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East Bay Vivarium - Berkley,CA

Discussion in 'Petstore Reviews' started by Ben_B., Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Ben_B.

    Ben_B. Guest


    This is best store for anything exept Mammals! they have like 18 T's 150 snakes and Lizards AND they have books for the novice!
  2. najig21

    najig21 Arachnopeon

    I'd have to agree! This is my favorite store in the entire world (so far). Go EBV!
  3. invertepet

    invertepet Arachnolord Old Timer


    I've been going to the EBV since I was 11 years old (which, given the fact that I'm now 34, is saying something). It's always been a blast - lots of stuff, knowledgable staff and since 1989, a good central location in Berkeley.

    The EBV was one of the first exposures I had to 'exotic' tarantulas (other than the usual pet shop smithis and such of the 80's). I remember seeing a Horned Baboon spider there back in 1988 for the first time, gigantic Goliath birdeaters and even wild stuff like adult Coconut Crabs (arboreal crabs the size of a bowling ball). Yep, the EBV has definitely played a big role in my invert and herp upbringing. ;)

  4. Kayv

    Kayv Arachnobaron Old Timer


    Ive been going to this petstore recently and they have a VERY good selection of almost anything except mamals. They have an OK supply of inverts but a good selection. I noticed that sometimes the workers get kinda pissy when i ask a question but i guess its because they were busy those times. Usually theyre pretty nice to me though. Oh and another thing, this petstore does not stink at all! By the ammount of animals they have youd think the smell would be pretty bad but theres actually no scent. This is also the only exotic petstore i have been to where they had centipede.

    all in all a very good pet store
  5. eksong

    eksong Arachnoknight Old Timer


    Quite a good local store. They have a good selection of inverts for a store that does not specialize in them (at any given time, around 20 or so tarantulas, 2 scorpions, a centipede, a mantid, and whip scorpions!).

    That said, they specialize in herps, and boy do they specialize. There staff is knowledgeable, their animals healthy and their store very well maintained. I regularly pick up a mouse there for my corn snake, and they have always been helpful.

    There is one staff member who really gets in my skin (he acts in a condescending manner, which I absolutely HATE, even if he is more knowledgeable in herp care than I am, and diligently avoids eye contact), but everyone else is beyond great.

    Whereas Krazy 8's is my online store of choice, EBV is my local preference.

    Two thumbs up.

    Edit... a few things I did not like about this place.

    1) Price. Cheaper than Petco, but about 20-30% more expensive than purchasing from a show or breeder.

    2) Some of the employees are rather antagonistic toward "rack owners" and refuses service to those individuals.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  6. Fini

    Fini Arachnoknight Old Timer


    I've been visiting EBV for probably 15 years. I have always been amazed with their stock of reptiles, amphibians, and recently discovered their assortment of inverts (my trip last June actually spurred my interest in T's). The help there is very knowledgeable, but are sometimes difficult to find. It's not really their fault that place is really busy. I've seen some of the same faces in their for ten years. The staff does do their best to accommodate everyone, but it's like directing traffic in Grand Central Station during the weekends.

    I will continue to make my pilgrimage there every chance I get.
  7. Okitasoshi

    Okitasoshi Arachnosquire Old Timer

    EBV is a great experience if you get the chance to go there, but try and make it there on a weekday, as it gets VERY crowded on the weekends.
  8. fiveohatch

    fiveohatch Arachnoknight Old Timer

    i love going and looking at stuff in that in that place. i remember getting a turtle from them when i was maybe 10-12 or so (i'm 27 now). my only complaint about them is the parking. the last time my friend and i went there, we had a 10 minute walk from the closest available parking.

    it's definately a great place though.
  9. Kayv

    Kayv Arachnobaron Old Timer


    I hate to do it, especially since I'm on good terms with one of the owners since I've been shopping there for about 7 years. On my previous post i gave them a positive but did complain about their staff attitude as did another poster in this thread.

    Well today may have been the final straw. This is going to be a long post but it will explain in detail what happened with me at the store.

    Today my mother and I went Christmas shopping and happened to be in the area of EBV. We are both loyal customers to them and have supported them for a very very long time. Every once in a while I would encounter a staff member who would give me attitude for no apparent reason and I guess I'm not the only one that has had that happen to them.

    So as soon as i get into the store I instinctively rush to the invert section to see what new goodies they got in. A jar containing the words "Arizona Centipede" immediately caught my attention. Only problem was the pede was burrowed...Hoping it was a scolopendra arizonis or a variant I asked a staff member if they can help me look at one of their inverts. The staff member followed me and I asked if I can be shown the centipede because it is burrowed. The staff member looks at me crazy and says "These bite and are venomous" I respond "Yeah I own a few." Staff member then says "I'm not gonna risk my life just to show you a damn bug," then walks off. That caught me by surprise but I just forget about it and ask one of the owners and everything goes well.

