Deposits at a Breeder
I am curious to hear other's feedback on this issue, but a friend of mine from my Pheasants Forever chapter put a deposit down a few months back on a pup from a repeat breeding of a 1 year old dog he currently owns. The dog is doing very well in training and is the best dog he has owned to date. His deposit (nonrefundable of course) was on a black male, but he was the second or third in line for a black male.
The litter was born today, 9 pups total and very healthy, mom is also doing well, but only one black male was available. I have no issue with this, afterall, we cannot control how many pups are born, what gender or color they are, etc!! My problem is that the breeder is simply trying to PUSH him into one of the chocolate males, or even a black female, both of which are not what my friend wants. Nonrefundable deposits are OK with me, I understand that by taking a puppy off the market and committing to it, that a breeder loses other opportunities to sell that dog and also get some monetary compensation for the kennel business. I just dont understand trying to push someone onto a puppy that isn't what they wanted.
Taking deposits is tricky in my opinion, there is always that risk of not producing what the customer wanted. It is especially tough when there is a specific litter a customer is intersted in, and what they wanted is not produced. Trying to move that customer to another litter is not always accepted by the customer and creates a tough conversation/disagreement.
Has anyone else experienced this? Am I wrong to think nonrefundable is unfair if the dog a customer specifically wanted since day 1 is not produced? I have never personally had this happen, I care more about what number pick I have rather than gender or color, but everyone has their own preferences and goals when they are purchasing their dog.
Here's how I handle deposits as a breeder. The buyer tells me what they want. Often they will write it on the memo line of their check (a good thing to do). I mail them a receipt for their deposit which states the price of the pup, the amount of the deposit, and what the deposit is for -- "1st pick male, 2nd pick female" etc. They know exactly where they stand because it is in writing -- it's on their deposit check and its on my receipt. We breed for only black pups so color is not an issue.
IF the buyer tells me they will take a female in lieu of a male, I make note of that, but they would not be in the same pick order. For example, if I have deposits for 3 females, those buyers get their females and the buyer who will switch from male to female will have the option on the 4th female if there is one. Hope I explained that so it is understandable.
So far we have never had this happen because we have always had more deposits than puppies born. I sure stuck my neck out when I accepted 8 deposits for females and 4 deposits for males on one of Ruby's litters. She came through for me and had exactly 8 females and 4 males. What was I thinking? I won't do that again! We knew she was going to have a huge litter, but there is never a guarantee on gender. You are right, taking deposits is tricky.
The best advice I can give to a buyer is to write your choice on the deposit check's memo line and get a response back in writing from the breeder so there are no misunderstandings.
Your friend should not be forced into taking a puppy he does not want. A breeder can offer the option of another pup, but no buyer should feel they are being forced into accepting something they do not want. Re: your friend's situation, I see this as a refundable deposit.
There should be a clear understanding by both buyer and seller of what a "non-refundable" deposit is and what circumstances warrant a refundable deposit.
Very well said, and I couldn't agree more. I do not have a problem with a breeder simply asking "Would you be interested in a chocolate male? We do have a few available and as you know, this breeding is exceptional. Just an option if you are ready now for a pup". (Something along those lines..). BUt if the buyer rejects that option, I feel bad for the buyer because that exact breeding is not going to happen again. This breeder is not at fault for what pups are born and produced, but they are in complete control of how to handle their customers.
As a buyer I completely agree and without remorse should I not choose an 'option'.
Originally Posted by helencalif
All good advice. Only thing I would add is : Breeder...Don't spend all the money you take in on deposits , so you can be professional about it when something like this happens.
Deposits are non refundable unless I can't provide a puppy for them( of desired color/sex.) If they want to move the deposit to another litter, fine otherwise I refund it.
If you made a deposit on a black male and they can't provide one, they owe you the deposit. The nature of a deposit is that is partial payment for a certain pup or type of pup. They don't have one of those so they can't keep the deposit.
Around here, no deposits are taken until the pups are on the ground for three days. I keep the buyers lined up and know what they want. I offer to as many buyers as I can and tell them to get the deposit to me within a week.
Also, all deposits are refundable. If they don't want a puppy from me, I won't keep the money as a means to hold them to a puppy transaction they don't want to complete.
If the litter does not provide the pup the deposit was on the buyer gets the money back.
I email a reservation form to puppy buyers that they fill out, sign, and send back with their check. I only guarantee the desired sex, not color, and the agreement they sign spells out the conditions.
If I'm buying a puppy from a breeder or if we have someone buying a pup from us, we write on the check what being purchased, i.e. yellow male, etc.
Originally Posted by Jay Dufour
We hold the actual deposit checks until the puppy purchase is final, if we can't provide the puppy the purchaser wants, color/sex, or there's another legitimate reason the person doesn't take a pup, we return the actual check.
In this instance, the person should get their deposit returned to them, the breeder gave them details on the litter and especially if the litter didn't have the pup they were looking for.