Seller asking for payment through friends and family

Simple pay with a credit card, not a debit card. Credit cards offer buyer protection. Just file a dispute with your card company and they will get your funds back if you can prove there is an issue. Am Ex is best for stuff like that.


So if you would of sold it that way and they claimed empty box you would of still not been protected and you would have a Credit card company after you as the seller? I fail to see how that is any better.

I am not getting a credit card just because I want to buy an animal. I am already short on money and even getting a prepaid card wouldn’t be possible 90% of the time. So it isn’t really a “simple” fix.

In a paypal dispute they are judge, jury, and executioner so they have zero accountability to either side in the dispute. There T@C are vague on certain topics so they can use this as both a shield and sword. By doing this they can be as abitary and capricious as they wish and there ain’t a thing you can do about it. Your at the mercy of the person reviewing your case.
A credit card dispute is different. The card company can both refund the buyer and pay the seller in a dispute. Card companies are insured against loses like this so for them if they find neither side has proven there case to a reasonable degree they can just cut there losses and move on. Also card companies employ third parties to review disputes so the person reviewing it is as unbiased as possible. Basically the opposite of Paypal.


You make some valid points, but I personally have had good expiences with PayPal and trust that I’ll be able to back any claim I bring or that is brought against me. To each his own.

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I’ve been into the reptile scene for 30 years now, I have learned lots of breeder names over the years and have been scammed once. Honestly, I am only just now approaching a point where my hobby is about to take a turn to which point I am producing my own animals and will actually start selling, rather than just being a buyer.

I do use PayPal to make purchases here on morphmarket, as well as the other popular website we relied upon until MM became the amazing option it is.

I personally will send sellers payments as friends and family if I am familiar with their name, as long as I feel I am not going to get them flagged by PayPal themselves. PayPal apparently reserves the right to charge their fee if they feel you are abusing the friends and family option, by using it when it’s actually all business transactions.

Again, some names in our hobby have earned reputations that allow for trust to be a given.

Another scenario, of being at a reptile show and deciding to buy something I had not planned for, but asking if PayPal was an option. Face-to-face, fair exchange. No fee needed.

It’s going to boil down to your level of trust with a given vendor. To each their own. I just try to appreciate paypal for the ease of transactions it has afforded me ever since I first signed up for it.

I do not mean to suggest that you send as friends and family to just anyone. Use your judgement, because the big names in our hobby seldom say anything about the fees, they just seem to accept it as part of the business side of things.

Finally, be prepared to pay the fee if you are making an offer below the seller’s asking price. If it’s listed for $500, and I offer $400 shipped, it’s going to be a slap in the face to make them take another hit. Respect goes a long way and we have a community that builds lasting friendships each and every day. Let’s not let a few bad apples take away from that.

End of rant!


I personally am a seller, and a buyer on morph-market. I have been asked buy sellers to send as friends and family. If they are reliable I will do this every time. Based on reputation and rating on morph market, I determine trustworthiness. However 9/10 times I do send as good and services because I often deal with new sellers to me, and I Like to use credit cards to accrue points. Using a credit card to pay via friends and family will make you pay the pay-pal fee which is why I avoid the friends and family option when buying if possible. As a seller myself again 9/10 people pay using goods and services. Personally if someone asks me for a discount on an animal I will typically counter with asking them to send as friends and family so that I don’t take an even bigger hit, on top of that discount. If they aren’t okay with that, either no discount or they cover the fee.

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I have had customers lie and say they didn’t receive the snake, I was able to provide all documentation and proof and paypal took my side as a seller.

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I don’t accept PayPal for snake sales based on the information in that photo, which is from a screenshot from PayPal 's website.
I use Square for credit card processing.

I did look up the reference "Live animals/pets is considered property/goods " that @duckdangerfield found (ha love that name!) But it lead to a PayPal community post from a private user not Paypal. And it had no backup. I’m not downing on ya Duck, I wish it had panned out because I would use Paypal if I could.

When you read through the acceptable use policy live animals are never mentioned. Or, if you can find a reference, please show me. My brain about melted looking through that legalese.
The only reference to live animals I’ve been able to find that is actually from PayPal is in that screenshot.

Not using PayPal has cost me at least 1 sale from someone who refused to use Square and demanded PayPal. Which was fishy so I didn’t sweat it. Square is just a payment processor, a buyer doesn’t need a Square account to use it and all normal CC protections are available.

I’d love to be wrong! In the meantime I don’t take it.


@richmccollserpents Unfortunately, Square will side with the buyer in 99% of transactions. They are similar to PayPal in that regard.

I’ve paid all 5 of my snakes that way but understand why you are hesitant at the end of the day seller should be professional and able to do business legitimately the right way where you will be comfortable and covered

horrible! I’m so sorry that happened to you I bet you were sick worrying about your animals after that and the lowlife didn’t care only cared about a free item hopefully they at least took care of the animal!

Just curious, as I’ve never sold a live animal online, but does anyone use Venmo? Pros? Cons?

You know what? If you people dont like paypal, then just dont use it. Pissing and moaning about it ain’t going to fix anything.

Venmo is owned by paypal.

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I have never had square once side with a buyer. I provided my documentation and they have always sided with me. They even pressed fraud charges on one buyer in which we had to give a sworn statement.

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Your right which is why PayPal and any PayPal owned company does not get any of my business. I was a honey user for a long time PayPal bought them I deleted the app as soon as I heard.


I would just like to ad to this that PayPal donates to HSUS which is not a friend of the industry so I would be uncomfortable using them for that reason.


Seller here. I don’t demand friends and family of my customers, but I thought I could add some transparency here for buyers. Trust (or lack thereof) goes both ways. There is a buyer scam running around that pops up every now and then where a customer will order a snake, pay through PayPal, get the snake shipped in, then dispute the order saying that they never received a snake or whatever. Often they would get the snake and the money back too. The seller gets nothing and is now missing the animal, something they put their blood, sweat, and tears into producing. It’s really crushing when it happens. It happened to me once. It was awful, and I felt like there was nothing I could do. There are bad people out there. One solution sellers came up with was to demand “friends and family,” thus taking away the option to dispute from buyers. It doesn’t sit right with me because I would rather sacrifice on my end as a business to treat my customers with more respect, but it is what it is, and every seller has their own policies. I thought I would add this piece because I didn’t see it mentioned. Even if a buyer is telling you “friends and family” is to save on fees, that could be part of it, but it’s more likely that they want that layer of protection against scams for themselves.


I have had good luck with PayPal. At a show I always use friends and family. The one time I used it for a snake I had shipped came out fine but it didn’t feel good. Going forward I will offer to pay the fee if a shipper wants friends and family.