False Morph Listings

I like to look at all the new snakes that get posted and I can 100% confirm a few breeders still list wrong or missing morphs. Make sure you do basic research before you purchase an animal. Learn some basics interaction and call them out!

If you see what should be a BEL, a Super, a ALS but it’s clearly not, ask them to correct it. I’m seeing some breeders take a hostile position against customers, after the customers, often first time buyers, realize they were overcharged for a falsely labeled animal. This is not a good business practice.

Don’t let people falsely label animals, even if they are bigger breeders. If it’s a mistake or intentional and you are absolutely 100% sure, correct them.


I have also seen some hets mislabeled as the visual on the market as well. Example; in the clown section I have seen some breeders list het clowns in the visual,(with het clown prices) I would assume this is just a simple error in the way the breeders set up the listing, but it could be very confusing to new potential buyers or new people to the immense amount of ball python morphs!
I’m also going to suggest in cases you come across that seem intentionally wrongly labeled, or the same breeder keeps putting up misleading ads we should also let the staff know, in case they need to take action to prevent any potential scams.


You can also use the flag button and send a little message to the MorphMarket team stating which morphs are mislabeled.


As @solarserpents mentioned, please flag all inaccurate listings to be reviewed by staff. The manpower it would take to police the tens of thousands of animals posted on MM is staggering so it’s helpful when the community chips in.


I think it’s mostly accidental and a little helpful message is all that’s needed. I think it’s just as important not to falsely flag someone for an honest, easy correctable mistake.


That is the first course of action, yes. Send a quick message to correct. If they don’t correct them or don’t reply, however, you should still flag it. Afaik it doesn’t count against them, just gets staff eyes on it and you can note what the specific issue is.


100%. I think it’s important to protect first time and inexperienced buyers. Somebody might start by buying one animal, but if they are treated well, they might purchase many animals from many different breeders over time. It’s a win win for everyone.


If something is incorrect it is not a “false flag” to report it to the MM customer service team. I have flagged things that were obvious honest mistakes (like a boa in the ball python section among a dozen balls from the same breeder) and never been told I was wrong to have reported them. As Don noted above, the MM team does not have the manpower to police every single ad so the help of the community is greatly appreciated

@eaglereptiles and @john, I am sure, will confirm this


Absolutely, as per MM DSP…

  • Seller is required to provide accurate genetic information on all animals sold. However, many genetic traits cannot be proven or disproven in a dispute situation. Those that can be proven should have been recognized by the buyer from the outset.
    • Buyer bears a responsibility to know and recognize traits they intend to purchase, including asking for more pictures and lineage information as needed.
    • MorphMarket is unlikely to moderate disputes over genetic traits that should have been investigated by Buyer.

If you buy a Piebald that is obviously a het Pied, that’s on you as a buyer. We will still fight your battle if the seller convinced you it was visual somehow, but if you bought it no questions asked then there is little we can do.

This is likely due to the seller using bulk import but not titling the listing clearly. So our parser pushes out visual tags instead of hets.

We are always pushing sellers to learn the best way to title their listings, on top of constantly improving the parser itself, but it’s a battle we are fighting hard.

Ish. We do note each and every issue down and if we see repetitions then we will step it up a gear. But mostly, nothing will come from it other than a polite email asking them to fix it.

Always feel free to flag an ad, even if you’re not sure you’re right. We will look into it either way.


Just a quick word here, If you do decide to message the breeder and let them know you feel they have made a mistake on an ad Please do so in a professional manner I had a person message me and was extremely rude and condescending with the way they went about it. Also if the breeder disagrees move on and report it mm.


I agree with pretty much everything said.

Personally if it’s a single mistake I noticed I’ll message the seller. If they do not fix it or if there’s more than one mistake, I’ll flag the ads.

Just a little bit to go a long way.
There were a lot of people jumping into reptile breeding recently and not everyone know what they’re doing. I’ve seen a couple try to list all the genes involved because they can’t properly ID the animal as well. =_=
Hopefully with a bit more community help it will be easier in the long run


When we got back into reptiles keeping we were new to the different morphs. With a little internet searching we were able to identify the traits of the snake we wanted before purchase. But, now we encourage everyone we know, who is interested in purchasing a reptile, to go through MorphMarket . Some of them know nothing about reptiles but want a quality animal.
Everyone is not a breeder or an “expert”’, so to expand the market we should do a better job of trying to use every tool we can to prevent mistakes. Flagging is a good idea, if the seller does not realize the mistake when brought up on an inquiry to purchase. It is better to be “nice” or professional, so the customer, buying or not, has a pleasant experience. An upset customer will tell more people than a happy customer.


