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Vendor Review: Ebay BethPrivett (aka SeahorseCorral.com)

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  • Offline TamiW
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I ordered a pair of "Pied" seahorses off ebay. The breeder is Beth from Seahorse Corral, and I'm cautiously excited. I have some strong opinions on pied seahorses, specifically that they don't tend to stay pied. But I'm also really curious about the mechanism behind the pattern and what it might mean. So when I saw two that were going at a fairly inexpensive price, I decided to get them.

I am concerned though, because They're supposed to get here today, and the weather is going to be bad, cold, windy and snowy. And last time Fedex had to deliver something on a crappy day, the fedex guy never actually came to the door and claimed that he tried and there was no one home (I was home waiting for the package and I have two dogs that bark like crazy when someone even shuffles around outside the door.) So crossing my fingers! Here are the two I am expecting.

  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #1 posted: 3 years ago »
They were DOA on arrival. No heat pack and two seahorses in two cups of water. I'm livid. Will post more later.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline Laurasea
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #2 posted: 3 years ago »
I am so sorry! That is so sad! They were so beautiful...
  • H.comes and H.erectus, H. reidi
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Your sorrows as light as the foam.
  • Offline suew
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #3 posted: 3 years ago »
Tami,

First of all sorry that you had DOA but why if you have no idea how to send sh send them?? what are they going to do,if they say that they will replace them could you not tell them how,

 You have shown on here how to send sh,why not tell them to look on here and see how they should be sent.The pictures showed how lovely they were,it so sad when something like that happens just though someone being ignorant.
  • abdominalis & erectus
  • Offline rayjay
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #4 posted: 3 years ago »
FWIW, I had a large shipment from the same breeding source two winters ago and they all arrived alive and in excellent shape.
  • barbouri and abdominalis
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #5 posted: 3 years ago »
Thanks for the sympathies everyone. I'm still waiting to hear back from Beth at SeahorseCorral. My messages via ebay haven't been answered, so I just shot off an email now to the sales address. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt that I just didn't hear anything because it was late Friday I sent messages about the DOAs and it's the weekend now.

I spent about 2 hours on Friday attempting to revive the seahorses. They were pretty clearly dead, but because their eyes weren't cloudy, I had a small amount of hope. I warmed them up as fast as I felt safe doing so. I even tried artificial respiration using a syringe and catheter hoping maybe just maybe there was a chance. I can't begin to describe my frustration at the pointless loss of life. I know from first hand experience things go wrong when shipping live animals. Yet on the receiving end, I feel so completely helpless.

I'm not sure why this was a such a failure. She's got good ebay feedback. It appears she had some issues with shipping back a ways as chronicled here: http://forum.seahorse.org/index.php?showtopic=42606&st=20 but from all accounts, I thought they were resolved. She's been shipping for a long time, so it's not due to inexperience.

I've heard from a number of people that her overseas shipping is good. But the box I received was packaged wrong for winter. For starters, the box was really small. As I mentioned, there was no heat pack in the box. Possible it was an oversight, but a pretty significant one.

The box was only 1" styrofoam. It was also really light weight. I've seen these ultralight styrofoam containers a lot lately as a consumer. They're not as dense as the styrofoam containers I'm used to. I'm sure it's an attempt to save money by reducing shipping weight - I don't know if that compromises the insulation capabilities. The lack of a signature requirement really bothered me. I was home and waiting so they were outside for maybe a few minutes when I checked the door. But FedEx (And UPS) is really bad about not ringing the doorbell or knocking when a signature isn't required. Yes, it's another $2 or $3 dollars, but it's money well spent as it requires the shipping company to interact with you. Honestly, this is where USPS is the better service, at least around here. My mail man ALWAYS rings the doorbell and usually waits for me to answer the door on every package. I should really set up a camera to video tape what UPS and FedEx do - They've stealthy left packages so my hyper vigilant dogs haven't heard them (and they normally notice when someone is within 10 feet of the door). But I digress.

I've sold seahorses on ebay, so I do understand at least why this may have come about. On ebay, there is an immense pressure to keep shipping costs down. And you're competing with sellers offering wild caught H. erectus for half what you sell them for. Sales of wild caught seahorses are often dishonest through omission. So you spend all your time talking about how your seahorses are captive bred, but a listing for WC seahorses often claim the same things about WC seahorses in terms of ease of care. Most charge less for shipping too - I assume they're using priority 2 day. I don't know if that is what went into the decision on these packing supplies, but I can understand how it might. I made the decision not to compromise on packing, but it's hard - FedEx raised their prices earlier this year and competing against bigger companies that get a steep discount is difficult.

I had some serious concerns when I got the tracking information and the weight on the package was 2lbs. When I ship, my packages are between 5-7lbs for two seahorses. I am sure I overpack, but that means her packaging was less than 2lbs. I don't know what DanU's packaging weighs but I suspect it's similar - I unabashedly copied Seahorse Source's packaging because every seahorse I've gotten from Dan and Abby have been expertly packed.

I am more upset than I probably seem now; I am trying really hard to give the benefit of the doubt and maybe this was an unfortunate mistake. Maybe someone packed it to go to a different state (I'd still have some concerns about box size and water volume). I did warn her before shipping that we were looking at some really cold temperatures and she said she was going to base shipping on the weather. I was nervous about the extreme cold, but I figured that if she felt comfortable shipping that it would be alright.

I'm really frustrated too, because I don't want to talk poorly about another breeder; there are too many ethical concerns. But on the other hand, I'm angry and I'm sad because based on my experience with shipping, this should have been avoidable with proper packing. And I don't want anyone else to have to go through this. But on the other hand, if she's got 100% feedback on ebay, there must not be too many other problems. If not, then why was my shipment a problem?

Sue, I honestly don't know what I'm going to do. If I have the option have equivalent seahorses shipped, do I take the risk? I guess it depends on what assurances I get. I also was interested in those particular seahorses, making replacements difficult.

« Last Edit: 3 years ago by TamiW »

  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #6 posted: 3 years ago »
The saga continues. I still haven't gotten a response back addressing my concerns. But this morning I got a refund on just one of them. No explanation, no answer to my email, just a refund for one of the two with no explanation or apology.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline darrellw
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #7 posted: 3 years ago »
One tip for the future, I believe that both FedEx and UPS will let you specify to hold the package at their warehouse.  That way they are not riding around in an unheated/uncooled truck all day, and they should be available for pickup first thing in the morning (at least at my house, the regular deliver time is pretty late in the day).
  • Hybrids (reidi x erectus cross)
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #8 posted: 3 years ago »
Hi Darrell and welcome to fusedjaw.com!

Thanks for the suggestion. I've actually done this a number of times in the past, but frequently can't drive due to the side effects of a medication I take. And I don't think in this case it would have helped. With no heat pack and so little water, there wasn't a lot of hope to begin with - planes aren't heated and packages often sit on the tarmac and/or unheated warehouse while waiting to ship.
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!
  • Offline darrellw
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #9 posted: 3 years ago »
Hi Tami,

Thanks for the welcome!

Yes, it sounds like they were doomed from the start.   :'(
  • Hybrids (reidi x erectus cross)
  • Offline TamiW
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Re: My New Seahorses on the way

« Reply #10 posted: 3 years ago »
Yeah, pretty much. :(
  • H. erectus, H. comes, H. kuda, H. zosterae, Doryrhamphus excisus, Bryx dunckeri, Corythoichthys flavofasciatus
It's all about the snick!