Backwater Reptiles Review: Is Backwater Reptiles Legit?

Home » Online Reptile Store Reviews » Backwater Reptiles Review: Is Backwater Reptiles Legit?

The Backwater Reptiles store is one of the largest in the pet reptile market. It’s also one of the most talked about. And with the number of both positive and negative reviews that can be found, it can be confusing to know whether or not this is a company that can be trusted. 

In this review, we consolidate all of the review information found at some of the most trusted company and product review sites there is. By the end, you should be able to draw your own conclusions on whether or not Backwater Reptiles is a reputable online reptile store.

Backwater Reptiles

The Reptile Habitat

backwater reptiles logo
Better Business Bureau
Google My Business


Backwater Reptiles has a very hot and cold review list that is littered with both 1-star and 5-star reviews, equaling them out to a flat 3/5. In this review, we dive into the reviews found on popular review sites to help you draw a conclusion about the legitimacy of this reptile store.


About Backwater Reptiles

The Backwater Reptiles store is located in Rocklin, California and can be accessed online at


There is a fake version of the site with the URL This is not operated by the same group of people, and any reviews directed at this site should not be considered when evaluating Backwater Reptiles.

Backwater Reptiles is popular due to its massive selection of pets that can be found on their website. This includes both common types of pets as well as hard-to-find choices, such as alligators. Below is a full list of the types of pets they offer:

  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Tortoises
  • Salamanders
  • Newts
  • Frogs
  • Toads
  • Crocodilians
  • Tarantulas
  • Scorpions

Many of their more exotic are frequently out of stock, but the pets they do provide seem to fall within a fair price range. 

In the “about” section of the site, it says that the company is managed by three people: Meg, Sam, and Chelsey. Between the three of them, they have years’ worth of experience working with reptiles. 

The information on the page also states that Backwater Reptiles has a 5,000 square foot facility that is used for breeding practices.

What Others Say About Backwater Reptiles

We have gathered information and reviews from multiple trusted sources and gather them into place for you to view side by side. Below are the Backwater Reptile reviews found on the following sites:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Sitejabber
  • Trustpilot
  • Google My Business

BBB Reviews

The Better Business Bureau site has Backwater Reptiles listed with a B+ grade, in addition to a star value of 3.45/5 based on over 100 customer reviews. The reviews on Backwater Reptiles are very hot and cold – mostly 5-star and 1-star reviews. In our experience, this shows a lack of consistency in business practices on the vendor’s end.

However, a lack of consistency combined with bad business practices doesn’t necessarily make Backwater Reptiles a scam. It may just be a sign of poor website/online sales management. It’s hard to tell just from reviews, but the overall theme seems to be centered around a few key areas.

Below are the common pros and cons that we find in the reviews:

Common Praise

  • Fast shipping
  • Reasonable prices

Common Complaints

  • Animals DOA
  • Unresponsive customer service
  • Poor packaging practices

Sitejabber Reviews

Sitejabber has Backwater Reptiles listed with 2/5 stars based on 65 customer reviews. However, only 17.2% of reviews in the past 12 months have been positive.

Many of the complaints on the site are similar to before: sick or dead animals coupled with poor customer service. It’s also interesting to note that the number of reviews submitted for them has drastically increased recently. Below are two charts to show their average rating and number of reviews over time (info pulled from Sitejabber).

sitejabber average review rating for backwater reptiles
sitejabber number of reviews chart for backwater reptiles


Much like the other review sites, Trustpilot has a collection of mixed reviews. However, most of the reviews for Backwater Reptiles on Trustpilot are 1-star reviews. There are only a handful of reviews from 2023 so far, but they too represent polar opposite sides of the argument.

Trustpilot review rating percentages for backwater reptiles

Google My Business

If you were hoping that Backwater Reptiles’ Google business profile would clear up your confusion, then be prepared to be disappointed. Out of over 300 reviews, they have a 2.9/5 star rating, with 1- and 5-star reviews being the majority of what’s posted.

One of the best things about the Google reviews is that customers can post photos with their comments. Both the highest and lowest star-ratings provide photos for proof, making it even more difficult to get a good read on the situation.

Verdict: Is Backwater Reptiles Legit?

Due to the nature of their online customer reviews, we would not recommend buying from Backwater Reptiles. While they do have many customers willing to praise their work, there are far too many complaints centered around the health and wellbeing of the animals they ship for us to ignore. As a result of this, we can’t recommend them.

Of course, the conclusion is yours to draw. We simply suggest that you do a thorough amount of research on them before making a purchase. It also never hurts to reach out to their customer service team for any questions you have. If you don’t get a response (we didn’t), then that’s a good sign to avoid them.

Choose One of These Reptile Stores Instead

Instead of taking a chance on a questionable vendor, choose to shop with some of the reptile stores that we have reviewed and determined to be the best in the business:

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