Policies for Stores and Rescues

For topics on hermit crab related stores, and member reviews of them. Also for asking where to find an item. Retailers, please read the sticky regarding our rules before posting!
User avatar

Topic author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:37 pm
Location: The HCA

Policies for Stores and Rescues

Post by HCADirectors » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi All!

Lately there seem to be a lot of members starting rescues and stores. The HCA wants to take a moment to cover the policies regarding how these topics and posts are handled, and to inform the stores and rescues what is expected of them.


The HCA has always had a very strong policy regarding stores. Our Policies & Procedures state: "The HCA is a crab care resource, not a supply of customers to be farmed." Because of this, we handle stores very differently than many other forums:

A Store is defined as any external website that accepts payment.

Store Owners must be in good standing to advertise here:
Good Standing is
Being a member for at least three months.
Have at least 50 posts.
Having logged in within the past three months.
Not having a warning within the past month.
Not having a suspension within the past six months
Not having a conflict of interest.

The store must sell hermit crab related items.

Each store is permitted only one topic about their store or their products:
This topic may be replied to or edited as many times as you like. The title of the topic may be changed at any time by editing the first post in the thread - when you change the "subject" of the post and save it, the title of the entire topic will be changed to that new subject. If more than one topic is created the additional topics may be deleted or merged with the original. If multiple topics continue to be created then it may be considered spamming and disciplinary action may be taken.

The store's topic must be in the Shopping, Stores and Reviews:
Topics created anywhere else will be moved to that section. Please note that the Shopping, Stores and Reviews forum is indexed by search engines and is viewable by non-members so this is actually a good thing!

You may not advertise your services elsewhere on the forum:
Stores are not permitted to bring up their products randomly or advertise themselves in other member's topics. If you are answering a question from another member, such as "where can I find ___" or "what can you tell me about __", then it is permitted to mention that you sell or handle that specific item/thing. You are also permitted to respond about your store if a member specifically mentions an item they are going to purchase or have purchased from you, or they are asking a question or have talked about your store.

You are not permitted to post about your Store in another's members Store topic, or in a Classifieds Ad if something is being sold.
You cannot advertise your store or the products that you are selling in a Store topic that belongs to another member, unless you have been specifically invited to do so by that Store's owner. You also cannot advertise your store or the items you sell in a classifieds ad when a member is also selling an item. Posts of either type will be deleted. If the author of a topic in Classifieds is looking to buy an item that you are selling, you may respond.

You are permitted to add a link to your store in your signature. Regular signature rules apply.

We do not allow advertising of any kind on our Facebook page at this time, and posts of this nature will be immediately removed.


Due to some issues in the past, we have a short set of guidelines for Rescues to follow so that things don't get confusing or out of hand:

If you run a store that links from or is on the same website as your rescue, then you are required to follow the above rules for stores - no exceptions. These Rescue guidelines do not apply to you. As an HCA member you are welcome to make an Adopter's Post in your state topic and as a reminder, links to information or photos about your crabs and care are permitted. You are also welcome to mention in your Store topic that you also do rescues.

You are permitted one topic about your rescue.
You can choose between the Activism section or the DIY section. Topics created anywhere else will be moved to Activism, or merged with a previous rescue topic of yours, if one already exists. The single topic may be replied to or edited as many times as you like. The title of the topic may be changed at any time by editing the first post in the thread - when you change the "subject" of the post and save it, the title of the entire topic will be changed to that new subject.

You are encouraged to create an Adopters Post in your state topics in the Adoption section:
This is where all owners who are needing to rehome their hermits crabs are referred to. Adopters Posts are for asking to adopt hermit crabs from others only! Any mention of offering hermits to others, or of hermits available for adoption, will be edited out. If your rescue covers more than one state, you are welcome to create a Post in all the state topics that you serve. As a reminder, all Adopters Posts must be updated once a year or it will be deleted due to inactivity, and if for some reason you cannot be reached in a timely manner when there is a crab in need of your services, your post may be removed. You must also state whether the hermit crabs you are taking in will be kept permanently or rehomed to other crabbers - it is the owners right to know where their hermits are going to end up.

If you are looking for homes for hermits that are ready to be adopted now:
Any hermit crabs you may have for adoption can be posted in both your own topic and in the Adoptees (Crabs that need a new home) topic. Adoptees posts should be monitored for replies and edited when the crab finds a home. You are also welcome to post to our Facebook page to try to reach more adopters directly.

If you are looking to line up homes for hermits that are not ready or that you do not yet have:
Requests must be limited to your rescue's topic only. They will be removed if they are posted elsewhere.

While you may post about any hermit crabs that need new homes to Facebook, you may not make advertising posts offering to assist others with rehoming their hermit crabs. Posts of this nature will be hidden. The HCA has always had its own adoption program and we handle all requests that come in through our Facebook page. We use the Adopter's Posts to locate nearby adopters before turning to other methods.

Regular HCA members who want to adopt will be given preference in regards to the HCA adoption program
When hermit crab owners contact the HCA's adoption email about finding a new home for their crab(s), rescues and sanctuaries are reserved for situations when no other suitable home can be found. If there are no local adopters who are able to adopt the crab in a timely fashion and the owner does not feel comfortable with shipping, we will pass along the public information you've provided so that they can reach out to your rescue when they are ready. Please make sure to include in either your rescue's topic or your adopter's post the geographical area that your rescue services as many owners are not able to travel long distances.