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That is a def fair and valid point. And you are correct in saying someone will fill that demand. I can appreciate that. However, it just seems like that is the only thing they are doing. Especially if they are doing market research etc. That in NO way contributes to the hobby. It contributes to the pet trade. Which leads to more people buying frogs on impulse, placing them in critter keepers etc. Which I know is going to happen anyways, but to see a focus on it, is upsetting. Just seems like that is the target audience. The frogs look just fine and I have heard from a couple that bought frogs from them, they were quality animals. Just the "presentation" of themselves leaves little to be desired. It honestly was similar to the launch of DFC in the way it is packaged for us to perceive. And that is disappointing.
 

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Dillon, do you have a wholesale price list? If not and these prices are your wholesale, then you will have difficulty selling them to retailers if you are offering them for the same price to the general public.

Also, offering and guaranteeing shipping during any weather is irresponsible if you care about the animals. FedEx isn't always on time especially during a snow or ice storm, hurricane, Christmas shipping time, etc. it is not worth the risk.
 

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As to others on the FedEx year round issue, we advertise year round, but nothing will make us ship when it is not a good idea. That is just not good business. Seriously guys, we are froggers to, we started as froggers and remain froggers. Are you suggesting anyone who loves frogs wants a buyer to get dead frogs. Sheesh!

Hi Ed!

This is my first post and last for a while! I write these comments as Dillon's dad, Rick, and very knowledgeable on the subject of IP law, and innovation. I'll spare the resume exerpt.

I wanted to chime in and clarify a few things. The fact that some (or all) frogs have secretions is of little concern to us and our use of SAFE as a trademark. The trademark SAFE is used, as our trademark, for "captive bred amphibians". A trademark designates source and is not descriptive. In your post it seems you suggest the trademark is being used descriptively. It is not, and in fact the entire world could use safe for dart fogs descriptively, and we ENCOURAGE it.

The entire purpose behind adopting the trademark, and yes there is a registration application filed, is to educate the consumer that we are a source of captive bred dart frogs. We could have used NOTOX or something like that, but we liked SAFE. On the "Spectrum of Distinctiveness" of trademark law, it falls in the suggestive and registrable category, not descriptive for the secretion reason you mentioned. Thanks for the help drawing the distinction.

To your comment about lawsuits, the safety (or not) of a frog is mostly irrelevant to trademark law. Product liability lawsuits can use TM use as facts, but they have minimal probative value as to the culpability necessary for liability to stick. Thus, TM law is a lot different than products liability. For us, USA Frog (parent company) and FrogZoo (educational operating company) and DartFrogWarehouse.com (the store), we use SAFE in the trademark sense to designate us as A source of captive bred amphibians, not THE source.

On the "trademarked" ONE HOP there are about a dozen live ONE HOP type registrations.

Thus, the answer to your question (below) is yes, we knew, and still claim trademark rights to it for: one stop air shipping of live harmless animals, but remain on the fence about registering it. That trademark will be assigned to the consortium shipping company idea for all of us if it ever goes, depending upon support.

I mean no disrespect to you sir, but frankly, there is a lot about IP law you are leaving out. In short, please know, trademarks need not be registered federally or in any state to be trademark. There are common law trademarks and ALL trademark rights inure to the benefit of the owner based on USE.

In re: the TM claims we made yesterday to the individual tinc (and one leuc) varieties, I think/hope we removed them from the site, and thanks to all for finding the crumbs. We took them off too, we hope. For the record, that entire branding fiasco was my fault, not Dillon's I assure you. We still claim our trademark rights to SAFE for "captive bred amphibians" because a multi-store chain customer Dillon and I met with likes it, and LOVES the frogs. I cannot say more about the business dealing, but we hope we get the deal done.

As I said yesterday, we would be very willing, AND HAPPY, to grant a free license to ANY hobbyist selling retail who wants to use SAFE for CAPTIVE BRED dart frogs. If they sell wild caught, we will not grant a license, but again, NOTHING is stopping anyone from using safe dart frogs in the descriptive sense and we hope you do, and water down our own trademark. That would be great, because people would know these captive bred beauties are NOT poison. Frankly, we do not have enough frogs to satisfy demand if it ever kicks in. We would be lucky to handle our area.

