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Unless you happen to live right on the coast, you may feel stumped trying to answer that question. In the past, many supermarkets had a tank of live lobsters ready to take home and prepare for a superlative meal. You're not likely to find that today, even at specialty grocery stores.
They say that you can buy anything online, and fortunately that applies to lobster! Yes, that's right: you can buy everything from live lobsters to surf-and-turf packages and have it delivered fresh to your home. (Of course, if you're shipping them live, you might want to warn anyone that could be getting the package off the doorstep!)
Monday, September 20th
At first glance, The Lobster Guy doesn't look like the most polished store on the market - you might even wonder if it's legitimate! But, if you want the freshest lobster at the best prices, backed by a customer service team that has thousands of happy clients, you won't want to miss everything Captain Tim (AKA "The Lobster Guy") has to offer.
You'll find the absolute best pricing on lobsters when you shop on this site. We looked at how much each retailer in our review charged for two live lobsters of approximately 1-1.5 lbs., including shipping, and The Lobster Guy came in first place at just over $70. That doesn't take into account the 10% discount we spotted, prominently featured at the top of the site. And, this company will price match if you find a lower price somewhere else (but we doubt you will!).
Tons Of Options
Not in the mood to prepare a live lobster? No problem! This store has tons of options, from whole cooked lobsters to tails, or even just the meat itself. Want to go bigger? Be sure to check out the Lobster Dinners section of the site and see how much your mouth waters as you browse what Captain Tim has. Here are just a few ideas to get your stomach growling:
And, if you really want to make it a meal to remember, don't miss all of The Lobster Guy's extras. Desserts include old favorites like chocolate cake and brownies, plus unique treats like pina colada cake and chocolates in the shape of lobsters and clams. Appetizers abound, from seafood dips to crab or lobster cakes and many more - and don't miss the calamari if you squeal for squid!
Gifts Made Easy
Of course, you can send anything on the site as a gift, but The Lobster Guy takes it one step further to make it even easier: on every product listing is a checkbox that says, "send this item as a gift certificate". If you're not sure when would be a good day for your lobster to arrive, this is a great way to delight your lucky recipient - without giving them the scare of opening a surprise delivery containing a live animal! (Or, on the less interesting side, you want to make sure they're home to receive the package, so they can get it into the fridge, freezer, or cooking pot!)
Attention To Detail
Let's talk straight: The Lobster Guy isn't the only retailer on the market with low lobster prices. Why buy from him? That's easy - there's no other store that offers those prices AND his attention to detail. We loved reading through hundreds of reviews from customers who have trusted him with their most special occasions, knowing that everything would arrive fresh and exactly on time. Better yet, when there have been any problems - because even Captain Tim can't control the weather or FedEx, or guarantee that every single lobster survives in transit - this company consistently goes above and beyond to make it right in any way they can.
You'll find the same glowing reputation on The Lobster Guy's listing with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB gives this company an "A+" rating as well as accreditation, which is hard to find in the lobster marketplace.
Has It All
The Lobster Guy has it all: competitive prices on ocean-fresh lobster and other seafood, affordable shipping costs, plenty of gift-giving options, dozens of extras like appetizers and accessories, and, best of all, phenomenal customer service. It's easy to see why this retailer earns our first-place ranking, and we can't recommend them more highly for your lobster - or other seafood - purchase.
Lobster Anywhere has a 30-year history of providing live Maine lobsters and other top-quality seafood to hotels, high-end restaurants and large institutions nationwide. Fortunately for you, their service also extends to the public, giving you direct access to extremely fresh lobster with no middleman.
This company's website is one of the most entertaining to shop when looking to send lobster as a gift or even for your own enjoyment. It's full of fun stories, informative links, and eye-catching graphics that make it a pleasure to browse. We got a chuckle when we read that "Lobsters will arrive ALIVE and FEISTY"! But, how does Lobster Anywhere measure up when it comes to actually buying lobster?
Pricing Is Slightly Higher
Looking at our comparison product, a delivery of two 1- to 1.5 lb. live lobsters, this retailer's pricing is slightly higher than average at $56. You have to add products to your cart (or, as the site calls it, your "trap" or your "catch") in order to find out how much you'll pay for delivery. For the 2-lobster order we referenced, shipping costs were $39 for standard overnight (end of day delivery) or $44 for priority overnight (morning delivery). Those fees are fairly average in the industry.
Free Shipping On Certain Packages
On the other hand, this is one of just a few lobster sellers that offers free shipping on certain packages. We found those by going to the main Lobster page on the site and browsing the Free Shipping category. These tend to be dinner packages priced anywhere from $129 to $319, as well as gift cards.
