What Buyers Can Expect

Ensuring a positive experience begins with understanding what to expect. The following guidelines outline common expectations, but it's crucial to review the specific policies on each seller's page. If anything remains unclear, don't hesitate to seek clarification, as policies can vary among sellers.

Before Inquiring: We recommend familiarizing yourself with our Inquiry Best Practices. This article picks up where that one left off.


Timely Responses:

90% of inquiries receive a response in 24 hours. However, some sellers are occasionally unresponsive which is why we recommend inquiring to a couple of sellers at once. Be sure to enable your Notifications, and if you don't hear back in a day or two, check your Messages on our site in case the email got blocked by your spam filter.

Detailed Answers:

Some sellers will provide more detailed answers to your questions than others. We recommend that you evaluate their response based on its completeness and timeliness rather than its length. However, if this is an important consideration to you then feel free to find another seller whose service better fits your values.

Inquiry Management:

Sellers are expected to utilize the Inquiry Actions to manage inquiries promptly, as failure to do so may impact the Responsiveness Score.


You should expect that the item is available if it's still listed. However, in practice there is sometimes lag time between when an item is sold and it's de-listed. If you hear back that it's sold, consider it an opportunity to buy instead from a different seller who is more carefully maintaining their inventory.

Listing States:

  • Any: Choose this option to view all animals listed on MorphMarket, regardless of their availability status.
  • For Sale: Select this option if you are interested in animals that are currently available for purchase.
  • On Hold: Some sellers may temporarily place animals on hold, indicating that a deposit has been paid for the animal and they are not available. However, they may become available again if the current deal breaks down.
  • For Sale or On Hold: This option displays animals that are currently available for purchase ("For Sale") or "On Hold."
  • Sold: If you are interested in tracking the sale history or past listings, select this option to find animals that have been sold. This is useful for determining the market value of animals you wish to sell.

Price and Negotiation

Sellers want to be competitive, and it is reasonable to inform them if there is a similar item which is significantly lower in price. However, please do so without the expectation that they will price match. There are many factors built into price such as quality and customer service.

Breeder Business Ethics:

  • Sellers vary in their approach to business ethics. While some sell their animals with minimal ongoing support, others go above and beyond.
  • Top-tier breeders may offer exceptional customer service, providing continuous support on husbandry issues even months after the purchase.
  • Some breeders have dedicated teams committed to ensuring customer satisfaction, which may result in higher costs.
  • Many sellers are not interested in trades. This can be indicated in their store policies, and Sellers who are can be found using the Trades Accepted search filter.
  • See Inquiry Best Practices for more tips on making an offer.


Hold Policy:

Most sellers will not hold an animal until they have received payment or at least received a non-refundable deposit. This means it's possible that the animal you inquire about could get sold while you are exchanging messages with them. While this feels unfair, please understand that inquiries can last multiple days and often do not lead to a sale. For this reason, it's impractical for them to hold an animal anytime someone asks about it.

Payment Methods:

Sellers will accept certain kinds of payment and not others. They may request payment with PayPal Friends & Family. It does not mean they are going to rip you off, but it does limit your options for recourse so use judiciously. The best protection is by buying from sellers of known reputation. For more information on safe purchasing, check our Safe Purchasing Guide.

Payment Plans

Payment Plans typically work like a layaway.

  • The buyer makes an initial deposit and pays the balance within an agreed-upon amount of time.
  • The animal is not shipped until payment is received in full.
  • A non-refundable deposit is non-refundable, meaning that it will be forfeited if the balance is not paid in full by the deadline.
    • Sellers may have their own Store Policies that cover their personal non-refundable payment portions and policies.
    • For those sellers without specific policies, the MorphMarket Default Store Policy applies (Default Store Policy).
  • Sellers are less likely to provide a discount if you are asking for a payment plan, since they are already providing an additional service free of charge.


Shipping Costs:

Shipping is unavoidably expensive because overnight delivery is required to ensure the well-being of the animal. Rates on overnight shipping depending on the distance and required materials. Some sellers have better rates due to shipping a larger volume. Smaller sellers don't have this ability.

Flat Rates and Free Shipping:

Some sellers provide flat shipping rates for the entire continental US. Others may include this amount in their price and call it free shipping. This is nice because it saves a step of having them compute shipping costs for you.