I was worried about this when I was searching for a male. We’re new to ball pythons and trying get down the morphs and visuals.


The more questions you ask the better also. If it’s a legit mistake or mislabeling, any reputable breeder will not mind answering as many questions as they can in order to make a sale. And if you’re not getting warm and fuzzies about a sale, legit or otherwise, just move on.

Buying something you will love and cherish for years to come (or an investment for breeding projects as well) should be an enjoyable experience in my book.


I check listings constantly just to learn and keep up with things and can agree this is constant. In boas I also see many partial labeled as a certain locality which can be confusing. A Hypo Hog isn’t a Hog Island boa, it’s a cross etc. With locality stuff it can get messy quick, especially with “Central American” being a common label, compounded by the fact that multiple Albino strains have labels that confuse even more so (Nicaraguan, CA, Burke, etc)

I’ve also seen contradicting info posted by different breeders, which may be explained by being mistaken, but for instance someone saying 2 albino genes were “confirmed” to be the same because visuals were produced when he bred them together. Even tho many others have done the same and had zero visuals. Plus, Sharp and BWC produce visuals, but aren’t the same obv. So ALS wasn’t even discussed in the post. He may have just had something sold to him as X gene and it was Y or something, who knows.

All this is to say, yes, breeders post many things that larger or more experienced breeders or even biologists/herpetologists/geneticists may disagree with, not just in a single species either. Stay informed, ask around, read and cross reference and discuss. Don’t just trust any single bit of info.


I’m not sure about the ‘buyer beware’ sorts of suggestions. It is apparent that MM is trying to build itself up as a trustworthy marketplace, but to put the blame for inaccurate ads on the buyer really undermines that project. Being trustworthy involves taking pains to be correct as much as possible, and making good on unavoidable errors without hesitation.

Legally, the FTC seems pretty clear that responsibility for online ad accuracy lies in the hands of the seller, and also the website to the degree that the website was aware of the inaccuracies.

Advertising agencies or website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not simply rely on an advertiser’s assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency’s participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims.”

MM doesn’t help prepare ads, but once one is flagged the situation is pretty different.

It isn’t reasonable to assume that many MM users – first time buyers, many of them – have the knowledge or even the research abilities to vet claims of morphs in genetically complex species like ball pythons, nor of locale claims in B. constrictor, as noted above, and also in rosy boas that are not infrequently mislabeled in ads here.

This isn’t the first time I’ve read mention of mislabeled animals listed on MM; this makes all the sellers here look a bit bad. I don’t think MM is doing sellers a favor by expecting buyers to do the legwork on this sort of thing, and this sure doesn’t do buyers a favor.


I feel you are mischaracterizing the situation

How many people do you believe make up the MM team?

How many do you believe are full-time employees with no job other than MM?

How many person hours do you believe it would take to review every single ad on a daily basis?

How many people do you believe have the absolute genetic/morph/locality knowledge of each and every species offered on MM?

The task that you are proposing be solely on MM shoulders is, quite literally, impossible [I would further argue that no other internet-based marketplace operates under those same criteria either. Do you honestly believe that Amazon has an entire division of employees that verifies the absolute accuracy of each and every item sold there?]

MM does not expect buyers to “do the legwork on this sort of thing”. The flag system exists so that if people see something that concerns them - be it an ad in the wrong place, or a mislabeled morph or a sick animal or a feed pic in the ad - there is a way to bring that ad to the immediate and direct attention of a MM team member. The team then has a protocol for how the ad is handled after the ad is flagged. A protocol that I would suggest you have no first-hand knowledge of.


I appreciate everyone responding and discussing my post.


This is not the tone or conclusion of this discussion, but I appreciate you reading and responding.

MorphMarket is an amazing and constantly improving website, app, marketplace and community.

Together, with respect and patience we can continue to help the Staff of MorphMarket make it even better.


Sometimes innocent posts such as yours that are solely meant to contribute/add to an already well functioning entity to make it even better/user friendly for prospective buyers/sellers are taken and used to try to negate the positive.

Like you, I think MM is an amazing place with amazing, caring people who do their absolute best to maintain integrity and make this a place where all are welcome to come together to ask questions and share knowledge. There is encouragement here, there is consolation here, and there is just down right good here in an otherwise wicked world.

I have said my peace. :frog::lizard::snake::wink: