Question about buying birds from ads, breeders & "middle men"

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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I'm looking for some input & opinions on this. I'm hoping maybe some of you reading may be breeders or know some & have some thoughts on this. A friend of mine ran across a webpage, which seems to be a place where people who are trying to rehome their birds & such can post an ad. There are also ads posted by breeders as well. She is considering getting a bird & replied to one of the ads for a baby/just weaned bird to ask some questions about it. Upon speaking to the person, it turned out that the bird was not bred on site, but from someone else & this "middle man" person (who appears to be the one who posted the ad) was weaning the bird & selling it from their house. Is this a common practice & why would the breeder not be selling the bird themself or have their own website, etc.? Obviously, this middle man person has some arrangement with the breeder & is getting a portion of the profits, or why else would they be doing it? Of other concern was that when she asked this middle man questions about where the bird came from & what health tests the birds has already had, the reply was only tests done were for 2 diseases (Polyoma & Beak & Feather) & that the breeder did it herself for cheaper because to go to a vet it would cost like $300 & doing it herself it could be done for $25. There was no DNA test done for sexing the bird & no parasite/fecal testing. Where can someone get a $25 accurate lab test done for them for Polyoma & Beak & Feather? This middle man also would not disclose who the breeder was (not surprised) & in general seemed annoyed or defensive at the questions. Now, I would think a person who actually CARED about the welfare & health of the bird & the buyer's ability to care for it would be very welcoming with questions, even encourage questions, & would certainly be expecting a lot of questions, right? And maybe would be asking their own questions about the buyer (such as experience with birds as pets, if they've ever owned a parrot, have had a young bird before, what the environment of the home is, discussing quarantining it, taking it to get a health check at a vet, etc.). So, I am just wondering what you all make of this, because to me, it all sounds a bit suspicious. I am pretty sure that bird breeders are supposed to be licensed or have a permit in my state & I think even those who do not breed, but handle/care for them for more than 30 days prior to selling need some sort of animal handler's permit (or something like that) from Fish & Wildlife. Perhaps the people involved here have neither? I just can't figure out why else someone asking (what seems to me to be) the typical, RESPONSIBLE BIRD OWNER questions they SHOULD BE ASKING about a baby/new bird would be met with an apprehensive attitude? And how common is this middle-man seller thing? is this actually a thing, or does it sound sketchy? I feel sketchy vibes when I heard of this. Thoughts on it???? Thanks!
 

clark_conure

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SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not ashamed to admit I was scammed before...

I'd ask you to point out the website and the post. We aren't going to steal it, there is no bird.

Just report anything like that....there ARE NO BIRD MIDDLEMAN. The dealers post and can give you pics with time stamps and whatever. Ask for a pic of the bird with a timestamp I'm sure alll communications stops. Also never use venmo or paypal, NO PROTECTION. Use a credit card or some agency that holds anything in escrow (I think square trade used to do this but not sure anymore).

If they incist on venmo or paypal....its a scam.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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RUN!! If they are real, it likely Black Market and that small cost will continue to raise and then again and again! RUN!!
 
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LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not ashamed to admit I was scammed before...

I'd ask you to point out the website and the post. We aren't going to steal it, there is no bird.

Just report anything like that....there ARE NO BIRD MIDDLEMAN. The dealers post and can give you pics with time stamps and whatever. Ask for a pic of the bird with a timestamp I'm sure alll communications stops. Also never use venmo or paypal, NO PROTECTION. Use a credit card or some agency that holds anything in escrow (I think square trade used to do this but not sure anymore).

If they incist on venmo or paypal....its a scam.
Thank you. That's exactly what I thought! The story has gotten even more twisted since my post! I was searching online about the guy who posted the ad & found another ad on a different website hookbills.com where he was attempting to sell the same bird, but was using what looks to be a stock photo from another website-as it showed an exotic animals for sale website stamped on it, where you can buy kangaroos, monkey, sloths, servals, etc.!There he listed the bird with a hatch date 1 month later than the post on the other side birdsnow.com! He also listed it as still weaning & the bird would be only around 3mo. old now! So when she was corresponding w/this guy, the bird was like 2mo. old only & on formula & he was willing to sell it at that time, which is totally illegal in my state! I reported him to both of those websites, but who knows if they will take action. I also reported him to my states animal welfare as well, but I don't have his address, so not sure if any action will be taken against him. I hope so! There is obviously shady business going on there! Thank you for clarifying there are no "middle men". That's what I was wondering, because-WHY? So, I guess these people whom you see ads where they have baby birds, but aren't actual breeders must be getting these birds from somewhere-but WHERE is the question? That guy also told my friend when she asked about "is it banded?"-that "No, NOBODY bands anymore!", but from what I have seen from all the breeders around, they all do closed banding still to ensure the bird is actually from a legit breeder? Seriously-this guy is a total creep!
 

