Some tips for buying canaries are selecting healthy, active birds, buying birds from reputable breeders, and not purchasing birds who are in the midst of moulting. Another important tip for buying canaries is to make sure they are young enough to respond to training.
When choosing a canary to buy, it's important to observe the behavior of the available canaries, and pick one that seems healthy and active. If a canary acts drowsy or lethargic or has unkempt feathers, it is probably not in the best of health and therefore not a good investment. In addition, make sure the canary does not have any discharge around its eyes, beak, or under its tail feather, as this could indicate disease.
Another important tip relating to canary health is not to purchase one that is in the process of moulting its feathers. Moulting is a stressful phase for a canary, and the strain of moving to a new home at the same time could be hazardous to the bird's health.
Research breeders before making a purchase. In general, breeders who exhibit their birds often tend to have good reputations, as their birds need to be kept in good health in order to show. Personally assess the condition of a breeder's aviary, and don't buy from him if the space seems dirty or mismanaged. Buying a young canary is preferable to buying an adult, as younger birds are easier to train.