Rules for Selling

In order to provide a uniform, high-quality experience to our users, the following rules are enforced. Failure to follow these rules, as well as our Terms of Service (TOS) may result in removed ads, suspension, banning, or other penalties at our discretion. The following rules focus primarily on sellers, whereas the TOS describes expectations applicable to all users.

The following is subject to change without notice; however, consideration will be given for incidents due to rule updates on a case-by-case basis. Where stated, the application of the following rules depends on the membership plan of your account.

  1. Identity and Accounts
    1. A Seller is a person or organization who uses MorphMarket to advertise and sell their animals, goods, and services. Each seller may create only one User Account which is associated with a username and is used to login to the site. A Store is an additional element associated with a seller’s user account, which provides selling features such as a Seller Profile, permits the creation of Ads, and so forth.
    2. A seller may create only one Store per person/business, although you may share the user account between members of your organization as necessary.
      1. If multiple individuals at your organization have User Accounts, only one of those users can be considered the Store Owner.
      2. Contact us if you need assistance with old accounts or Store Owner changes.
    3. All listed Store Owners must specify their legal first and last names on the Seller Profile of their store. Any person listed as an owner must submit ID for verification/approval and will be held responsible for all activities on the account.
      1. Documentation is required to prove the identity of the account holder(s), such as a photo of the person with a government-issued ID.
      2. More steps may be required if the ID photo is suspect in any way.
  2. Communication
    We expect all sellers to conduct themselves in a professional manner and hold them to a higher standard than other users.
    1. Abusive language will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to: swearing at the buyer, using racial or sexual slurs, threats, bullying, or extortion tactics.
    2. Sellers will maintain a reasonably consistent flow of communication.
      1. Inquiries should not be ignored. Use the “Decline Inquiry” option if necessary.
      2. Once a buyer has sent money, the seller has a responsibility to keep open lines of communication. This does not mean responding to every single message from a frantic buyer, but regular professional responses are expected.
    3. We realize that buyers may send annoying, insulting, or “time-wasting” inquiries and questions. Feel free to use the “Decline Inquiry” option on your Message Page rather than ignoring them or responding in a less-than-professional manner.
    4. When necessary, MorphMarket will be the final arbiter on what constitutes abusive language, unethical practices, or negligent communication.
    5. Sellers may not insist that buyers make initial contact with them outside of the MorphMarket Inquiry system, though buyers may choose to do so. Communication through MorphMarket’s messages system gives MorphMarket a greater ability to protect both parties from scams and spam. In the event of a problem, it is far more difficult for us to determine what happened in outside communications.
      1. Sellers are encouraged to list their direct contact information in the appropriate fields of their seller profile (phone, email, website) but are not allowed to provide outside contact information in the free text fields, including the Store Description, Store Policies, and Ad Descriptions.
      2. After initial inquiries have been sent, following up outside the system is acceptable.
    6. Users are not allowed to use the messages system to solicit donations for themselves or any charitable cause without express written permission from MorphMarket.
  3. Ads
    1. Ad details must be accurate.
      1. Genetics must be specific and as accurate as possible.
        1. Trait tags must be used properly. A “het albino” should not be tagged “albino”.
        2. Questionable (“possible”) genetic traits which are not currently supported by our trait tags (e.g., “gravel or yellow belly”) should be clearly indicated in the title and description of the ad.
        3. Please review these definitions and rules regarding the use of Dwarf and Super Dwarf tags for Reticulated Pythons. All rules regarding the use of D and SD tags also apply to the titles of the ads. You may not title an ad with D or SD unless the specific requirements are met.
      2. Sex, weight, age, and other attributes must be as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
      3. Photos must be of the exact animal offered for sale unless otherwise specified with a “Representative Photo” tag.
    2. Sick or unhealthy-looking animals may not be sold on our site.
      1. This includes animals with physical deformities, such as being kinked, even if it is otherwise healthy.
      2. Ads may be removed at our discretion of what appears to be unhealthy.
      3. Very minor cosmetic issues are acceptable as long as they are disclosed in the ad description (such as tiny tail kinks or small scars). Buyers may ask for additional, specific pictures.
    3. Certain genetic mutations associated with adverse health conditions will be given special consideration.
      1. The following mutations are not supported for sale on MorphMarket at this time: Leopard Geckos: Lemon Frost.
      2. A few other genetic mutations that are sometimes associated with health issues can be listed but may have a disclaimer automatically added to the listing to make sure new buyers are aware of possible issues.
    4. An animal can only be listed once by a seller in the marketplace.
      1. The ad may be renewed an unlimited number of times, but a seller may not delete an ad and recreate it (for example, to get more attention).
