Default Store Policy

Store owners have a responsibility to their customers to have a clearly written Store Policy for situations that may occur. Your Store Policy is the enforceable contract between you and your customer.

This Default Store Policy defines a minimum set of expectations which will be applicable for Sellers who do not otherwise override them in their own Store Policy on our site and/or communicate them in writing before the sale. These terms are subject to change, and therefore we recommend that Sellers override them on a point-by-point basis in their own policy in their Seller Profile. Feel free to copy and adapt the language below.

Note that while a custom Store Policy can and should override the following, it cannot override MorphMarket's Rules or provide immunity from the rules. Any underlined text in Guarantee sections below are considered part of the rules and cannot be overridden by any other Store Policy or prior agreement. For more details on how we implement these policies, read the MorphMarket Moderation Policies.

All disputes mediated by MorphMarket will be based on the Seller's Store Policy as it is written in their Seller Profile at the time of the sale. If, at that time, the seller's profile asks buyers to refer to another website for sales policies and TOS, those terms will not be taken into consideration and the Default Policy terms below will apply (since May 1, 2021).


  • Full Refund and Return (FRR): compensation amounting to 100% including the cost of the animal plus shipping plus return shipping costs (unless Seller does not desire for animal to be returned, such as if the animal died in shipping). This includes Seller purchasing the return shipping label and paying for the $5 FedEx pick-up service, if necessary.
    • Alternatively, the Seller can send an acceptable, agreed-upon replacement at their own expense.
    • Alternatively, if the Buyer refuses to return the animal, NRC applies.
    • In the event of a dispute involving an FRR resolution, MorphMarket will determine the order of return vs refund based on the unique circumstances of that particular dispute.
  • Claim Period: Time period which Buyer has from delivery to contact Seller and make their claims. Evidence should be included with the claim or provided upon instruction from the Seller.
  • Return Period: Time period that Buyer has to arrange suitable shipping dates with Seller, making sure the shipment will not land on a weekend or holiday. This timeline does not begin until the FRR resolution has been accepted by all parties.
  • Non-Return Compensation (NRC): If Buyer refuses to return the animal, Seller does not have to refund the full amount, but may be expected to provide a partial refund depending on the value of the animal received.
  • Proof: Should the Buyer and Seller not be able to agree, MorphMarket will make the final determination of whether sufficient proof and evidence have been provided to support a claim or its defense.
  • Statute of Limitations (SoL): The maximum period of time that can elapse between a cause of action and when a formal dispute is filed with MorphMarket.
    • You can file a dispute at any time, but if the SoL has passed, MorphMarket will not mediate that dispute.
    • A dispute filed even without mediation will go into the records and could weigh on future action for or against parties involved.


Payments, Deposits and Refunds

  • Deposits are non-refundable if Buyer backs out of a deal. Any amount paid by Buyer that is defined as a "deposit" in the ongoing transaction is considered a non-refundable deposit. If Seller does not specify that additional payments are non-refundable or sales are final, or does not specify the percentage of a full payment that represents the non-refundable portion, that amount shall not exceed 10% of the asking price.
  • If Seller backs out of a deal that Buyer has paid money into, Seller is responsible to pay back 100% of the money, including any portion labeled as non-refundable. Seller must also refund any additional amounts paid by Buyer for the shipping label.
  • If Seller fails to ship the order for more than 7 days after final/full payment and does not communicate that delay (e.g., weather conditions) to the Buyer, then the Seller may forfeit all rights to any non-refundable portions and owe the Buyer a 100% refund if/when they ask for it, subject to MorphMarket’s discretion.
  • If Seller goes 10 days or more without a response to Buyer that has given them money and not yet received the animal, then the Seller may forfeit all rights to any non-refundable portions and owe the Buyer a 100% refund if/when they ask for it, subject to MorphMarket’s discretion.
  • Buyers are expected to promptly respond to communications from sellers, particularly when a shipping date has been agreed upon for an animal. If the buyer remains unresponsive for a period of 10 days or more from the agreed-upon shipping date, the seller has the right to consider the buyer's lack of communication as an indication of the buyer's desire to back out of the transaction.
  • As international shipping can come with huge delays, MorphMarket will not mediate disputes regarding international shipping timeframes.
  • SoL for non-delivery of animal(s) is 60 days from the expected delivery date OR 90 days from final payment if no delivery date has been agreed upon.

