Store Policy & Order Information
Everything you need to know about ordering from our company
Our team has been shipping sensitive perishables, terrarium supplies and more since 2009, and we've developed industry-leading guarantees & original packaging methods to ensure our clients & their pets are very well taken care of. As far as shipping & logistics are concerned, we are absolutely determined to do the best we can in terms of speed, reliability, and cost.
We offer fair, fast, reliable Fed-Ex & USPS shipping, and most supply-only orders ship within 1-2 business days. All orders receive accurate tracking messages via email as soon as the order has processed & shipped. With our Guaranteed Ground policy in effect during fair weather months, and an excellent perishable guarantee otherwise, you can rest assured you'll be taken care of from the moment you hit "submit order", until the package is safely delivered at your door.
The most important thing to understand is this: We're a small family owned business, and we truly appreciate your support. You can count on us to help whenever we can, and to do the right thing when it comes to customer service. Our business was built almost entirely by word-of-mouth recommendations between hobbyists & professionals alike, and we promise to do our best to live up to your expectations. This store policy page was created to provide as much detail as we possibly can regarding what to expect when you order from us. If you have any questions about our policies below, don't hesitate to contact us!
Order Submission & Tracking
Order Processing Schedule
Shipment Transit Times
Supplies Damaged In Transit
Shipper Error / Lost Shipment
Shipping Address Issues
Shipper Service Disturbances
Live Animal Shipping
Price Match Policy
Customer Support Policy
Order Submission, Receipt, and Tracking Info
What to expect when you order from us
After an order is placed, a payment receipt & order contents list is sent from PayPal to the email address used during checkout. (Click to view a sample of this email!) Our checkout system is powered by PayPal for all automated forms of payment (debit cards, credit cards, e-checks, etc), so PayPal's confirmation email is the only confirmation email sent when an order is submitted. When the order ships, another email containing tracking information will be sent from either FedEx or USPS. If an incorrect email address was used while placing an order, or you have not received tracking with the below order processing schedule in mind, please contact us for tracking info.
Order Processing Schedule
When to expect your order to ship
We pack & ship orders as quickly as we can, paying extra attention to ensure perishable orders arrive safely. Most supply & feeder orders ship within 1-2 business days of an order being placed, and orders containing plants usually ship within 3 business days. We do not ship orders containing perishables over weekends, to protect the contents from the typical weekend delay. For that reason, perishables going to more distant states may not ship until the following Monday/Tuesday, to ensure the contents avoid the weekend delay & arrive safely. Shipping type (Standard or Express) does not affect order processing times. As always, if you are in a serious rush to receive any order, please email us after the order is submitted to keep us in the loop! We don't mind helping out whenever possible.
Typical Transit Times
Expected number of days in transit, after an order is processed & shipped
Please note these graphics illustrate how many business days an order usually takes to arrive once it's picked up by FedEx or USPS, after it's been processed at NEHERP. Processing times depend on the order's contents. Transit times may vary slightly.
In order to qualify for guaranteed live arrival, a covered shipping service must have been selected during checkout. (Use the tool above to determine what's covered based on your location & temperature) Orders must be accepted on the first delivery attempt, and all damage claims must be reported (with photos) within 12 hours of the package being delivered to qualify. If a product arrives damaged while covered by our live arrival guarantee, we'll offer to either reship every damaged product at our cost or refund all damaged products in full. If the specific types of damaged perishables aren't available for any reason, clients may also be offered replacement product(s) of equal or greater value as a 3'rd option. How we handle it (reshipment, replacement, or refund) is completely up to the client.
During cases of extreme weather or situations where FedEx has issued a transit delay warning, we may temporarily hold shipments & make contact to select a safer shipping window.
Order Payments & Order Processing
How payment type affects your shipment
Standard payment methods include Debit Cards, Credit Cards, PayPal Payments, and PayPal Credit. These methods make up the majority of orders we receive, and all process on the above schedule. Our website features a secure & fully automated checkout for all of these methods of payment.
