Professional Herpetoculture for the Pet Trade

Ordering

How to order

Ordering couldn't be simpler! Most customers just use our easy and convenient shopping cart system. The shopping cart accepts payment by credit card, debit card, or PayPal account and no personal information is collected by VMS of any sort. A PayPal account is not required to process credit cards, simply select the "don't have a PayPal account" option during checkout. PayPal credit card processing is incredibly secure, we'll simply receive payment and shipping address after your transaction is compete - we'll never see you credit card information and nobody else will either!

You may place the order at any time. We will then begin to send out automated requests by email for you to confirm a shipping date. If you wish to delay shipping for any reason (such as adding onto the order, vacation, temperatures outside our range for live arrival guarantee, etc), you may simply decline to receive the package until such time as it is safe to do so or until you are prepared to receive it. Please note that we do not just automatically ship - you must respond to our email indicating you accept the proposed shipping date, understand the terms of our guarantee, and will be present to sign for the package.

Many customers wish to add additional specimens to their order prior to shipping in order to avoid additional shipping costs. Our shopping cart system is unable to accommodate this, and will charge an additional shipping fee on such orders. However, we will automatically combine multiple orders and refund all excess shipping charges. If you prefer, you may simply send payment via PayPal to sales@vmsherp.com for the amount of the item(s). Alternatively, you may simply send us a list of the additional specimens via email. We will prepare a bill through PayPal to allow you to make payment without additional shipping charges.

Contact information

Electronic mail

Sales, Customer Support & General Information: sales@vmsherp.com

Postal address

VMS Professional Herpetoculture
PO Box 1951
Canon City, CO 81215-1951

Telephone

Please note that our business has been 100% internet-based since 2001, and does not have telephones as they are simply not needed. We prefer that contacts be made via E-mail. All of our transactions are handled this way with no problems. Odds are you would just get a recorder anyway - we're always off cleaning cages or doing something.

Terms & payments

Payment

Customers wishing to pay via cashiers' check, money order or personal check are advised to contact us by email for a quotation and arrangements prior to sending payment. Please include a list of stock numbers for the specimens you desire with your inquiry. Payment can be made via credit card, debit card, cashiers' check, money order or personal check. Cashiers' check, money order or personal check will require a delay of seven to ten days to clear before your order will be processed. Please make all checks/money orders payable to:

VMS Professional Herpetoculture
PO Box 1951
Canon City, CO 81215-1951

Please do not send cash through the mail. Note that personal checks which fail to clear are not considered payment and will result in removal of the ON HOLD status of your selections and therefore possible sale to another party. Returned checks will be charged a $25 NSF fee.

Note that we do not process credit cards directly and will not take credit card transactions over the phone. Such telephone transactions are the most common source of credit card fraud.

In accordance with state law, Colorado residents will be charged 5.4% sales tax.

Please read our guarantee and shipping policies before sending any money. Exchange of money signifies acceptance of these policies.

Deposits and Wait Lists

We do not maintain waiting lists, accept deposits, or offer payment plans of any kind. All specimens are offered on our website on a first-come, first-served basis when ready for sale. This allows all customers equal opportunity to acquire them. We simply recommend visiting our availability pages often, especially during the periods we've stated the specie of interest will be hatching.

We are offering a third party monitoring system which will automatically notify customers by email when the page or pages of their choice have been updated. Simply adding your email using the link provided at lower left of any availability page will start notifications for that page. If any changes in availability or new specimen listings are made to the page, you'll know within hours! It's easy, free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Please note that our business is highly seasonal, with most offspring born in June and July. Often, additional  clutches hatch during August and September. Please plan your purchases accordingly, because once they are sold we can't make more until the next year!

Order Abandonment

Please note that if you do not respond to our attempts to schedule shipping within 60 days, your order will be considered abandoned and all moneys will be forfeited to us. In accordance with PayPal credit card processing policy, we cannot issue refunds past 60 days from date of purchase. We will instead offer 'in-store' credit valid for two years from date of purchase.

Our guarantees

All our animals are captive born here at our facility and will be feeding regularly unless otherwise stated at time of sale. We go to great lengths to produce these animals and will ship out only sound and healthy specimens. If you are unsure of how to provide proper care for any specie we supply, feel free to ask. We have raised many of these species through several generations.

We offer a live arrival guarantee and a health/sex guarantee. Each is described in detail below. Please read ALL policies below prior to placing your order. Exchange of money signifies acceptance of these policies. Failure to adhere to these policies will void all guarantees. Guarantees apply only to the original purchaser and destination (named on the invoice) and are not transferable.

Live Arrival Guarantee

As we cannot guarantee that proper care is being provided once they leave our facility, we can only guarantee live arrival. Exchange of money and/or acceptance of a shipping date signifies acceptance of these policies. At your discretion, you may elect to receive your shipment outside the conditions listed in items 2 & 3 below, at YOUR risk. The three conditions of the live arrival guarantee are simple:

  • 1) An adult must be present to sign for and receive the shipment on the first delivery attempt.
    All shipments are sent "signature required", no exceptions. This is a contractual obligation of all FedEx certified live reptile shippers.

