What You Need To Know Before Buying A Snake Online

December 8, 2020

Ball Python

How Do I Buy A Snake Online?

Buying a snake online can quickly become overwhelming if it's your first time. Even if you have decided on the species of snake and morph that you want, finding the right source can be challenging. There are hundreds of websites and breeders trying to sell snakes, but how do you know which breeder is the right one? I have created this article to help you through the basics of how to buy a healthy snake online from a breeder you can trust.


Why Should I Buy From A Breeder Instead Of From A Store?

When you purchase your snake from a reliable breeder, you get a full understanding of what you're getting. What I mean by that, is that you know the sex, the morph, the snake's history, the snake’s parents' history, etc.. When you buy a snake from a large retail store such as PetSmart, you don’t have a good understanding of the background of your snake. Usually chains like these have employees who have no background with reptiles tending to their snakes, and these animals are not getting the proper care they deserve. You’re more likely to get a healthier snake from a breeder, because most breeders genuinely care about their snakes.



King Snake on a Branch


Buying Snakes Online

When buying a snake online, be sure to follow these rules to prevent getting scammed, and to ensure that the snake you receive is healthy.


1. Read Reviews

Always read a breeder’s reviews. If a breeder has negative reviews about the health of the snake or the packaging the snake was delivered in don’t buy from them. There are hundreds of breeders on the internet with beautiful snakes, there is no reason to support one who doesn’t properly care for their snakes. 


2. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions 

A good breeder will answer any questions you have directly. If a breeder gives you the run around about a question you have, that's a huge red flag. They should be able to provide you with plenty of pictures of the snake you’re looking at, as well at the snake’s parents. They should know the hatch date, the morph, and be able to answer if the snake is eating consistently. 


3. If They Don’t Have A Guarantee Don’t Buy From Them

When looking through a breeders policies, you should see a live arrival guarantee. If a breeder won’t guarantee that the snake arrives live or your money back, don’t buy from them. If you’re planning on breeding the snake, I would also recommend making sure the breeder has a guarantee on the sex of the snake as well. 



4. Check The Breeder’s Social Media

Lastly, check the breeder’s social media to make sure any information they have given you lines up with the information they have listed there. Usually if a breeder has an Instagram, they will post pictures of the snakes they keep there and you will be able to get a better understanding of the conditions that the snake is being kept in.


How To Prepare For When Your Snake Arrives

A week before you receive your snake you will need to set up their enclosure with their lights, heat mat, etc.. to monitor it. You do this so you can make sure that your temperature and humidity are in the right places for your new snake, and if they aren’t you have time to alter them. If you have other reptiles, I highly recommend quarantining your new snake when it arrives to prevent the spread of parasites or disease. I have an in depth article on how to quarantine your new snake here. Even the most reliable breeders can make mistakes sometimes.