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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a betta through the mail, which unfortunately arrived DOA. I very rarely obtain livestock this way, and could count the number of times even on a fireworks maker's hand. So I'd like to get an experienced opinion on what might have gone wrong, both so I can deal more intelligently with the seller, and avoid making any mistakes myself should I ever decide to ship a fish.

Shipped from Georgia on Monday morning, received in Louisiana on Tuesday morning.

Arrived seeming well-packed in a box lined with foil-backed foam, shredded newspaper, and a heat pack. The bag:



Was surprisingly hot to the touch. After seeing no movement for a minute, I measured it with an infrared thermometer at 103°F. It was probably a bit hotter upon initial removal.

There's an extra object floating in the bag, which for all the stained water and cloudiness, I can't get a clear image of. Looks somewhat like a bay leaf.
 

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+1 the fish got cooked. I would be willing to bet that the heat pack was in contact with the fish bag. GA to LA shouldn't really need a heat pack, especially if it only takes a day and it's a betta. But then again, I don't know how cold it is down there.
 

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heat.

103* is way above the safe range for bettas. that could kill it in minutes.
ask for a refund and/or a new betta, and tell him to forget the heat pack. bettas can survive for a few hours in temps below 50; and with proper insulation the water in the bag shouldnt drop below 70.
i shipped shrimp and bettas, and for neither did i ever use a heat pack or cool pack. i feel it often does more harm than good. just insulate well with styrofoam and newspaper.
 

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I agree, it's probably an IAL in the bag, which explains the dark tannin color.

Heatpack boiled the fish. Bettas love 78-86 degree temps, but if that heatpack was in contact with the bag, it never had a chance. I would absolutely contact the seller and work out a replacement or refund. Packing bettas isn't hard at all, but it does require following some simple rules.

Not sure what the temps are down there right now, but the heatpack may still be required. A betta will stress and potentially die in water under 65 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Box is approx. 7" on all sides. Bag was separated from the heatpack by a fairly thin layer of shredded newspaper. Between the foam, bag, and heatpack, not a lot of room left for separation. Having never seen a heatpack before, I was a bit surprised by its size and weight, 8oz. Don't know if they come in different sizes. Local temperatures are low of 37°F last night, about 60°F right now. I wasn't asked if I wanted the heat pack, it was included by default by the seller.

Thanks for all the replies. A sad experience, I really wanted this particular fish. And $60 ($25 + $35 express shipping) is awfully expensive for a cup of seafood gumbo. There is a replacement guarantee, but I doubt any replacement will be quite as nice.

 

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ShrimpRetirement
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Bro... that box is way too small to include a heatpack with the bag o fish. Contact the seller and ask for a refund or see what he/she's able to work out with you. No DOA policy?

edit** just read, there's a DOA policy. Sorry to hear about your experience tho. Seems like he/she's an inexperienced shipper.
 

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Bro... that box is way too small to include a heatpack with the bag o fish. Contact the seller and ask for a refund or see what he/she's able to work out with you. No DOA policy?

edit** just read, there's a DOA policy. Sorry to hear about your experience tho. Seems like he/she's an inexperienced shipper.
it looks like a standard 7x7x6 cube box everyone uses?

I wrap the crap out of my heat packs and make sure it doesnt comes close to the livestock.
 

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I would not be too harsh with the seller. It seems like he/she did provide first class materials to pack the fish. I once received all DOA shrimp because the seller did not insulate the box so the chicago cold killed them all. it looks like an honest mistake IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shipper has quite a few previous sales, with 100% positive feedback. So I'm a bit surprised by all this. Though having engaged in plenty of non-livestock transactions on various sites, I know feedback is no guarantee things will go well in any particular instance.

ABC, you're absolutely right, and I won't be harsh with the seller. It's obvious that care was taken packing this, and it's a mistake or misestimation rather than sloppiness or neglect.

I will definitely send them a link to this thread though, it should help them achieve a better success rate in the future.
 

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ShrimpRetirement
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it looks like a standard 7x7x6 cube box everyone uses?

I wrap the crap out of my heat packs and make sure it doesnt comes close to the livestock.
For heatpack equipped packages, you should use a slightly bigger box so you can properly separate the heatpack from the livestock so you don't end up cooking it as seen here.

Op - Accidents happen, so def contact the seller and resolve it. If you don't think you'll get the same quality fish from the guarantee, I'd at least try to get store credit so you can take your time to choose what you like if he/she don't have good stock atm. My 2 pennies.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm avoiding any details that could identify the seller, but I doubt anyone will find or recognize a pic of the live fish, so:



I haven't a clue if it's really worth $25 by normal standards. But since my lady absolutely fell in love with this particular one above all others she'd seen, that makes it worth any price. I feel terrible it didn't work out, she's a huge animal lover and actually cried a bit.

Speedie408, good suggestion. I'll see what happens, probably won't get a reply until this evening.
 

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For heatpack equipped packages, you should use a slightly bigger box so you can properly separate the heatpack from the livestock so you don't end up cooking it as seen here.

Good luck!
Ideally you want a bigger box to ship them but you can get away with using this box size. From the look of it, it is 1" insulation with 7x7x6 box. So you'll still have 5x5x4 cavity. If the seller had properly isolated the heat pack from the bag of fish. I think it would've been fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, the seller got back to me.

And I now have to ask. What's normal policy for "replacement on DOA" when it comes to shipping? Seller said shipping of the replacement isn't covered, and is my responsibility; which wasn't spelled out in the original terms. Also said that they'd offer a better rate, but then quoted $35 - which isn't better, it's the same as the original shipping. And which would bring the total to $95 for a fish that isn't the one I purchased.
 

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Ideally you want a bigger box to ship them but you can get away with using this box size. From the look of it, it is 1" insulation with 7x7x6 box. So you'll still have 5x5x4 cavity. If the seller had properly isolated the heat pack from the bag of fish. I think it would've been fine.
Whatever works for you, go for it. Just not how I do it is all I'm saying. :)

So, the seller got back to me.

And I now have to ask. What's normal policy for "replacement on DOA" when it comes to shipping? Seller said shipping of the replacement isn't covered, and is my responsibility; which wasn't spelled out in the original terms. Also said that they'd offer a better rate, but then quoted $35 - which isn't better, it's the same as the original shipping. And which would bring the total to $95 for a fish that isn't the one I purchased.
If it was the shippers fault for the DOA (which I believe it is so in your case), he/she should have the decency to front the shipping cost to satisfy the deal. If it was the fault of the shipping courier (delays/mishandling) or there wasn't anybody to sign for the package which resulted in DOA, then shipping is normally non refundable.
 
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