Most of us in the rabbit world have been there. There's no hiding it, there's no denying it... you got off to a bad start. Not necessarily ALL bad, but not the start you realized you should had wished for.
This can be good, and this could be bad. Many exhibitors are not educated enough to know the fundamentals of the show world. Jumping the gun and buying whatever they see is not how a new exhibitor should start, but buy researching and making a decision based on importance. (is a color more important than the true overall quality of the rabbit? You decide.)
With being said, it is not all the buyer's fault. An honest hobby breeder should not only sell the rabbits, but ask questions the buyer may not understand. "Do you want a show, breeding, or pet quality rabbit?" With whatever they may choose, to me, I feel it is my responsibility to compare and contrast the difference. You wouldn't believe how many have said "pet", and later find out they MAY want to show the animal, too! It's no difference when asking a pet buyer, "Do you have a cage, you might want to get a brush, do you have young children?" I want to know if my rabbits are in safe hands.
When selling show animals, honestly is the best policy. I've turned down countless sales because I didn't think my rabbit was worthy enough for a good start or improvement for a better herd. I'm willing to show examples, teach, and convince exhibitors. I'm too willing to help them find that perfect rabbit. (well, in my breed of course. LOL.) Many 4-H groups track me down in hopes of finding that quality animal(not just in my breeds!) because of knowing I will do my best and be honest if that rabbit meets the quality to contend at shows. Of course, I can't guarantee it, but I am sure going to do my best in teaching them along the way of what is right and wrong, and anything in between of quality and improvement.
"4-H Quality" is no different quality than a show rabbit, but if you tell me, "I want a rabbit to show at fair, I DON'T CARE ABOUT TYPE." I won't care about type either! You'll catch me 100% of the time assuring this with you. Of course, I will not sell you a rabbit that is all terrible. I won't sell a rabbit with bad type to affect my name. I'm just saying, there's a high quality and a low quality, breeding and pet qualities in my mind. If you possibly cannot care enough about type and what you want, how can I?
I try my best to not only convince in quality but convince out of it, too. The reason being is I was to find determination and know if this is really what this person wants. I want to know if they are buying a PET what they are setting themselves up for, not for a show contender on the show tables.
There are breeders out there who will sell their culls to unsuspecting new exhibitors. Without knowledge, this could cause future heart break, distrust, and quick sell outs. It's a sad a vicious cycle.
For people building herds, I like to ask what colors they have in their herd. If the have shaded and I sell them a chinchilla, and they get shaded agouti kits who are unshowable, that's not fair. I feel it is somewhat my responsibility to keep track of how I'm going to IMPROVE their herd. I ask what colors they have, backgrounds, and what colors they "aim" for. And of course, again, if you say that you just want the rabbit because of it's color, you can have it! But it's not my decision.
I'm more than happy to evaluate your herd and give you advice or try to help you improve it. I'm not in this hobby for only myself, I'm also in it to help because compassion is in my nature. I'm not scared to loose a sale if it is not going to benefit you.
There are those, like me, that have learned the much much harder way in this hobby. I've been sold rabbits as show quality to be complete crap. I've been toyed around and that is OKAY. I'm okay with it! I'm now a much stronger person and value my own opinion more than any other. I don't mean it in a snooty way, but in a way that I have to trust and value my own opinion. I have to know whats right. I spread my knowledge because I love too. Many take advantage of it, too. Sad, maybe so, but I think it is even more sad for those who abuse little things like that.
Rabbits > Hobby.
My friend Timothy of Tru-Luv Rabbitry recently explored outside of the box and found true quality. I am very happy for him. It is not only a improvement for himself, but of all breeders in Malaysia. This will set a new standard of quality for the improvement of everybody's herds. A better person could not have been given for such fine examples of the breed, I believe he will know what to do.
It's not that he did it for himself. He did it for everybody else too. I honor him for that. Thank you Timothy.
Final advice is to do research and don't be afraid to ask questions! LOL.
Wooly World Rabbitry
WWR Zoe, out of one of our first litters. Our first grand champion, and first rabbit to win Best of Breed. Not only that, she was HOMEBRED! :)