You have to do a lot of checking. Call them, maybe more than once. Get several references from them, maybe even they have sold a pup to someone near you. They should furnish you pictures of the puppy, several and recent ones-and pictures of the parents. I would also really check out the pictures. If the toenails look long or the puppy has white feet that kinda look pink, you can bet its been kept in a cage, as in a puppy mill. Make sure they are in good standing with the AKC. They should be happy to give you references, and picures. Then, after they book the flight for your puppy and give you the flight info-call the airlines and make sure they really booked the flight--before you send them the total balance. You should also use pay pal-there is an option on there where you can file a complaint and should get your money back, if you don't get a pet. Good Luck. CeCe
I am looking for a yorkie and having a hard time finding one locally but im to weary of buying a puppy on line i would be afraid they were scammers and take my money and break my heart. So i will keep looking for a local breeder. much safer i think, plus you can go see the pup and not depend on just pictures. its horrible all the ppl out to scam and make a buck on the internet even scammers use pay pal. They sell you one thing but when you get it its nothing like what is was described as, ebay is getting pretty bad with knock off hand bags and such and it takes awhile to get your money back from pay pal and also if they close their acct down you wont get your money. i have 2 ppl after filing claims threw pay pal close their accts and i never got any of my money back thats over 200.00 for both and pay pal dont do a thing about it. I think pay pal should take the lose and refund the money out of their pockets. were using their service becuase of the safty features but really it isnt any safer. The police told me to pay with a credit card, never a bank card or instant bank transfer, the bank isnt going to help you get your money back when a credit card company will because its their money that they took. just a little heads up with my dealings with pay pal for the last 4 years.
I am glad people trust me, because I have found some of the best homes for my puppies that were accross the country, or even in Canada.
Basically, never go by e-mails alone. They should WANT to speak with you in person at least several times so they know who is getting one of their babies. Ask to see a website, and see past customers and references.
Like others said, don't use western union, I have regretted it every time I have, you don't want that puppy bad enough to chance losing money and ending up with nothing. When sending check or money order send it to an address only (not a P.O. Box) with a signature required.
BE super extremely cautious of any out of the country breeder. If they choose to scam you often times their country will do NOTHING about it. Sorry but Nigeria and Cameroon are ALWAYS scams-- and they say they are from the UK too.
Even if you can't actually go, see what they say when you say you may be able to try to come look at the puppy/parents, or pick up the puppy. If they don't have anything to hide, they should be happy to have you come.
***Edited By: alicat1 on 6/25/2006 8:31:17 AM*** Reason: ad
I agree with Alicat on the fact that some of my best homes have been across the country. I actually had the one family I placed a puppy with from Canada stop by yesterday as they were on vacation in the area. Hannah is the puppy I bottle fed and had to give sub-q fluids to last October and she is a FABULOUS Sheltie. She didn't even hesitate to run right up to me and say hi as soon as she saw me. She's grown up so much and they have done an excellent job with her socialization. She looked happy, healthy, and you could tell she adored her people.
Big things to look for in ANY breeder (I've been scammed by a LOCAL breeder - so you have to be careful no matter who you use) -
1.) Get MULTIPLE pictures - at different ages. Ask for a picture of the puppy next to something specific (a coke can, or a can of cambell's soup - something they have to find specifically). You should be able to ask for pictures and have them within 12-24 hours. Don't drive the breeder insane - but once a week is not terrible, or one every few days if it's a short wait.
2.) They should really be active with their dogs outside of breeding them. Whether they show in conformation, agility, obedience, hunting trials, or are a member of their local breed club or AKC chapter - this is a way to verify they exist and are for real. ANY breeder who doesn't do SOMETHING in the dog community is a BYB at best and they have no accountability for reputation.
3.) Get references - and plenty of them. I like to see at minimum 5 references. One from a vet - and I want the other 4 to NOT be all from the same litter or time period. Shows you the breeder has quality and consistancy. If you have to ship the puppy in - make sure at least one of the references is from someone who shipped, and at least one is from someone who visited the breeder in person. They should be RAVE reviews as the breeder shouldn't be referring you to someone who is just OKAY with their puppy.
