To those who are familiar with bidding for Bettas..... I am currently looking into getting a fish through Aquabid from Thailand, and I have already contacted a transhipper. Her name is Jennifer out of Georgia. She has detailed information regarding her fees and shipping, but I am a little confused on how much exactly it is going to cost.
She lists at the top that inspection and air cargo fees have gone up and now cost $186 and $55. Then she lists her fees that total approximately $13, and express shipping at approximately $30. This totals up to just under $300. Am I to believe this will be my cost for one fish??
Is there a legitimate reason to buy fish online as opposed to a local fish store? Or is it mostly done just for the eliteness of having an authentic asian fish? I'm not trying to be rude... just curious. :)
I guess I would feel uncomfortable buying online due to the possibility of DOA's from poor handling during shipping.
I live in a teeny tiny town, so I don't have many reputable choices to pick from. PetSmart, PetCo, and Walmart are my main offerings, and most of their stock look to be on their last fin. I believe a DOA can happen anywhere, even from the pet store. I believe the odds of survival between shipping and local are quite similar in successes.
To answer Vegas:
No, the fish should not cost up to $300. I use Linda Olson, since she lives closer to me. Her rates are usually around $24.40 per fish (for shipping), with an extra $4.00 for every extra fish being sent in that package. Then you also pay for the heat pack (I forget how much that costs). Most Thai sellers will ask that you pay a $4.00 fee on top of your original purchase, so a $30.00 fish is actually $34.00 when that is added in. This fee is to help pay for the shipment to get your fish to the transhipper.
In the end, if you bought a $25.00 fish, then you're going to spend over $50.00. I don't want to mention how much I've spent. I'll pretend like I don't know.
Since this is your first imported fish, do you know how to acclimate? It is different than your typical acclimation. If you have not purchased Indian Almond Leaves (IAL), then I suggest you do so. These are part of what most breeders use in their bettas' water.
To answer Ryan:
All bettas will either come from Thailand, or from a local breeder who originally got their fish from Thailand. Even PetSmart, Walmart, and PetCo bettas can be traced back to Thailand. Ordering a fish from Thailand has the same chance of DOA as a pet store betta. They just don't put their dead fish on the shelves. All pet store bettas must go under the same rigorous shipping as an imported betta. In fact, a lot of pet store bettas get it worse off.
I have purchased a lot of fish from Thailand. Probably more than anyone in my family wishes I would (I get a LOT of trouble for it). I have a sorority full of females and two males currently. I have two more males coming and another female on the way.
My reason for purchasing fish from Thailand had nothing to do with being elite. It had to do with the fact that a lot of fish in the pet store weren't what I was looking to breed with. In my sorority, I have a few pet store females. I also have a few pet store males. I am not at all biased for Thailand bettas. However, for breeding, I would prefer them. I also noticed that my pet store bettas cannot compare in size to my Thai bettas. Nowhere close. Maybe in finnage, but not body size.
Also, I don't like the fact that a lot of bettas will be labeled one thing, and not be that. Example: You pay for a Double Tail Half Moon and get a Double Tail Veiltail. You pay for a Half Moon and get a Super Delta. These are not the same by any means (this can happen on AB as well, as I have purchased a female and opened up the package to find a male - surprise! Most sellers will fix this, though).
Pet store bettas can be used to breed, as Chard56 has shown in his gorgeous line. However, you have to know exactly what you're looking at, and ignore the labeling.
Hadoken Kitty - I thought Petsmart and many other chains get their Bettas from Segrest Farms, in Florida. http://www.segrestfarms.com/.... Basement Bettas mentioned this on a show forum thread awhile back.
segrest are resellers, lol. Hadoken kitty, so colorful, lol. Vegas, i think there is a transhiper in NC, i forgot who it is though, if he is nearby, you could just pick it up.
If this is wrong, though, I'd really like to know the specifics. Mainly for educational sakes. I really don't know much about the specific middle man's play. I know a majority of stores like PetSmart, Walmart, etc, use warehouses and whole sellers who purchase from manufacturers or breeders by the bulk and distribute accordingly. This is why a lot of people will get fish that look like the other one's, but be able to live many states away from each other.
OK, I read Segrest's website, and it does say in several places that they are a "wholesale aquarium fish distributor."
It also says: We obtain quality and variety wholesale tropical fish, coldwater fish, saltwater fish, marine coral & live rock, aquatic plants, amphibians and reptiles by continually traveling the world to work with our suppliers for captive bred and sustainably collected aquatic specimens, and seek the best, and the odd and unusual. http://www.segrestfarms.com/index.cf...Wholesaler.htm
[color="Plum"]I use Linda Olson, since she lives closer to me. Her rates are usually around $24.40 per fish (for shipping)
Um, no.. I just had a fish shipped from her a little over a week ago and it was about $44, I wasn't offered any cheaper option, and I had emailed her TWICE, once before I paid and once after (I hadn't received ANY response from her), asking her not to ship my fish to arrive on a certain date because I'd be out of town for work, I also sent that same message with my payment, and guess what, she shipped the fish to arrive the very day I was planning to be gone.. as if she didn't read my messages or just didn't care. Then to top it off, it wasn't even delivered that day (post office's fault) and the tracking info she sent me did NOT work... I emailed asking if it was correct and I heard NOTHING. I only just managed to catch my mail lady the next day when I got home from work (my husband was out mowing, and didn't even see her pull up), otherwise my fish would have been sitting in his box for 4+ days.
I won't be using her again if I get another fish from Aquabid.