Move Those Pups! How to SELL your new litter of Puppies
By Justin Stephenson
After weeks of peeing, pooping, playing, crying and chewing, it’s finally time for your litter of pups to find new homes. Unfortunately, many breeders find out too late that getting the pups ready to sell is only half the battle. After all, you’re not breeding dogs just for the fun of it, right? The next step is the most important part if you want to make some money and not just pursue a hobby, but for a lot of breeders, it’s also the most difficult: how do I market my puppies?
It may seem like a silly problem at first. After all, puppies are the most adorable animals on the planet, so you’d think they’d sell themselves. But all too often, amateur backyard breeders find themselves with a houseful of puppies and no phone calls. Check Craigslist or E-bay right now and you’ll find what are probably some very nice, responsible breeders dumping dogs at discount prices simply because they need to get rid of them. There’s probably nothing wrong with the animals, it’s just that no one knew they were even up for sale. Unless you have effective means to move your pups, you may end up ditching your little investments at a loss or worse, surrendering them to an animal shelter.
Good breeders don’t even get started breeding until they know how they are going to market their dogs. Almost every puppy for sale by serious breeders will be vaccinated, vet-checked, and registered. But how do you boost the price from $300 to $1,200? The short answer is traffic. You’ve got to get people looking at your dogs. If you’re serious about making real money breeding dogs, make yourself a website or a Facebook page and get your name out there. Newspaper classifieds may snag some attention, but serious buyers are going to be looking for you on the internet, so make sure they can find you.
If you’ve found some interested customers, it is vitally important to collect and keep their contact information. This way, you can keep in touch with prospective buyers, judge their merit as pet owners, and maximize profits by keeping a larger customer base. Also, if you can get people signed up for mailing lists, you can send mass emails to previous customers when you have a new litter. This will keep them informed of your practices while also keeping you, your business, and your dogs in your customer’s minds.
As I said, marketing is only half the battle. You also need to provide quality, healthy animals and thoughtful customer service. Remember that while you’re trying to make some money, your customers are making a decade-long commitment to the animal, so be patient and talk to a lot of people. And in the end, be sure that all three parties (the breeder, the buyer, and the dog) walk away happy.