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How to Sell a Pet Snake

| Updated September 26, 2017

To sell your pet snake, you must first check the laws in your area to be sure it is legal to do so, as some municipalities prohibit live animal sales without a permit. Assuming it is legal to do so in your area, you must advertise to reach potential buyers. If the buyer lives farther than you are willing to drive, you will need to ship the snake, which may be expensive and require additional permits.

Legal Issues

Some countries regulate the ownership, sale and transport of various species, as do states, counties and cities. You may have to contact several different agencies to be certain that your plan remains on the right side of the law. Begin your query by contacting your local university extension service or a pet store that stocks a large number of reptiles. However, you are ultimately responsible for verifying all legal issues before proceeding.

Marketing Matters

You cannot hope that a buyer for your snake will show up at your front door. You must advertise it to attract buyers. You can place advertisements on various social media sites or hang a flyer at your local pet store for free in many cases. Alternatively, many reptile-oriented websites feature classified sections, where you can advertise your snake in exchange for a nominal fee.

An entirely different approach is to target those who sell snakes at the retail level, such as pet stores and online retailers. Such businesses can only afford to pay a fraction of your snake’s value, as they must be able to generate profit from the transaction. Selling your pet to a reseller is unlikely to be lucrative, but you can avoid a lot of ancillary costs in the process.

Shipping a Snake

While professional snake breeders and online merchants ship snakes as a matter of routine, novices often find the task challenging, if not overwhelming. Before starting the process, contact the shipper you intend to use, as most have strict regulations regarding the shipping of live animals. Always follow the shipper's protocol to avoid delayed shipments, which can be dangerous for a live animal in a box.

In addition to following the carrier’s requirements, you must be sure to package the snake properly so he arrives in good health. Place your snake in a roomy plastic container featuring numerous ventilation holes and a few paper towels to absorb any fluids your snake releases en route. Tape the lid shut on the container and place the container in a foam-lined cardboard box. Punch a few pencil-thick ventilation holes through the box to provide some air exchange. Pack the box with crumpled newspaper to immobilize the plastic container and cushion it during transport. Tape all of the box’s seams to ensure the snake cannot escape.

You must consider the temperatures your snake will be exposed to during shipping. It is best to avoid shipping when the temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or below 65 degrees, so that you do not need to use heat or cold packs. Mark the box clearly on the outside with a permanent marker, indicating the boxes contents. Write “FRAGILE” and “LIVE ANIMALS: KEEP AT ROOM TEMPERATURE” on at least two sides. Be sure to obtain tracking information for the package, and have the buyer contact you upon receiving it.