AAngel-Ann There's nothing wrong with buying fish online you just have to be smart about it like any purchase. 1 Find out through research here or through google the reputation and reviews of an established online vendor. 2 If you think the pic might be stolen do a google image search. 3 If the seller is a individual on here see if the seller has any previous customers or reviews. 4 When buying from a individual I personally prefer it being someone local so I can inspect the fish before taking delivery or paying. 5 No matter who you are dealing with take screenshots and preserve any evidence of your transaction such as texts, etc in case a issue does arise. 6 Always use paypal in conjunction with a credit card to double your chances of being able to get the charges reversed.
Being burned happens but like all things in life you can't let it make you afraid. If you do often times you cheat yourself out of positive experiences when trying to avoid the bad. Just learn from your mistakes and grow as an individual this way you can enjoy all that life send your way. I've been buying fish online since 2007 and have only had no bad experiences(knock on wood) after spending thousands upon thousands of dollars. The same can be said likewise when I've bought any other product online. Have I had an issue occasionally, yes; did they get the better of me? No because I learned quickly to protect myself without limiting myself.
I find that rather than supporting an industry of poachers in the developing world (who need to find another way in life rather than depend on rapidly depleting fisheries) I can support ppl in the fish community around me who have bred fish that need homes! To me ordering fish online is like going to the pound and not adopting a pit bull or a chihuahua mix. (never mind paying a "breeder" directly - these ppl only care about money not animals I have no sympathy for them/don't encourage them) You know all the full breeds are gonna find homes but all those pits and chihuahuas are gonna fry. Sacrifice is important to success in any area. After a while it doesn't even feel like sacrifice rather it's rewarding to know you did the noble thing and shared the universal burden. These days I take what looks good and have several amazing tanks, which although aren't a manifestation of my wildest fancy they were full of surprises. I'm keeping fish now I never even heard of before by having an open heart, open mind and walking with earnest in the light of our wonderful community