During the ordering process, you can specify the date you'd like your lobster to be delivered. Just be sure to leave enough time to thaw your seafood if you're not ordering live lobsters.
Lobster Anywhere also offers a perks program known as Sand Dollar Rewards. You do have to take the step of registering for the service, and you'll get 15,000 points for doing so. You earn 100 Sand Dollars for every $1 you spend, plus 20,000 points for reviewing your purchases. These points can be exchanged for discounts: $2 off for every 5,000 points. If you plan on buying lobster or other seafood more than once, this is a nice feature that can save you some cash on future orders.
A Few Glitches
We spotted a few glitchy things on the Lobster Anywhere site. For example, there are pricing discrepancies on a few of the product descriptions: the Maine Squeeze Lobster Dinner is listed as starting at $129, but also as "delivered for only $99". Also, there seems to be an automatic discount the more you buy: when we increased the quantity of our lobster purchase from 1 to 2, the price decreased. That's certainly nothing to complain about, but it could be made a little more obvious with an explanation somewhere.
Positive Customer Feedback
Customers have very positive things to say about the products sold here and about the company itself. We appreciated being able to read recent reviews about many of the lobster options, like 21 5-star ratings for the Boston Lobster Bake and 138 5-star reviews for the Jumbo Lobster Tails. Across the board, people say that their seafood arrives perfectly packaged and fresh, and that the flavor is phenomenal. The BBB agrees, giving Lobster Anywhere an "A+" rating, due in part to the fact that the business has zero registered complaints. Given how long they've been in operation, that's impressive indeed.
On price alone, we might have ranked Lobster Anywhere a little lower because they come in a bit more spendy than many of their rivals. But, with such a fun-to-use online shopping experience, strong customer reviews, and, of course, delicious and fresh lobster, this retailer earned one of our highest ratings.
Family owned-and-operated since 1950, Legal Sea Foods is no stranger to the business. Starting as a fish market in Cambridge, then expanding to include a seafood restaurant, the company delivers fresh and flavorful seafood to rival what you'd get if you were shopping or dining at their brick-and-mortar locations.
In The Shell Or Out?
When ordering lobster on this site, you'll start by making your selection between "out of the shell" or "in the shell". Out of the shell options include pre-cooked lobster meat, pre-cooked lobster tails, and lobster roll kits. In the shell choices range from traditional whole lobster (specify if you prefer live or precooked), lobster tails, and complete dinners with chowder, filet mignon, shrimp and more. Be sure to scroll down and click on the second page, so you don't miss any delicious possibilities.
Lots Of Seafood To Choose From
If you need more than just lobster for your special occasion, Legal Sea Foods has you covered. Browse the site and you'll find lots to choose from in these categories:
This retailer is definitely on the expensive side. On our comparison order, two live lobsters in the smallest available size, Legal Sea Foods charges $68 plus an additional $38 for delivery. Given that you can find roughly the same order for under $80 with several other providers we evaluated, spending over $100 doesn't sound very appealing.
Bargain Hunters Beware
Most of the add-ons were equally spendy. We weren't excited by the thought of spending $19 for a 12-oz. container of shrimp mac and cheese or $16 for a two-pack of individual Boston cream pies. In other words, this isn't going to be the lobster store you choose if you're looking for a bargain.
Legal Sea Foods has a decent reputation, shown by an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Despite being such a big name in the industry, the company only received a handful of complaints registered with the BBB, which is a great sign. Customer feedback is a little harder to come by, since most reviews center around the business' in-person locations and not the delivery service. However, you can find customer reviews at the bottom of most of the products featured on the Legal Sea Foods site, and most of the ones we read were not just recent but also very positive.
Good Refund Policy
If you order your lobster from Legal Sea Foods and something isn't quite right, be sure to contact the company within 48 hours of the delivery. Their promise is that your products will be "unmatched in quality, freshness, and taste" and they'll either give you a refund or a new delivery, depending on the circumstances.
Legal Sea Foods has a long history of offering restaurant-quality lobster and other seafood, appetizers and more, direct to you. You'll pay more here than you might with a less well-known business, but we're confident that your order will be fresh, flavorful, and delivered in excellent condition.
It's safe to say that Lobster Gram is the original lobster delivery service. With a motto of "From Our Shore to Your Door", this company has been providing ocean-fresh seafood since 1987. (And, if you want to read a fun backstory that involves trading Honeywell thermostats and valves for 160 live lobsters, we encourage you to go to the Lobster Gram "About Us" page!)