Animal Attributes

  • Seller guarantees that the animal being delivered is exactly the one represented in the ad, unless otherwise stipulated in the ad with the use of an official Example Photo.
    • If Seller ships the wrong animal as proven by Buyer, they are responsible for FRR if they cannot send out the original animal. If they can ship out the original animal, they are responsible for all additional shipping fees, both the new animal shipment and the return of the other.
    • Claim Period is 4 hours and Return Period is 1 week.
  • Seller is required to provide accurate genetic information on all animals sold. However, many genetic traits cannot be proven or disproven in a dispute situation. Those that can be proven should have been recognized by the buyer from the outset.
    • Buyer bears a responsibility to know and recognize traits they intend to purchase, including asking for more pictures and lineage information as needed.
    • MorphMarket is unlikely to moderate disputes over genetic traits that should have been investigated by Buyer.
  • Seller guarantees the sex of the animal being delivered, unless clearly stated on the ad that the sex is unknown or not certain.
    • Temperature-sexed offspring are not guaranteed.
    • If Seller ships a wrongly-sexed animal as proven by the Buyer, they are responsible for FRR.
    • Claim Period is 7 days and Return Period is 1 week.
  • Seller guarantees that the animal delivered will be at least 80% of the advertised weight and length. (For this reason it’s recommended to advertise the "dry" weight).
    • If the animal received is less than 80%, as proven by the Buyer, Seller is responsible for FRR.
    • Claim Period is 4 hours and Return Period is 1 week.
  • SoL for disputes involving Animal Attributes is 60 days from the date the animal was received.

Animal Health

  • Seller guarantees the animal was shipped out in a healthy state and shipped according to all FedEx rules and regulations.
    • Seller IS responsible for shipping delays and mishaps (which should be rare with good shipping practices and offset with shipping insurance). If an animal dies or is lost due to an unforeseeable shipping mishap, seller is responsible for FRR.
      • This does not include issues caused by the buyer (e.g., wrong address given, door not answered when delivery is attempted, etc.).
    • If an animal dies or is lost due to Seller negligence in shipping then Seller is responsible for FRR.
    • SoL for disputes involving shipping mishaps is 60 days from the date of the original shipment.
  • If the animal is substantially sick or injured as proven by the Buyer (with photos and videos, as needed) then Seller is responsible for FRR.
    • Claim Period is 4 hours and Return Period is 1 week.
    • This kind of claim can be difficult to prove. Disputes involving illness or injury will only be mediated by MorphMarket if substantive evidence is provided immediately with the submission of the Incident Form. This evidence includes:
      • Photos and/or video that clearly demonstrates the health concern involved.
      • Screenshots, with timeline included, that proves Seller was notified within the 4 hour window of Buyer receiving the animal.
    • Mites do NOT fall under the definition of "substantially sick or injured."
      • A dispute based solely on the arrival of mites in a shipment will not be mediated by MorphMarket.
      • Buyers that receive mites in a shipment should leave a negative public rating for the Seller.
    • Any buyer who wishes to have guarantees based on animal virus testing should discuss this with the seller prior to purchase. Agreements should always be in writing. This is a complex topic which can put either party at risk, and seller policies will vary. A few popular testing options are Fishhead Diagnostics and Research Associates Laboratory.
    • SoL for disputes involving Animal Health is 60 days from the date the animal was received.
  • Seller is not responsible for the following outcomes once the animal is in the hands of Buyer:
    • Animal Temperament 
    • Refusing to Eat
    • Failure to Thrive – Buyer cannot hold Seller responsible if a baby animal dies or fails to thrive despite eating (either voluntarily or being force fed)

"Not Ready" Animal Sales

  • Seller and Buyer should agree in writing on the intent of the sale before money changes hands, with options being:
    • Immediate Shipping
    • Established before Shipping
      • The definition of "established" should also be defined before money changes hands (ie: how many successful feedings, weight gain, etc). If undefined, it will consist of a minimum of 3 recorded successful feedings before shipment.
  • All default responsibilities are the same as normal transactions and are listed in the "Animal Health" section above. Most of these can be customized in Seller’s Store Policy
  • The maximum time for an animal to be successfully established after payment has been made is 60 days unless otherwise specified before purchase. If the seller cannot establish the animal in this time window, they must be willing and able to provide a 100% refund of all money paid, upon Buyer’s request.
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