Buyers Beware (Caveat Emptor)

Join The Parrot Society UK

Buyers Beware
by P.J.Hudson©

Buying birds without seeing them first

Having kept birds for some 16 years I have been fortunate to have always had access to transport to travel around the country to collect birds for my collection. This is a luxury that we all sadly do not have and many people have to rely on the descriptions given to them by other members.

The majority of Parrot Society members are honest people who will give you an accurate description of the bird you are about to buy but sometimes problems can arise.

Recently a PS. member saw an advert for a bird within The Parrot Society Magazine, on ringing the man he was informed that the bird was in perfect health, perfect feather very steady and a proven English bred cock. On arrival the bird proved to have breathing problems was very unsteady and would growl at anyone entering the room. After pressure was put on the man with the threat of him being reported to The Parrot Society he agreed to the bird being sent back and he was then sent a refund less the cost of carriage.

A happy ending you may think, well not quite the local member has ended up fifty pounds out of pocket as he has ended up paying for all the carriage and he was also informed that the bird had only been in the possession of the seller for a couple of days before being despatched. Even though the advert will have been placed weeks before.

How to protect yourself

Before sending any money off for a bird get the seller to put in writing anything you agree on the phone; The bird's health : Its nature : Its sex : The ring number : The feather condition - and any other major points about the sale.

Get the seller to agree on a total refund if you are dissatisfied in writing.

Make sure you do not end up paying all the carriage costs both ways.

This you may think to be a waste of time in your haste to get the bird but if the bird is then not as agreed you have all the information in writing and it does not end up as your word against his.

On a lighter note this is a rare occasion and although there were problems the powerful threat of our Society coming in to the issue was the saving grace.

Be thankful that all honest members have the support of the Society behind us.

AKJ 2018 - see related articles on choosing parrots and record keeping. As much documentary evidence as is possible is ideal, in order to prove purchase and identity, should you require to register the parrot for CITES Article 10: if the bird should be lost or stolen, so that you can prove ownership; or if you or your family are required to pass on the bird in the future. 

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