  • 2) The forecast daily high temperature for your location on the delivery date must be in the 45°F to 95°F range.
    No guarantees are provided for door-to-door deliveries if the forecast daily high is outside the 45°F to 95°F range. For areas where temperatures outside this range are expected, we recommended the shipment be sent "hold for pickup" to the nearest FedEx Staffed Center (not a FedEx Authorized Ship Center or FedEx Office Print & Ship Center). Shipments sent "hold for pickup" in this manner will be guaranteed live delivery by VMS, even if temperatures are outside the range above. You will need to assist us in scheduling your shipment during periods of extreme weather. While delays in scheduling a shipment may seem intolerable, they are nothing compared to opening a box containing a prized specimen only to find it dead.

  • 3) The FedEx expected arrival time for the delivery location must be listed as between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM (Noon).
    Actual time of arrival varies by location, but is by 10:30AM or 12:00PM (Noon) in most areas. Shipments to rural locations, listed as by 4:30PM expected arrival times, spend excessive time on delivery trucks and run a higher risk of experiencing losses. These will NOT be guaranteed by VMS. For areas where later delivery times are the norm, we recommended the shipment be sent to an alternate address with delivery before noon or be sent "hold for pickup" to the nearest FedEx Staffed Center (not a FedEx Authorized Ship Center or FedEx Office Print & Ship Center). Shipments held for pickup in this manner will be guaranteed live delivery by VMS, even if picked up later in the day.


FedEx Priority Overnight shipments are not guaranteed by the carrier. VMS guarantees live arrival for these shipments, provided the above conditions are met. You MUST contact us within 24 hours of receipt of the shipment regarding losses. Please provide a description of the condition of the shipment. Digital photographic proof of loss will be required at a minimum, and we reserve the right to request return of the frozen carcass to us. Shipping costs are not refundable by us (although FedEx may elect to do so if they are at fault for delays). We must file claim on shipping costs and if approved by the carrier, we will forward your refund to you immediately upon receipt by us.

Health and Sexing Guarantee

We provide a 48-hour inspection period, this period allows for veterinary inspection of your purchase to verify health and sex. Conditions of the health and sexing guarantee are simple:

  • 1) Delivery must be made in compliance with all terms of the live arrival guarantee above.
    We will replace any animal deemed unhealthy by a licensed veterinarian during this 48 hour period with another of the same type.

  • 2) All claims of improper health must be made to us within 48 hours of shipment receipt.
    We will replace any animal deemed unhealthy by a licensed veterinarian during this 48 hour period with another of the same type.

  • 3) All claims of improper sexing must be made to us within 48 hours of shipment receipt.
    We will replace any snake or replace any gecko sold as "guaranteed male" or "guaranteed female" deemed improperly sexed by a licensed veterinarian during this 48 hour period with another of the same type. Geckos are guaranteed for sex only if specifically listed "guaranteed male" or "guaranteed female" at time of sale. Many young geckos are sold as "un-sexed, incubated for male" or "un-sexed, incubated for female". This means the sex of the specimen has not been determined at time of sale, but the egg was incubated at temperatures known to produce primarily a given sex. As with all things natural, there can be exceptions and we cannot guarantee sex for these specimens.

  • 4) All claims of improper sexing not made by licensed veterinarians are subject to the following conditions:
    Applies to only to snakes and to geckos sold as "guaranteed male" or "guaranteed female". The specimen shall be returned to us for evaluation at the customer's expense. Should the specimen prove correctly sexed as sold, it shall be returned to the customer at customer's expense. Failure to arrange prompt return and prepay for return shipping charges within seven days shall constitute forfeiture of ownership to VMS, with no compensation due. Should the specimen prove incorrectly sexed as sold, a company credit shall be given towards future purchases, including the return shipping charges incurred by the customer.

  • 5) We cannot guarantee that snakes will feed within the 48 hour guarantee period.
    In fact, we think it is foolish to even attempt it. Please let them settle into their new homes for about a week before trying to feed them. See our care page on Acclimating Your New Pet.


Should we be unable to provide a replacement, credit or refund will be provided. We reserve the right to issue a refund in lieu of replacement solely at our discretion. Exchange of money indicates acceptance of these policies.

Shipping Info

Beginning September 13th, 2005:

Please note that due to our remote location, and our increasingly busy animal care schedule, we will be sending out all shipments on Tuesdays for arrival on Wednesdays each week. We understand this may not fit well with some schedules, but we simply cannot spend four to five hours each day packing orders and delivering them to the shipping center (a 130 mile round trip). Please plan for Wednesday deliveries based on this schedule. We understand that this will often require shipping to an office address, neighbor, friend or relative in order for someone to be there to receive the package. We must make this change to be able to continue to provide our customers with specimens that are well-cared for and reasonably priced. Thank you for your cooperation!

