The internet has revolutionized the way we buy and sell products, including pets. However, with the convenience of online pet purchases comes the risk of falling victim to scams. Unscrupulous individuals take advantage of unsuspecting buyers, leaving them heartbroken and out of pocket. To ensure a safe and successful online pet adoption, it is essential to take precautions and be aware of potential red flags. Here are six effective ways to avoid being scammed when buying a pet online.
Find Reputable Breeders
When searching for a pet online, start by researching reputable sources. Look for a breeder that is registered with TICA and who will give you your pedigree when you purchase your cat. Look for a breeder that has a positive track record. Opt for breeders that conduct interview and that call references as this reduces the likelihood of encountering scams.
At Rarity Ragdolls, we are not only registered with TICA, but we are registered with state and federal organizations. We are a sister cattery to Broadway Ragdolls, a breeder with over 12 years of experience and excellent reviews. We are one of the few breeders that Broadway Rags is working with.
Never Pay in Full Before Meeting
One of the most common pet scams involves asking for full payment upfront before you’ve had a chance to meet the animal over Zoom or other streaming media. Avoid making final payment until you have seen the pet and met the seller or adoption agency. Responsible breeders and genuine rescues will understand your caution and allow you to interact with the pet before committing financially.
Your journey with Rarity Ragdolls starts with a deposit on your cat or kitten. Your final payment is due shortly before delivery, or in cash at pick-up. Find out more about the process here.
Insist on Video Calls
To ensure the legitimacy of the pet and the seller, insist on video calls. Video calls allow you to see the pet live and observe its behavior as well as give you the opportunity to meet the seller. A responsible breeder will limit in-person visits due to the issue of bio-security for their facility. If the seller hesitates to provide these options or makes excuses, it’s a red flag that something might be amiss.
Once you have paid your deposit, we follow up shortly with a phone interview and a call to your references. The next step is a visit with your prospective cat or kitten over a video call. You will watch your baby grow over Facebook where we will post pictures weekly.
Verify the Seller’s Credentials
Before committing to a purchase, conduct a thorough background check on the seller. Look for a cattery registration certificate and Federal and State licenses. Ask for references or testimonials from previous buyers, and search for online reviews or complaints about their business. Reputable sellers will have positive feedback and a strong online presence. Additionally, ensure that the seller provides proper documentation, such as vaccination records and health certificates for the pet.
Rarity Ragdolls is a registered TICA breeder, and a registered LLC with Massachusetts. We are federally and state licensed to sell animals.
Beware of Unrealistic Prices
While everyone loves a good deal, it’s important to be wary of unusually low prices for purebred or designer pets. Scammers often use attractive prices as bait to lure unsuspecting buyers. Research the typical price range for the breed you’re interested in and be cautious if the listing seems too good to be true. Remember, reputable breeders invest time, effort, and resources into breeding healthy and well-cared-for animals, which reflects in the price.
Anyone who is selling Ragdoll cats at less that $2000 a cat is likely a scam or a backyard breeder. You may lose your money, or end up with an unhealthy cat from poor breeding practices.
Trust Your Instincts
Sometimes, our intuition can be a powerful tool in identifying potential scams. If something feels off or if the seller’s behavior raises concerns, it’s best to trust your instincts and walk away. Remember, buying a pet is a long-term commitment, and it’s essential to ensure the process is legitimate and ethical.
We saved the best for last. We do a phone and a video call with you so that we can get to know you, but more importantly, you can get to know us. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible with your experience with us.
Buying a pet online can be a convenient and rewarding experience if approached with caution and diligence. By researching reputable sources, insisting on video calls or in-person visits, being cautious of unrealistic prices, verifying the seller’s credentials, and trusting your instincts, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to pet scams. Remember, the well-being of the animal should always be a priority, so take the time to find a trustworthy seller or adoption agency that genuinely cares about the pets they offer.