How To Sell Your Tortoise? [Tortoise Selling Guide]

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

You can not ignore the hassle of selling a tortoise. Well, that is because most people do not know the process. Hence, I am addressing the issue and discussing the solution together.

Follow the below steps to sell your tortoise:

  1. Make sure the pet is legal for trading.
  2. Decide on a reasonable price for the pet and find a buyer.
  3. Finish any required legal paperwork after money transactions.
  4. Deliver the tortoise to its new owner via courier or in person.

Find more details below.

How To Sell Your Tortoise?

I get it if you want to sell your favorite tortoise. Of course, tortoises are blessed with a long life, and not everyone is ready for such commitment.

In many cases, the keepers buy a breed with much excitement and then lose interest in the species. Again, maintaining the pets in a financial crisis can also be a reason for selling a tortoise.

No matter what your reason is, selling the tortoise is not a crime. If you maintain the state laws, you can legally hand the pet to a new owner.

Here is how you sell a tortoise,

  • Note the tortoise’s species, history, size, lifespan, care history, medical issues, etc. It will help you advertise for the pet.
  • Next, decide the price for the tortoise. You can ask around to find out the market value of the pet. The price will increase if you sell the whole setup.
  • Advertise the tortoise in front of potential buyers.
  • Once the deal is done, wait for the money transaction.
  • Complete any certification or paper works related to the tortoise.
  • Call the express courier service for the delivery. Make sure the company has a work history of delivering tortoises.

Find Potential Buyers Around You

The main challenge of selling a tortoise is to find a suitable buyer. But thanks to digitalization. Now we can reach more buyers than before.

Here are 6 possible ways of looking for a tortoise buyer,

1. Tell Your Friends & Families About This Opportunity

It is always the best idea to start with your friends and family. If any of them agrees to buy the tortoise, then great. The pet stays in the family, and you can see it anytime.

You can even help your friend or family with whatever advice is needed. Also, you don’t have to go through all the hassles of searching for potential buyers here and there.

But yes, you may have to offer your friends a heavy discount. In most cases, owners do not want to bear the loss.

2. Ask Around In The Neighbourhood

You can tell your tortoise enthusiast neighbors about selling your pet tortoise. Ask them if they are interested in buying the pet. You can also request them to spread the word among their friends and families.

You should also talk to the local pet stores and gauge their interest in buying your pet tortoise. Generally, the shops do not buy from the locals. Even if they approach you, the money is low.

Well, there are many good sides to selling the tortoise in the locality. This way, the pet does not experience a massive weather change.

Moreover, you meet the buyer in person and can tip him with your experience. Not only that. You can help the buyer in any tortoise-related trouble anytime.

However, the number of turtle lovers will be limited in any residential area. It is because tortoises are not as popular as dogs or cats. Hence, selling the tortoise in the neighborhood is tough.

3. Join Online Tortoise Communities

I have seen hundreds of tortoise-lover communities on Facebook and Reddit. You can join those hubs and try selling the pet there.

Online communities are the best when you hate interacting with people face to face. Also, the platforms allow you to connect to thousands of potential buyers. Therefore, there is a high chance of selling the pet with minimum hassle.

Selling the tortoise through an online community has a concern too. For example, in most cases, you can not meet the buyer in person. As a result, you can not assure his purpose or how he will treat your lovely pet.

4. Advertise In The Tortoise Forums

Reptile forums are quite active these days. Keepers from all around the world share their concerns and help each other raise their pets.

Fortunately, these online tortoise forums can be an excellent opportunity for sellers. You can set up your account and share the tortoise profile. Interested buyers will knock you and proceed with the buying process.

Online forums are a better selling point than communities. It is because the members are mostly tortoise keepers. Also, they totally understand the needs of the pets.

However, the forums are not exactly the right place for selling. People on those platforms are more interested in socializing and often get irritated seeing those posts.

5. Consult The Online Pet Stores

You can approach online reptile stores to sell your tortoise. Different shops show interest in buying rare or exotic species.

The store moderators and salespersons are experts in handling tortoises. Hence, you do not have to worry about the pet’s health.

However, the stores will sell the tortoise to any potential buyer. It means they try to make a profit on the bought pet. Hence, most of the time, you receive an amount lower than the market rate.

6. Commission Online Websites

Online websites are now popular for buying and selling all kinds of things. Even these websites have categories, especially for pets. Take Craiglist as an example.

Some websites cut commissions from sellers to promote their products. But considering the attention you get, the money is worth it.

But yes, not all websites are good for buying and selling tortoises. Also, considering the competition, you may have to struggle to sell your pet.

Perfect Age To Sell A Tortoise

You should not sell a just-born tortoise. Instead, you have to wait for at least 2 – 3 months. Switching home is stressful for the hatchlings, and they can fall sick.

Baby tortoises are born vulnerable and have a low immunity system. But with growing age, the tortoises will become stronger and learn to tolerate stress. Therefore, you have to wait a few months.

In the USA, you can only sell tortoises when they grow a carapace of 4 inches. It reduces the risk of spreading Salmonella. In any case, do not sell a sick tortoise. This is the national law, and the accused will be fined.

Catch the signs of a sick tortoise from this write-up.

How Much Do Tortoises Cost?

The rate of tortoises depends on several factors. For example,

  • Species
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Physical health

While the Russian tortoise or the leopard tortoises are cheap, the Egyptian tortoises are expensive. It all varies with the availability of the pet. Also, exotic and rare species are more costly.

Similarly, the hatchlings are available at a low price. But you have to pay more for the adult tortoises. Again, if the tortoise is physically ill, you can not charge more from the buyer.

However, if you are not a breeder, the selling price will be lower than the market rate. You can not complain about it.

Also, the seller has to bear the transportation and other documentation costs in many cases.

But remember. The price will increase if you sell the tortoise with the whole setup.

Is Selling Tortoises Illegal?

Selling tortoises is legal as long as you are breaking no rules. For example, in the USA, you can only sell hatchlings with a minimum of 4 inches of carapace growth.

Babies smaller than this range carry salmonella bacteria. Also, the children tend to put the tortoises in their mouths.

So, if you are in the USA, measure the carapace of the tortoise before listing it for sale.

However, there are no such regulations on selling adult tortoises. But of course, you can not take the creatures from the wild and sell them for your benefit.

Again, you need a license to pursue breeding and selling as a profession.

Selling the tortoise is more complex in the UK. For example, you have to match your species with the CITE Annex list.

You need an Article 10 certificate from the concerned authority to sell the tortoise if it belongs to Annex A. Tortoise breeds of this list are,

  • Angonoka Tortoise
  • Berger’s Cape Tortoise
  • Bolson Tortoise
  • Egyptian Tortoise
  • Geometric Tortoise
  • Hermann’s Tortoise
  • Madagascar Flat Shell Tortoise
  • Madagascar Spider Tortoise
  • Marginated Tortoise
  • Negev Tortoise
  • Pancake Tortoise
  • Radiated Tortoise
  • Spur Thigh Tortoise
  • Galapagos Giant Tortoise

When buying a tortoise from Annex A list in the UK, you must collect the TSC and SSC certificates. You must transfer those tokens to the new buyers while selling.

However, you need to do no hassle if your tortoise falls in the Annex B list. For example, Horsefield tortoise, leopard tortoise, Sulcata tortoise, red-footed tortoise, etc.

Before You Go

You may want to check the online store options available for your sale. I have listed the trusted tortoise pet stores in the linked article. You can catch up with them and discuss the selling of your pet.

Where To Buy Sulcata Torotise?

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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