PuppyFind Review: Accessibility, Ease, and Selection
There’s nothing quite like the joy of adding a new puppy to your family.
While their boundless energy and constant antics will soon lose their novelty, seeing your family and children playing with their new best friend is one of the best experiences everyone needs to have. However, especially in recent years, it’s becoming harder and harder to find reputable sources to locate and purchase animals from.
The rise of so-called “puppy mills” has scared off many prospective pet owners from purchasing a dog of their own—for fear of contributing to a marketplace that seems to promote animal cruelty.
Still, you know that you’d take good care of your new best friend for as long as you can. So where can you easily find the right puppy in the right breed without worrying about nefarious breeders?
PuppyFind promises to be the answer.
Much like disruptive startup industries like Uber or Airbnb, this website sees the difficulty in obtaining services through larger organizations and puts the power of buying and selling in the hands of the consumer. This “crowd-sourced” method of buying and selling animals makes it easy for anyone to put up a puppy for the right family to find.
But is it so simple as locating the right animal on the website and heading to pick them up? And how does this website make money? Most importantly—does it promote or otherwise support institutions like “puppy mills?”
To find out, we’re going to need to take a closer look at this website, see what everyone’s been saying about this service, and try to uncover whether or not a service like this is right for you and your family.
How Does PuppyFind Work?
This website seems to utilize a user interface that’s quite like Craigslist or similar online marketplaces.
Once you log into the site, you have the option of either buying or selling a puppy. For buyers, the website provides local listings that break down the type of puppy you may be looking for by breed and other metrics. These puppies have all been listed for sale by their breeders, who fill out a short profile and provide their contact information to all prospective buyers on the site.
The website also works as an aggregator for certain breeds, dogs, prices, and more. You just need to put in your specifications, and the relevant breeders will be linked directly to you.
From there, the work of the website shifts away, and the private exchange of the breeder and the buyer takes place. The buyer uses the contact information of the breeder to talk about and exchange further information about the puppy in question. A date and time are arranged, and—hopefully—the buyer ends up gaining a brand new friend in their family.
After the exchange, buyers have the option of reviewing breeders on some metrics. These reviews are used both by the website owners, who sift through the comments and remove bad breeders, as well as prospective future buyers from the same breeder.
And that’s it! Utilizing a simple, easy-to-use website, this crowd aggregator aims to please the most amount of people by making the process of finding and locating a new puppy as simple as it can be.
What Sets PuppyFind Apart
Ease of use might be the first thing that comes to mind with this website, but what sets this website apart from the similar competition is its work as a method for breeders and buyers to interact with (almost) no outside interference.
Many current puppy aggregator and seller websites force breeders to be more closely affiliated with the website in question. This comes with the benefit of greater oversight and regulation of the puppies being sold (more on this later) but does mean that overhead costs a significant amount more.
At the same time, breeders often utilize as many avenues of sales as possible to find prospective buyers and sell their puppies. Using a website that takes up so much time and—in some cases—requires breeders to work exclusively with them is often not something sellers are interested in.
PuppyFind works differently. Without so much as pulling out a credit card, buyers and sellers can begin to interact with each other with a minimal amount of headache. Breeders and sellers are also not required to sign exclusivity clauses and sell exclusively on the site.
The website is also virtually free to use on the part of the buyer. That means that, if you’re looking for a puppy, there’s almost no risk in setting up an account and reaching out. That level of communication, without needing to go straight through an office or salesperson, is what makes crowd-sourced puppy shopping increasingly more popular than brick and mortar stores.
How PuppyFind Turns a Profit
Of course, nothing is run for free—and something needs to pay for the servers and hosting costs, on top of the labor needing to run a website like this. To fund itself, this online puppy retailer uses a unique setup that’s going to take a little bit of explaining. For reference, all of the following comes straight from their Terms of Service.
When it comes to buying, there is little chance you’ll need to spend money—for reasons we’ll get into a little later. When you reach out to a subscribing seller, there’s no money exchange except for that given specifically for the purchase of the animal. The website, at least in the eyes of the buyer, gains nothing.
However, this excludes purchasing animals from non-subscribing sellers. In this case, a fee from six to fifteen dollars is taken from the buyer to gain the seller’s contact information. It’s a steep price for a buyer to pay without even committing to the puppy in question, and is primarily why almost all sellers on the site utilize the subscription method.
