Rules and Guidelines

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 describe 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, 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 it is acceptable to follow up outside the system.
    6. Users are not allowed to use the messages system to solicit donations, either for themselves or for 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.
      2. Sex, weight, age, and other attributes are to 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. An animal can only be listed once.
      1. The ad can be renewed as needed, but may not be duplicated or recreated in any way.
    4. You may not list a “fake price” in the ad. This includes:
      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. You may not post any animals that do not belong to you, unless you have written permission from MorphMarket.
    6. User-assigned ID#’s are permanent. Once assigned, they cannot be changed and cannot be used again.
    7. Only Ready-to-Sell animals may be posted.
      1. You may not post ads for eggs unhatched or litters not yet born.
      2. You may not post ads for animals too young to safely sell and ship.
      3. You may create an ad in "hidden/expired" state for upcoming animals which are not able to be shown yet.
    8. 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).
    9. You may not advertise additional animals or products in the description or store info fields.
    10. 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.
    11. Multiple Quantity 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. There are two types of Multiple Animal Ads that are permitted:
        1. Same Type Group: all the animals posted in the ad are for sale as a single unit, sometimes called a “Lot”.
          1. Must all be of the same type/morph, but may include any variety of sex.
          2. Price listed is the total price for the entire group.
          3. None of these animals may have individual ads.
          4. Quantity field is set and the “Group” option is selected on the ad.
        2. Same Type Bulk: a collection of multiple animals offered as individual sales
          1. Must all be of the same type/morph/price.
          2. Price listed is the price for purchase of a single animal.
          3. None of these animals may have individual ads.
          4. Quantity field is set and the “Group” option is deselected on the ad.
      4. Mixed Groups, often sold as Breeding Groups with similar genetics, and any set of animals with different genetics (e.g., pair of het and visual) may not be sold in a single ad.
        1. However, until we offer this feature we will permit specifying in the description that the animal may be paired with another animal that is in another ad for a discounted price.
        2. You may not require these to be sold together except for the Collection Sale as described below.
    12. Collection Sales
      There is only one way to post your entire collection for sale on MorphMarket. It is an “all or nothing” approach.
      1. Ad limits per your membership level still apply.
      2. All rules regarding accuracy and seller responsibility still apply.
      3. Create individual ads for each animal.
        1. Must include an accurate photo of that exact animal.
        2. Must include accurate market-value price in the price field.
        3. 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.”
        4. 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 MUST belong to the seller posting the ads.
        1. You may not “borrow” images from anyone else, even if you bought the animal from them. Use your own photos. No exceptions.
        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 store directory logo must be a graphic design of square dimensions.
        1. It may not be just 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 ShipYourReptiles, but we use their shipping standards as a reference for shipping practices on MorphMarket.
    2. 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 or using USPS because it is not reliable overnight delivery (for reptiles)
      • 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 ShipYourReptiles, 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. 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 by the time of the sale. The Default Policy is subject to change, and it is therefore recommended that a Seller override its terms in their own Policy.
      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.