    This next part is what really got me mad, note that both stories are on the same day

    Next I head on over to the tanks to get what I came for, a 10 gallon glass tank with dividers so I have 4 seperate containers. I find one but before I pick it up from the shelf I remember a sign that I see in another petstore regarding glass tanks..."Please ask for assistance!" So not wanting to do anything wrong I go up to the front and ask a staff member for some help getting a tank and he follows me as I show him which tank it is. When he sees it he says in the most dull tone to purposely get his message to me "Wow its only a 10 gallon" I then told him "Yeah I wasn't sure if customers were allowed to bring glass tanks from off the shelf." He brings it to the front for me to pay and I also tell him I'll need some "medium-large crickets" which is the size I usually get. He looks at me blankly for about 5 seconds and asks "OK....medium or large???" He asked me this in a tone as if I was a complete idiot or def person. After a while we finally settle for 5 week old crickets.

    As he is getting the crickets me and my mom look over the tank. Upon opening up the sliding top screen doors, one of them seem be very difficult to open and shut, like it jams and you have to force it to open/close. I tell him about this and ask if they have any more tanks. This is what he told me which got me even more angry: *Talks to me the same way as if I am a retarded person, def, foreigner, village idiot* "Ummm yeah its supposed to be like that because usually people buy these for venomous spiders. It's a safety feature" I told him no its just 1 out of 4 of the sliding tops and I have another one of these tanks at home. They also have the pins to keep them locked. By this time me and my mom are pretty pissed and my mom tells him to just please check if he has anymore in the back or something. He says "Fine I'll go but I bet you that they're all like that." He Comes back about 15 seconds later, didnt check the storage, just the shelf where I got my tank, comes back to the register and doesn't say a word untill I ask him if he found any. He says nothing and shakes his head. My mom then points out that the metal that you hold to push the screen open and shut is coming off. He mumbles "Use something like aquarium sealant." My mom asked "aquarium what?" He turns his head and brings it in closer staring at my mom and says "S-E-A-L-A-N-T" very loud and slow. That about pissed me off so much that I had to hold in my anger to not hit him and I am being serious here. I was VERY VERY pissed off and wanted to beat him down right then and there. Only reason I went through with the purchase is because I knew I could fix that piece of metal that was breaking off and I could sand off some of the plastic sides so the screen doesnt get jammed when opening or closing.

    I was and still am VERY angry about being treated that was and having my mom being talked to like that. I could handle him treating me like an idiot for that short amount of time but when he did that to my mom I was 1 second away from hitting him. I am not sure if I will ever shop at EBV again. It would be a shame because I like the store but not so much for the staff members. I want to speak to the owner and tell him about what happened or write them a letter. Sorry for the long post but I had to rant and let everyone know how a few customers are treated over there because I have seen others treated bad as well.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2005
  10. pokermon919

    pokermon919 Arachnopeon

    NEGATIVE!!! Very Freakin NEGATIVE!

    I couldn't believe the crappy service I recieved from these ppl. Let me document my entire experience. I'm from San Francisco, so I made the effort to drive over to the EBV because I heard good things and frankly its hard to find exotic animals. When I first entered the store I was with 2 friends so we just started walking down every isle and checked out animals. I was looking for the scorpions. I went up to the counter and was trying to get some help so I ask a female employee there because she was the closest one to me. "Can I get some help plz?" said me. I couldn't believe how rude her reply was.
    "If You need help, your going to have to stand in line like everyone else and wait until one of us ask, can I help you?" She said this in an attitude like she just found out her boyfriend is cheating on her or something. I'm thinking to myself you could've told me to wait in line for an employee. But she was mouthing off to me like I don't speak english and I had ruined her day or something. While I'm waiting in line to get one of these freaking idiots to help me, 3 employees were helping the same person!!! Finally I get one of the employees to help me out and I said I need some help at the invert section with the scorpions. I couldn't believe how far from the truth this guy was on his knowledge of scorpions. I ask if the scorpion I was looking at an adult or what instar its in. This guy tells me by calling what instar its in is not right because they go thru a few DOZEN molts. I told myself thats bullshit and this place is freaking retarded. So I ask can the desert hairys be housed communally. I already know they could if you had big enough enclosure and enough hides but just asked to test him since I waited almost half an hour for the guy. He said they can't and the only species he know of that can be kept together is Emperors. THATS SO BS! Ok, I had enough of this place and decided I was going to get a S. Mesingurus, they labeled it with the common name (dune scorp) while he was catching it the guy was dangerously close to getting stung. And I wouldn't have mind if he did because I know if he got stung he would want to learn more about scorps. At the cashier counter I asked if they have U.V Lights or Blacklights. He said they don't flourence under UV. Again I'm thinking im my head this guy knows nothing. All and all I hated the place. Its the worse first experience anyone can ask for and I don't ever plan to go back.
  11. Negative And Horrified


    i live on the peninsula and was so excited to visit the East Bay Vivarium, since there are no exotic shops near my house. i was dismayed to see the conditions in which they keep their invertebrates. they had around 10 adult spiders and maybe 15 jars with slings. then they had a couple of whip scorp enclosures, some hissing cockroaches, and some other things i'm not as familiar with. there was a strange yellow granule-textured mold in almost every enclosure. a few of the sling jars were riddled with it--it covered almost the entire surface area of the substrate. in a couple of the enclosures, there were tiny maggots growing underneath the substrate. in many, there were random flies, gnats, and other pests living with the spiders which clearly were not meant as food. one juvenile T was sharing its home with two large crickets that the spider was obviously not interested in eating. one adult spider was living with an infestation of pinhead crickets, which were far too small for it to eat.
    the shop also labeled their spiders by common names, and many of the common names were incorrect, which is frightening. almost everything was a 'bird spider' of some variety. they had an unnecessary and ignorance-provoking sign which said that any labels with red dots next to them indicated an "aggressive and/or toxic" creature. obviously, potential customers need to be aware of their spider's innate personality, but this vague warning lead many passerbys to gawk and exclaim how X-spider was venomous/life-threatening/scary/disgusting, and of course, no employee was present to correct them. it seemed to perpetuate the negative idea of tarantulas being enemies to humans, rather than educate people about their true nature and beauty.
    there were never employees available to talk to, as it was a Saturday afternoon and the shop was very busy. i'd hoped to purchase some peat moss, cork bark, and live moss, all of which ought to be safe for invertebrates considering the shop they are being sold in, but after seeing the spider enclosures, i figured that their terrarium materials probably had parasites or were otherwise unsafe for MY spiders. i left the shop very upset and disappointed, and those poor spiders are still on my mind.

    i took the following photographs when i was there. the second (blurry) photo was taken to show the yellow mold.
  12. sassysmama

    sassysmama Arachnosquire

    I talked to them on the phone, and asked for 3 snakes to be delivered to the reptile show in San Jose. This was 2 weeks before the show. I inquired about the animals health, held on the phone for almost 1 hour while they checked animals (they seemed pretty busy, but service was ok on the phone). I gave them my name, address, phone number, and told them what time I would be at the show, and offered to pay for them over the phone, but they said that it would be better for me to pay at the show. I told them if there were any problems to call me. So I got to the show, went straight to their booth, and was very annoyed to find that they didn't bring any of the snakes I ordered!:wall: Seriously, none. The guy at the booth told me that the owner would not allow him to bring any snakes that were not paid for or originally intended for the show.:mad: He offered to give me directions to drive up to the store myself! It was absurd. I will not buy from them. They should have had my snakes, or called to tell me that I needed to purchase them prior to the show, which I offered to do in the first place! No regard for customer service, IMHO.
  13. mOtOjUnKiE

    mOtOjUnKiE Arachnopeon


    This place is AMAZING if you're into turtles, frogs, snakes, lizards, & tarantulas.

    They didn't have many T's when I went in there, but they had a large selection of critters & they all looked very healthy & well cared for. The place was packed & parking is somewhat difficult on the weekend...but well worth the trip! Staff is very friendly & knowledgeable as well!
  14. sharpfang

    sharpfang Arachnoangel

    East Bay Vivarium - Berkeley, California

    Have been on the Fore-front of reptile breeding for Decades.....

    I have spent thousands $$$ w/ them over the years....But they will Never B quite as *nice*, as when Cliff {Mohawk} was Part-Owner ;)

    My last purchase from them, led 2 my first successful breeding of Cat-Eyed geckos :p When next there, Ask for Carlos ;) He sold me my N. Chromatus,
    that has sack in her Fangs currently :D

    - Jason
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  15. dopamine

    dopamine Arachnobaron

    These guys have it all. Any reptile you can think of, great selection of Ts, friendly staff, and everyone seems to know what they are doing! All animal habitats are clean, and well misted, no dead food. I have 3 spiders from these guys and they are all healthy and lively. I will definately be going back when i can!
  16. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I was very excited with the selection of critters they have... lots and lots of really neat reptiles!

    As with most places, there is the blatant mis-labeling of most of the tarantulas and I amused myself for a moment by pointing out that one was actually a P. lugardi and not whatever random name they had on there... but aside from that, their animals are healthy, the staff is friendly, and it's every bit as wonderful as folks claim!
  17. TheInv4sion

    TheInv4sion Arachnobaron Active Member

    Ignore the all the people complaining about customer service. Their employees are amazing. I found one to be a little misleading as he gave me some false information, but I believe he just was giving his opinion. They are definately amazing when it comes to reptiles, but they are still quite good at caring for and giving care advice for inverts. They tend to have a good selection. I purchased a "G. Chala" but I suspect its just a G Rosea lol. I also purchased an A. Chalcodes and Avic Avic. I revisited to check their price on feeders and went home with some hissing roaches and an E. Campestratus that was only $20. Their prices are either quite low or overpriced so pick and choose wisely ;)
    TL;DR: Check 'em out they are great as pet stores go