You will receive an invoice for all transactions with your shipment. All shipments will be packed in new cardboard boxes, insulated with styrofoam. All bags, deli cups, etc will be new, no old recycled junk. Chemical heat packs or cold packs will be used where appropriate. All shipments will require that you be present to sign for them, please arrange to be there when the shipment arrives.

FedEx Priority Overnight

All shipments are sent via FedEx Priority Overnight. FedEx Priority Overnight delivery has proven very reliable. They have even standardized their requirements for live reptile packaging, a sure sign they are interested in carrying such cargo when other carriers are not. Cost for this service is $49 ($79 to Alaska) and must be prepaid by us. Therefore, it needs to be paid to us in advance, with payment for the animals. Colorado residents are eligible for reduced shipping costs of $28.

FedEx Priority Overnight service has proven so reliable that VMS will guarantee shipments sent in this manner, provided the conditions listed above for our live arrival guarantee are met. FedEx clearly states that they offer no guarantee of any sort on live animal shipments. Due to these restrictions, please do not file any claims with this carrier, they will not pay them.

FedEx 'Priority Overnight' shipments may be tracked online at: http://www.fedex.com/us/

Additional tips for a smooth transaction

In accordance with PayPal's fraud prevention policies, all contacts and shipments must be made to the email account and address connected with that PayPal account. Please understand that these policies are put in place by PayPal to protect your credit card or bank information from possible fraud and unauthorized transactions. Please make sure this information is up to date with PayPal prior to placing an order. VMS will not accept liability for losses incurred as a result of an incorrect address being provided to us.

Turn off your e-mail spam blocker, or put us on your 'OK' list. You wouldn't believe how many people write to us and we cannot write back simply because they have all their mail blocked. Duh. In most cases, it's as simple as adding us (sales@vmsherp.com) to your address book. Preventing the kids from deleting all our mails would be a good idea also...

Don't try to make last minute changes. Remember that we are shipping live animals, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the animals in transit. Any unconfirmed last minute change with the delivery will trigger our protective reaction to freeze the shipment here, where the animals are certain to be safe - and delay your shipment until the next available shipping date.

Don't use multiple e-mail addresses when contacting us. Many customers use different addresses when at work and at home. Doing so will virtually guarantee our responses will wind up at home when you are at work and vice versa! Pick one and stick with it.

Don't change your shipping address without making absolutely certain you have notified us. We've actually had a customer move to a different state during the order process and never even mention it! Needless to say, the new owners of his old home were surprised to find an Airborne Express delivery person on their porch holding a box of snakes!

Have a backup plan in case of emergency. Murphy's Law simply states that "If something can go wrong, it will; if more than one thing can go wrong, the worst possible one will". Planning to receive a shipment by noon and having plane tickets for Hawaii at 2:00 will almost guarantee your shipment will arrive a day late! While late shipments are not common, they do happen - give yourself a little margin for error. The life of your new pet may depend on it.

Be aware that some jurisdictions may have regulations pertaining to the importation of various reptile species. It is up to you, the customer, to be aware of any regulations pertaining to this in your area. VMS cannot possibly be aware of all laws in the various states, counties, and cities throughout the United States. VMS ships reptiles at the customer's request, and will not assume responsibility should this request violate local law.

Exports

VMS does not provide export services

International shipments exiting the United States are very complicated, expensive and time-consuming to process. Generally, unless you are planning to make a very substantial purchase you will find the time and expense involved will not justify the purchase.

VMS does not provide export services. You must make arrangements with a licensed import/export broker in the United States to handle all requirements for your exportation. VMS will simply be sending your shipment to a licensed broker within the United States.

Please realize also the following policies regarding international shipments:

Minimum order amount for international orders is $1000.00US and must be paid in advance via bank to bank wire transfer. A bank wire transfer fee of $42 and FedEx Priority Overnight shipping charges of $49 will be added to your order total.

We will not place specimens on hold awaiting completion of paperwork without payment in full. Please provide us with a list of the Specimen ID #'s you desire, along with your complete billing information and the shipping information for your export broker. We will provide a copy of your invoice via .pdf file. You will be expected to make payment within 48 hours.

All Boas and Pythons we sell are listed under Appendix 2 of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species act. Please be sure your export broker is prepared to handle the extra expense and legalities involved with obtaining CITES permits before attempting an export of Boas or Pythons.

Failure to arrange shipping within 30 days from receipt of funds will result in order cancellation and forfeiture of 50% of funds paid for specimens. There will be no refunds for expenses incurred by VMS on your behalf, such as wire transfer fees.

VMS is responsible only for shipping and guaranteeing your items to your designated broker's address within the United States. VMS will not be held responsible for any losses in transit, delays in transit, or violations of law once your shipment has been received by your import/export broker.