NEHERP Gift Certificates
Clients with store credit or an NEHERP Gift Certificate can submit an order via email, or by using the manual order submission form. If any payment is owed, we'll call to accept credit/debit card information over the phone. With payment completed, Gift Certificate orders ship on the above schedule.
E-Checks & Bank Transfers
Clients who pay with an e-check or bank transfer are subject to a 5-8 day payment processing delay, while the bank wires the money to NEHERP's account. Our website's order management system does not allow us to print packing slips or ship these orders prior to the payment clearing.
Shipping Service Info
Information about our shipping services
Selecting Shipping Method: Shipping quotes for Standard and Express services are available on the last page of checkout, before authorizing payment. You'll need to enter your personal info (address, etc) in order for the system to get an idea of shipping cost. If you are having trouble finding shipping costs, please use this step-by-step guide.
Service Options: Our "Standard Shipping" option can result in us shipping FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Ground, or one of USPS's equivalent services like Priority Mail. (Depending on delivery schedule & cost) The "Express" option is almost always FedEx's Express Air service. Sorry, but we don't ship UPS at this time. The final decision of which shipping method we use is at our discretion.
Freight Options: LTL shipments are available to any client ordering over 250lbs worth of product. This is custom-quoted, and won't show up during checkout. There's no handling or palleting fee for this service, and we're happy to forklift anything onto the delivery truck to keep the expense as low as possible. (Hydraulic lift service is necessary only if you request it) If you'd like to place a large bulk order over 250lbs, please email us with a complete order list & your shipping address.
Keeping prices as low as possible
A couple clients have emailed us asking about lower shipping expenses, and we're happy to explain where we stand. Before we get into it, it's important to mention a few things. We don't inflate product costs to artificially decrease shipping expense, we don't skimp on quality to offset shipping expenses, and we do not profit on the shipping charges we bill-out every month. We don't get "sweetheart deals" from shipping companies, and our small business's shipping expenses aren't subsidized by your tax dollars to make shipping seem artificially inexpensive. (Google it if you don't already know)
A customer's distance from our shop plays a huge role in determining shipping cost & transit times. We're located in Connecticut (about 20 miles from the shore), which means shipping to most of the Northeast is the least expensive & fastest to arrive from us. We couldn't be much further away from the West Coast, Midwest, or Deep South, and shipping companies charge us significantly more to ship to those locations. We hope to one day open another warehouse somewhere West of Connecticut to decrease shipping distances (and expenses) for all distant clients, but we're not there yet! Like most small businesses, shipping companies raise their prices on us significantly every year. As of January 1'st 2018, FedEx has raised their prices another 4.9% while simultaneously increasing most of their surcharges & fees. Between 2015-2017 prices had already increased 12-15%, so we're approaching a 20% rate hike in just 4 years! As of 1/29/18, the shipping charges we bill-out only raised about 8% on average during the same period.
We're honest about our shipping costs. The amount of shipping we bill is consistently less than the amount we are actually charged every month, and it's been that way since we opened for business. We can't always offer the least expensive shipping fees due to our size & location, but we always do our best to keep expenses as low as we possibly can.
In the uncommon event that an order is significantly under-billed for shipping during checkout, we reserve the right to contact the client & discuss options before shipping. We never charge for extra shipping costs without prior permission.
Supplies Damaged In Transit
What happens if the carrier gets "creative" with your box? We've got you covered!
We carefully pack every order, so damaged products are incredibly rare & unlikely to happen to you. In the unlikely event that a shipper damages your products during transit we will absolutely take care of it at no expense to you. If something arrives to you damaged, please email us with photos of the damaged product & it's packaging and we'll help arrange for either a refund or a replacement ASAP. If texting photos is easier for you, that works too @ (203)768-3414, but please don't forget to include your name & email address! Shipping companies require photographic proof of damage for us to get reimbursed, so it's an important step which can't be skipped. Please contact us first, and don't file a claim with the shipping company directly! If we file the claim on our end, we can usually refund or reship within 2 business days. We consider this service part of the benefit of dealing with our company, and we're happy to help you as quickly as possible. If you file a claim with the shipping company on your end, you'll be stuck waiting 2-3 weeks for the shipper to issue you a refund directly.
