Bad Guy Alex Estrada - Imperial Geckos misrepresented tortoises for sale - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:16 PM   #1
Alex Estrada - Imperial Geckos misrepresented tortoises for sale

Here is the original ad:

I called Alex Saturday, we spoke briefly on the phone. He confirmed the tortoise as a cherry head. While on the phone I inquired about purchasing a second cherry head and he said he had another light colored cherry head available (that was not listed). I sent him payment for 2 uniquely colored CHERRYHEAD redfoots via paypal.

Alex emailed me that he received payment Saturday evening, sent me a tracking number Monday afternoon.
The tortoises arrived late (beyond his control). Alex called me to inform fedex would be delivering shortly (which they did). Upon arrival one was dehydrated and they are both normal REDFOOTS, NOT CHERRYHEADS!
I pm'd him immediately informing him that they are both normal redfoots-


They arrived, one is a bit dehydrated will get it in a bath. However, they are not cherry heads, they are normal (though pretty) red foots. They do not have the dark plastron of cherry heads, the enlarged elbow scute or bulbuos nose (the plastron and elbow scute probably the biggest indicators). "

I received no response for 6+ hours so I pm'd him again

I pm'd you earlier and did not get a response. I'm sure you are busy, but I want to express my displeasure upon receipt of the tortoises I bought as cherry heads. They most certainly are NOT cherry heads. Honestly, I do not want regular red foots. I would really like to just send these back.
In addition, fedex was over 2 hours late with delivery, so I should get credit back for the shipping to.

I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter (as I have received up until this point. You have been VERY professional, and I look forward to a resolution).


Here is his response


Fauna was down and I did already refund you for shipping. Please take a look at the notes. All sales are final, these are cherry heads. The clear photos of the animal were posted. I in no way have tried to deceive you.


I tried again to resolve -


I did receive the refund for shipping - thank you.

I am really disappointed that these are common redfoots. You have them listed as Cherryhead redfoots, which they are not. I pm'd you the differences in the first pm. There are now a number of other members on the forum that are also telling you these are not cherryheads, both in the ad for the third animal listed, and also the BOI.

Are you suggesting (based on your response above) that you have absolutely no responsibility to properly identify the animals you are selling? I am not trying to be sarcastic here, but are you really saying that every word of the ad means nothing because you posted photos?
You did not post photos of the plastron. I guess I should have asked for them, but I TRUSTED that YOU identified them properly.

I figured I would make one last plea to resolve this before I post to the BOI. Honestly, I was impressed with communication, packaging and overall professionalism up until this point.

I believe if this happened to you, you would expect the seller to make it right. Try and and look at it from my point of view. Would you not go back to a seller that sold you the wrong stock and ask to make it right?
Why would you not take the animals back? I have not even had them 12 hours yet. It's perfect shipping weather. I have soaked them and offered food, they could easily be shipped back and we could end this on good terms.

I hope we can resolve this soon.


And got this response -


I'll be blunt. If they are uniquely colored/ "hypo looking" Cherryheads, wouldn't they be a different color? I don't understand how you go from being excited to receive them, after seeing clear photo's of them (you couldn't tell they weren't "cherryheads" before??), then a member of this forum responds on my ad claiming they aren't Cherryheads and a few others join the bandwagon, and you are having regrets on buying them because you now believe the negative individuals. I don't know what other way to tell you this but they are Brazilians. I'm not playing games and I would have sold them as normal redfoots if that's what they were. I am a man of my word and the distributor I received these Cherryheads from has been a reputable business for over 60 years and would not have put wool over my eyes.

Mark, what you purchased were uniquely colored Cherryheads, and thats what you received. I'm sorry if you are experiencing a sort of buyers remorse but they are what I sold them as. Uniquely colored Cherryheads.

I tried to remedy your dissatisfaction however, our policy stands and we do not accept returns.



This is the latest message I sent -

It's not buyers remorse, I simply want what I thought I was purchasing. How about exchanging them for some real cherry heads since that is what I purchased (even without the unique coloring)? Should you agree to it, I would ask for high res photos of the plastron, head/face and front legs.

Would that align with your policy?

Honestly, I don't want more animals from him, just trying to salvage something from this mess.

I figured I would post this for other members to see, hopefully warn them of potentially misidentified / misrepresented animals and unwillingness to work on a resolution.
I for one will not be doing business with Imperial Geckos again.
Old 08-30-2017, 12:20 AM   #2
Please post pics of the animals you received, clearly showing all the ways in which they are not cherryheads. I am also confused by the fact that you did not notice these problems in the pictures you were sent. I'm not saying that it is ok to misrepresent animals, if that is what is happening here. I just don't understand how you could see the pics and think they were cherryheads, then buy them and think they are not.
Old 08-30-2017, 03:43 AM   #3
The animals shown in that thread are not Brazilians (cherryheads). Nor are they hypos and they do not look like hypos. I am extremely familiar with both the locality and the morph (potentially two separate talking points).