Focus On Gift-giving
Lobster Gram focuses extensively on gift-giving. Their flagship product, the original Lobster Gram itself, comes with live hard-shell Maine lobsters, fresh whole lemon and unsalted butter, shell crackers and seafood forks, Lobster Gram bibs and moist towelettes. It's meant to be the complete lobster meal in a box, with all of the accessories your recipient could need to enjoy their amazing gift. When ordering the Lobster Gram, you can specify the weight of each lobster (in quarter-pound increments between 1 and 2 lbs.), and the number of people you're serving (between 2-6). For two 1-lb. lobsters in your gift delivery, you'll pay $85. However, shipping isn't included in any of the prices you'll see on the LG site: for the Lobster Gram we described, you'll pay $50 for priority overnight (which is required for all live lobster deliveries). Compared with many online lobster options, those shipping costs are hefty.
Easy To Shop
Getting back to the gift-giving possibilities, you can easily see everything this site has to offer by clicking on the Gift Ideas link at the top of the page. Your delivery could include all of the ingredients to make a mouth-watering paella, chocolate lava cakes, New England clam chowder, and much more. Under Gift Baskets, you'll actually find buckets: if you'd prefer to send easier-to-prepare lobster tails and maybe throw in some Kobe steaks or crab cakes, this is the place for you.
Carries It All
Of course, there's nothing that says you can't buy lobster for yourself! Whether you're looking for a complete dinner, just the lobsters, surf-and-turf plus dessert or accessories for preparing and eating lobster, this store carries it all.
Scratching Our Heads
There were several aspects of browsing the Lobster Gram site that left us scratching our heads. The site copyright was over a year old, and despite visiting the site during their posted available business hours, there was no one in the customer service live chat. We also found a few URLs throughout the site that weren't secure, making us wonder if the site is being updated very often.
Very Good Customer Reviews
On the other hand, we found plenty of recent customer reviews: almost all of them gave Lobster Gram a 4- or 5-star rating. We were glad to see several comments from shoppers who use the site frequently and keep coming back for great-tasting seafood. There were a few complaints about less-than-fresh deliveries, expensive shipping costs, and a frustrating experience trying to use the website. However, even the BBB gives Lobster Gram an "A+" rating, which should give you the confidence you need to order from this store. Plus, a 100% Happiness Guarantee means that your lobster (and other products) will arrive frozen, chilled or alive, or else Lobster Gram will make it right.
30+ Year Track Record
We give this retailer credit for being one of the first on the market to deliver live lobsters across the US; their 30+ year track record is impressive. But, you'll find their prices to be significantly higher than many of their rivals, especially once you factor in the shipping costs. Add that to some of the issues we found with the Lobster Gram website, and you'll see why this company earns a solid 3.5-star rating but isn't quite at the top of our rankings.
Maine Lobster House is part of the Chicago Steak Company brand family, which also includes myGourmet Grocery, Steak University and Seafood University. You'll find the usual range of lobster products here, from lobster tails and whole lobsters to surf and turf packages. You can also find fish, shellfish, and desserts, if you want to expand your order to be a full meal.
Out Of Stock
Under normal circumstances, you can expect to pay $27.95 for a 1-pound live lobster here. However, at the time of our review, Maine Lobster House was out of stock on all live lobsters. That was disappointing, considering that most of their competitors in our review were fully-stocked across a wide range of live lobster sizes.
Special Offers Available
Maine Lobster House had some nice promo offers at the time of our review. You could get 4 6-oz. lobster tails free with a purchase of $149+, or two tails and eight steak burgers on an order of $139+. Be sure to look at the top of the site to see if there are any special offers when you're ready to order.
This store also has a rewards program: register for an account on the MLH website and earn points on every purchase. Those points can be redeemed on future orders ($1 off for every 100 points) or exchanged for gift cards to national brands like iTunes or Starbucks.
Feedback Hard To Find
Customer feedback was almost impossible to find. We didn't see any listing for Maine Lobster House with the Better Business Bureau, only an entry for their parent business, Chicago Steak Company. CSC had no BBB rating, but also zero complaints there. The social media links at the bottom of the Maine Lobster House site all go to the main page for Chicago Steak Company as well. And, although there were ample positive reviews found in the blue, starred "Reviews" box on the left side of the page, we didn't spot any that specifically referred to lobster or seafood.
More Questions Than Answers
All of that together left us wondering how robust the seafood end of this business actually is. Live lobsters out of stock? No customer feedback? Unsecure URLs throughout the Maine Lobster House site?
