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Koi fish swimming under a lily pad

Buying and Selling Koi: A Cautionary Tale

Koi hobbyist. It’s probably one of the most misleading terms in the world of animal keeping. Yes, there are some that try it, even managing to quit it entirely. But for most, once the koi bug bites, it’s a lifetime where free (and sometimes not so free) time and spare (as well as not-so-spare) cash is spoken for.

And, as a koi owner, you have to start somewhere. Dipping the proverbial toe in the pond waters of koi keeping means that you will have to either buy or inherit your koi from one source or another. And yes, sometimes that means even on “classified advertisements websites.”

Experienced Koi kichi are a little better seasoned, and generally eschew the “call before you come over” and “only on weekends” pitches. They have gone through enough ringers to know what they are getting into. They also know a deal when they see one.

But in order to get that one deal that makes those hours spent sorting through posts on the interwebs, there will be a fair share of head scratchers, howlers and SMHs to weed through first. Here are some of those posts.

The “Wordy, Descriptive, Almost-Seems-Feasible-Until-You-See-it Called-Leather-Koi” Post

We are moving and must rehome. The Male Koi pictured has a cherry red head. It looks orange in the photos, but is RED.

Sanke koi fish in murky water

In the 2nd. picture, the fish we are talking about is the one in the center that has three colors.This beautiful fish is about 12 years old. He is a leather-koi, meaning he is scaleless so his color is very vibrant! He is about 16″-18″ long.

The next to last photograph, in the picture frame, is his paternal grandfather winning in the Houston Koi Club.

Framed Koi Show Award certificateThis fish, named Trinity, is beautifully colored with red, black, and white. The tri-colors are well balanced. I wouldn’t consider selling him if we weren’t selling our home. $500–he is a centerpiece of beauty! He is young and guaranteed healthy or money back. (They live 80-100 years). I selected his parents, manually bred them and raised him from one of 1500 eggs. He is the one I hand picked and kept for myself. The picture of all the babies has him somewhere in the mix somewhere! He is one of a kind, living art

There is a back story. This little guy has a name, pedigree, was manually bred, a centerpiece of beauty and is one of a kind. At $500, they are cutting their own throats.

The “Willing To Take Fish Off Your Hands” Post

Looking for large koi fish to put into a 1/3 acre pond at my house. Interested in any at least 10″ or bigger and willing to pay for them depending on size and colors but not looking to spend a lot primarily just give them a good home they will never out grow. 314 six10-913two located in Festus but work in south county and willing to drive to get them and or help remove if needed.

Also would be interested in Pond Plants that have outgrown your pond.

Will consider trading some labor to clean a pond or related work as well, I have a Aquarium/Pond business but looking for items for my personal large pond. Thanks!

large one acre pond looking for koi to fill

So, this is a simple stocking/rehoming project right? But money could change hands—however, only for fish of a certain criteria. Oh yeah, he also has his own business that may or may not sell koi. And he will pick up.

I am looking for any unwanted Koi Fish. I have a one acre pond with lots of room to swim with other koi!

Gorgeous sanke koi in clear blue water

That’s either a giant fish or one acre has gotten a lot smaller. Looks sad, too. Could definitely use some company in the stock photo.


The “Spells it Kio, Not Sure What the Actual Cost or Products Are” Post

I have ten (10) kio fish 8-12in 5-8lbs for sale $200
Also a filter for the pond $70
Tank when clean pond $75

Lots of koi in small pond

Guaranteed to be great quality, despite the egregious overcrowding.

The Not as Advertised Post

free to a good gome.
I have one 6 inch white koi Fantail. Love right in town.
Email only please

Picture of a goldfish mislabelled as a koi

I’m no koi expert, but I thought they came with barbells….

Gome. It’s where all the good people live.

The “New Species of Koi, Flash On, Not Sure What I’m Looking at, Pls Bring Money to Rehome” Post

100-200 koi need rehomed to make room. $250 rehome fee for all $150 for half. Local pick up only. The Koi range in size apx 2 inches up to apx 6+ inches or more. Butterly and standard. Lots of dif colors. Plz feel free to contact me if interested.

Koi fish in a pond under a net

If you want to take care of these free fish, it’ll cost you. Also, it’s a pity that with net, the sun burst and the blurriness that you can’t make out the Butterly koi. Love to see what they look like.

The “Pretty Sure Those Colored Blobs are Healthy Koi” Post

Koi – $15

Koi for sale! Approximately 5 to 6 inches long! Healthy one year old Koi ($15.00 each) Call or text to make an appointment to see the Koi….text or call

Thank you!

blurry picture of koi in a pond

Koi are beautiful fish. They sell on appearance. A photo showcasing that beauty (or what is on offer even) can be very helpful. And remember. Call or text. Text or call.

The Ol’ “Buyer Beware” Post

This one out of San Fran promised

free koi to pick up at fremont


Free Koi to pick up. Plan to remove the fish pond. If you needed, you are welcome to pick up! Various size and healthy. Txt for arrangement.

But went straight to this

notice that content has been flagged for removal

Not every post is gotten to on time, though. Have your dukes up.

The “Am I Getting What I Pay For?” Post

I have koi fish for sale. Small 1-6 inches. $1 to $5 each. Mostly orange and white. I’m in the town of North Boston. Pick up only on the weekends.

numerous colorful koi swimming in blue water

A buck doesn’t get you much anymore. And if it does, you probably wanna know why.

The Perhaps a Better Photo Then? Post

5 excellent koi, Tancho, Asagi, Gin-Matsuba(orangeblack/metallic) Ogon(orange) and Skeleton koi.

These koi are beautiful, two years old, markings/color are amazing. Orange Ogon measures 18″, Tancho and Gin Mastsuba are very close on size with Asagi at 15-16″. Current price at koi nurery is 250-285 each based on size, color and quality. Pictures do not reflect beauty or size. Parasite free and ready to move. Selling as a group only. $600 OBO

Please don’t waste my time and lowball.

poorly shot photo of koi fishj

Has a superior understanding of adjectives, if not the types of koi. Perhaps the prices include the extra descriptions.

The Captain Kirk Sales Pitch Post

I have these two pond koi That need re-homed. I’m overstocked. I have two others, one jet. Lack (good luck koi) the other is the same as these- it have been elusive. This is. Great price for their size.

$5 each, bring something to carry them

dark koi in a plastic tub filled with dirty water

These. Are. Top notch. Fish. I am selling. Them. For well less. Than. I should. Be. The measuring tape is a nice touch though. The pond fixings, too.

Now, having looked at some of the no-no’s, there are some good finds to had on all lists. Stay vigilant. Ask questions. Ask for better pics. Beware the $Free.99 price tag. Ask someone in the know about the deal. In general, koi enthusiasts are extremely helpful and always willing to lend their expertise.

Of course, you could always look at fine koi-selling establishments (you know, like Next Day Koi for instance) for incredibly well-priced, high-quality koi from some of the most trusted names in koi dealership. You know what you are getting, and better yet, you have guarantees.

4 Responses to Buying and Selling Koi: A Cautionary Tale

  1. Lisa klein September 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    I have 49 koi… of all sizes… they are beautiful… treated with the upmost care… the large ones are over a foot in length… all kinds of colors… solid gold.. they are just beautiful

  2. patric hogan December 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    I have 13 koi fish ranging in size from 2 at 30 inches and the rest range from 15 to 22 inches need to find a good home.

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