We must always take extra precautions when buying things online or buying goods from people abroad. When I started researching on importing my Holland Lops, I encountered many different types of breeders and some are outright shocking.
Most of the breeders are reluctant to ship this way because it seemed to them that Asians are distrustful. But little do these breeders know that buyers from anywhere would also think likewise. It takes a lot of trust for someone to be sending monies to a stranger. For me at this moment, the rabbitry where I got my rabbits delivers quite decently with some glitches.
I came across a breeder in particular that promises to make a deal but changes her mind as soon as she made up. That is outright insincere.
Some breeders only have the $ as a topic of discussion. You know right away, they are in it for business and the welfare of the rabbits are questionable.
Buyers must also take into the consideration the current economic situation that has befallen the US. Many smaller rabbitries there may opt to sell out their rabbits and some may resort to schemes just to survive the downturn. Most breeders abroad will raise the prices of the rabbits just because they are shipping them out of their country. The prices does not necessary reflect the quality of the rabbits. Some may even send barren does.
So, as far as breeders must protect themselves, buyers too have to be very careful in dealing.
And I also do not deny the fact that there are super ethical and honest breeders. And since there are only a handful of these good breeders, you really have to do a lot of research before embarking on your importation project.
For me personally, the good traits of a good rabbit breeder are:
1) Honesty – explain thoroughly what the rabbit lacks and how it can be improved, show good photos that reflect the real structure of the rabbit, charges at reasonable prices and etc
2) Sincerity & Concern – shows concern for their rabbits instead of the money that you are about to send & always updating buyers on the progress
3) Promptness in delivery – send pedigrees to buyers as promised promptly
Lastly, it is the people that we are dealing with at the end of the day. We have to be very tactful so not to get cheated. That would be the last thing I want to experience for this wonderful hobby.
May your every dealings be fruitful and successful. And to all my friends(breeders) in US, may you and your wonderful rabbits survive through this crisis. God blesses all of you.