When you are purchasing a snake from a private owner the guarantees, disputing charges, and asking for refunds is something that will be harder to do – if even possible. Asking questions before a transaction is key to a purchase. Here are a few questions you will want to ask before the sale.
Does the snake eat well?
A young snake needs to be eating regularly before you take it home. Be weary of purchasing a snake with new habits, not eating well, or require you to have a hassle of needing a snake to be encouraged to eat.
What have you been feeding the snake?
Depending on your set up, you may want a snake that eats frozen-thawed. Often, frozen is the easiest to have on hand, and deal with in the future. Having live prey, or freshly killed prey can be difficult to store and maintain.
How often do you feed?
Snakes need a schedule just like the rest of us. Keeping the snake on it’s schedule will allow for a smoother transition.
When was the last shed?
Snakes shed on a regular basis. You may be required to assist with peeling the shed if it doesn’t shed properly. Knowing the snakes living conditions like humidity, and if the snake soaks will help with your transition. The last you want is to worry about helping a snake shed when its adapting to its new living quarters.
Can you see the cage?
If you are looking at a snake, regardless of at a pet store or home, you should be able to see the cage. (Please take safety precautions when buying at a residence.) If the cage is excessively dirty, the surroundings are dirty, or if its overcrowded – stay away. If there are dead animals nearby, again, stay away. No deal is a good deal if there will be health problems in the future – or possibly bring disease or parasites to your cages and any other animals you have.
What’s the price?
Always ask about the price, before the sale and of course when inspecting the snake. If the snake is cheap, there is always a reason. Paying what the animal is worth is always key. Getting a snake at rock-bottom prices is usually a sign of trouble.