Ask tons of questions, ask for pics of setups, feeding schedule, parents, other snakes they have that aren’t for sell. Any decent seller isn’t going to baulk at the questions. Heck even “reputable” breeders you should always as questions.
The questions are a given, but what about the overall health of the BP?
I purchased a snake from a new breeder and he seemed ok, a little skinny when he arrived imo, but nothing out of the ordinary. He died because he couldn’t digest (something you can’t see visually). The baby died 2.5 weeks after arriving. There was no regurgitation and husbandry was on point.
So I ask this question for this reason. A seller could “show-n-tell” his whole setup but if he’s getting rid of an unhealthy snake, then…
There’s really no way for a breeder to know what’s going on either. Happens with any animal you get, bought or not.
I haven’t had this before…but I mean obviously the snake had been able to digest meals previously right? No one sells a hatchling fresh out of the egg who hasn’t taken a meal or 3 yet do they? If they were selling you a 30 or 40 gram snake I think that’s on you to notice that and ask questions about feeding.
Sorry to hear though, that sucks! I just would have to agree I’m not sure what the seller did wrong here.
He claimed it was 70g on the listing. He was smaller when he came.
I asked for pictures and he did, but none of the snake laid out, only in his hand. I mean hindsight 20/20, but still I couldn’t tell the little guy had eating issues.
I also don’t want to be that over-the-top buyer that makes unreasonable requests, like “show me video of this snake eating on a newspaper with today’s date” haha
Hi Chlobear, this topic has been discussed somewhat extensively in a few other threads that I’d invite you to check out. In particular take note of our “how to research sellers” article.
Do buyers just take a chance?
The way I’d think about it is in terms of risk. There are risks no matter where you buy, but they vary. What’s your risk tolerance? This varies between people. Some people are willing to make a very risky purchase in order to save a little money. This is probably a bad tradeoff, but it all depends.
I think the most important thing is getting equipped so that you can with some accuracy gauge how risky a particular sale is. If your risk tolerance is low you should definitely stick with more establish breeders with a very well established reputation and/or lots of positive ratings.
Why shouldn’t buyers be able to review sellers elsewhere, like on this forum, so that if a prospective buyer needs to research, the information can be found online or googled?
As discussed in links above, we provide a ratings system which is one of the buyer’s steps of recourse after a purchase, that helps new buyers. But it’s intentionally in short form. There are review forums, although some of the major ones have gone away, the FBI recently being shut down by Facebook. We’ve considered hosting one here, but to be honest it’s a ton of work to mediate these systems so they are fair and legal and not something we’ve chosen to take on yet.
Well I can see how that could happen if they intentionally were lying. That really sucks I’m sorry. I’d tell you to put them on blast but I don’t think we can do that here so…
FB ME. Lol
But really I have gotten to know a fair amount of very reputable folks on here if you ever really needed a recommendation direct message me I can give you several.
Thank you - it’s always nice to know there are good people out there.
I don’t use my FB or I totally would. All the sellers on FB are making me reconsider this.
If I ever need a recommendation I’ll DM you though. Especially if I get more space to put enclosures hehehe.
I know there is a ratings system. That’s why I said in the original post if the seller deletes the post or doesn’t mark it sold to you.
There may be an adjustment curve but I think sellers should be reviewed freely, no matter if a snake is purchased or inquired. I would have left glowing reviews for a lot of sellers (when the rating system didn’t exist yet) and who have deleted listings. Plus for the phenomenal sellers that are at shows that deserve a good rating simply for an awesome interaction.
Psychologically too, people don’t leave reviews when there are too many barriers (guilty!) or if others haven’t reviewed the seller either. Since reptile purchases aren’t as frequent as say puppies and kittens, the probability of people leaving reviews goes down too. As well as the fact that there are frequent one-time buyers.
I’ve never thought to leave a bad review even when the sellers were curt because I’m sure they have a lot of inquiries. But that’s just it. it’s a balance of reasonability and the individual.
Unfair reviews are normally easy to pick out (think eBay) but sellers are still able to continue as long as they have a continuous record of good sells and professionalism. Without proper reviews, what’s the difference between a reputable breeder and the reptile equivalent of a backyard breeder?
I don’t think it would be a bad idea for free reviews. It leaves both the seller and buyer accountable - who would sell to a buyer that only leaves BS reviews as well?
Or, hear me out - requiring new sellers to post their setup, their animals, their history etc.