These do not even look like intergrades / locality crosses, although I would have to see plastrons to feel especially confident on that part. The heads/faces, forelimbs, and carapaces point to Northerns. I have seen and held a great many of those crosses, too, in both undefined and well-defined percentages, so there is a decent feel for it. There are atypical pure Brazilians, but these do not look like those instances.

They are high-colored Northerns. They look amazing as babies, but tend to grow out into relatively normal-looking adults. Some more brown for a base color than black for a base color, but still effectively normal.

Mislabeling non-Brazilian carbonaria as cherryheads (Brazilian carbonaria) is something that happens with frequency in the hobby. For parallels that hobbyists in other sections of the hobby can readily relate to, it is similar to the mislabeling that is done with boa constrictors, green tree pythons, panther chameleons, and dart frogs. Sometimes this is intentional (to charge more or to sell quicker) and sometimes this is by mistake (simple mistake or taking another person at that other person's word for a previous mislabeling). There are also occasions where animals exercise chelonian parkour skills and maneuver their ways into the pens of other genetic/locality stock.

People who actually breed locality-specific animals or who are very experienced in keeping locality specific stock of this species can tell the differences between Brazilians and Northerns right away in most cases.
Old 08-30-2017, 03:56 AM   #4
Here are photos from the ad referenced above. There were multiple ads of this sort in recent days. One actually does have an animal that appears to be a cherryhead/Brazilian in it (not in the ad referenced above), but the animals in the majority of the ads I have looked at were Northerns or Northern-based. Beautiful animals and they would make wonderful pets or better, but (and this is a big but) they are not the labeled locality (Brazilian) by and large.

This situation can be salvaged IMO. The simplest way would be to take the animals back and issue refunds, give them a little time to settle in, and then relist them as high-color redfoot tortoises more generically. These animals would sell on their own just fine without the application of a "cherryhead" label. Getting this done and put behind all parties would be the fastest and least painful way to fix the situation as I see it in this moment.
Attached Images
Old 08-30-2017, 04:01 AM   #5
Here are additional high-color Northerns/other from another cherryhead-labeled ad.

Pretty animals for sure. The one in the middle of the group photo *might* have some Brazilian lineage, but the two to its sides do not.
Attached Images
Old 08-30-2017, 04:33 AM   #6
Because I realize not everyone reading this will be especially familiar with Brazilian-locality (aka cherryhead) redfoot tortoises (carbonaria), I am also including a few (admittedly crappy) photos of reference-example-worthy Brazilians.

I believe this situation can be fixed efficiently right now with minimal "pain" for either party.
Attached Images
Old 08-30-2017, 04:59 AM   #7
Bryan S
I was one of the people that posted in the ad and said that they did not look like Brazilian locale animals. Terry has raised and hatched many Carbonaria and has experience with a few different locales as well. Carl was able to see many different redfoot locale's imported into Florida including IIRC the first shipment(s) of Brazilian cherryheads and has kept and bred outstanding Brazilian Carbonaria for decades. If these animals were sold as "high color redfoots" there would be no issue. However once the word "cherryheads" came into play, it no longer adds up.
Old 08-30-2017, 01:01 PM   #8
Ok, I'm convinced. Those look very different.
Old 08-30-2017, 01:29 PM   #9
Originally Posted by elena View Post
Please post pics of the animals you received, clearly showing all the ways in which they are not cherryheads. I am also confused by the fact that you did not notice these problems in the pictures you were sent. I'm not saying that it is ok to misrepresent animals, if that is what is happening here. I just don't understand how you could see the pics and think they were cherryheads, then buy them and think they are not.
Because they were labeled improperly as HYPOS would be my guess, possible the op doesnt have a ton of experience with Hypo cherry heads but does with normal cherry heads, that ad had me looking too, but as they were misrepresented all together the seller needs to issue a return imo.

Not many are going to support a seller that wont back their products. Now a seller that misrepresents locales, serious buyers will avoid like the plague.
Old 08-30-2017, 02:06 PM   #10
Also, just to show what a true hypo looks like, I will include a photo of a young one.

As you can see, the animals in the ad (the photos of which were included above) were neither cherryhead/Brazilian nor hypo. Granted, true hypos can cause some pattern distortions and cause erasure of pattern on the plastron (and elsewhere) as a visual effect of the morph, but the advertised animals are not hypos in the first place so that argument would not apply.

I really hope the seller goes with the simplest solution of return -> refund -> relabel -> resell.
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