FAQ: mail ordering herps

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FAQ: mail ordering herps

Post by Peter P. Donoh » Sun, 02 Oct 1994 23:37:50


This list used to contain names and addresses of herp breeders/
wholesalers/suppliers.  Because the herp trade has become such a large
industry with so many suppliers, the list was getting to be too awkward
to keep up.  What is left is the information on how to mail order

If you need to find a breeder in your area, my advice would be to work
with the people in your local herp organization (see FAQ on herp
organizations) or work out of the ads of any of the major herp
publications (see FAQ on herp magazines).

        Info on Ordering/Shipping Live Animals:

   Herp keepers can save quite a bit of money by purchasing animals
directly from breeders.  Unfortunately, few of us are lucky enough to
have breeders within an easy drive of our collections.  This means that
we must find a way to ship any animals that we purchase.

   Most animals can not be shipped by standard carriers (UPS, Fed Ex,
US Mail, etc.), but must be shipped Air Freight (though there are
exceptions - I've seen some feeder animals such as anoles and crickets
shipped by mail).  Air Freight is basically the process of shipping a
package via an airline from airport to airport.  When you order herps,
you need only be concerned with receiving the animals.  Most breeders/
wholesalers ship 'Air Freight Collect.'  This means that you pay for
the shipping when you pick the animals up at the airport.  This has the
disadvantage of being a separate charge from the price of the animals,
but also has the advantage of keeping you from being overcharged on
shipping (some non-herp companies make a profit off of shipping costs).

   Shipping costs will vary by the size and weight of the box, origin,
destination, and the carrier that it is being shipped on.  That being
said, I have found that shipping costs from Florida to New York ranged
from $35 to $40 per box.  There seems to be some leeway on the weight
of the box - the same shipping cost would cover one small snake or a
couple dozen medium ones (I've heard that you pay one price for under
100 lbs.).

   Most wholesalers/breeders provide guarantees on the quality of
animals.  By purchasing from a reputable dealer, you should be assured
of the quality.  Make sure you read the fine print - some guarantees
can become void if the package is shipped at low temperatures or if it
is not picked up within a certain amount of time from the arrival at
the airport.

   The basic procedure for ordering and shipping animals runs something
like this:
  1) place order for animals - the firm is going to need to know what
airport to ship the package to.  After the order is placed and paid
for, they should give you an air way bill number, commonly called an
"away bill" and the approximate time the package will get there.  The
away bill number is used by the airline to track where the package is.
  2) on the day the animals are supposed to be shipped, call the air
freight section of the appropriate airline and inquire about when the
package will arrive.  Have your away bill number ready, though I've
found that the shippers know when planes come in so they usually just
ask where the package is originating from and tellvyou based on
that info.
  3) at the appropriate time, pay for the shipping and pick up the
package.  Similar to anything else that is shipped, inspect it.  If
their are signs of damage on the outside, complain to the shipper (and,
possibly, do not accept the package).  If the animals are damaged at
all, contact the wholesaler/breeder as soon as possible.

   "The kiss originated when the first male reptile***ed the first
female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was
as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before"
  -- F. Scott Fitzgerald