No Refund Policy
Plus, we couldn't find anything on the MLH site that promised customer satisfaction. What if your lobster arrives dead? Or doesn't arrive at all? All we can do is assume that they'll take care of it, but there's nothing on their online store that reassures a prospective customer that their order is in good hands in that regard.
While none of that means that this is a bad site for getting lobster, it definitely keeps Maine Lobster House from competing with the higher-ranked retailers in our review. We recommend that you choose a store that has lobster as their main priority.
Maine Lobster Now has been in business since 2012 and offers some of the best pricing around on lobster. Not only can you get two 1.5-lb. live lobsters for a total price of under $80 ($49.98 for the lobsters, $28 for shipping), but this store also offers free 1-day shipping and no Saturday delivery fees on orders of $100+.
Abundant Lobster Options
Lobster options at this store are abundant. From traditional live lobster and tails, to lobster mac and cheese and lobster rolls, you might have a hard time narrowing it down for your order. Maine Lobster Now also offers crab, fish, shellfish, soups and chowders, appetizers and sides, steaks and desserts. Whatever you've got in mind for a delicious meal, you'll probably find it here.
91% Positive Reviews, But An "F" With The BBB
How about reputation? We were glad to see that over 6,000 reviews, 91% gave a positive score to Maine Lobster Now. However, it seems that customers either love or hate this company, because the negative reviews left with the Better Business Bureau earned them an "F" rating: the lowest of all of the lobster retailers in our evaluation. From what clients say, you're going to have an unparalleled experience if you buy your lobster here - but whether it'll be a huge hit or a jaw-dropping disappointment is anyone's guess!
Take A Chance?
So, the choice is yours: take a chance and get delicious lobster at the lowest prices in the industry or possibly get seafood in poor condition and have to fight with customer service to get it taken care of? If you're an avid bargain hunter and you're not afraid of having to push for a refund (or take it up as a dispute with your credit card issuer) if things go wrong, you might want to try Maine Lobster Now. You won't find many retailers that will send two generously-sized live lobsters for a total price under $80.
More Consistent Experiences Elsewhere
But, if you need to know that your lobster will arrive on time and in great condition - and that you'll have no problem getting a helpful, apologetic response from the business if not - Maine Lobster Now is not the store for you. You'll have a more consistent experience with one of the higher-scoring retailers we evaluated.
Simply Lobsters has a history spanning over two decades, delivering live Maine lobsters and clams, live snow crabs and more to individuals and corporations throughout the United States. You may get the impression that they've been around awhile when visiting their online store: it's got an outdated feel to it, which is no surprise with a site copyright date of 2008!
Low Pricing, But High Shipping Fees
At first glance, this is one of the most affordable places to purchase lobsters online. When looking at what they charge for a package with two live lobsters, we were impressed to see that we'd only spend $31.98 for two 1.15-pounders. Our excitement quickly deflated, however, when we realized we'd have to spend $67.99 for overnight shipping, erasing most of the savings compared with other lobster retailers.
We were also disappointed with the selection here. Most lobster stores have a wide range of packages that go beyond lobster and allow you to order a dinner complete with sides and dessert, but you won't find that with Simply Lobsters (hence the name?). Even under "Lobster Tail Packages", you'll only see options for buying more than one tail at a time. You can buy seafood soups and steamer clams, but there's nothing for a quick and easy gift combo if you're shopping for someone else.
Unfortunately, Simply Lobsters earned a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau. While this retailer only had a handful of complaints registered there, some of them never got a reply from anyone on the customer service team. Also, at the time of our review, there were a few customers who said they recently had trouble reaching anyone at the Simply Lobsters' toll-free number.
Hard To Recommend
At the end of the day, it's hard to find a compelling reason to shop at Simply Lobsters. While their prices on individual products are enticing, you'll pay shipping fees that are higher than most. And, even though this retailer promises to make it right if your lobster doesn't arrive fresh, that won't do you any good if you can't get a hold of anyone in the customer service department. For all of these reasons, Simply Lobsters earns our lowest ranking.
There are a number of companies that go above and beyond to deliver ocean-fresh lobster, especially as a one-of-a-kind gift. Why send a boring gift card from a generic online store when you can have everything your lucky recipient needs for a mouthwatering dinner - from the lobster itself to the melted butter, shell crackers and seafood forks, and tasty extras like clam chowder and dessert! Or, you can opt for a gift certificate and let your special someone choose their own lobster package.
As you decide where to buy your lobster online, how can you tell which store should get your business? Here are several factors to consider as you compare your options:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of Lobster available today. We hope this information helps you get the perfect lobster for your next special meal!
Select any 2 Lobster Companies to compare them head to head
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