      2. Two different stores may not advertise the same animal for sale at the same time.
    5. You may not list a “fake price” in the ad. This includes, but is not limited to:
      1. A low price to get around our inventory limits.
      2. A low or high price to indicate “make an offer” or trade.
      3. Unusually high shipping costs to try and get around inventory limits.
      4. You may use a hidden price only if your membership level offers the “Inquire for Price” feature.
      5. Listing a "down payment" or any other kind of partial payment as the List Price for the ad. The List Price must reflect the full asking price for the animal(s) advertised.
    6. You may not post any animals that do not belong to you unless you have written permission from MorphMarket.
      1. You or your team must also have physical possession of any animals you are currently advertising for sale.
    7. User-assigned ID#’s are permanent and unique.
      1. Permanent: Once an Ad/Animal is assigned an ID, it should not be changed to a different one later.
      2. Unique: An Animal ID can only be used for a single Ad/Animal. The same ID may never be reused with another Ad/Animal.
    8. Limited allowance for the sale of not yet established animals:
      1. Available only to qualifying sellers. This is determined by membership levels (see pricing page) and sales history.
      2. Ads for newly hatched/born babies are allowed, but these animals must have the maturity set to “Preestablished.”
      3. While pre-established listings are allowed if properly labeled, animals should be confirmed as healthy and established prior to shipping unless the buyer consents and comprehends the associated risks.
      4. Seller may offer one or both of these options:
        • Immediate shipment upon sale
        • Established by seller before shipping
      5. All Pre-established listings will automatically include a disclaimer about the additional risks involved.
      6. See MorphMarket Default Store Policy for additional information on responsibilities and refund policies.
      7. If the seller’s account does not support Preestablished, then they may only sell animals that are established as feeding regularly and old enough to safely ship upon purchase.
      8. Any seller may create an ad in "hidden/expired" state for upcoming animals which are not able to be shown yet.
      9. No seller may post listings for eggs, pre-hatched, or pre-birthed animals.
    9. The ad’s fields, including descriptions, photos, and store info, may not contain links to any other websites. It may also not include direct contact information (see Communication section).
    10. You may not advertise additional animals or products in the description or store info fields.
    11. "Mystery Box", "Grab Bags", or any similar marketing techniques are NOT allowed on MorphMarket. At some point in the future, we may support this kind of marketing, but at this time, these kinds of ads are in conflict with too many other selling rules.
    12. It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure their ads are up to date.
      1. Mark “On Hold” and “Sold” in a timely manner for ads not available.
    13. Multiple Quantity Animal Ads
      1. All the rules stated for normal ads apply.
      2. Multiple animals may be sold only if your membership level allows it, in which case ads will have a “Quantity” field.
      3. The Quantity field MUST be completed. If not, the ad may be expired and the seller asked to fix it.
      4. There are two types of Multiple Animal Ads that are permitted:
        1. Group: all the animals posted in the ad are for sale as a single unit.
          1. Must all belong to the same Category.
          2. May advertise breeding pairs, trios, or larger sized Groups.
          3. Ad may include mixed genetics, sexes, ages.
          4. All included genetics should be tagged.
          5. Each individual animal should be listed in the description with its specific details, including sex (if known), age/size, and genetic traits. Tagged traits should line up with all traits listed in the description.
          6. If the Group consists of animals that all look basically alike, a Representative Photo may be used if that option is set.
          7. If the Group consists of animals that vary in appearance, pictures of each should be placed in the ad. If the group is too large to accommodate individual pictures, some examples of the group should be shown, and pictures of ALL of them should be on hand to share with those inquiring.
          8. Price listed is the total price for the entire group.
          9. None of these animals may have individual ads or be sold separately.
          10. Quantity field must be set and the “Sold as Group” option must be selected on the ad.
        2. Individual: multiple animals being offered as individual sales and/or in variable quantities.
          1. Must all belong to the same Category and carry the same genetic traits.
          2. Price listed is the price for purchase of a single animal. If selling individual males and females at different prices, the higher of the two is the "Listed Price" for that ad.
          3. Description field may include additional prices for the animals if purchased in various quantities but may not include any other animals for sale.
          4. None of these animals may have individual ads.
          5. Quantity field must be set and the “Sold as Group" option should not be selected on the ad.
    14. Mixed Collection Sales
      If you wish to sell your entire collection as a single unit and it consists of only one Category of animals, use the Group Ad option described above. If you wish to sell your entire collection and it consists of species from multiple Categories, the following rules and procedures apply:
      1. Ad limits per your membership level still apply.
      2. All rules regarding accuracy and seller responsibility still apply.
      3. Create a Group Ad, as described above, for each different Category.
        1. The description field must include the following language: “COLLECTION SALE! No animals sold separately. Entire collection must go at once. Click on store link to see ads for the full selection of available animals. TOTAL COLLECTION PRICE: $XXXX.”
