I have a huge dilemma, I launched a dog lover community/store/vet chat/information/directory website in Mexico and for the Spanish speaking community. It was launched 7 months ago and it's starting to go big. I am being sponsored by the most recommended dog food brand by vets in the U.S. since 20 days ago. I have the following issue, among the sections of the site I have classifieds of dogs for adoption as well as puppies for sale. I make no money whatsoever of any of this I make it with the intention of increasing traffic and as well for people to have a place to find this kind of information and make a responsible decision supporting themselves with the information we provide in the site and the vet online. Right now I don't have a way to certify the sellers of puppies to make sure they are reliable in order to avoid frauds or risky situations for the users. All I can do is put a disclaimer which is highly visible in this section explaining users the risks involved and to use common sense. An important point to take note is that for now I am loading the classifieds from other sources until traffic is high enough that users themselves publish them.
The issue I have is that the security in MEXICO is so bad that I risk at some point having a bad situation with the users and have very bad press which could risk my relation with my sponsor(s). In the long run ideally I would like to charge per classified to filter at least to some degree the bad elements. What do you guys think? Is it a risk worth having or better to delete this section until I can improve on the security or take it out for good? What is a reality is that any classifieds site (i.e. craigslist, newspapers, olx, etc) as well as sites like ebay all have a % of frauds that you just cant avoid but only mitigate but they dont directly do their money from fixed ads but either from adsense or % of products sold. Thanks in advance for your help!
The public affairs and public relation costs of providing this service will prove astronomical. There are many significant and fair organizations actively campaigning at the federal level to close USDA loopholes to make sale of animals over the internet illegal. Meanwhile there are aggressive petition campaigns to shut down the direct sale of animals online.
It is not just the accidental promotion of a puppy mill, but the sale stolen or lost animals as well.
It is worth monitoring eBay, Craigslist and other major retailers and retail platforms in this regard. Read their policies and consider if you could writ the same.
I said Delete, and the closest I think you should get is selling advertising to breeders. And I would have on file their local, state and federal licenses for anyone that you allow to advertising. Also consider reaching out to an organizational like the Human Society.