From now on we are requiring buyers to complete a few basic fields in their User Profile before sending new inquiries. The basic fields include:
- First and Last Name
- General Location (Country & Postal Code)
- Phone Number
This change will speed up the inquiry process for everyone. Providing this basic information up front saves both the buyer and seller from having to request or provide it in a series of messages.
Phone numbers are now part of the required fields for a few reasons. First, sellers shipping live animals must provide the buyer's phone number to shipper. Second, phone numbers are valuable for in-person pickups. The Messenger will become progressively more real-time in future versions of our app, but it's always good to have backup communication methods.
We recommend that buyers enter accurate information. While there's nothing stopping you from entering "Daffy Duck" as your name, it will be off-putting to sellers, and you can expect to be declined and blocked frequently. If the name in your profile doesn't match the name in your payment information, that will be a red flag to the seller and will likely cause delays.
We also recommend filling out the optional fields. This information will help you build trust with the sellers and they will take you more seriously from the beginning.
In the future, as we add more support for transactions, we may have certain information such as phone number or full address become to the seller once a transaction has begun. Until then, you could enter a fake number -- such as all 1's -- if you are not willing for sellers to see our number. But again, it's the seller's option (just as it always has been) to decline an inquiry.