When it comes to buying a pet chameleon, there are many different places where you can purchase them. 5-10 years ago, you’re limited to the pet stores and breeders around your area. Nowadays, with the Internet, you can literally find and purchase a chameleon from anywhere in the world.
So where to buy a chameleon? You can purchase a chameleon from a breeder, pet store, reptile fair, private seller, online store, or online classified ads and forums. Each of these places has its advantages and disadvantages.
Below are six places that are great for buying chameleons:
Buying A Chameleon From The Pet Store
With the popularity of chameleons growing each year, more and more pet stores are stocking them now. You can just walk into any pet store, whether it be a mom and pop stores or chain pet stores like Petco and Petsmart, they will have a nice selection of chameleon to choose from.
The most popular species found in pet stores will be veiled chameleons, panther chameleons, and Jackson’s chameleons. These species are popular as they are easy to care for and raise. However, some places may have other species of chameleons available. If they don’t, you can ask them and most places will gladly try to find you one.
If this is your first time buying a chameleon, you should be cautious when buying from a pet store. Most of the sellers at the store will usually have just some basic knowledge of chameleons. Just enough knowledge to get you to buy one. After all, the salesperson at pet stores make commissions on how many reptiles and other pets they can sell.
In addition, they will also try to upsell you with unneeded equipment and accessory for your chameleon. For the first time chameleon owner, it may seem like all the equipment and accessories are needed to raise a healthy chameleon, but it may not be needed. Some of the things will be like elaborate substrates and waterfalls. While they make the environment in the cage look good, these things don’t really benefit the chameleon.
Some pet stores will have a specialist reptile advisors working there. If you’re shopping at pet stores, always ask for one to help you out. If not, make sure you have enough knowledge of chameleons before going to the pet store to buy one, especially if this will be your first time owning one. There is a lot of great information online about chameleons, and this site is a great place to gather all the knowledge you need.
- Large selections of chameleons
- Good price
- Healthy chameleons
- Some location may have salespersons that lack knowledge
Buying A Chameleon At The Reptile Fair
At a reptile fair, this is where all the pet shops, breeders, online sellers, private sellers come together under one roof to sell reptiles. Chameleons are usually sold here and a variety of them as well.
At a reptile fair, since everything is focused on reptiles, there will be a lot of people with knowledge on chameleons and other reptiles. You can gain a lot of insights and knowledge at this gathering.
Depending on where the reptile fair is being held at, it can have just a couple of sellers to hundreds of sellers. Of course, reptile fair in large metro cities will have a lot of sellers, while reptile fair in small cities will be just a few sellers.
The reptile fair is a great place to buy a chameleon since everyone here has a lot of knowledge about chameleons. However, just like anywhere that sells chameleons, their main focus is to get you to buy their chameleons.
Before buying a chameleon from any seller, check their credential, and ask a lot of questions. A seller who sells healthy chameleons will be eager to answer any questions you may have and willingly provide any credentials you ask to see.
Another thing to look for is where the seller is located. If they are someone you’ve never heard of and they are from outside of town, it’s best to find other sellers. If something goes wrong with your chameleon, it will be difficult to track them down and get your money back.
Buy only from those sellers that have a good reputation and have a good track record of breeding and raising chameleons. By doing so, you’ll have a greater chance that you’ll end up with a healthy pet chameleon.
- Large selections of chameleons to choose from
- A lot of knowledgable people
- Some seller are just here to make a quick buck
Buying A Chameleon From Private Seller
Buying from a private seller can sometimes be good and sometimes bad. It will all depend on what their intentions are. Some are moving to a new location and just want to get rid of the pet chameleon. Some don’t have time to care for their pet chameleon anymore. Then there are some who want to get rid of their chameleon due to health issues. Chameleons with health problems will cause you a lot of money to care for. To prevent this financial burden, they will want to get rid of it.
When buying from a private seller, make sure to go to where the chameleons are housed. You want to see what kind of conditions they are living in. The living condition of the chameleon will tell you if the owner has been taking good care of it. However, some sellers may just try to clean up the cage before you come. Therefore, always do your due diligence first. An unhealthy chameleon will cause you a lot of headaches and money to take care of.
Inspect the chameleon thoroughly and see if it has any health issues. The chameleon should have a bright vivid color from head to tail. Their eyes should be glossy and both eyes moving independently of each other. If possible, try to feed them and see how they react. A healthy chameleon will focus it’s eye right away on the food your giving them and grab the food with its tongue quickly.
Another thing to consider is the age of the chameleon. Most species of chameleon only have a lifespan of about 5 years. Since it’s hard to determine the age of an adult chameleon, you’re just going with what the seller says. The seller could say the age of the chameleon is 2 years old, but in fact, it’s 4 years old. At this age, the chameleon has lived almost 80% of their lifespan already. To prevent issues like this, always buy baby chameleons from private sellers, unless you know what to look for in a chameleon.
What food chameleon eats is also important to know. Not all chameleons will favor the same food. Therefore, make sure to ask what food the chameleon eats so when you bring them home, you know what to feed them.
Additionally, how often they are fed is important to know as well. By following their regular feeding schedule, you will know if something is wrong with them if they are not eating as they should.
If this is your first time owning a chameleon, I don’t recommend buying from a private seller. More than likely, if the seller knows it’s your first pet chameleon, they will say or do anything just to get you to buy it. One point to remember is if the seller is willing to sell the chameleon for a very low price, more than likely, the chameleon has a health issue and they just want to get rid of it as fast as possible.
- Personal attention for the chameleon
- Could get a good deal
- Adult chameleons are already used to being around people
- Unknown health of the chameleon
- Age of an adult chameleon is undetermined
Buying A Chameleon From Online Pet Store
When it comes to buying online, the first thing most people will think of household items, gardening products, clothing, and pet accessories. The last thing on their mind is buying live pets online.
Nowadays, with the popularity of online shopping, you can practically buy anything online, even live pets such as chameleons. With shipping as quick as a couple of hours from the seller directly to your home, buying chameleons online seems like a great idea.
If you do planning on buying chameleons online, always buy from a reputable place. Check forums and do a quick search on the company or seller to see what their reputation is for selling chameleons online. Most places will have feedbacks and you can make a judgment if you should buy from there or not.
If the seller doesn’t seem to have any reviews or a lot of negative feedback, it’s best to not buy online from them. If you still want to buy, you should go directly to the store to examine the chameleon for yourself.
Another thing to consider is the chameleon’s health guarantee. Since you’re not able to examine the chameleons firsthand, they could be sick or have health issues before it reaches you. Therefore, the seller should always have some kind guarantee for their chameleons. If they don’t, find another place to buy. You don’t want to spend your money on a chameleon that is sick and unable to get your money back. Also, you’ll end up with more money out of your pocket for their visit to the vet and medicines. Worse of all, the chameleons die and you’ll end up spending more money buying another one.
If you’re looking to go this route, below are a few good places to buy chameleons online:
- Large selections of chameleons to choose from
- Shop for pet chameleons from the comfort of your home
- Chameleon will be shipped directly to your house
- Most places guarantee the health of the chameleons
- Unable to inspect the chameleon before buying
- The health of the chameleon is unknown
Buying A Chameleon Through Forums and Classified Ads
This falls into the category between buying online and buying from a private seller. Some sellers on here are legit, while others are just trying to scam people. Always try to find out as much as possible about the seller and ask a lot of questions. A seller who cares about their pet chameleons will have no problem answering any questions you have.
After communicating with the seller and you’re interested in buying the chameleon from them, it’s recommended to go and inspect the chameleons yourself. It’s best to buy from a seller that’s within a couple of hours of driving. Any distances longer than that could stress out your chameleon. Chameleon is easily stressed when they are being transported and introduced to a new environment.
Additionally, never send money to the seller and have them ship it to you. Some seller has no clue about how to package the chameleon correctly for traveling, especially over a long distance. Others will just try to scam you or send you an unhealthy chameleon.
- A lot of chameleons available
- May be able to negotiate a good price
- Could be a scam
- Unknown health of the chameleon
- Unknown age of an adult chameleon
Buying A Chameleon From A Breeder
I’ve saved the best place for last. A breeder is the best place to buy a chameleon. Why? To be able to breed healthy strong chameleons, you need to have a lot of knowledge and years of experience. Most of the chameleons you’ll find at these places are second to none.
Breeders are usually the best person in the field to seek advice. If this is your first time owning a chameleon, they are the ones with the best advice on what to do and what to avoid. Most breeders have years of experience under their belt and know what is good or bad for your chameleons.
If you’re looking to buy chameleons from a breeder, just know that it will be expensive. The reason is because of the time, effort, and money involved in breeding chameleons that have good genetics. Chameleons with good genetics are less prone to sickness and have a long lifespan as well.
Like any other places to buy, always try to gain as much knowledge as possible before going to buy one from a breeder.
Also, check the reputation of the breeder you’re planning to buy from. Usually, if they are a reputable breeder with a good track record, there will be information on them online.
Most breeders are trustworthy and will only sell healthy chameleons, but there are some out there who will try to sell you unhealthy one, especially if they know it’s your first time owning a chameleon. To prevent that from happening, try to learn as much as you can about the chameleon you’re planning to buy.
- Good Genetics
- Healthy Chameleons
- The breeder has a lot of knowledge
As you can see, there are a lot of places on where to buy a chameleon. Before buying chameleons from any place, always research the seller and examine the chameleon thoroughly first. If it’s your first time, always try to gain as much knowledge as possible on the chameleon you’re planning to buy.
Dan got started with his first reptile, which was a green iguana, at the age of 10. From there, he has raised many different species of reptiles. Besides caring for reptiles, he enjoys woodworking, playing basketball, and spending free time with my 4 wonderful kids.