We simply want to get the truth out there and drive change in the mind of people who LOVE these frogs. Our test marketing IN STORES says people will buy them IF AND ONLY IF they are NOT poison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (BTW, the in store tests were NOT conducted by us, but by our multi-store contact so the data is REAL.)

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with hard questions, but they demand hard answers. I suspect you are a no-nonsense guy, and we honor that!

Have a great day and thanks again. Rick

P.S. The "lawyers" are me and my colleagues through the years. I am an IP lawyer and gave it up for this because we love the frogs and family side of this business more than anything.

While captive bred frogs may lack the alkaloids... it does not in any way mean that the frog is totally non-toxic. Frogs actively secrete a wide variety of peptides that can cause significant symptoms. Your asking for a major lawsuit by advertising them in that manner.

So did these same lawyers tell you that the term "One Hop" is already trademarked (in 2009)?

Is there any reason in particular that none of your trademarked terms show up in a search of the US Trademark and Patent Database?

Some comments

Ed
 

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. Just the "presentation" of themselves leaves little to be desired. It honestly was similar to the launch of DFC in the way it is packaged for us to perceive. And that is disappointing.
Glad I wasnt the only one that saw that similarity. It's a bit of a disappointment when folks seem to look at fogging with dollar signs in their eyes.
 

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Hi Jeremy, We truly enjoy what you say. These prices are for a limited time. I thought we said that in our post, but maybe not so well. We wanted to get them to our board friends first as a Grand Opening special.

I had to respond because we truly do value you and everyone here!

Rick



Dillon, do you have a wholesale price list? If not and these prices are your wholesale, then you will have difficulty selling them to retailers if you are offering them for the same price to the general public.

Also, offering and guaranteeing shipping during any weather is irresponsible if you care about the animals. FedEx isn't always on time especially during a snow or ice storm, hurricane, Christmas shipping time, etc. it is not worth the risk.
 

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To All,

We honestly thought you, as our friends and fellow froggers would have taken this as a GREAT opportunity to buy some excellent frogs at excellent prices for a limited time. Some have and thank you! How could we not open this to you first? We bought our breeding stock from many of you! The public won't see our site for awhile because of the search engine listings take time. We are pretty much invisible to the rest of the world, and just opened this to you. BTW, our multi-store potential client is NOT a pet store, they specialize in educational items, and a big win for all of us if it goes. We retain the upscale nature of these beauties.

Have a great day and please consider our current prices a great resource for you, and our way of saying thanks! An enemy does not offer grand opening prices like that any time.

Rick
 

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Hi Jeremy, We truly enjoy what you say. These prices are for a limited time. I thought we said that in our post, but maybe not so well. We wanted to get them to our board friends first as a Grand Opening special.

I had to respond because we truly do value you and everyone here!

Rick
If you guys are not opposed to some constructive criticism of your web design, could I suggest including pictures with the variety/species/morph and ages categories? It just tends to create a more comfortable shopping experience, especially for the first time buyer.


Also, the general design and use of graphics seem a little outdated.
 

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So USA Frog and FrogZoo are you. You say on your home page that, "Their pedigrees are known and of the high regard in the hobby" (copied and pasted, the grammatical error is yours). I was expecting where it says, "Breeding Stock" on the individual frog pages that you would have put some pedigree information instead of telling us the parents belong to you. The source of your original breeding stock would have been more helpful to me and supported what you said on your home page.
When I looked at it the first time, I thought, they say that they have respected pedigrees, but I have not heard of the group from whom they purchased all their frogs. It threw up a big red flag for me. Now that I know that you are USA Frogs and Frog Zoo it makes more sense, but I already assumed that the parents were yours. I'm assuming you wrote that in to show people you weren't just flipping frogs bred by someone else, but you can say that once on the home page and be done with it. I would rather see the origin of your breeding stock on the individual frog pages.
Now, I don't know of any other website that reveals the origin of their stock, but since you claim on your site that your pedigrees are highly respected, you should probably back it up.
 