So what is the subscription method?
To avoid cutting their prospective buyer base off at the knees, most sellers opt to sell with a subscription. By giving the website twenty dollars a month, sellers can contact buyers, and the other way around, free of charge. This allows for the free exchange of puppy and price with no more influence from the website itself.
This setup is fairly unique to this specific website and incentivizes the website to make sellers happier than buyers since sellers are how the site generates revenue. This will come into play a little later on, but generally, it means that sellers are more likely to be pleased by the customer service they’ll receive from the website.
Unfortunately, this puppy aggregator performs less than admirably than you would hope. While the service is greatly effective when it’s functioning properly, the consensus is that a lack of oversight can cause problems.
The website works as an aggregator of many different strangers with a low barrier of entry—which is precisely why heavy moderation is key to eliminate unruly and demanding buyers, as well as sellers that may or may not be operating puppy mills.
Since the website is generally geared in favor of the seller, many of the issues that come about seem to be predisposed to be solved in their favor. Since the website is also short-staffed, it also does not have the human resources to go through and vet each seller—meaning that buyers on the website need to work to ensure the validity of their prospective puppy seller
The small business element to the website also creates an entirely new problem with reviews.
Keeping in mind that the sellers are the ones generally holding up the operation of the website, the moderators and owners have determined that issues with reviews will not only be solved in their favor, but handled by them as well.
For instance, consider you purchase a puppy from a seller and have a negative experience. You would write a negative review, but since the website’s operators have given the power to the sellers to moderate reviews, you could quickly see your complaint erased and out of sight of future buyers.
This is most commonly an issue with puppies purchased either across the nation or otherwise needing to be shipped to the buyer. Since there’s no way to vet the puppy before the purchase, there have been a few reports of buyers receiving either sick dogs or dogs that were not the breed that was advertised to them.
This may sound like a serious flaw in the design of the website, but unfortunately, this is the side-effect of operating a crowd-aggregator such as this. Similar websites and programs like Craigslist, OfferUp, Airbnb, and more will experience similar problems, and a myriad of people come away from those services with positive experiences.
The same is true for this website; and there’s every indication that thousands of families walk away from the site with a transparent, positive experience and a happy new member of the family. Should you have a problem, you can also contact support and receive a thorough response in just a few days.
Picking up a dog is always a wonderful thing, but for those inexperienced with crowd-sourcing for services and products, be wary of ordering dogs from far away or from sellers you cannot vet first.
How It Compares
When compared to similar companies like AdoptAPet, PuppyProject, and Petfinder, this particular website comes across as a more accessible but less streamlined alternative.
You’ll find that some websites have a focused on heavy moderation and certification of their sellers, which can take the fear out of ordering an animal shipped to you from a far distance. This makes such websites perfect for people that are serious about buying purebreds or otherwise can’t afford to vet their sellers.
However, this moderation will come at a cost, and both sellers and buyers can expect to shell out some extra cash for the convenience. Likewise, there are similar crowd aggregators, but these tend to have less market share than PuppyFind—which has gained much success due to the sheer amount of sellers on the website.
Picking the right online website is going to be tricky. However, we can say that PuppyFind holds its place as a respectable, low-cost alternative to some of the more premium, purebred websites.
What We Think
Ultimately, you get what you pay for. This website comes with a host of features, a review system, and lots of prospective buyers and owners. For a seller, this may be your cheapest bet to sell your pets, for buyers, using this website means taking more responsibility in your hands for a more streamlined pet purchasing process.
So what do we think? Ask yourself the following questions to see if this website is right for you:
- Are you buying locally?
- Do you have time to independently verify a seller’s claims?
- Are you able to ensure your prospective puppy has been vaccinated beforehand?
- Are you uninterested in purebreds?
If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, then we can confidently recommend this website to you. It’s difficult to find a website that’s so easy to use, and quick to put you in touch with the right person for your job.
However, much like purchasing from smaller shops or in flea markets, you’ll need a little bit of experience in negotiating and defending your interests from would-be con-artists.
Provided you’re ready to assume control of that responsibility and aren’t interested in paying hefty premiums for healthy puppies near you, PuppyFind certainly is worth looking into.
Whether you go with this website or one of its competitors, we’re glad you’re considering taking on a new family member and giving them the best possible care that you can.