Rico_Tiel

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I am so glad you ran for the hills and reported him. I’m glad you didn’t fall for this trap!! Because getting scammed is the legitimate WORST! Especially if it was for a supposed animal.

And If something doesn’t feel right, then TRUST YOUR INSTINCT! It will save you 9/10 times!
 
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LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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I am so glad you ran for the hills and reported him. I’m glad you didn’t fall for this trap!! Because getting scammed is the legitimate WORST! Especially if it was for a supposed animal.

And If something doesn’t feel right, then TRUST YOUR INSTINCT! It will save you 9/10 times!
Thanks. Unfortunately, even though I reported him 3 times, his ad is still up & he dropped his price too. Those ad pages just don't care, which isn't a surprise, but it's discouraging that reporting him to Fish & Wildlife seems to have been a waste of time. Oh, well. Karma will get him someday.
 

Rico_Tiel

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Thanks. Unfortunately, even though I reported him 3 times, his ad is still up & he dropped his price too. Those ad pages just don't care, which isn't a surprise, but it's discouraging that reporting him to Fish & Wildlife seems to have been a waste of time. Oh, well. Karma will get him someday.
WHA- that is utter and complete bull crap! How could they not care?! That is literally a SCAM! And if he were “selling” a parrot, I’d assume it would be pretty darn pricey! I’m positive karma will take a nice, juicy chunk out of his rear and leave him crying.
 
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LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
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Thanks. Unfortunately, even though I reported him 3 times, his ad is still up & he dropped his price too. Those ad pages just don't care, which isn't a surprise, but it's discouraging that reporting him to Fish & Wildlife seems to have been a waste of time. Oh, well. Karma will get him someday.
I agree! Even worse is I found out the guy used to co-own a bird pet store in the past (late 70's) for a couple decades before it shut down. When I mentioned him to my avian vet, his response was not good. He said that particular shop was known to have a lot of health problems w/their birds. Oddly, I vaguely remember walking in there once (maybe late 90's?) & it was very strange, small, & I remember the cages were those iron round top old fashioned cages. Similar to what you would see in an antique store now for decoration. No toys in the cages, & the whole place was like a hallway lined with cages on one side & they had cockatoos & such in them. I'm pretty convinced that these birds were most likely wild caught/smuggled in. I think there was a black cockatoo/palm cockatoo from what I remember as well. It was all large parrots. Truly awful. The guy has to be retired now, but clearly still in the "bird business" & I believe all the old school bird people & shop owners around know who he is. Shame on him for doing this! He absolutely knows better & knows the laws! It's very disheartening that people like this are out there doing wrong things & lying. Just the fact that he wouldn't tell me WHERE he got the bird & that "nobody bands anymore", which is a total lie was all I needed to know.
 

Rico_Tiel

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I agree! Even worse is I found out the guy used to co-own a bird pet store in the past (late 70's) for a couple decades before it shut down. When I mentioned him to my avian vet, his response was not good. He said that particular shop was known to have a lot of health problems w/their birds. Oddly, I vaguely remember walking in there once (maybe late 90's?) & it was very strange, small, & I remember the cages were those iron round top old fashioned cages. Similar to what you would see in an antique store now for decoration. No toys in the cages, & the whole place was like a hallway lined with cages on one side & they had cockatoos & such in them. I'm pretty convinced that these birds were most likely wild caught/smuggled in. I think there was a black cockatoo/palm cockatoo from what I remember as well. It was all large parrots. Truly awful. The guy has to be retired now, but clearly still in the "bird business" & I believe all the old school bird people & shop owners around know who he is. Shame on him for doing this! He absolutely knows better & knows the laws! It's very disheartening that people like this are out there doing wrong things & lying. Just the fact that he wouldn't tell me WHERE he got the bird & that "nobody bands anymore", which is a total lie was all I needed to know.
That is so, SO disgusting! What an awful human…
 

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