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Look at the feedback they've left from frogs bought over the last couple of years. I'm guessing that's the "high pedigree".
 

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Hope you did a market study on how to move that many frogs in an already oversaturated supply market. The only way I see would be to get chain stores to carry them, but I've worked at Petco and IMO darts would not last long there because the setups are not designed for darts and the employees have high turnover rates and therefore don't know how to care for many of the herps they currently sell.

If you can successfully expand the demand for darts in a constructive way, kudos to you.
 

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Hope you did a market study on how to move that many frogs in an already oversaturated supply market. The only way I see would be to get chain stores to carry them, but I've worked at Petco and IMO darts would not last long there because the setups are not designed for darts and the employees have high turnover rates and therefore don't know how to care for many of the herps they currently sell.

If you can successfully expand the demand for darts in a constructive way, kudos to you.
The chain stores have carried them in the past and have chosen not to for a variety of reason and habitat design is one reason.
 

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DartFrogWarehouse, FrogZoo, and USAFrog? Is there a point to having three companies under the same roof?
 

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As to others on the FedEx year round issue, we advertise year round, but nothing will make us ship when it is not a good idea. That is just not good business. Seriously guys, we are froggers to, we started as froggers and remain froggers. Are you suggesting anyone who loves frogs wants a buyer to get dead frogs. Sheesh!
This is what I would expect but on your home page you write:
Our wholesale warehouse facility is much less a warehouse than it is a breeding and innovation facility. We are located minutes from the Federal Express Worldwide (Global) hub where ALL FedEx shipments are processed each night. This means the frogs and tads we ship to you make ONE, and ONLY ONE, hop to your local FedEx Service Center for your personal pickup. We are the only commercial seller of captive bred dart frogs able to ship throughout the entire year, all fifty-two (52) weeks, even in the most extreme weather conditions! ONE HOP™ is our ONE HOP stop trademark for shipping, and nobody but us offers it! Christmas gifts to Maine, no problem! Birthday gifts to Arizona in August, no problem! We provide ONE HOP SHIPPING and begin your shipment at the FedEx hub, so it goes directly to you without being rerouted.

This would suggest that you will ship during the most extreme weather!
Also, I think every commercial seller or breeder will ship in an week of the year if the conditions work. Claiming you are the only one is just plain false.
 

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I Just have a few points/questions... You guys have the benefit of the doubt like anyone else starting out. (So this is in a friendly tone :))


1. Why no names on the websites? You go by name here, but looks like someone who isn't on DB isn't going to find the owners names on the site. Anytime I can't find names associated with a business, my guard goes up. Also the contact form is ok, but I really dislike it when I'm forced to use those and don't have the actual email addresses to contact vendors directly where I can store copies of all the emails sent/received and keep records of transactions. A buisness making this difficult for me again puts me on guard.

2. The "Safe" thing... Ok I get wanting to educate the public and expand your market, but until I read the site more my mind naturally went to the place that you are suggesting these were more disease free or something then other Darts. Some better clarification on what you mean by "safe" on the site might be nice. I don't really see anything that makes these more "safe" then any other darts. So it sounds like mostly "marketing".

3. A small criticism.... All the marketing stuff with "safe" and etc..etc.. gave me the impression as someone who's been in the hobby for almost 10 years that someone was trying to blow smoke up my butt, or up the butt of new hobbyists. It seems you are kinda trying out a new sales style or something and that's cool, but like I said the feel I got when reading the site was "smoke up my butt", so it's your call but you might wanna tone the marketing lingo down a bit and give the site a more sincere feel. The proprietary names and a lot of the other marketing stuff is likely to alienate the core hobbyist.

