Most people involved in sales understand the necessity of a sales policy. Such may not be the case of the novice rabbit breeder or even the experienced breeder. However, a sales policy for your rabbits is very important.
It is not uncommon to see individuals and businesses sued over some of the most incredible things. A perfect example is McDonald’s being sued because their coffee was hot. Now every cup at McDonald’s states to us the glaring obvious that their coffee is hot. It is a dangerous miscalculation to assume that selling a rabbit would not put you at some risk. McDonald’s has the benefit of carrying liability insurance, a luxury that I doubt most rabbit breeders have.
Liability is just one problem. Another problem is that relating to expectations. Do you have a sales policy that clearly describes what you provide with the sale of a rabbit? Many relationships falter because of unmet expectations. If your customer feels their expectations are not met, then they will let their friends know that as well. Our goal is that everyone that buys a rabbit from Three Little Ladies Rabbitry goes away being very satisfied. However, if our policies are not clear then they may have expectations that we cannot meet. So here are a few items that you should consider placing in your sales policy to protect you from liability as well as keeping your customers satisfied.
We guarantee that the rabbit is healthy to the best of our knowledge when it leaves our barn. We will take prospective buyers through an examination of the rabbit so that they can see for themselves that it is healthy. We have two key phrases in the policy, first is “to the best of our knowledge” and the second is “at the time of sale”. It is impossible for us to know if there is something going on inside the rabbit, that has not manifested itself on the outside, hence the first phrase. The second phrase makes it clear that once the rabbit leaves our barn, its the new owners responsibilty for its health.
Our return policy is that we do not accept them. I know that seems somewhat harsh, however there is a very simple reason for it. When we sell a rabbit, we generally fill that slot in our rabbitry with something else. That means if someone wants to return a rabbit, we don’t have space available for it any longer. This gives us some flexibility should someone ask to return a rabbit. The expectation based on our policy is that we don’t, so if indeed we cannot take the rabbit back, the customer will generally be understanding about the policy, and if we do take the rabbit back then we’ve gone beyond expectations. However, do the the inconvenience when we actually do take a rabbit back, we do not refund the money, but will on occasion offer a replacement.
Everyone wants to buy a grand champion rabbit for $30. When someone calls or emails us about a rabbit, we ask them many questions. What do they want to spend? What do they want the rabbit for? Do they prefer a buck or doe? Are they looking for specific colors? We then try to recommend a rabbit that meets all of their criteria. When they arrive on our “farm” we show them the rabbit, examine the rabbit, explain the rabbits weaknesses, etc. Many times the prospective customer will say they aren’t interested because the rabbit isn’t perfect. I explain that quality is usually reflected in price. We very clearly state in our Sales Policy, that we do not guarantee show results. In fact since every judge is different its not possible to predict results anyway.
Our policy is that we will not deliver rabbits by plane. The time and expense is not worth the effort for us. We will deliver to shows that we attend, and will work out arrangements for interested parties within a 100 miles or so. Even with this policy we receive many questions about delivery.
I recommend that every breeder adapt a policy on holding rabbits. It is in your best interest to require some type of non-refundable deposit on all rabbits that your customers request you hold on to for them. If there is no deposit, people will back on without a second thought. The problem is you’ve held unto a rabbit, and may have missed out on opportunities for other sales while you waited for that customers. You should also include a hold length. This all depends on how long you want feed a care for a rabbit that you have agreed to sell. Our policy is two weeks, which typically gives you and your customer plenty of time to arrange a pick up.
Many other things can be included in your sales policy. We let customers know how they can contact us if they should have any questions. We prefer email, or our forum, as opposed to phone calls. We state that in our sales policy. Also will you provide anything with the rabbit? This would include such things as food (enough to help the rabbit convert to their new owners food), pedigree, etc.
Having a clear sales policy will let your customers know what they can expect from you. As a result, you will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings, and even a potential lawsuit. Visit a lot of rabbitry websites, and review their sales policies. This will give you ideas for your own. Click on this link to view our Sales Policy
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry