1. Not all lobsters are created equal
Every company online claims to sell live Maine lobsters, but the truth is that most lobster comes from all over New England, and even some from Canada. Lobsters are shellfish, which filter water and therefore their taste is dependant on water temperature and quality. The colder, and cleaner the water, the better the lobster. It is recommended to purchase lobster form a source in Maine, New Hampshire or Canada, where the water is cold and the pollution is minimal.
2. Know what you’re paying for. Shipping or Lobsters?
If you try to compare the prices of lobster online one of the first things you’ll notice is that the prices are all over the place. Some retailers include shipping, some retailers charge a flat rate, and some charge the actual shipping cost. This can make it incredibly confusing when trying to find the best prices. To find the best price, you should calculate the price of two chicken lobsters (1.0 – 1.25 pound) with shipping. This can be hard because many sites like to hide their shipping cost until you’re just about to finish the order!
3. Lobster price and quality can differ throughout the year
New England weather, and the life cycle of a lobster, cause the price and quality of live Maine lobster to be quite different throughout the calendar year. In the winter months, especially January, February and March, the cold weather in New England hinders fishermen’s ability to catch a large quantity of lobster. As a result, the price is extremely high during those months. The price is the lowest in the late summer and early fall, when fishing is easier and the lobsters are plentiful. A lobster also molts it shell, causing the shell to be harder and softer at different times of the year. Lobster shells are the hardest in the spring.
4. Check the stores return policy because lobsters can die!
Make sure to check the return policy before you place your order. Lobsters are shipped live, and while they don’t often die, it does happen. Make sure that you can get your money back if this happens. Some websites only refund the lobster prices, and not the shipping. You may even want to call and ask what the refund policy is before you place your order.
5. Find out how the lobsters will be shipped
Shipping is a large percentage of the overall live lobster purchase. Make sure the store you buy from uses a reputable carrier. In our experience, FedEx is far more reliable than UPS or DHL. Their customer service and ability to deliver on time is far superior to any other carrier. Some stores even contract with a shipping logistics company to ensure that your packages are routed to their destination in the most efficient way. This is extremely important when purchasing anything that is alive and perishable.
In conclusion, buying lobsters online can be a large investment, so make sure you’re using the best company possible. Unlike non perishable merchandise, the manner in which lobsters are caught, handled and shipped can have a huge impact on the quality. If you make sure to follow these guild lines, you should have a great experience with live Maine lobsters.