The internet is a great place to secure a loan, but is it a great place to buy that puppy? If you are reading this, you are likely considering whether or not to purchase a puppy from one of the many online breeders. But should you?
The answer, in our opinion, is no. The internet is just not the place to buy a pet. Buy a pet bed online, but not the actual pet, here is why.
Online Scammers Are Waiting
No legitimate breeder will sell their animals exclusively online. Sure, most breeders have a web presence, but they will allow you to come to them to make the purchase. If a breeder operates exclusively on the internet, that is a huge red flag.
Here are some ways to spot a scammer.
- They have too many dogs.
Most breeders are able to secure homes for their puppies fairly quickly. They will not have half of a dozen puppies from a litter for you to choose from. This is especially true with dogs that have notoriously small litters like French Bulldogs. Most Frenchies have litters of three dogs but scam websites will often show 5, 6, or even more puppies for you to choose from.
- They have dogs in all colors.
Does that online breeder have every color imaginable? If so, they are likely not legit. Scam websites like to cover all of the bases. They would hate to not be able to steal the money of someone looking for a particular color, so they stock them all. Or at least have stock photos of them all.
- The dogs are ready to ship.
What are the odds that you start searching for dogs and find an entire litter that is ready to ship? Slim to none. By the time that most puppies have been weened, they have been claimed. If you find a legit breeder with available puppies, they will likely be weeks away from being “ready to go.”
- You are asked to wire money.
Chargebacks are way too easy for a credit card, but a wire transfer is very permanent. Scammers will usually ask you to wire money right away in order to secure your puppy. Send the money and it is as good as gone.
- All communication is through email.
No listed phone number is another big warning sign. Since most scammers will be non-native speakers, email is far easier. They likely have pre-made scripts ready to send you that will probably sound very convincing.
- The price is well below the market average.
This is the biggest of red flags, a price well below what you may have seen elsewhere. Why would a legit breeder sell a Great Dane puppy for $700 when the market average is closer to $1500? They wouldn’t, but a scammer will sell you a dream for that price.
As you can see, there are many ways to spot a scam and they are actually very easy to recognize. So, how do these scammers keep making money? Easy, they take advantage of some basic human personality traits.
One is the need to “not miss out”. You see that great deal on the puppy that you have been searching for and you do not want to miss out on it.
The second is just your love of “all things cute”. You see that cute picture and you just want to be holding that puppy.
So, the question is Should You Buy A Puppy Online? Well, if you want to lose your money and not get anything in return for it then go ahead. However, there are some ways that you can ensure that you are not being scammed.
Take a step back from the situation and think about what is going on. Do they have an address or can they meet somewhere? If not then it might be best to find another source of the puppy you are looking for. If they do have an address try doing some Internet searching on the location to see if any scams have been reported there in the past.
Do thorough research on reputable breeders who raise puppies out of their home setting. One way these two traits can be very powerful and hard to resist. They can make you look past the warning signs and fall victim to a scam. So, before you plunk down that puppy deposit, take a step back and look at things logically. It just might protect you and your wallet.