Perfect !!! Thank you soooo much.As a hobbyist, then typically, the Australian Consumer Law will not apply to your transactions.
The question is not "are you operating for profit",
so much as it is "are you engaged in trade of commerce" (even if no profit).
As a hobbyist, the presumption is that you are not engaged in trade or commerce.
That being said, even if the ACL doesn't,
the overall law of contract certainly applies.
This means, basically, that you (both buyer and seller) are obliged
to deal fairly and honestly with each other in all respects.
Which brings me to this...
The term "holding deposit" has no meaning.
You're either selling the dog, or you're not.
If you take an order, then you take an order.
Even if delivery is at some future time, and even payment is not in full at the time of order.
You are not required to take the animal off the market while a customer pfaffs around.
Do not think of a holding deposit as"Don't sell it to anyone else".
Think of it as "Sold to <whoever>, to be delivered when ready".
Strictly speaking, rather than being a deposit, that's an "option".Note it is possible to have conditional 'holding deposits'. Most times these are non-refundable deposits where you agree not to sell the puppy to anyone for a certain period of time. But you need to be very clear to the prospective purchaser the money is non-refundable if they do not proceed with the purchase, though is refundable if you decide not to proceed with the sale. This represents a contract in its own right and is independent of the eventual sale contract.
Can get messy and is often why many people do not like using 'holding deposits'. Using the word 'deposit' is a misnomer in many situations and if you are going to use this type option, call the option something else - like '7 day holding option'. Deposit denotes part payment and is part of the final sale contract.