Category archives: Buying

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MorphMarket NFS Version 1.0

We've been talking up MorphMarket NFS for the last few months.

"MorphMarket NFS" refers to a collection of services which enable us to go beyond sales and support all animals in the herp industry including breeders, holdbacks, and pets.

No more talk. Today we have delivered the first installment.

MM NFS 1.0 is live, and it includes:

(1) New capabilities to help you manage your WHOLE reptile collection and history

  • Three visibility settings for ads: Public, Private and Unlisted
  • New animal states: Not For Sale, Loaned and Archived

(2) New Animal Manager to more efficiently Explore, Organize and Update your data

  • More powerful Search, Filter & Sort
  • Inline and Bulk Editing
  • Customizable Interface

(3) Initial Lineage Support

  • Sellers can create parent animals in seconds
  • Buyers can learn more about animals by viewing their parents
  • Not For Sale Animal pages
  • Breeder NFS galleries on Seller Pages

(4) Data Dashboard to help you stay on top of your animal data

  • Analyze summary stats
  • Monitor animal status
  • And explore the animals behind the numbers

At MorphMarket, our goal is not just to provide the industry a platform to buy and sell, but software services which support the entire lifecycle of breeding.

Stay tuned — there's a lot more coming!

Watch the demo and tutorial videos below to see how to leverage these features.

MM NFS 1.0 Demo

(1/3) The Animal Manager

(2/3) Lineage & NFS Animals

(3/3) The Dashboard

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We've added a new resource to educate buyers on buying safely, whether on MorphMarket or elsewhere. You'll find this article on Safe Purchasing in the Learning Center with many others.

This is an expanded version of the older "Researching Sellers" article. It's been a background project for at least a year now!

Yes, we know it's quite long. We will reorganize content later to make it more digestible.

We will eventually release a similar document with best practices for Sellers protecting themselves.

This content includes feedback from many folks over the years. There are too many to recognize, but we are grateful!

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Foreign Currency Conversion

As MorphMarket is an international marketplace, we're in the process improving our support for users across the world. The first of these features involves better support for foreign currency. If you don't buy or sell in other countries then these changes will not affect you.

Buyers will now see prices in their preferred currency making them easier to understand. The buyer's preferred currency is set on the User Profile, and we have taken a guess for each buyer based on their region. If you don't want this behavior, you can change this setting to "No Preference", and it will continue to operate like before.

The converted prices are based on foreign exchange rates which are updated nightly. The exact price in the seller's currency is shown on the ad page. Buyers who are sophisticated enough to shop internationally, pay export costs, etc, will not be surprised that sellers require payment in their own currency.

Sellers have already had a currency setting on the seller profile. This value was previously used as a default for new ads. Moving forward, this will be the singular place where a seller specifies the currency for their prices. This simplifies the user interface as we add more and more price-type fields on different pages.

If a seller changes currency in their store-wide settings, it will update all of their current ads to be in that currency. This is an easy way to obtain uniformity across the ads.

In the coming weeks we will be making additional changes, which affect how our site operates across regions, which will make it easier for users to shop internationally.

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Accepted Payment Methods

Sellers can now advertise which methods of payment they accept. This information will show up on both the Store Page and Ad Pages.

Sellers can configure this on their Seller Profile.

In the future, we will add search filters so buyers can search for ads and filter by payment methods. This is useful for finding sellers that accept less common methods, like crypto.

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Basic Buyer Info Required

From now on we are requiring buyers to complete a few basic fields in their User Profile before sending new inquiries. The basic fields include:

  • First and Last Name
  • General Location (Country & Postal Code)
  • Phone Number

This change will speed up the inquiry process for everyone. Providing this basic information up front saves both the buyer and seller from having to request or provide it in a series of messages.

Phone numbers are now part of the required fields for a few reasons. First, sellers shipping live animals must provide the buyer's phone number to shipper. Second, phone numbers are valuable for in-person pickups. The Messenger will become progressively more real-time in future versions of our app, but it's always good to have backup communication methods.

We recommend that buyers enter accurate information. While there's nothing stopping you from entering "Daffy Duck" as your name, it will be off-putting to sellers, and you can expect to be declined and blocked frequently. If the name in your profile doesn't match the name in your payment information, that will be a red flag to the seller and will likely cause delays.