Because for inexperienced buyers or one-time buyer, it reduces the risk. It shouldn’t be on the inexperienced buyer to protect themselves in a market they aren’t well-versed in. It’s easier to make the seller disclose - it may also reveal if they are experienced as well.
A seller wouldn’t be against these requirements if their operation is on the up and up. AND it would save a lot of questions for buyers in general if they just check their page. It reduces time and risk for both the seller and buyer.
From what has been described, with creating seller profiles, this market is like shooting fish in a barrel for scammers or just downright bad breeders.
Good example of that is insert infamous breeder on YouTube since we can’t name names on this site who showed off his animals and incidentally showed everyone how terrible his system actually is.
Would never buy an animal from him. No matter how tempting the price.
(so sorry for all the replies I am one of those “train of thought” people)
I’m so so sorry, one more thing - the no ratings or new sellers thing may not stop a buyer because of the scarcity of the morph. Which is what happened to me. I took a chance because I did not want to miss another opportunity at the morph I wanted for my project. Especially when the weather was getting colder.
Yeah now you lost me. I’m out lol.
Yeah that was mostly for John since he’s a staff member. I feel like I’m attacking him with all my replies lol.
I’m not talking about my purchase in specific now, its more the general system.
I’m not big on tearing down the big successful guys in the hobby so that’s more where I’m jumping off. IF I’m thinking of the same guy lol might not be.
And to be fair, could the system be better yes everything can be improved but it’s still the best platform out there right now by far I would say so…I’m all for continued improvement and refining but I think the tools are in place to feel as confident as one can be about buying from a stranger.
I should say if it’s justified all criticism is fair I just see a lot of times it’s just because they’re “famous and I’m not.”
And I could have no idea who you meant lol there are a lot of big players out there…
You cant, just like you can’t get reviews from a mechanic that hasn’t done any jobs yet. The first person to try a product/producer is always going to have risks whether it be a reptile breeder or cereal brand.
They do, just as you take a chance with the big breeders aswel. If it’s someone local, go and check them out in person before doing any business with them. Most people will be happy to meet up if there is a chance they can make a sale of you.
Because that quickly leads to thread after thread of people stomping someone’s name into the mud. A lot a which won’t be from people that have ever worked/ done business with them but rather “internet heroes”.
It will also lead to a influx of new users only signing up to bad mouth each other. If a breeder is that bad then I assure you they can be found on Google without Morphmarkets help.
Every single seller of any product will have a bad day or send the wrong parcel at least once. Being able to discuss this with the public will do nothing but put that name under a bad light. If the breeder is responsible and is informed quickly of the error then 99% of the time they will want to fix that mistake… Privately.
Blasting guys for mistakes is harsh, especially when a lot won’t contact the seller but go straight for the guillotine and publicly call them out.
There is nothing stopping you from reviewing them on Facebook or throwing a nasty tweet out about them, but this community is for discussing reptiles not breeders. As for them not marking it sold or deleting the listing… That is part of the risk at the moment, hopefully we can find a sensible solution.
Do you know how long that would take some of these guys with 500+ animals? Every single clutch. And then how would you know that is their set up and not someone else’s?
How do you know that their history is true?
It would just add to selling you a fraudulent company.
All you can really do is take the risk as you would with a new clothing company or a ice cream van.
It’s idiotic to request a breeder to show you their setup. If you feel off from purchasing from a new seller on Morph Market - then don’t. Google their name if you are so cautious and want to know who they are. Most sellers have a facebook page dedicated to their reptile breeding or an instagram account.
If you truly want to weed out good, decent sellers with crap ones shoot them a message asking them for three references with phone numbers and/or their veterinarian reference. If they don’t respond then that’s your answer.
MM is not responsible for how seller/buyers react to one another. That’s the act of doing business.
I think the best way is through contact via phone or e-mail…and I know for a fact morphmarket keeps it pretty tight as far as scams or bad sellers go…I know there are some bad transactions but they are few and far between
Hi Chlo, this is already possible. From the messages page the user clicks reply and “rate this” and in this way they can initiate a rating themselves if not invited.
Also, the survey we send 5 days after the inquiries has links to rate the animals too.
So ratings are not predicated on the seller initiating them.
I think the real ground to be taken here is understanding the user experience better and making those options more readily available because I’m sure a lot of people don’t know about it or take the time to read the instructions (although we did improve these instructions recently).