        2. The Collection Price must be an accurate reflection of what you are willing to accept. Negotiations may go on behind the scenes, but this price may not be overly inflated or understated to attract inquiries.
  4. Media
    1. Photos
      1. All ads must include at least one applicable photo of the item for sale, unless otherwise allowed by your membership level.
      2. If multiple pictures are used, the primary photo must be of the animal advertised. Secondary photos may show parents, etc.
      3. All photos used should belong to the seller posting the ads.
        1. You may not “borrow” images from anyone else unless the original photographer explicitly gives written permission. You may be asked to provide this if an issue arises.
        2. If you’re caught using someone else’s photos (for any reason) your store will be subject to an automatic 30 day suspension and will not be reopened until you notify us that all ads are fixed.
      4. All images must show the EXACT animal for sale, unless otherwise stated with a Representative Photo tag, as allowed by your membership level.
        1. A representative photo must still belong to the seller posting the ad.
        2. A representative photo must be of an animal of the same species and genetics being offered for sale and accurately represent the appearance of the animal.
        3. No representative photo may be used unless this option is selected in the ad so that it is plainly obvious to the buyer that the item they are inquiring about may not be pictured.
      5. Pictures used in ads must be of the item listed for sale. Watermarks and/or logos may be present in the photo, however the main focus should be the item for sale.
      6. Photos should not include feeding or feeder/prey items.
      7. Unprofessional looking photos and ads may be removed at our discretion.
      8. A minimum resolution may be required for quality purposes.
    2. Videos
      1. The same rules for content, accuracy and ownership of photos applies also to videos.
      2. A video must include the exact animal being sold in that ad.
    3. Logo Designs
      1. The brand logo should be a square graphic design.
        1. It it is preferably not a plain photo of a snake.
        2. It may not be a blank or irrelevant image.
    4. In the future, there may be additional photo/video standards pertaining to dimensions, background, logos, watermarks, and other content.
  5. Shipping
    1. Responsible Shipping Practices are critical for our entire industry. Sellers are responsible for knowing and following proper shipping procedures if they offer shipping as part of their services. We do not mandate the use of Ship Your Reptiles, but we use their shipping standards as a reference for shipping practices on MorphMarket.
    2. Live reptiles or amphibians can only be shipped by sellers using an overnight service in the US.
    3. If an animal is damaged, killed, or lost due to negligent shipping practices, the seller is responsible for making sure the buyer is reimbursed: 100% for a death and some reasonable percentage depending on damage and vet requirements for a survivor. Shipping errors may include (but are not limited to):
      • Improper use of heat packs (#1 killer of animals in shipments)
      • Not shipping Priority Overnight
      • Using USPS (United States Postal Service)
      • Shipping to wrong address (unless Buyer provided the wrong address)
      • Wrong drop-off or delivery locations
      • Improper packaging materials
      • Shipping on the wrong days
      • Lack of proper Lacey Act/IATA labels (which may cause a package to be delayed for inspection and possible confiscation)
      • Shipping during no ship periods when delays are common as defined by Redline Shipping, typically around the holidays or during environmental events
  6. Privacy
    1. Access to a User Profile may be granted to you as the seller on the buyer’s behalf for the specific purpose of doing business with them on MorphMarket.
      1. You are not permitted to use this information for any purpose other than responding to their inquiry.
      2. Any other use, including but not limited to sharing this information with others publicly or privately, is strictly prohibited without written approval from MorphMarket.
  7. Ethics
    1. Sellers will abide by MorphMarket’s minimum ethical standards as spelled out here.
  8. Laws and Disputes
    1. By using this website you are agreeing to our Terms of Service, including that you are at least 18 years of age.
    2. All users of this website are responsible for knowing and following all applicable laws within their federal, state, and local jurisdictions with regards to the purchasing, transporting, shipping, and keeping of animals. Sellers are additionally responsible for laws pertaining to collecting, breeding, and selling.
      1. Including, but not limited to, the Lacey Act.
    3. We expect sellers to respond quickly to problems reported by their customers and to fairly resolve them.
    4. Sellers are responsible for delivering service according to their own clearly defined Store Policy on their MorphMarket Seller Profile as written at the time of a sale.
      1. In addition, effective January 15, 2021, they will abide by MorphMarket’s Default Store Policy except where they have overridden it with their custom Store Policy and/or written communication to the buyer before money changes hands. The Default Policy is subject to change, and it is therefore recommended that a Seller have their own written Store Policy with the terms that best fit their business.
      2. While a custom Store Policy can and should override the Default Policy, it cannot override the Rules or provide immunity from them.
    5. MorphMarket is not liable for anything that happens as a result of any buying, selling, or advertising you perform in this marketplace. You do so at your own risk.
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