Communicating with Customers

Inquiries

By publishing your Animals as For Sale/Public/Active, you are making your product available for buyers to find in their searches, by browsing morphs, and through your store page. Your ads have an  Inquire to Buy button which easily allows buyers to send you a message about purchasing this item. These messages will be both sent to your email address and be available in the Messenger on our site.

Responding to Customers

Users may also contact you by other channels using contact information on your Store Page such as your phone number or Facebook page. Your email is concealed to protect it from spammers. These inquires are outside our messages system.

For any inquiry that comes through our messages system, you need to respond once by replying to that email or on our messages page so that MorphMarket knows you received the inquiries. If you have already contacted them in another way (e.g., phone), you still need to either use the 'Already Responded' Quick Reply button on the messages page or send a short message to notify our system. If you do not reply, it will possibly in the short term impact your Responsiveness Rating. All of this is described below in more detail.

The next two sections discuss two ways to manage your messages: on our site and by email. You will likely use both at times.

Responding via Email

Our messages system uses a 2-way email relay to improve deliverability and protect against abuse. When you receive an email inquiry, click 'Reply' and it will be sent back to us with an address like:

This is the address you want to reply to. Use your email program as you normally would to communicate with the buyer. This will likely handle most of your communications, but sometimes you will need additional information (such as the buyer's email address) or functionality and this is provided in the Messenger as explained next.

Responding via the Messenger

You can privately access all of your messages sent through our system on the Messager. This can be useful if you are having problems with your email or you want to use a 'Quick Reply' action.

To expand messages click the dots icon or click the message. To reveal reply options, click the arrow icon. In general you will type a custom message into the text and press 'Send'.

The user's email address will be visible here once you have responded to the inquiry one time through our system. This can be useful for later sending an invoice.

Quick Replies are buttons that perform templated responses and other actions for certain scenarios:

  • Already Responded: Let the messages system know you're on top of it. This will not send an email.
  • Sold to Them: Indicate that this buyer purchased the item. This will not send an email.
  • No Longer Available: Send an email, mark item as sold, and close the thread. If you want to follow up that you have something related available, send a custom message instead of taking this action.
  • Decline Inquiry: Send an email and close the thread. This is the way to respond promptly that you're not interested, for whatever reason. Buyers will generally not like this, so please use sparingly and prefer a custom message.
  • Block User: Automatically closes all open threads and prevents the user from creating any new inquiries to you.

Some actions close the thread, which means that neither party will be able to send additional responses.

Knowing Your Customer

To learn more about the user who has sent an inquiry, access their user profile. In email, you will find a link near in the footers of the email which will also display their real name and zipcode if known. In the Messenger, you can click on the username to visit their User Profile. User Profiles are only visible to sellers that the user has contacted.

The User Profile gives the user an opportunity to communicate to you about themselves. First, we ask all users to provide their name and general location information. The purpose of this information is to save you time by having this information readily available. This information and more is available to all contacted sellers.

Next, we optionally ask them to provide other details like their age, phone number, a description of their experience and interest in reptiles, and other links. This extended profile is only visible to MorphMarket members. We also include some high level stats about their activity. The point of these stats is to build your confidence and trust in them as a qualified buyer, while respecting their privacy. This is a feature some users may choose to opt out of but we have cautioned them against it.

As indicated on the profile page and detailed in our Rules, we expect sellers to keep this information in strict confidence. You may only use it for the purpose of responding to their inquiry to you. Also, please note that we have no way to verify the accuracy of what they have shared.

Additional Recommendations

  • Reply to the user at the top of the email. In other words, don't "inline" your responses into the text that they wrote.
  • You may attach up to 20 MB of photos to your emails, but we recommend attaching less than 15 MB at a time. If you need to share more images, we suggest adding more photos to your ad (coming soon), sharing via www.imgur.com, linking to cloud storage (such as Google Drive), or emailing them directly.
  • Whitelist MorphMarket's email addresses to reduce the change of it discarding our messages as spam as explained whitelisting.
  • Send yourself a test inquiry via one of your ads on the site. You should receive it within a couple of minutes at most. If you never receive an inquiry, follow the directions in our Mail Help.

Find answers to more questions about our Mail System in the Help Center.

Benefits of our Messages System

Email is inherently unreliable. It can be overlooked or blocked by any number of systems between the buyer and seller's inboxes. This is why we have followed other major marketplace/classifieds websites in implementing this system. It provides many benefits:

  • Inquiries which receive no response can generate alerts and reminders.
  • Inquiries that are "lost" can be better traced and diagnosed. We no longer need to rely on a buyer's word as to whether a seller responded.
  • Ability for users to login and view messages which they might have otherwise missed.
  • Messages are less likely to get blocked and/or lost by spam filters.
  • A seller's prompt response times can be displayed as a selling point.
  • Records in the event of a dispute.
  • Ability to better protect our members against fraud, abuse, spam, and other violations of MorphMarket's policies.

Responsiveness Rating

The responsiveness rating describes how consistently a seller has recently responded to inquiries. This is a great opportunity to shine by trying to maintain an average response time of a day or less, but our main goal is to warn buyers about sellers who are not responding at all.

This responsiveness rating is determined by the percentage of inquiries that you respond to through our messages system. It also captures how quickly you sent those responses. There is some grace here: not referring to an occasional inquiry will not hurt your score. Also, it it is only calculated based on the past few inquiries, so slower responses or non-responses will only affect the rating temporarily.

We understand that sometimes it's easy to miss an inquiry email, and so after 48 hours of not hearing back, we will send you a reminder about inquiries not responded to. You can simply reply to that email to write them.

Remember that even if you have replied by some other channel or don't want to engage at all, you still need to take an action on each inquiry to let our system know. You can do so using the Quick Reply buttons such as "Replied Elsewhere" or "Decline Inquiry".

If a seller has a very low responsiveness score on multiple inquiries, we will first post a notice for them to see on our website. If they remain unresponsive for 6 days, we will send an email notifying them. After 14 days, our system will automatically expire their ads. These notices are in addition to the individual email reminders mentioned above.

If you find that your ads have been expired, it's easy to renew them by using the Renew action on the Animal Manager. However, please work to address whatever communication issues led to the unresponsiveness, so that the users of our site can have a great experience.

Away Status

During periods when you are unable to do business as usual, you can enable Away Status on your Store Profile page along with a custom message. This is appropriate for circumstances such as when you are traveling or due to prolonged weather conditions preventing shipping. Away Status has the following effects:

  • When a user inquires on your ad, they are informed you are away and to expect delayed response times. They are also shown your custom message.
  • You will receive inquiries like usual during this period, but we won't send you any reminders.
  • Inquiries you receive during this time period won't be factored into your responsiveness score.

Inquiry Message

Premium or higher accounts have a feature which enables the setting of a message which is shown to users when they click inquire. This message can be used to convey additional ordering instructions and may contain links. Read more about it here.

Closing the Sale

Due to the complexities of live animals and shipping, MorphMarket does not provide a "Shopping Cart" or "Buy It Now", but instead directs the buyer to you. You may close successful inquiries directly in whatever method you are accustomed to using, such as PayPal or credit card over the phone.

Shipping

We expect our sellers to follow best practices while shipping to their customers. Please read our guide on How to Ship Live Reptiles.

We recommend using RedlineShipping.com. You can save 60% off the Fedex rate on your first TWO shipments with coupon code MORPH60.

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