4. This kinda goes along with 3... The "science" and "research" aspects of the the marketing kinda seem kinda superficial, and more a marketing ploy then any real science going on. Also the color phenotyping at it's most harmless seems kinda pointless, and at its worst almost seems like you are trying to position yourself to start line breeding and creating designer dart frogs under the justification that the experts say our hobby names are meaningless as far as the species goes.

In many of those cases those morphs/locale names represent "races" and/or "locales" of dart frogs, and I think most of us know that an oyapock is near genetically identical to an azureus, but if you start crossing them based on the idea "well they're all tincs", you're going to get lynched by the hobby community, because we want to have those frogs continue to represent a morph/race or what would be found in a specific locale. We want our frogs to be as representative of the wild population that particular frog's ancestors or whatever came from, and generally try to segregate them in our homes like they would be in the wild.

If you're going to try to change that, you're going to meet with a lot of resistance. If that isn't your plan then I'm not really sure what the point of the phenotyping research is all about. It seems like your saying based on phenotype you can make the healthiest pair with the healthiest offspring, and If that is your claim it seems kinda dubious. Some clarification and supporting evidence might be good.

5. Lastly, I saw you guys sold a bunch of frogs earlier in the month, but have no feedback thread (did I miss it:confused:) Why? ...And can we expect this to change soon?

Anyways like I said, you've got the benefit of the doubt for now, but just the overall feel I get from your site makes me wary for some reason. Just throwing all this out there with the intent for it to be constructive criticism not a lynching :D


A note on the Q system... Ok I don't really know why people have a problem with this, or what is confusing about it. All it seems to be is shorthand for the age so they can't easily setup and keep their pricing straight. I got no problem with it and with their tiered pricing it makes perfect sense to have something kinda short hand to easily designate and separate frogs for the website.


To All,

We honestly thought you, as our friends and fellow froggers would have taken this as a GREAT opportunity to buy some excellent frogs at excellent prices for a limited time. Some have and thank you! How could we not open this to you first? We bought our breeding stock from many of you! The public won't see our site for awhile because of the search engine listings take time. We are pretty much invisible to the rest of the world, and just opened this to you. BTW, our multi-store potential client is NOT a pet store, they specialize in educational items, and a big win for all of us if it goes. We retain the upscale nature of these beauties.

Have a great day and please consider our current prices a great resource for you, and our way of saying thanks! An enemy does not offer grand opening prices like that any time.

Rick
I don't view you as the enemy, but I also don't feel like you've adequately addressed the points/questions of mine that I made earlier.

I think you have to expect some healthy skepticism when coming onto the scene so large and out of the blue, especially with the Dartfrogconnection drama that happened awhile back(as someone else mentioned).

You're kinda entering into this at a time when mistrust is fairly high in the hobby. The best way to deal with that is to address our concerns point by point, and then build and maintain an excellent reputation as you conduct business.

Dealing with our concerns, skepticism and even paranoia is the cost of doing business in this hobby I'm afraid. I don't understand how everyone who opens a commercial operation in this hobby seems to be surprised by this. :confused:

Anyways, I think you have good intentions but your marketing approach especially with the DFC crap that went down was ill conceived. There are enough parallels that it makes many of us nervous.

Oh and any chance we are going to see the actual line/orgin info on the website rather then "Breeding Stock: U.S.A. Frog"???. That tells me nothing about the actual orgins/line info of the frogs.
 

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As to others on the FedEx year round issue, we advertise year round, but nothing will make us ship when it is not a good idea. That is just not good business. Seriously guys, we are froggers to, we started as froggers and remain froggers. Are you suggesting anyone who loves frogs wants a buyer to get dead frogs. Sheesh!
So why advertise as such? It is not responsible and giving the impression that no matter what you will ship. Those who have done this professionally for years spell out their shipping guidelines so it is clear to all customers and have terms of Sale.

This is my first post and last for a while! I write these comments as Dillon's dad, Rick, and very knowledgeable on the subject of IP law, and innovation. I'll spare the resume exerpt. ...
An an attorney I am sure you read the TOS and realize you have violated General Norms E and F. I would also think you would have a clearly written terms of sale listed.

