Home » Where Can I Sell My Pet Tortoise? (6 Ways To Find A Buyer)
where to sell my tortoise?

Where Can I Sell My Pet Tortoise? (6 Ways To Find A Buyer)

Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Samantha Harris

Many tortoise species can live for 50 to 100 years, making them life-long pets. Of course, keeping a tortoise this long isn’t always feasible due to changing personal circumstances.

Sometimes, you can’t home a tortoise any longer due to a lack of space, no-pets policies from landlords, long-distance moves, financial constraints, partners’ preferences, and time limitations.

Given tortoises’ popularity as pets, there are places you can sell a tortoise online and offline.

Where To Sell My Tortoise

To help you find the right platform, here are some places for selling tortoises:

Local Communities

You can contact a local community and find people interested in buying the tortoise.

Someone from your neighborhood or local town may be the ideal buyer. You can ask local pet shops, veterinary surgeries, and neighbors. Alternatively, advertise in the window at a local store.

Pros

By selling locally, you won’t need to transport the tortoise far. Additionally, there are no concerns that a change in environment will make it harder for the tortoise to live outdoors.

Because you meet up in person, you can gauge the dependability, suitability, and experience of the person you’re selling to. You may be able to see the buyer’s setup in advance.

Cons

Tortoises aren’t as common as cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds.

There’s a chance that only a handful of people will be interested in owning a tortoise. Also, they might not want to join a community for reptile owners, making it harder to reach them.

Online Communities

It’s easier to connect with other people online, especially if you’re not a social butterfly or don’t have a wide circle of friends locally.

You can log onto communities from Reddit or Facebook and search for large reptile groups where members live a defined distance from your home, such as less than 20-30 miles away.

Many online communities have discussion areas for people looking to buy, sell, or trade tortoises.

Pros

Online communities have more reach, connecting enthusiasts across city and state lines.

You can talk to more people in less time and be sure they’re interested in tortoises. The likelihood of finding an experienced owner who can care for a tortoise is also higher.

Cons

The wider an online community’s reach, the harder it’ll be to assess people personally. You may find it hard to verify that the tortoise is going to a loving home.

Likewise, depending on where the interested buyer lives, you may need to travel a significant distance to deliver the tortoise or have the person come to you for collection.

Online Forums

The tortoise protection group and other online forums are dedicated to owners. These tortoise forums may not require you to have a profile or sign up to engage with others on their pages.

This makes them more effective than social media, which often has casual users, as these forums cater to more experienced and dedicated groups of tortoise lovers.

Pros

Assessing buyers online is hard, but it’s easier in communities specifically for tortoises or reptiles.

These forums often let you look at posts other members have made. This can give you information about how experienced and knowledgeable a potential buyer is about tortoises.

Cons

Most of these forums aren’t geared toward selling pet tortoises. Instead, they’re geared toward socializing with other reptile owners.

Some forums may have spaces dedicated to selling pets, but not all do. Fewer members will look at these spaces, which can limit how many responses you get.

Is it illegal to sell tortoises?

Online Marketplaces

You can look at websites where you sell and buy items.

These places may include a section about pets. One website is Craigslist, but you can also check Facebook and Instagram’s marketplaces.

Pros

Websites like these are specifically intended for buying and selling. They’re ideal spaces if you want to profit from selling a tortoise.

Anyone here will expect to pay a fee and be more eager to purchase. This means you’ll reach a broader range of people who are less likely to ask for a free tortoise if that’s not your objective.

Cons

Because these websites aren’t specifically for reptiles, it can be hard to assess buyers. Most users won’t look for tortoises, so your post may be overlooked.

Those who want to learn more about caring for tortoises will spend time in spaces intended for tortoise owners. That said, finding reliable, trustworthy buyers on these websites is achievable.

Websites To Sell Pets

Some websites are geared toward selling all species of pets, and some are tailored toward reptiles. Websites like these include Fauna Classified and Underground Reptiles.

Pros

They’re similar to online forums but tailored toward selling pets, not just discussing or giving away pets, which makes it easier to find a buyer.

Cons

How secure they are is down to the moderators and website owners.

You’ll often find these websites have strictly enforced rules, which can be daunting to new members. However, websites with these policies are safer and keep your transactions secure.

Verify how legitimate the website appears. Ensuring you’re in a trustworthy community is even more critical for online marketplaces. Check for genuine reviews.

Friends And Family

Looking for buyers among friends and family members is the best approach. Reach out to them through text, social media, phone calls, or when you meet them in person.

Pros

As you’ll know everyone well, you can quickly verify if they’re suitable tortoise owners. You don’t have to join communities or make accounts for online groups.

Some friends or family will already know the tortoise and understand how to care for it. Also, you can visit the pet tortoise after selling it.

It’s easier to keep in contact with friends and family. Also, you can ask for updates and offer advice.

Cons

This method has less reach. It can be hard to find a buyer exclusively among people you know, especially if you don’t have a large family or wide social circle.

When selling to friends and family, you may not get the amount you want. You may feel compelled to discount them, which could lead to hostility if they believe the price is too high.

You’ll be connected to the tortoise long-term. The person may expect additional assistance from you, or feel free to give the tortoise back if things don’t work out.

What Age Can Tortoises Be Sold?

Tortoises can be sold once they’re at least 2 months old, but some breeders wait 3 months to be sure the tortoise’s immune system and stress tolerance are optimal.

Rehoming tortoises can put their health at risk, even more so for juveniles.

According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, new experiences (like sights, smells, and surroundings) can cause stress in tortoises. Stress has been linked to an increased risk of diseases.

When juveniles get sick, their sickness affects their growth, leading to a deformed shell, which may be permanent. Before selling, ensure your tortoise is:

  • Eating regularly.
  • Used to its enclosure.
  • Consistently healthy.
  • Used to people.
  • Has a daily routine.

How Much Can You Sell A Pet Tortoise For?

The price of a tortoise depends on its age and species. The older a tortoise is, the more expensive it’ll be. The more exotic or uncommon the species, the more it sells for.

Hatchlings from Russians and leopards sell for $50-100. If the tortoise is older, factor in its health, care, and temperament. Mature, exotic species can fetch upwards of $1,000.

When selling a tortoise, factor in other expenses, including:

  • Transportation costs.
  • Necessary documentation.
  • Additional equipment, like toys or enclosures.

Tortoise For Sale with Full Setup

Unless you have other pets that can use the gear, selling a tortoise with its setup is recommended. This will ensure the tort adjusts to its new home and feels comfortable in its enclosure.

Providing the original setup is also wise if you’re concerned about the quality of the tortoise’s care with a new owner. It’ll ensure the new person doesn’t leave the tortoise without a valuable part of its enclosure. It’ll have space, toys, hiding spots, and decorations.

The only disadvantage to including the setup is that it’ll drive up the price, which some buyers may find off-putting. For a quick sale, offering the gear at a reduced price can make the offer more tempting.

Is It Illegal To Sell Tortoises?

Depending on where you live, selling a tortoise may be legal, restricted, or illegal.

For example, in the United States, national law prohibits selling tortoises less than 4 inches long. Small tortoises can hasten the spread of diseases.

According to Pediatrics, tortoises and turtles (all reptiles) can spread salmonella at any size.

In the United Kingdom, tortoises considered endangered by the Convention on Internal Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) can’t be sold without documentation. Documentation differs based on the size of the tortoise.

Local laws relating to certain counties or cities may affect a sale. Consult with local authorities when unsure. Finding tortoise communities in your area online will put you in the right direction.