Reasonable Maximum Shipping Costs?

Hey guys and gals, wanted to get your input on something at MorphMarket.

We are generally very free-market, and don’t interfere with vendor pricing as long as they are following the rules of our site. Occasionally we find someone trying to list animals at a very low price, only to put an actual value in the description, all to avoid paying for a membership.

However, something I’ve been looking at recently which happens less frequently is when a vendor bakes in a large shipping and handling fee. I’m referring to the cases where they are not just trying to get around a membership fee.

For example, this person lists up to $1000 for domestic shipment of a gecko. That’s pretty ridiculous, and maybe an accident.

There are others though as well. We have someone selling retics who also lists shipping up to $1,000. They say that shipping an adult retic can be expensive.

In the middle I have some Canadians shipping ball pythons with prices up to $450. Exchange rate isn’t that different, but maybe shipping costs a lot more in Canada? Note that this field is clearly marked “domestic shipping”.

I am inclined to leave this alone, and let the buyers just see this and avoid it. But I do need to be able to distinguish this from jokers shifting $500 from their ad into their shipping for a ball python to violate our terms of service, and that’s how this got on my radar.

Questions:

  • What’s the max it could cost to ship a retic or other large reptile in the US?
  • Are [domestic] Canadian shipping fees that much higher?
  • Any other insights

I cannot speak for the actual shipping fees in Canada but one consideration is that Canadian breeders might be adding in associated costs for shipping into the U.S. like permits and vet inspections and such.

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Thanks for that question Travis, I forgot to make this clear but have updated it above – the field is clearly marked “domestic” shipping costs.

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In Canada I’ve paid between $55-$125 for shipping costs, shipping within a province isn’t TOO expensive although the cost definitely goes up if you’re sending/receiving from another province. I’d raise my eyebrows at a shipping fee around $150 and above for one animal, but I’m also not into the large constrictors so it might be reasonable for a grown burm or retic? $450 seems extremely high to me personally.

Just one canucks point of view.

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Based on my experience shipping a 30×16×10 box priority overnight across country runs $200 + if I use my own FedEx account and $150 if done via a third party company that allows to print labels.

When you know the box size (since shipping is based on dimensions not weight) it’s pretty easy to get a quote.

Canana I have no idea.

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Shipping via Delta used to run $80 for same day shipping up to 100 pounds. I believe it’s around $100-120 now but still much less than $400. I can’t imagine an overnight company even considering the shipment of a 100# retic, but if they did it would likely cost $400.

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I think the $1000 is most likely a typo. A lot of breeders of anything on here are in such a hurry to get all their animals listed, that some don’t pay attention to what they are typing. Which is totally understandable. I wouldn’t want to spend 3 or 4 hours typing either.

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have the site highlight it in red and make it bold 14 or 16 point font if they put something crazy like that. If its a mistake, they will fix it, if its not then it will stand out to a customer

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I shipped a ~6ft. retic along with an adult blood python cross country in a dual leveled/reinforced 22" x 16" x 20" box (27 lbs) via SYR. That total was $294. So maybe $1000 is reasonable for shipping a 120+ pound retic? But then again I think I’d rather drive half way across the US and meet up than ship a snake like that.

I notice a lot of people using shipping companies to get their animals shipped. Since that company has to make its profit, it’s only reasonable to assume that it costs more to use them than to ship on your own. It’s been a fair number of years since I was certified by FedEx to ship reptiles; I assume they still do that? It is certainly worth it to get certified if you ship animals on a regular basis. And I order from all over the country, but until Morph Market, I had never paid over $50 for shipping!! Of course, it isn’t ginormous constrictors but just shipping a gecko through MM is all over the place in price. And Canada, holy cow - AT LEAST $100, I was told by a vendor in Ontario! Somebody somewhere is making some money … but then, folks don’t have to buy an animal if the shipping quote nearly makes their eyes bug out. I know I wouldn’t!!

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You can still be certified however unless you ship a lot, you will not match the discount of third party companies that allow you to print shipping labels, they have special contract with Fedex and their volume allow you to have some very discounted rate.

Shipping is expensive and a lot of breeders offer a flat rate and absorb some of the cost.

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I’m curious, what rates were you getting and where were you shipping – and in what year? Maybe prices have gone up, but if so across the board and not just at our market.

In the last 5 years or so $50-70 isn’t unusual for a smallish box.

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