Other Turtle Discussion :: Be careful when making online purchases...

Non-care related topics here.

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:51 pm   Be careful when making online purchases...

Hey guys. Just thought I'd send out a warning message to anyone thinking of buying turtles or fish from a website like Craigslist or Kijiji. The people selling their pets may not be entirely truthful.

I bought two Red Eared Sliders and a tank, filter, heater, UVB light, substrate, dock, and pump from a guy who listed it all for sale on Craigslist. He claimed that everything was working well and the turtles were healthy. That was only partially true.
What he did not tell me was that the male turtle had shell rot as a baby so he was missing a chunk of his shell, and, as a result of the owner keeping the water temperature too high, he was also shedding more than he should.
Moreover, the filter was not working correctly and was way too small for the tank he sold me. He did not have the instruction booklet or any extra filter cartridges to give me, but he told me it was working properly... and I found out when I brought it home that it was not.
Also, after assuring me through our email conversations that everything was in working order, when I got to his house he told me the basking light was broken so I'd have to buy my own.
Furthermore, the substrate he had used in the tank for two years was aquarium gravel. These turtles were ingesting and defecating gravel for who knows how long.

I am trying my best to reverse the damage, but it will probably be a long process. Be wary of online purchases, ladies and gents. While you may be getting a great deal ($150 for everything), you also might end up having to shell out a lot more money than you thought and you might not receive what you are expecting.
User avatar
pumpkin14
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:01 pm   

I'm making this a sticky. I think all too often we are too trusting.

Sounds like those turtles are lucky to be in your hands now though.
The things that come to those who wait may be the things that were left by those who got there first - Steven Tyler
User avatar
jenaero
Moderator
 
Posts: 3606
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: Thorold, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:04 pm   

When buying ANYTHING used you need to do your homework...
1) buying or selling live animals is against craigslist policy, so that was the first booboo on your part.
2)you should have asked him prior hand what kind of filter was included with the tank and researched if it was the size you needed.
3)When you went to his house and saw the broken light, you should have just walked away cause he lied to you.

I buy and sell tanks and filters on craigslist every week almost.I just upgraded one of my tanks from a 30 gallon to a 55 so now i'm selling it.
the way i see it....There are no BAD sellers on craigslist....Just bad buyers.
User avatar
jozzep
 
Posts: 1497
Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Location: West Orange,NJ

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:09 pm   

It was my first online purchase... I admit it was definitely not a great one, but, like I said, I'm working on fixing it up.
I will disagree with you about the "no bad sellers" thing... a good seller is honest right from the get-go.
40 Gallon - Freshwater
1 Red Eared Slider Turtle Hatchling (1.5"), Moe
1 Female Electric Yellow Cichlid
1 Demasoni Cichlid
User avatar
pumpkin14
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:39 pm   

That's too bad you had a bad experience. But I know you'll do your best to take care of you new RES! Plus, they're in 100% better care now, so I know they'll flourish with you :D

Since this is now a sticky, I'll add something that I've seen happen a couple times on the forum.

Bring a tape measure when you go to buy a tank. Sometimes a tank is not the size it's advertised. To find out the number of gallons, take the measurement in inches.
(length x width x height)/231 = approximate US gallons
­Ralpheal, "The 'L' is silent."
Frankie, "Young at heart."
User avatar
BullDog
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3889
Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Location: BC, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:30 pm   

pumpkin14 wrote:It was my first online purchase... I admit it was definitely not a great one, but, like I said, I'm working on fixing it up.
I will disagree with you about the "no bad sellers" thing... a good seller is honest right from the get-go.


This theory would be valid on Ebay or an online store that has a "feedback" based method.
Not craigslist were most people are just looking to get rid of something they don't want anymore and the next time they post another item for sale you would never know who it was and what he sold in the past.....
Therefore he's not trying to build a client list, just getting rid of unwanted clutter for the most cash.
It's up to you to not get played.

I also agree with Bulldog about the tank sizes....Most people try to pull a quick one,and i use an online calculator that tells you the gallons when you punch in the dimensions.

A good way to buy on craigslist is to get as much info as possible via phone or email before even going to see or pick up the fishtank.
That way you have no surprises and most of the time, you get what you're looking for.
User avatar
jozzep
 
Posts: 1497
Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Location: West Orange,NJ

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:24 pm   

jozzep wrote:A good way to buy on craigslist is to get as much info as possible via phone or email before even going to see or pick up the fishtank.
That way you have no surprises and most of the time, you get what you're looking for.


I agree 100% on that too!
When I was looking for a tank for Ralph, I found one that seemed like a good deal. I think it was a 75 gallon + "stand" and accessories. I chatted back and forth with the owner quite a lot, and was even ready to have my sister go pick it up for me (since it was out of town). Even my sister talked to the the seller a couple times. But finally she got around to sending me some pics, and the so called stand was just and end table and half the tank was hanging off the sides! Needless to say, that's not the one I went for ;)

Whenever I post something for sale, I try to post lots of pictures. Unless the person is trying to hide something, I don't think there's a reason for them not to give you a pic of what they're selling.

And the way I see it, if you're ready to buy an item, told the seller you'll buy it, but when you go to pick it up (and pay for it), if you don't like it, you can still back out. Of course you can't do that on eBay, but like Jozzep said at least eBay has feedback and whatnot.
­Ralpheal, "The 'L' is silent."
Frankie, "Young at heart."
User avatar
BullDog
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3889
Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Location: BC, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:58 pm   

Another way of dealing with a broken item once you're at the persons home to pick it up is to deduct the $ from his asking price.
If the total was $100 for everything in working order and the light is busted, the deal just changed.If you want me to take it i will give you $80....If not...See ya later ;)

I once bought a tank that as soon i got home and filled it, it sprung a leak from the bottom....
I called the guy up and told him to give me $40 back or i would have brought everything back to his house for a total refund...i got the 40 back and fixed it myself for 10 bucks.
User avatar
jozzep
 
Posts: 1497
Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Location: West Orange,NJ

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:34 pm   

jozzep wrote:
pumpkin14 wrote:It was my first online purchase... I admit it was definitely not a great one, but, like I said, I'm working on fixing it up.
I will disagree with you about the "no bad sellers" thing... a good seller is honest right from the get-go.


This theory would be valid on Ebay or an online store that has a "feedback" based method.
Not craigslist were most people are just looking to get rid of something they don't want anymore and the next time they post another item for sale you would never know who it was and what he sold in the past.....
Therefore he's not trying to build a client list, just getting rid of unwanted clutter for the most cash.
It's up to you to not get played.

I also agree with Bulldog about the tank sizes....Most people try to pull a quick one,and i use an online calculator that tells you the gallons when you punch in the dimensions.

A good way to buy on craigslist is to get as much info as possible via phone or email before even going to see or pick up the fishtank.
That way you have no surprises and most of the time, you get what you're looking for.


We emailed back and forth for about a week. I came up with different questions, and I did ask him if everything was working. I also asked him if the turtles were healthy. He said yes to both, when in fact this was only partially true.
User avatar
pumpkin14
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:45 pm   

jozzep wrote:When buying ANYTHING used you need to do your homework...
1) buying or selling live animals is against craigslist policy, so that was the first booboo on your part.
2)you should have asked him prior hand what kind of filter was included with the tank and researched if it was the size you needed.
3)When you went to his house and saw the broken light, you should have just walked away cause he lied to you.

I buy and sell tanks and filters on craigslist every week almost.I just upgraded one of my tanks from a 30 gallon to a 55 so now i'm selling it.
the way i see it....There are no BAD sellers on craigslist....Just bad buyers.


It's not against policy if you are re-homing the animals. The website explains this.

There was someone selling a hexagon shaped tank, and I thought it was cool looking. So, I kept asking over and over about what the dimensions were, and the person would not answer me back, so, I said hell with it. All this dude would say was that it was a 40 gallon, but it looked way smaller than that in the pictures.
Spike - Egyptian mau mix, 8 years old
Phryne - Japanese bobtail, 9 months old
Hurricane - RES, 8 yo, 6 1/2 in. long
Typhoon - RES/Map hybrid, 8 yo, 7 in. long
Sadie - RES, 20 yo, 10 in. long
Sophie - Colombian red tail boa, 5 yo, 5 ft. long
User avatar
theartbook35
 
Posts: 2417
Joined: Mar 25, 2009
Location: Connecticut, US

Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:27 am   

jozzep wrote:1) buying or selling live animals is against craigslist policy, so that was the first booboo on your part.


theartbook35 wrote:It's not against policy if you are re-homing the animals. The website explains this.

There was someone selling a hexagon shaped tank, and I thought it was cool looking. So, I kept asking over and over about what the dimensions were, and the person would not answer me back, so, I said hell with it. All this dude would say was that it was a 40 gallon, but it looked way smaller than that in the pictures.


