Process to purchase ball pythons online by Rich Macias
Step 1 Choosing the right seller.
Choose a reputable breeder, there are many businesses that sell ball pythons online. Ball Pythons can be purchased online via Pet Shops, Wholesalers, Brokers, Professional Breeders, and Private Reptile Breeders. The process will vary depending on what business you purchase from so, I will explain my process in full detail.
I choose to list my snakes in two places; first my website which has the most up to date listings of animals I have available, and second I like to use the classified website called morphmarket.com. Morph Market is a classified reptile resource which allows you to filter all the adds and pulls up exactly the species or gene your interested in purchasing.
Step 2. Ask the right questions.
Once customers find a snake they are interested, they can email, text, or call me to see if it is still available for sale. Usually the first questions I get for a snake are:
What is the current weight?
Weight is very important and should be one of the first pieces of information you should receive. Baby ball pythons should be between 50-300 grams. Yearling Ball Pythons should be between 300-700 grams. Adult Ball Pythons can range usually between 600-1500 grams for males, 600-2500 grams for females depending on their age.
What is it currently feeding on?
Ball Pythons feed on two types of rodents, mice & rats. I feed mice for my hatchling and yearlings, then move them to rats once they are matured.
Step 3 Payment
Once price has been established for the particular snake or group of snakes, payment is ready to be transferred. I use paypal as one of my primary sources of payments. Every seller has particular sale terms they are comfortable with. My sale terms are located on a page link on my website. I also accept cashiers checks, and money orders which are sent via regular mail to an address I supply.
Step 4 Shipping
This is the stage where new reptile buyers are always most nervous about. Shipping live animals always brings about the "what if?" uncertain worries for ever buyer. These are the most serious questions every buyer considers when purchasing a snake online:
What if my snake shows up DOA, "dead on arrival"? Chances are extremely slim your ball python will show up DOA. I take all the proper precautions to delivery my ball pythons healthy, alive and safely. Ball pythons are bagged in cotton escape proof baggies of appropriate size. Once bagged the live reptile is cushioned and insulated by a layer of newsprint and an additional lining of insulating foam inside a strong properly labeled white shipping box. To date, I have shipped hundreds of ball pythons with no ball python DOA casualties. In my entire live animal shipping career, I have only had 2 DOA's. One of the animals was a leopard gecko, and the other a western hognose. The gecko was ship during mid winter in 2001, while I was still learning how to properly ship live reptiles. The western hognose casualty was an unknown and unexplained DOA and occurred around a decade ago.
What if my snake gets lost in transit? Every precaution is made to prevent this from happening. 24 hours before shipping, I correctly prep every shipping box and book/submit all the shipping information. A copy of the actual label is then sent to the buyer to confirm it is 100% correct and the animal will be personally dropped off at the shipping hub later in the day so it will go directly to the transport truck within a couple hours after drop off.
What if my snake shipment is delayed? Airline delays happen on occasion while shipping live animals. Two main reasons cause shipping delays; busy holiday seasons and severe weather. During these times, I notify all buyers, and make arrangements to ship on a later date.
Is it legal to ship snakes directly to my house, apartment, or place of business? Shipping ball pythons is completely legal as long as properly labeled with complete content information. However, shipping live snakes via US Postal Service is not. Fedex is currently the only delivery service that has embraced our business and welcomes the shipping of harmless live reptiles including ball pythons with restrictions and waivers that must be agreed to and submitted. I have completed the entire process of becoming a certified approved live reptile shipper with Fedex and can ship live ball pythons to the continental US 48 States.
Step 5 Acclimation and Enjoyment
The time has now come to open and welcome your ball python to its new home. Please have a cage ready and waiting for your new arrival, and hopefully you have done all the research to care for this amazing reptile correctly. After the delivery is completed, I get an email notification and will usually check in with you to make sure everything is ok with the animal. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me via email, text, or call.
- Rich Macias