Receiving the Animal:

You will need to arrange a time with the seller when you can be present to receive the animal. This will usually be in the morning between 10 and 12 am.

Shipping to Hubs:

Some sellers will ship to hubs rather than a residential address to keep the package in a climate-controlled facility. Discuss this with the seller before purchasing, as their policies may not allow otherwise.

Shipping Days:

Overnight shipments should be sent out only on Monday-Thursday so that they can be received in one business day. The most common days to ship out are Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Learn more in our article on How to Ship Live Reptiles.


Shipping and Weather Conditions:

Extreme temperatures, whether cold or hot, can impact shipping. Policies regarding weather conditions vary between sellers. If you're in a hurry, especially during an extreme season, inquire about expected shipping times before making a purchase.

Shipping Best Practices:

Refer to our comprehensive Shipping Guide for detailed information on best practices. Both you and the seller share the motivation to ensure the animal's safe arrival, with the primary responsibility lying with the seller.

Temperature Considerations:

While one seller may be willing to ship during low temperatures, it doesn't necessarily mean it's advisable or applicable to all sellers. Ensure that the weather conditions are acceptable at both the shipping and receiving destinations, as well as any hubs in between.


Understanding Policies:

Before making a purchase, thoroughly review all policies listed on the seller's store page. Your agreement to these terms is implicit upon purchasing. Inquire about any additional policies or guarantees not explicitly outlined.

Live Arrival Guarantee:

Most breeders typically only provide a live arrival guarantee. Beyond this, the responsibility for the animal's health shifts to you. Understand that breeders have no control over the environment you provide. Some may extend health guarantees for up to a week or more.


Approaching Challenges:

In the event of issues, maintain a constructive approach. Avoid hostility and allow the seller an opportunity to address and rectify any concerns.

Effective Communication:

Clear and firm communication is key when handling disagreements. Avoid rudeness, as it hinders the resolution process and can escalate tensions.

Sharing Your Experience:

Upon completing a purchase, contribute to the community by leaving a rating. If you don't receive a link, visit your messages page, find the inquiry, click the reply button, and then select 'Rate This.'

Incident Reporting:

For unresolved disputes, utilize our Incident Report. This prompts MorphMarket to mediate the issue for resolution. We aim to respond within 24-48 hours. If there's no response within five days, please follow up.


Managing Post-Arrival Stress:

Recognize that your new pet may experience stress following its journey. Even with an ideal habitat, allow a few days for the animal to acclimate and recover.

Feeding Cautions and Handling:

Stressed animals may exhibit reduced appetite. Use this as an indicator of their adjustment period. During this time, refrain from handling the animal to minimize stress.

Optimal Habitat Setup:

A glass terrarium is often not the ideal initial habitat for your reptile. Opaque walls and snugger spaces contribute to a sense of security during the acclimation phase.

Resources for Care:

Access our Resources page for insightful husbandry articles. Additionally, seek recommendations from your seller for species-specific care guidance.

Social Engagement:

Share your new pet's journey on social media using the hashtag #MorphMarket. Don't forget to explore MorphMarket's social platform, ColdBlooded.

Join the Community:

Become a part of the thriving MorphMarket Reptile Community forums and share your experiences, seek advice, and connect with fellow enthusiasts.


Dive into detailed articles about the genetics, history and discussions about your animal's traits with the Morphpedia.


Sustaining a Healthy Diet:

Be prepared with a reliable source of prey, such as rats or mice for Ball Pythons. While it's convenient to feed them what they're accustomed to, some can be transitioned from live to frozen prey. Consider the logistics - live necessitates weekly store trips, while frozen allows bulk orders and freezer storage.

Long-Term Commitment:

Remember, a live animal requires ongoing care even if initial excitement wanes. Ensure your dedication aligns with the long-term responsibilities of pet ownership.

Benefits of Online Purchases:

Ordering a live animal online involves a more complex process than a local pet store visit. However, the rewards are numerous. Pet store animals may be less cared for, offer limited variety, come at higher prices, and are sold by less knowledgeable individuals. MorphMarket connects you with a global network of reptile breeders, ranging from dedicated hobbyists to seasoned professionals.

Care Wikis:

Find and contribute towards our comprehensive community care guides.

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