We also recommend filling out the optional fields. This information will help you build trust with the sellers and they will take you more seriously from the beginning.

In the future, as we add more support for transactions, we may have certain information such as phone number or full address become to the seller once a transaction has begun. Until then, you could enter a fake number -- such as all 1's -- if you are not willing for sellers to see our number. But again, it's the seller's option (just as it always has been) to decline an inquiry.

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We are excited to announce a new feature called Buyer History. This allows users the opportunity to "level up" over time as they use the site and make purchases.

Our site has a lot of data about buyers; however, we have chosen not to give this information directly to sellers in raw form due for privacy reasons. Instead, we've combined a number of factors into an algorithm that will give recognition to buyers with history.

Buyer history can be seen along with other user information on the User Profile, within the Messages system, and in the footer of Inquiry emails.

Each level is represented by a different colored star:
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Some clarifications:

  • The level is NOT based on ratings from sellers; however, it IS positively impacted through confirmed purchases from breeders through our inquiry system.
  • Right now there are only 5 levels. Because there are only a few levels, it is not "easy" to get to level 4 or 5. There are no "bad" levels, but all users can achieve Level 2 in time. We may expand the levels in the future.
  • Generally levels will stay at the same value or go up. They will rarely go down.
  • An easy thing you can do to help your level is to make sure you've filled out the required fields on your User Profile such as your name. These are "free points" like writing your name on the test. Although, soon this will be required for all users in order to send inquiries, and thus not have an impact on levels.

While Buyer Ratings might have accomplished the same thing, to date sellers have not consistently left ratings for buyers -- but we believe they should still get credit for this activity.

We love ALL our buyers, especially those who are brand new. And most sellers will work with and entertain inquiries from all as well users. However, sometimes sellers may give extra consideration based on history, such when selling a very expensive animal. That's fair, because buyers also take many factors into consideration, such as a seller's ratings, badges, and so forth.

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Have you ever wondered how MorphMarket moderates our site and mediates disputes? And how does our effort stack up against other services? This is something we care deeply about and put many hours into every week.

To increase transparency, we've just published an article on our Market Moderation Policies which gives a brief but thorough overview. It describes our handling and resolution of a wide variety of issues involving users, ads, ratings, transactions, and more. It explains what we do and what we do not do. We believe this information is helpful for understanding your rights and obligations on our site.

This article is part of our growing set of resources in our Learning Center.

Last update on .

Many legitimate reptile breeders accounts have been frozen by PayPal in the last month. This is allegedly due to complaints from PayPal corporate regarding higher than average fraud rates in this sector. We are continuing to monitor this situation.

While we are not discouraging the use of PayPal at this time, if you are a breeder you may want to perform more frequent withdrawals of your balance to a non-linked account in the event that your account becomes frozen.

For MorphMarket subscription payments, we will continue to accept PayPal on our website. If any users need to make payments for annual plans with another method, as in the past you may contact our support team, and we will invoice you with Square. In the next month or two we plan to add alternative subscription payment options onto the site for greater convenience.

While we recognize that PayPal has traditionally offered great buyer protection, other payment methods such as credit cards provide good protection as well. Due to the recent events, some reputable breeders may not be accepting PayPal, but this is not a reason in itself to distrust them. As always we recommend that you do your own research on any seller: read reviews on MorphMarket and consult others that you trust.

At MorphMarket we pride ourselves in offering the best online platform both for buyers and sellers. If you have any concerns about making a payment or suspect someone is not being a responsible seller, please contact our support team.

In the coming months we will be investigating the best payment methods for animal transactions for the reptile community, so stay tuned.

Thanks to Brian Carter, Shawn Gray, and others for their input.

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Ethics in Animal Keeping

Here at MorphMarket, we’re always striving to make sure all our users, buyers and sellers alike, are honest in their business dealings. We’re also keenly aware that a person’s overall ethics and morals regarding animal husbandry and conservation play a critical role in our community. It is our responsibility to take care of the animals we bring into our homes, as well as respect and care for the natural environment around us. Doing so is not only critical to the animals and the environment, but also in protecting our rights to continue keeping them.

Because this is so important, we’ve composed two articles: a document expressing our position on these issues, and also a code of ethics which we will soon require all our users to agree to. It is on each of us, as individuals and as a community, to work together to protect the animals we love, and our rights to keep them.