Tortoises can live for 50-100 years, making them long-term pets. Of course, most owners wish they could keep their tortoises forever, but this isn’t always possible due to changing personal circumstances.
There are times when you can’t home your tortoise any longer due to a lack of space, a long-distance move, financial constraints, or time limitations.
Given tortoises’ popularity, there are various places where you can sell a tortoise online and offline.
Where To Sell My Tortoise
When selling a tortoise, some marketplaces are better than others. To help you find the right platform, here are some good places for selling tortoises:
1/ Local Communities
You can reach out to your local community and find people interested in buying your tortoise.
Someone from your neighborhood or local town may be ideal. You can start by asking local pet shops, veterinary surgeries, or next-door neighbors. You could even put an advert at a local store.
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 your tortoise to live outdoors.
Because you meet up in person, you can gauge the dependability and experience of the person you’re selling to. You may even be able to see the buyer’s setup in advance.
Tortoises aren’t as common as other pets, like cats and dogs.
There’s a chance that only a handful of people around you will be interested in owning a tortoise. Also, they might not want to join a community of other reptile owners, making it harder to reach them.
2/ Online Communities
It’s easier to connect with other people online, especially if you’re not a social butterfly, don’t know many people, 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 special discussion areas for people looking to buy, sell, or trade tortoises.
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 specifically interested in tortoises. The likelihood of finding an experienced owner who can care for a tortoise is also higher.
The wider an online community’s reach, the harder it’ll be to assess people personally. You may be unable to verify that your tortoise is going to a loving home.
Likewise, depending on where the interested buyer lives, you may need to travel a fair distance to deliver the tortoise or have the person come to you for collection.
3/ Online Forums
Online forums, such as the tortoise protection group, are dedicated to tortoise owners. These online forums may not require you to have a profile or sign up to talk 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.
It’s hard to assess buyers online, 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 info about how experienced and knowledgeable a potential buyer is about tortoises.
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 of them. There will also be fewer members looking at these spaces, which may limit how many responses you get.
4/ Online Marketplaces
You can also look at websites made specifically to sell and buy items.
These places may include a section about pets. One common website is Craigslist, but you can also check Facebook and Instagram’s marketplaces.
Websites like these are made specifically for buying and selling. They’re good spaces if you want to profit from selling your tortoise.
Anyone here will expect to pay a fee and will be more eager to make a purchase. So, you’ll reach a wider range of people who are less likely to ask for a free tortoise if that’s not your intention.
Because these websites aren’t specifically for reptiles, it can be hard to assess buyers. Most users won’t be looking for tortoises, so your post may get overlooked.
Those who want to learn more about caring for tortoises will spend time in spaces made for tortoise owners. That said, finding reliable, trustworthy buyers on these websites is possible.
5/ Websites To Sell Pets
They’re similar to online forums but are tailored toward selling pets, not just discussing or giving away pets, which makes it easier to find a potential buyer.
How secure they are is down to the moderators and owners of the website.
You’ll often find these websites have many rules that are strictly enforced, 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. For online marketplaces like these, ensuring you’re in a trustworthy community is even more important. Check for reviews of these websites.
6/ Friends And Family
Looking for buyers among friends and family members can be the easiest approach. Reach out to them through text, social media, phone calls, or when you normally meet them in person.
As you’ll already 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 your tortoise and understand how to care for it. Also, you can even visit your pet tortoise after selling it.
It’s much easier to keep in contact with friends and family. Also, you can ask for updates and offer advice.
This method has the smallest reach. It can be hard to find a buyer only among people you know, especially if you don’t have a large family or wide social circle.
You may not get the amount you want when selling to friends and family. You might feel compelled to give them a discount, which could lead to hostility if they believe your price is too high.
You’ll also be connected to the tortoise long-term. The person may expect additional help or advice from you in caring for the pet, or they may 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.
When juveniles get sick, their sickness affects their growth, leading to a deformed shell, which may be permanent. So, 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 your tortoise will depend 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’ll sell for.
Hatchlings from a common species, like Russians and leopards, sell for $50-100. If your tortoise is older, factor in its health, care, and temperament. Mature, exotic species can fetch upwards of $1,000.
When selling your tortoise, include other expenses you have in the price, including:
- Transportation costs
- Any 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 full setup is recommended. This will ensure the tortoise adjusts quickly 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 your tortoise’s care with a new owner. It’ll ensure the new person doesn’t leave your tortoise without a valuable part of its enclosure. It’ll have all the space, toys, hiding spots, and decorations it needs.
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 it a tempting offer.
Is It Illegal To Sell Tortoise?
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 in length.
Small tortoises are believed to hasten the spread of disease. Both tortoises and turtles can spread salmonella at any size, but Pediatrics said that a 2015 outbreak of salmonella was due to small turtles.
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 will differ based on the size of your tortoise.
Local laws relating to certain counties or cities may affect a sale. So, consult with local authorities when unsure. Finding tortoise communities from your area online can put you in the right direction.