In short, looking like you care, matters. You can be the best breeder in the entire world, but you won't be successful if you don't have a basic understanding of marketing, advertising, and depreciation. Someone looking to buy a puppy is going to have a hard time if you can't communicate clearly, and they are less likely to buy a puppy if the only pictures you have are low quality, casual cell phone type photos of your dog just hanging out on the couch, or a litter of puppies in the dirt. Those that are looking to see the adult dogs, want clear photos from the front and side, stacked if you're able to do so, and at the dogs level. Now since most of the kennel operation is done by myself, I do my best, and I try to give a good variety of pictures, but adult dogs aren't always the most cooperative. Puppies are a bit easier. When taking pictures of puppies, don't be afraid to use a nice backdrop with the best natural light you can get in your house. It certainly looks a lot better than the classic, holding puppies up while someone else takes a picture, look a lot of breeders go for or again, my personal pet peeve, dirty puppies in the yard. If you can't be bothered to clean them up for a photo that you're trying to advertise with, I won't think you've ever bothered to do much of anything else with them, either.
In a perfect world, you have a home lined up for every single puppy before they are born, but life is rarely so perfect. Maybe you have an extra, maybe someone has to back out, maybe both! This is where advertisement comes into play. When making an ad, use those nice photos we mentioned. Nobody is really interested in candid shots at first, they want to know that the puppies are loved and well taken care of, not how cute they looked covered head to toe in puppy food from their first solid meal. State your price and what is included with the puppy; Some people think mine are expensive until they realize that they come with a lot more than the cheaper puppies do, and it evens the odds, so to speak. If you have no intention of selling breeding rights to anyone, say so up front. As a breeder, it's frustrating to go through someone else's interview process, only to be told they don't sell with breeding rights. Advertising puppies is a lot like a car dealership: Cars are detailed before being photographed or put on the show room, the show room itself is pristine, and they tend to put a good amount of time into getting good pictures that show the entire car. You wouldn't buy a vehicle that still had the old owners garbage piled up inside, and you'd probably try to work a free car wash into the deal if what you're looking at is covered in mud!
This brings me to depreciation, and yes, like a used car, this applies to puppies, too. The majority of buyers are looking for an 8 week old puppy, or something they can take home around that time frame. If you are unable to find your puppy a home by the ideal time frame, after about 10 weeks, it's time to consider lowering your price. Puppies have an open socialization window that closes after 16 weeks, and anything after that will be a harder adjustment on them. Maybe their new owner has someone in the home in a wheelchair, and your puppy probably won't be socialized to that. Sending them home at the appropriate timeline can make it an easy change, vs a puppy who will have to be gradually trained to accept the motion and sound that can come from something huge and scary like a wheelchair in the house! In short, don't be greedy. Don't lose sight of finding the ideal home for your puppy because you think it still deserves top dollar. This goes even more so for adult dogs. Unless you've put significant titles into your dogs, your adult dog really isn't worth more than 100-300 dollars, depending on breed, paperwork, vet records, and more. Nothing gives me a bigger eye roll than people who say things like, I paid 2,000 for her as a puppy three years ago, so now I only want 1,500. That's not how it works. You paid for a brand new car who lost value as soon as it was taken off the lot, so to speak, and an adult dog is a bigger risk and can require more training and/or rehabilitation than a puppy who hasn't yet learned bad habits.