Granted sweetie,
But if someone is asking for a "re-homing fee" (which many and many do) that's "selling" not "re-homing".

FYI if the hex tank was for turtle keeping, that was a bad choice.For turtles you always should choose a long tank rather than a tall one to give your turts the most swimming room x gallons.
User avatar
jozzep
 
Posts: 1497
Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Location: West Orange,NJ

Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:14 am   

And need I even bring up the dangers of meeting at someone's house for a purchase. First, the Craigslist killer. And the latest one where the woman went to another woman's house for baby items and was killed and had her baby stolen from her. And we have a lot of younger users on here, which is esp. dangerous.

Always remember if you are going to an actual person's house, you must take another person with you, have a cell phone with you, and you should also tell someone else where you are going and when to expect you back. Ideally, you should never meet at either party's home and meet at a safe location, like a large grocery store or Walmart. And still have someone with you, just in case!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigslist ... s_by_users
JAX
- - -
Baby Boy - January 9th, 2011! (3 months old)
1 RES - 7" long - Umi (3.5 years old)
1 black lab/hound mix - Josie (1.5 year old)
2 cats - Mysti and Molly (6.5 years old)
User avatar
TheComputerGremlin
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3732
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:19 am   

TheComputerGremlin wrote:And need I even bring up the dangers of meeting at someone's house for a purchase. First, the Craigslist killer. And the latest one where the woman went to another woman's house for baby items and was killed and had her baby stolen from her. And we have a lot of younger users on here, which is esp. dangerous.

Always remember if you are going to an actual person's house, you must take another person with you, have a cell phone with you, and you should also tell someone else where you are going and when to expect you back. Ideally, you should never meet at either party's home and meet at a safe location, like a large grocery store or Walmart. And still have someone with you, just in case!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigslist ... s_by_users


Absolutely right. Meeting someone face to face, whom you don't know in real life, can be extremely dangerous if you do it alone. Luckily, I had my macho boyfriend with me, haha. :)
User avatar
pumpkin14
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada

Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:55 am   

TheComputerGremlin wrote:
Always remember if you are going to an actual person's house, you must take another person with you, have a cell phone with you, and you should also tell someone else where you are going and when to expect you back. Ideally, you should never meet at either party's home and meet at a safe location, like a large grocery store or Walmart. And still have someone with you, just in case!



All due respect gremlin,
The message you are sending is a good one,and i agree it's dangerous and to always bring another person,but "meet at a grocery store"??
We're talking about fish tanks (some 125-150 gal), possibly with stands and the whole shabang that usually needs a pick-up truck to transport!
I strongly doubt you will find someone willing to load these massive tanks and meet you at the supermarket and still give you a GREAT deal.
I know i wouldn't.
My advice is be safe but not paranoid.....
1) Let someone know the address of the place you're going
2) Always bring company (in most cases you HAVE to...the stuff is heavy)
3) And this is the MOST important for me....DO NOT GO TO GHETTO AREAS!!...No matter how good the deal sounds.

And that's my opinion :)
User avatar
jozzep
 
Posts: 1497
Joined: Feb 24, 2008
Location: West Orange,NJ

Post Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:52 pm   

TheComputerGremlin wrote:And need I even bring up the dangers of meeting at someone's house for a purchase. First, the Craigslist killer. And the latest one where the woman went to another woman's house for baby items and was killed and had her baby stolen from her. And we have a lot of younger users on here, which is esp. dangerous.

Always remember if you are going to an actual person's house, you must take another person with you, have a cell phone with you, and you should also tell someone else where you are going and when to expect you back. Ideally, you should never meet at either party's home and meet at a safe location, like a large grocery store or Walmart. And still have someone with you, just in case!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigslist ... s_by_users


I agree with you completely.

It's easy to lie on the internet. In the city, ya know, freaks come out at night. On the internet, they come out all the time.

I've had situations where I've offered to meet people at certain public places, and they have declined. So I stop talking to them altogether.
Spike - Egyptian mau mix, 8 years old
Phryne - Japanese bobtail, 9 months old
Hurricane - RES, 8 yo, 6 1/2 in. long
Typhoon - RES/Map hybrid, 8 yo, 7 in. long
Sadie - RES, 20 yo, 10 in. long
Sophie - Colombian red tail boa, 5 yo, 5 ft. long
User avatar
theartbook35
 
Posts: 2417
Joined: Mar 25, 2009
Location: Connecticut, US

Next

Return to Other Turtle Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests