Snakes for Sale: The 3 Most Reputable Ways to Buy Snakes

Written by Megan Martin
Published: June 17, 2022
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Young boy putting snake into its tank

Learning about reputable ways to buy snakes helps ensure your snake will live a long, healthy life.


While many people may be hesitant about bringing a snake into their life, they can actually make great companions. They’re intelligent, have their own personalities, and can even exhibit a wide range of emotions. However, if you’re looking for your own slithery companions, it’s important to learn the most reputable ways to buy snakes. 

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Just like when adopting dogs and cats, where you get your snake from matters. Not all breeders and suppliers are created equal, so it’s important to learn about where you’re planning on buying from. However, if you’re stuck at the beginning of your snake shopping, we’ve created this guide to walk you through reputable ways to buy snakes.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

Reputable Ways to Buy Snakes

Snake fencing

Snakes are intelligent animals with a wide variety of emotions – just like humans!


Some of the most reputable ways to buy snakes are to look into online suppliers, attend expos, or reach out to local breeders. Because each of these methods is different from each other, they each offer their own benefits – all while being a safe way to buy a snake. 

No matter where you choose to buy your snake from, the best way to ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable source is to do your research beforehand. This can include doing online research on the breeder or supplier such as reading references and reviews as well as learning more about how they keep their snakes. 

If you’re ready to learn more about the most reputable ways to buy snakes, keep reading!

Online Suppliers

While it may seem a little strange to buy a pet online, online suppliers can actually be one of the most reputable ways to buy snakes. This is because online suppliers aren’t usually a single breeder but a single hub in which you can access many breeders who have undergone screening and testing. This helps ensure that you’re shopping from a safe, reputable breeder for your snake.

Online suppliers can also be a good way to learn more about different species of snakes at a time. What sets them apart from pet stores, however, is that online suppliers are experts in snakes and snake breeding, meaning that they’re the perfect source for information. 

Because these suppliers are online, they often have more customers from more locations. This is helpful when checking reviews and references, as you’ll get a more comprehensive view of the customer experience. 

Reptile and Snake Expos

Reptile and snake expos are similar to online suppliers but often occur in person. Here, you’ll be able to walk around an event hall and interact face to face with top snake breeders from around the nearby area and sometimes even world. However, despite their similarities, expos do offer one benefit over online suppliers.

When you’re shopping purely online, you only get to see what the supplier or breeder wants you to see. However, many experts often bring their available snakes to these expos, meaning you’ll get to see them in their natural state. This can help you better gauge health and temperament before purchasing your snake. 

Reptile and snake expos can also be a good place to learn. Many booths are designed around informing just like they are selling. Taking some time to stroll around and hearing what the vendors have to say about their snakes, reptiles, and even products can be a good way to become more accustomed with the culture around reptile keeping

You can also learn what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to a snake breeder. For many expo events, vendors are required to meet certain standards. This includes health and safety requirements for their snakes. As a result, many of the vendors at reptile and snake expos have already undergone one round of research. This means that you can rest assured knowing your focus is less on finding a reputable breeder or supplier and more on finding the right snake for you. 

Reputable Breeders

Lastly, snake breeders are another one of the most reputable ways to buy snakes. Often, reputable breeders are the ones behind expos and suppliers. As a result, going to the source is often one of the best choices.

Reputable breeders tend to only specialize in one species of a snake, however. This means that before researching breeders, you’ll need to be absolutely sure of what snake species you want to adopt. Taking the time to learn which snakes fit best with your lifestyle is an important step in the snake buying process, no matter which path you choose to take. 

Red Flags to Look For When Buying a Snake

Snakes come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different personalities. Make sure to pick the right one for you.


While online suppliers, expos, and breeders are some of the most reputable ways to buy snakes, that’s not to say that all are created equal. It’s still important to be aware of red flags when buying a snake to help ensure that are you adopting a healthy, well-tempered snake into your life. 

When shopping for the right snake for you, here are some red flags to be aware of. 

Signs of Illness or Disease

Whether you’re buying your first snake or your tenth, it’s important to make sure that you’re choosing a snake that’s been set up for success. This means avoiding breeders selling snakes that clearly have signs of illness or disease, including snake mites.

Sick snakes can struggle to survive, and they may require costly vet visits. To help avoid these, it’s important to give your snake a healthy start by only shopping for healthy snakes. 

Some of the signs of illness in snakes to look out for include

  • Breathing problems
  • Discharge
  • Unhealthy skin
  • Unusual shedding
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy (lethargy).

Little to No References

Just like with any business, reviews and references are important to help you understand the quality of a business. This is especially true when you’re looking to buy a snake. While it’s understandable that newer businesses may have fewer references, you should try to steer clear of snake breeders or suppliers that have little to no references.

References, or reviews, are generated by real customers who have had experience with this particular breeder. As a result, they can give great insight on what to expect and whether or not you should avoid this particular breeder. 

Poor Environment for Snakes

One of the number one reasons to see how a breeder or supplier keeps their snake is to better learn about their conditions. Poor environments and enclosures can inhibit a snake’s ability to thrive, and it can even lead to illnesses and disease. When possible, try to visit the breeder in person before purchasing a snake. Otherwise, conduct research to better learn how they keep their snakes. 

The exact specifications depend on the species of snake, but all snakes should be kept in a safe, clean enclosure at all times.

Multiple Species of Snakes

This is one red flag that goes for nearly all breeders of any species: one breeder managing multiple breeds/species. While this isn’t as important with online suppliers or expos, where multiple breeders may be represented under a single company, it is important for local breeders.

Snakes are unique creatures with needs specific to them as individuals as well as a species. When a breeder keeps several different species of snakes, it can be more difficult to provide them the care they need. While it isn’t impossible for a breeder of multiple snake species to be a reputable way to buy a snake, it may be a red flag – especially if other warning signs are present. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Krisda Ponchaipulltawee/

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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