We are often asked by pet store employees how they can help the hermit crabs being sold while observing corporate mandates and not get themselves in trouble. The struggle is real!
In my opinion, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the basic needs of hermit crabs and then share that with customers. Even if you are not allowed to share care sheets or business cards you can still encourage them to find The Crab Street Journal or the Land Hermit Crab Owners Society online for more help.
If you work at a privately owned pet store you may have a little more freedom. Start by talking to your manager or the owner about how, with a few changes to the habitat, you can actually sell more products to hermit crab owners. I have a simple tank set up for pet expos and people are surprised by the variety of items I provide. The products labelled for hermit crabs are almost universally unsafe but many products meant for reptiles, birds and fish can be beneficial to hermit crabs (and they cost more!). In addition to more sales, you now can build a relationship with your customers. They will see that you (and the store) do actually care about the animals you sell and will be more likely to return to future supplies or recommend you to others.
If you are allowed to upgrade the hermit crab habitat we recommend using our Post Purchase Death Reduction Method set up. Using shallow substrate in the store will be safer than digging up hermit crabs that have gone down to molt. This set up will encourage the hermit crabs to eat and drink and hopefully recover from the journey from the beach to the store. Keep the tank temperature around 78F and the humidity between 70-75% to help them acclimate. This is a modification from the PPDRM method that will work in your pet store habitat to provide the proper heat and humidity without adding to the physical stress the hermit crabs have already suffered. Also familiarize yourself with how to handle a hermit crab molting above ground because it is highly likely to occur.
Pet Store Appeal Letter and Supply Cost Breakdown
Color Infographic of Basic Hermit Crab Care – Ask if you can hang this on or near the hermit crab enclosure
Hermit Crab Shopping List to be Displayed in Pet Stores – You can sell customers MORE products if you use our recommended list of supplies.
Hermit Crab Care 101 – Reading over this will give you the basic knowledge needed to help new hermit crab owners get off to a good start.
Hermit Crab Basic Care – Printable/Shareable Care Sheet
Hermit Crab Feeding Guide and Nutritional Needs – Printable/Shareable Care Sheet