In re: the TM claims we made yesterday to the individual tinc (and one leuc) varieties, I think/hope we removed them from the site, and thanks to all for finding the crumbs. We took them off too, we hope. For the record, that entire branding fiasco was my fault, not Dillon's I assure you. ...
This makes your entire operation look amateurish at best, if not a scam to make morphs to drive business to make a quick buck. If you conducted market research, why did you not do so in the hobby? This is a niche hobby. Large scale breeders have tried working with Dendrobatidae, did you contact them over hurdles ect?

Hi, it's me again. My third tad (the completely non-buoyant one) just popped his second front leg this morning!:D ...(a bunch of questions)... Any advice will be appreciated, and thanks as usual for reading through my copious amounts of questions. I want to make sure I do this right!
So you have been breeding frogs for 2 years, and now you are trying to change the market with all this branding. And stating in a bragging fashion you have over 3,000 frogs/tadpoles/eggs. I know some large scale breeders (not just darts) and I don't see them throwing numbers around of forums, changing existing names, ect.

So again, how many breeding pairs do you have that has immersed this collection for sale? Why are you not posting source/bloodline of your frogs?

Keep in mind there is an industry and hobby here that is constantly fighting legislation (state and federal), federal rule changes, and stereotypes. Being involved in the hobby brings an understanding of these issues and the issues with the hobby that you have already started to effect negatively with your branding. I think more people are shocked and surprised by your claims and just coming out of know where, let alone someone who has not been active in the hobby outside of giving vendor feedback. I agree with Dave, I don't feel like you've adequately addressed the points/questions.
 

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A lot of this has been said so I apologize, I just really feel strongly about this subject (clearly not the only one).
Very impressed with all this, and you are taking the standard DB interrogation very well. I really would love to see you guys succeed, but please continue to listen to some of these guys. These are species that most of us would consider easy to care for. When compared to other animals (in hobbies or the pet trade) that are marketed in similar ways however, they take a lot more to keep up with CORRECT husbandry. I am sure you will all agree.

Definitely not accusing here, but the vast majority who like the idea of dart frogs in their house will run scared the instant you mention cultures, live plants, tank cycling, fecal testing, etc. Education on this fact needs to come first, and is the basis for why there is a dry scientific side to this hobby. Many of these are frogs from lines that were smuggled out of their country of origin, often illegally, and often from populations that are under pressure in the wild. This is not info to be hidden, that does nobody any favors. To distance these frogs frogs from where they came from and their story is risky business and will alienate the hobby very quickly. The marketing tactics you have chosen are doing just that.

People are drawn to these frogs for their colors, but the biology and population dynamics behind them are what lead people to keep these animals at home. Someone who is not concerned with those aspects will more than likely not enjoy caring for these frogs for any length of time. I understand how a business is run, but transparency is key when talking about live animals with high standards of care.

You guys clearly have the heart and the knowhow, if you get the hobby on your side this could really be great. But if you market these frogs like leopard geckos, you will crash and burn.
 

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An an attorney I am sure you read the TOS and realize you have violated General Norms E and F. I would also think you would have a clearly written terms of sale listed.
Playing mod over a simple oversight makes you look bitter, mate. if you feel it's really worth dealing with just contact a mod.
 

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I like the changes you have made to your home page.

If I could make one more suggestion. I know you probably put a lot of thought into your age classification system and are very proud of it, but when I am shopping for frogs, I shop for a type(species or morph) of frog. I don't shop for a frog of a certain age. My suggestion would be to keep your three main catalog pages (auratus, tincs and misc), but when I go to those pages I would like to see pictures of the various species/morphs of those frogs. When I click on the frog then take me to a page that has a pull-down menu that allows me to select the age of the frogs.

There are some frogs that I might have no idea you offered because you only have them on your Q4 page and I didn't happen to look there. If you have a pic on one of your 3 main pages, then I know exactly what you have and then I can figure out what stage of development I want.
 
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