A guide to advertising puppies for sale safely online Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that any goods or services sold or advertised on the Internet are potentially the target of time wasters or scammers – if you’ve already advertised any items on the Internet in the past you’re probably already aware of some of the strange enquiries you can receive. However, you shouldn’t let this discourage you from advertising online, it is still by far the most cost effective and wide reaching advertising medium available and with a little care and common sense you can advertise safely and confidently. On this page we have taken the opportunity of adding a few notes for those of you who may be advertising for the first time – the following is a guide to the things to look out for when advertising and also details the steps we have taken to keep negative activity to a minimum on our site. The overpayment scam The scam you are most likely to see involves someone contacting you from abroad and asking you to export your puppies to them, typically they will offer a payment that is way over the asking price in an attempt to tempt the seller. They will also usually offer a semi plausible reason why they cannot send you the correct amount and instead offer to send you a payment for a much higher amount, instructing you to take your share and then send them a refund for the remainder. It seems like everything is in your favour, you still have the puppies and their payment so what could go wrong ? The problem is the payment they have sent you will either bounce or is fraudulent, in the case of a cheque you’ll pay it in your bank and give it time to clear, which it will, everything appears ok so you send them your payment for the balance – and you never hear from them again. Then sooner or later your bank will contact you to tell you their payment is no good. Steps we’ve taken We have implemented technology into our site to identify the country that visitors to the site are located in. If a visitor from outside of the UK attempts to use our contact forms to contact one of our members, or reply to an ad, they will be refused and instead offered the option of sending their enquiry to us such that we can vet it and pass it on to our member if we believe it to be genuine. General tips We’ve also put together a few do’s and don’ts that you should remember in your dealings with potential buyers : Do be suspicious – the Internet is a great communication medium but it has also opened up a new avenue for the less than honest to conduct their ‘business’, treat all Internet contacts as suspicious until proven otherwise. Do initiate one to one contact as soon as possible – When you receive an enquiry make every effort to contact the enquirer on a one to one basis either over the telephone or better still face to face. The Internet offers people a certain level of anonymity and you need to try to break this down, if an enquirer is vague about their details or finds excuses not to talk to you stop responding and let them take the initiative. Do ask plenty of questions – don’t be shy of asking questions of potential purchasers, even if these do seem to be personal questions. For example what’s their home situation ? how long will the dog be left alone ? can they cope financially ? Do make sure that when the buyer comes to collect the puppy you have everything ready. Make sure you have the KC papers ready to go and have written records of the puppies medical history (including inoculations if applicable) and a diet sheet. Ask them to sign a receipt and give them a copy so there can be no dispute over the terms of sale later on. Do ensure that the new owners are aware that they qualify for 6 weeks free insurance – more details here. Don’t take offers on the advertised price – the price you are asking for your puppies reflects the time, effort and investment that you’ve put into breeding them. If someone is genuinely so short of funds they need to try to knock you down on price then they certainly don’t have the sufficient funds in place to look after the puppy properly. Don’t agree to ‘meet halfway’ or deliver puppies without meeting the prospective owners. This is a once in a lifetime purchase, if the buyer cannot be bothered to make the journey to visit you to view the pups you need to question their commitment. Don’t allow the buyer to leave with the puppy without having received full payment, if they wish to pay by cheque have them send you the cheque and they can collect the puppy once the cheque has cleared. Don’t be too paranoid ! – despite all we’ve written above the vast majority of contacts are from normal, honest folk looking for a new member to add to their household. Just be cautious and use common sense and there’s nothing to fear.