Ordered the wrong thing? We've been there. Here's how we can help.
We gladly accept returns & exchanges on unopened hard supplies in resalable condition for up to 14 days after product was received. Do don't charge return/restock fees. NEHERP can't be held responsible for return shipping costs (which may be greater than the originally billed shipping cost for reasons explained above) when the items being returned were ordered & correctly shipped. For the protection of our clients & their awesome animals, we are unable to accept returns on any loose decor items or perishables. Please visit our returns page for complete details of what is & isn't returnable, and to start the returns process.
Shipper Error / Lost Shipment
What happens in the extremely unlikely event that the shipper loses the box?
Lost In Transit: If you suspect the shipper may have lost your box in transit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. We'll be glad to help you through the claims process on our end so we can accelerate the process. With the claim successfully filed, we usually get replacements out on the next scheduled shipping day. We know working with plants & animals can be time sensitive, so we'll do our best to make the re-ship process as quick & easy as possible.
Delivered, Not Received: If a package's tracking info says "Delivered" but you haven't received the package, please email us at email@example.com ASAP. This situation is perhaps the most time-sensitive we encounter for shipping related issues. So long as the missing package is reported within 24 hours, we're almost always able to come to a resolution with FedEx. (They can either recover it & redeliver, or reimburse us so we can reship) Package drop scans are now tracked by GPS from what we understand, so shipping companies are usually able to recover incorrectly delivered packages which are reported within 24 hours of delivery. If too much time goes by past the 24-hour mark, it may be extremely difficult to recover the package, and FedEx may refuse to reimburse us for their mistake. It is critical to keep an eye on tracking info, and we always recommend signing up for FedEx/USPS delivery notifications to ensure you are kept in the loop.
Incorrect Shipping Address Issues
Please make sure your shipping address is correct during checkout
It is the customer's responsibility to include a current and deliverable shipping address during checkout every time an order is submitted. We cannot be held liable for any costs associated relating to incorrect or incomplete shipping address information submitted during checkout. If you notice your order has an incorrect shipping address included after checkout, or is already headed to an incorrect address with Fed-Ex/USPS tracking, please email us immediately. We can usually redirect a package that's already been shipped if it's caught in time, however shippers charge a substantial redirect fee to do so. This fee is the customer's responsibility in the event that an incorrect address was provided during checkout. On the other hand, if a package must be redirected or reshipped due to an error on our end, we'll gladly cover all associated fees.
FedEx/USPS Service Disturbances
Carrier delays directly affect our shipping schedules
Occasionally carriers send a notice when an issue is creating a delay in the delivery chain. Delays are usually attributed to natural occurrences (bad weather), and we try to keep these notices in mind when shipping perishables to clients, in an effort to ensure everything arrives safely. If we've been made aware of a delay issue in an area affecting an order, we'll email the client ASAP with our recommendations. Major carrier delays are a fairly uncommon occurrence, but these can lead to delays in our order processing time table.
Holidays & Scheduled Closings
We rarely close, except for national holidays!
Our business closes on most nationally observed holidays, and these closures will affect our shipping schedule for that week. Generally speaking, if FedEx and/or USPS are closed, we'll be closed too. Please plan accordingly.
Reptile & Amphibian Shipping Guarantee
★ Our Record: 100% Live Arrival For 6 Straight Years! ★
We guarantee the healthy arrival of every animal we sell when the following guidelines are followed:
1) All live shipments require signature on arrival, and are shipped using FedEx Priority Overnight Express service.
2) Live shipments must be signed for by the recipient upon the first delivery attempt to qualify for our guarantee.
3) All claims must be made within 2 hours of receiving the shipment, and pictures will be requested & necessary.
