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If you're a fan of crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters and more, you already know how challenging it can be to find your favorites locally - especially if you live far from the coast. Getting the best seafood at a supermarket or even a specialty store can be extremely hit-or-miss, because of high prices and lack of variety most of the time.
Fortunately, like almost everything else you buy, seafood can easily be ordered online. Sound "fishy"? Not at all: some of the world's most renowned fishmongers make their products available for direct delivery to your home, giving you access to the freshest fish on the market (short of catching it yourself!).
Wednesday, May 18th
Sizzlefish started out as a supplier of fish and seafood to some of the best-known natural and premium grocery companies in America, and then it dawned on their owner: seafood and other fish is a great source of protein for fitness and overall health, so why not make it available for direct-ship to individuals too? Hence, Sizzlefish was born.
What can't you buy?
So, what can you buy through this company? The more accurate question may be what can't you buy? Their seafood options include shrimp, scallops, lobster, calamari, mussels, soft-shell crab, crab cakes, and king crab. But, that's not all: there are over a dozen options for fish too, from common varieties like tuna and salmon to lesser-known types such as sablefish and rockfish. All of their products come packaged in individual portions, so you don't have to worry about cooking up an entire filet if you only need enough for a single meal. It's also flash-frozen for peak freshness
Most of the seafood from this company is wild-caught, which appeals to those who are trying to avoid farm-raised animal products. The few notable exceptions are the catfish, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon, if that's an important distinction for you.
Easy gift-giving options
We like that Sizzlefish makes it easy to pick out gifts: either click on the Products dropdown or the left side of the page and click on Gift Ideas if you need some suggestions. You'll find plenty of ideas like Gifts Under $100, Holiday Samplers, Smoked Fish and more. You can also choose gift cards, either delivered via email or actual physical cards, in denominations ranting from $50 to $500. You can also call Sizzlefish if you'd prefer a gift card in a custom amount. Plus, on any order you'll have the option of adding a gift note during the checkout process - but it's also where you have to enter any special instructions or preferred delivery date, so you might be a little limited for space.
Another handy option, for yourself or someone else, is a subscription plan. If you want your seafood delivered on a regular schedule, this is worth considering. Sizzlefish offers three choices: Wild Seafood Favorites, Prime, and Prime Plus. The first plan is hand-picked by Sizzlefish, while the Prime and Prime Plus allow you to choose 14 servings of the seafood and fish of your choice. Both of those two subscriptions include some of the same options, such as crab cakes and wild Gulf shrimp, while the Plus package has premium products like sea bass and halibut. You'll pay $97.86 per delivery for Prime and $111.86 for Prime Plus. (Mysteriously, Sizzlefish didn't list the price for the Favorites plan.)
You could get extra savings on your order from Sizzlefish: we got a pop-up as we browsed that offered a 10% discount on our first purchase if we signed up for their email newsletter. We saw another 10% discount code while looking around the site, so you might be able to find something when you're shopping too. Plus, everything you buy from this store ships for free, packed in dry ice to ensure that it's still frozen when it arrives. Considering that some of their competitors charge up to $100 for delivery, this is definitely a point in Sizzlefish's favor.
Over 12,000 customer reviews
Sizzlefish didn't turn up when we looked for a listing with the Better Business Bureau. However, on a third-party ratings site, we were pleasantly surprised to find more than 12,000 customer reviews - with an extraordinary 4.9 out of 5-star average. And those reviews were written by people who know their stuff when it comes to seafood: one person who used to catch their own squid said that what they got from Sizzlefish was the only seafood they found that compared, and another shopper that was once an "avid coastal fisherman" described how happy they were to finally fill the void of having great fish to eat. That's some praise! It's no wonder, then, that thousands of people have given this seafood store a perfect five stars.
Great customer attention
That customer satisfaction is partly because of Sizzlefish's solid replacement policy: if your seafood arrives thawed or with any other issues, you can get a prompt replacement as long as you let them know within 7 days of receipt. They request that you include a photo with your emailed replacement request, but it's not mandatory.
Above and beyond
Sizzlefish went above and beyond our expectations with not just their selection but their extremely high quality - as evidenced by the comments from clients who are themselves experts in what good seafood tastes like. Because of their customer-centric approach to delivering world-class products, Sizzlefish earns our highest rating among online stores that offer seafood.
