So you're interested in a reptile pet. Where are you going to buy it? Sure you can buy it at a local store or a reptile show. You can even order it online at some large reptile company. So why buy from a private breeder?
Most of the popular breeders out there send you simply a receipt that you purchased a reptile, lets say ball python, from them. You don't have a picture which confirms the identity of the snake's genetics. They are smart but selfish from a business stand point. When that person tries to sell the snake they bought from this famous breeder, most people won't buy a snake as the receipt is ambiguous. Anyone can produce a receipt claiming it's from so-and-so.
So on any reptile classifieds you see animals advertised as such and such. You contact the seller and ask for the proof that it's from this famous breeder they are claiming its from and all they can produce is a receipt? Where's the ID number? Where's the picture written with the receipt? So the person now has a problem selling their snakes that they got from so-and-so.
These ambiguous receipts that these breeders create is just another ingenious ploy to insure that a customer will go back to the original breeder to buy a snake from them. Why buy it from this person who is supposedly selling a het from a famous breeder when their records are so ambiguous? It's a great trick for those original breeders to continue their monopolies.
Beware of a seller who does not wish to give you their real names or seem to be reluctant to give you their information. Look at their sites - sometimes you won't find a number, location or name of a single person. All you see is their stupid company name: Blah blah Exotics. It's awfully shady when you can't even contact a breeder. A breeder or company that doesn't stand by their real name wants to avoid any "problems."
From the hundred or so breeders, stores and shows I've bought reptiles from I can tell you that there are just a mere handful individuals that I can truly say are honest and will actually spend time with you. They actually treat you as a human being. I've called big breeders and small ones, they don't even RETURN my call if I have ANY problems. They just ignore my emails, especially my phone calls. You'll notice that most of them won't pick up their lines, just let a new customer leave a message so they can keep selling and avoid all the problems. Even I give up after a while even when I do have a problem. I have had so many animals misrepresented it's scary! I had to sometimes just keep this problem animal because I would have to ship it back at my cost even though it was THEIR FAULT! These people are willing to do whatever to make a stupid buck at the cost of their reputations! Yet somehow they continue to be in business. I'm not talking about every breeder out there. Hell I'm one of them but please be careful. Test to see if they'll talk to you and send you more than just a stupid single line with no greeting. I can't tell you how many emails I have received that look like this:
"Yes still have it."
Do these people really care about their reptiles? Do they even care to represent themselves as intelligent and compassionate people? How many emails are they writing a day, a million? Why not tell me about the animal? Every time I ask for a history about a blue tongue they DO NOT KNOW. You have to ask yourself why every animal out there is 1-2 years of age. Why not post this animal is 10 years old? Why because it won't sell! Luckily, buying a reptile is similar to buying vintage cars. A person who has studied vintage cars for 18 years has a better shot (but not always) at correctly identifying certain qualities of that particular car to confirm its true identity but identifying age can be extremely difficult to impossible.
Also be aware that many sellers straight out lie to you about their animal's genetics - particularly in the snake business. They also claim it's proven or its 100% for this or that. If it's proven do they have pictures of it with the babies next to the mother? Do they have a reputation for breeding that particular animal? I think you're getting my drift. Do not trust them unless you really know who they are. Do your research.
I feel that if a person really wants a quality and authentic reptile should get one from a breeder. If the breeder is truly honest and open, they will do their best to insure that their animals are represented truthfully for the benefit of the future of animals they are selling. This kind of breeder care where their animals come from; if they are pure and to what they will breed.
Can you imagine if a breeder of the Dwarf Retics lied and claimed they were true dwarfs when they weren't? Can you imagine what havoc this would cause when the babies of these fake dwarfs are sold then bred again with other true dwarfs? They will be intergrades - their offspring might be 18 ft instead of 25ft when true dwarfs should be under 10. It's a true shame and a definite possibility that an unscrupulous and selfish breeder might do this for money. Do they care if they are mixing localities and rare animals with common ones? It truly infuriates me.
I can promise you one thing, I won't deceive you in any way. You can do your research on me. I will give you some contacts, ask about me on the BOI, maybe they'll start a file on me. I totally stand by my honesty and integrity. Give me a call and talk to me. Check on my website years from now. Am I still around? Price isn't everything - what about service? What about integrity?
If you buy and animal from me you'll get pictures of the parents, the parent's history and ages, the exact date of birth and the current age of your animal and its weight born (if a snake) and current (also if a snake.) I truly believe in strong recording keeping. If you ever lose your info, send me a picture of the animal and I'll search my records for it. You'll be glad I keep all records not only to keep a history of my animals but to help my customers in case of some strange contingency.
Lastly, when your ball python or blue tongue skink reaches a few months in age, please resend some clear photos of it for our records. If you ever sell your animal you can have the new owner confirm its origins with me.
I will give you a way for you to sell your animals that you bought from me to a potential customer who can come back and confirm the snake's identity with me. All I ask is write me a testimonial so I can post it here on my site.
When you're as small a breeder as me and truly care about the welfare of these reptiles, I'll make sure you and your snake or any animal you purchase from us is taken care of. I guarantee it!
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