4.) Ask lots of questions about how they raise they dogs/puppies - and get specifics. If they hesitate on simple things like "What kind of heartworm preventative do you use?" "Where do your dogs sleep?" "What kind of food do you feed" "How often do your adult dogs see your vet?" "What tests have the parents had done" - ect... you know they are making things up. Most breeders welcome these kinds of questions and know the answer of the top of their head. I can tell you the birthdate of every dog I have in my home, their age - AND the birthdate of every litter I have bred. Silly things like that tell you how involved with their dogs a breeder is.
Truthfully - most good breeder's have a waiting list. They shouldn't have puppies available all the time, and they shouldn't have multiple 6-10 week old puppies available UNLESS they show in conformation. Why the exception? Because breeders who show in conformation are usually waiting to determine which pups will be show potential and which will be companion quality (and a companion quality pup from a breeder who shows is nearly always better quality than the best puppy from a breeder who doesn't...). The breeder's who show need to wait and see what they will have available to companion homes - but they often run a list for companion puppies as well.
If you're nervous - contact you national breed club. They can usually refer you to someone who can help you find a breeder of your breed close by - or as close as possible. Rarely are breed club members scammers.
And if the price is oddly low or oddly high, that's usually a danger warning. If it' too good to be true, it usually is. :) Find out what the average price for a companion quality dog in your breed from a good breeder is and use that information as a hint at price.
Scout-We actually started accepting credit cards here. We set it up through our bank. The reasoning is, is that if someone uses a credit card to pay for a puppy and it is never received, they can file a claim-that way they feel they have some additional insurance that it will arrive. On our end, if they sign for it at the airport-which they have to show ID, etc, then I have the proof it was received in the eyes of the credit card company.
I know people it has backfired on before, as far as breeders, but it was just one more way that people would have more reassuance that they could recover their money if they never received their puppy.
But, I too am glad that our clients trust us, it is a hard thing to develop such an important relationship, one that can potentially last 15 years or longer.
But-NO on the western union-money transfer thing.
***Edited By: myshadow on 6/25/2006 11:14:04 AM*** Reason: add
I say, no don't do Western Union, but I have given that to a couple people as an option, when they didn't listen to me.
I tell people clearly that I WILL NOT send out puppies until all funds are recieved. I have been 'burnt' several times trusting people saying 'the check is in the mail'. So, I tell people, how ever you choose to get the balance to me, mail, UPS, Fed EX, make sure it has a tracking number and gets here several days before the puppy is supposed to be sent.
If it is 6:00pm the day before a puppy is supposed to leave at 8:00am, THE FAMILY did not do something they were supposed. So I call them and I say, 'the balance has not arrived and your puppy is ready to go but I cannot send her until I recieve your payment. We can reschedule the flight arrangements or you can pay me through western union, money gram what ever.
Some choose to wait a few days (that sets shipping back at least 3 days), or some Western Union the money. It is worth it to some people because they have already taken off work to pick up the puppy.
So in those occasions I do offer Western Union and I don't feel bad about it.
I've noticed that alot of the foreign scammers don't exactly say things properly. One I saw meant to say "gets along well with children" but it said "runs along side children well" and things like that. Their translation seems a little off. If anything in their ad is slightly off, I'd steer clear. I saw also where one breerer recommended saying " Oh, I have a relative that will be in your area (on business or vacation) around ____ date, can I have them stop by and see your dogs?" If they decline, forget it. If they're legit, your relative just happens to cancel their plans! She recommended saying this even if they were in another country. One way to be sure - Fly there and pick the puppy up in person and pay then. Domestic flights are not much more round trip than the fee to ship the puppy. Then you can take the puppy in the cabin with you also.
I prefer to have my clients wire transfer the funds to me, a bank to bank transfer. I will accept checks and money orders, but they must clear my bank before I ship. I send pictures once every 10 days whether or not the clients asks for them, and I have vet references personal and previous client refences also. I understand it's scary to send money sight unseen, so I do whatever I can to be as reassuring as possible that I am not out to scam anyone. I also keep my radar up to prevent my being scammed or canned on. My deposits are $200.00 non refundable, unless the pup is not available(i.e. sick ) So far I've had great out of area clients who love their Dobe pups