How to find reliable dealers
1] Use common sense. If something looks too good to be true it won't be real in 99%. Do not think you are the lucky one.
2] Ask for proper ID (scan sent by email) and good references of the exporter. Everyone has an anonymous email today so how can you know the real name of the person trying to sell you something. If the exporter is not able to prove his identity forget about him/her.
Ask the exporter if everything is included in the price (documents, shipping, paperwork...) or what additional costs you will have to pay.
3] Be VERY careful with upfront payments. Ideally make a small trial order and only after everything has worked out properly then make the big order.
For bigger shipments you will have to pay at least the shipment upfront.
4] If you paid the asked amount in full and the dealer asks you for some additional money (for any reason, like paperwork, death of the collector and other Steven King-like stories) to be able ship the animals NEVER EVER send any additional money - just forget your money and send me an email. This is the classical CAMEROON SCAM (use Google and you will find quite interesting
facts) and all the additional sent money will also be lost.
5] Be aware that air freight shipment can be VERY expensive and that the cost of the shipment of small numbers of animals can be more expensive that the animals themselves.
6] Do not be naive and do not expect that things in third world countries work like at home in Europe or the US. Expect to wait for weeks to get your parcel and expect that the seller to have a completely different understanding of pretty much everything.
So discuss everything that is important to you in detail with the exporter.
7] Not only the country of origin has laws regulating the export of animals but most countries have strict regulations of importing animals! Please ask your authorities about any of those import regulations BEFORE you buy/import living animals from foreign countries. If the customs of your country confiscated and killed your animals on import because it is illegal to import them into your country - don't accuse the seller of being a swindler!
Other good tips:
Never pay before animals have arrived healthy and fit. (Even if you have already ordered there and everything was all right.) Arrange before with suppliers, that you will not pay for ill and dead animals. Send photos of animals concerned. Respectable suppliers agree with that. Ask for photos. Good dealers often cannot name the species, but can send good photos. Suppliers, who cannot afford a camera, often cannot send animals
How you can identify scammers:
Traded animals are seldom named before.
Wanted animals are mostly available.
Technical questions are not answered at all, are badly answered or are wrongly answered. Habitats and origins of the offered animals are seldom known.