4) We strongly recommend shipping to a FedEx location if possible, to maximize the chances of healthy arrival.
All live shipment expenses are quoted per order, typically ranging from $34-58, depending a client's distance from Connecticut. Shipping expenses include the cost of Phase 22 Pack(s), Insulated Case(s), Cup(s), LACEY Act compliant labeling, and soft fill. In the unlikely event that an an animal arrives DOA with the above guidelines followed, a replacement animal will be sent at no additional expense to the client. If replacement(s) aren't available, the customer will be refunded fully. (Including the cost of shipping) We use well insulated boxes, phase 22 packs, and 40 hour heat packs whenever necessary to maximize the likelihood of a successful live shipment.
Not available at this time
Canadian customers please click here. Due to the nature of the vast majority of our products, and the increasing difficulty of shipping much of it over the border, we do not offer international shipping at this time. The following items are prohibited from shipping over the border: aerosol cans, fly cultures, fruit fly media, horticultural substrates, indian almond leaves, isopod cultures, leaf litter, moss, non-branded herp substrates, perishables, phoenix worm cultures, plants, springtail cultures, tree fern based products, vivarium substrates, and wood decor. If you'd like to proceed with a supply-only international order, some clients have had luck using a reship address in the USA to keep things simple. Note: We cannot be held liable for any difficulties incurred by attempting to reship outside the USA.
Price Match Policy
Part of our Great Deal Guarantee
We do our best to keep our prices as low as possible. If you've found a lower price on a name brand item from a competing herp-shop, please email us with a link to the competing product page for a price-match. We'll do our best to match any vivarium or herp supply business's price on any brand name item we sell! Please Note: Third party & corporate supply marketplaces are ineligible for price-matching, as they are not competing herp-shops, and are very often predatory against small businesses like us. Sorry: No price matching on perishables, non-branded items, items of unequal quality, or wood decor.
Customer Support Policy
The best customer support service in the vivarium hobby
If you have a question regarding an order, just shoot us an email, and our small team will be glad to help. We do not use an automated calling service, auto-response emails, or any non-human related methods of communication. Emails related to orders are typically responded to the same or next business day, and non-order related inquiries can take a little longer for us to get to. Every member of our team is either a herpetoculture enthusiast or professional, so you can rest assured you'll be getting top-notch advice for the topic at hand. We're proud of our stellar customer service record, profesional husbandry advice, and we guarantee that our level of one-on-one customer service will meet or exceed your expectations.
Basic Vivarium Support:
Customers who have purchased their vivarium supplies from us (or will soon do so) can count on the NEHERP team to help them through all the basics of live vivarium construction. Beyond that, we're glad to offer recommendations down the road as the vivarium environment acclimates & matures. Basic live vivarium consultation service is absolutely free for customers, and we're always glad to help with topics like microfauna acclimation, plant care, lighting, maintenance, and more. We're your one stop vivarium shop, and we're here to help.
Our team has worked with hundreds of animals over the years, and our team is comprised of current & previous professional breeders. We're glad to offer advice whenever we can pertaining to the care of the vast majority of common vivarium dwelling species, as well as plenty of the more common pets in the hobby. Whether it's a concern about the proper supplementation of a thumbnail Dart Frog from the tropics, or a question over the breeding habits of a Leopard Gecko from the arid areas of Pakistan, we're always glad to help.
For situations more complex than basic vivarium support for our clients (which is free), we're happy to act as design consultants. We're able to lend a hand with topics like lighting, plant selection, custom background design, species-specific design, ecological sustainability, and much more. 3D design service is also available for custom parts, custom installations, and more. For clients who aren't local, we're glad to work with a contractor to get the job done. Scheduled consultations are handled directly by the management team directly.
That's about it!
Kudos for reading through the entire shipping policy! We know it's a little lengthy, but want to make sure we're as clear as possible about every remotely possible situation. If you could use clarification on anything, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd be glad to hear from you.