the health and well being of the animal until the buyer accepts ownership and care- the transit duration is a seller's responsibility. This can sometimes be different in cases where large numbers of animals are sent in a wholesale situation or when the lack of a guarantee is specified clearly in advance of the purchase for species that are more likely to experience problems when shipped...

Above and beyond that there's no legal requirement for any guarantee to be offered. The moment the package was recieved and there was confirmation of live, healthy arrival the seller's responsibility ended. Many businesses and breeders CHOOSE to offer an extended guarantee period but this is entirely of their own devising. Offering a guarantee makes a customer feel more comfortable with their purchase, since the seller is displaying confidence in the quality of their animals. In the above thread no guarantee was discussed however and as such the buyer can't create one and decide it applies after the fact.

Legally since the buyer had the animal shipped to an adult AND misrepresented themselves as being over eighteen there's really no argument in the "Minors can't enter into binding contracts" aspect, since the seller was given (false) evidence that appeared credible and was acting in good faith based on the information provided. The child's mother who really ignited the whole situation didn't have a complaint until after the snake had died with regards to the purchase and the period of time involved is certainly long enough for improper husbandry to kill off a neonate animal. Since the body was frozen, preventing a reliable necropsy that might have proven long term health problems they really have no choice but to accept the loss and eat the money. Add in the fact that they have conducted themselves quite poorly on a public forum, whereas the seller conducted himself in a reasonable and rational manner and it looks very bad for the buyer.
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