Do you want wild seafood instead of farm-raised? If so, Vital Choice is an easy one-stop option. Started nearly 20 years ago with a focus on wild Alaskan salmon, the company expanded to sourcing premium wild seafood from around the world.
Sustainably caught seafood
Vital Choice only sells seafood that is sustainably caught, and they donate a portion of their profits towards planet-protecting programs and strong environmental strategies for a healthy earth. Their store also includes marine-source nutritional supplements, organic foods, and pastured proteins. Try not to get overwhelmed when you click "Shop All Products" and see just how many items there are to choose from!
Lots of seafood options
It's hard to find another online seafood store with a comparable selection to Vital Choice. From lingcod and mahi in the fish department, to spot prawns, crab and calamari and more in the shellfish category, plus numerous canned and pouched products, you may have a hard time narrowing down the possibilities.
Nutritional value, preparation instructions, and more
When you've selected the seafood you want, you'll also have an incredible amount of information right at your fingertips. Need to know the nutritional value? Curious how to prepare and serve it? Want to know what other customers say about the seafood or fish? It's all right there - complete with video recipes too.
Free shipping on orders over $99
Shipping is free on all orders of $99+. Smaller orders will have a flat rate of either $6.95 or $12.95, depending on the order amount and whether or not it contains frozen items.
Great gift giving ideas
There are lots of gifting possibilities with this seafood store. You can choose between traditional physical gift cards (choose your favorite design) or e-gift cards, in denominations from $25 to $200. You can also buy gift packs and samplers that go beyond seafood: how about oil/vinegar/seasonings or dark chocolate? Choices also include a GrillBox with seafood and grilling planks, a salmon sausage sampler, sockeye and sablefish lox, and much more. Finally, if you're looking for seafood to share at a party or other occasion, Vital Choice has fun possibilities like an ahi tuna poke kit, a grass-fed beef sampler, and live (!) kumamoto oysters.
3 subscription boxes
You also have options for subscription boxes with Vital Choice:
Vital Choice is both "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. This strong rating comes partly because of the company's commitment to its customers, including an ironclad satisfaction guarantee. Their return policy allows you to request a refund within 30 days of your purchase date for a replacement or money back - your choice.
Positive celebrity and customer reviews
You won't have a hard time finding fans of Vital Choice. In fact, on their site, you can watch videos from well-known wellness experts like Dr. Andrew Weil and quotes from Dr. Joseph Mercola praising the quality of the seafood and fish and extolling the virtues of eating wild-caught products. In fact, clicking on the reviews at the top of the site revealed that more than 18,000 people have rated Vital Choice, leading to an overall Excellent designation with a 5 out of 5-stars average. You just can't do better than that.
And, Vital Choice even has a rewards program. For every dollar you spend, referral you send, or "like" you give them on social media, you'll earn points that can be redeemed for discount coupons on future purchases. There's no cost for this program, though you do have to opt in to participate.
What's not to love?
What's not to love about this seafood store? Honestly, it's hard to imagine a customer who wouldn't find something they like here, unless for some reason they really want the chance to buy farm-raised fish. Vital Choice sells seafood that is good-tasting and good for you, and the company goes to great lengths to make their customers feel like VIPs at every stage of the process. We're confident that you'll get excellent seafood and other products when ordering from this retailer.
Cameron's Seafood specializes in fresh Maryland crabs and related treats like crab cakes. You can also order Alaskan Snow and king crab, gulf shrimp, lobster, sea scallops, and more - though obviously, as a Maryland-based company, those products are sourced elsewhere. When it comes to Maryland Blue Crabs, these guys are the experts - selling over 75,000 bushels each year that are caught by their very own fleet of crabbers.
Top grade seafood
We were impressed to discover that all of the seafood sold by Cameron's is top-of-the-line grade. Just like you can get different cuts of beef that are classified according to their quality, seafood has a ranking system as well - but you'll only get the highest quality grades here, no matter what you select.
Choose your catch date
Here's another fun fact: because you can place your order up to 60 days in advance, you can actually choose the date your crabs are caught. Your order is then caught, prepared and packaged on the very same day it's scheduled to ship, arriving at your doorstep as quickly as 24 hours from the time your seafood was pulled from the water. Talk about fresh!
Whatever you order, it'll come packaged with the right amount of gel packs and/or dry ice to keep your order at the perfect temperature at every stage of shipping. You'll find all of your contents clearly labeled (not everyone is a seafood expert!) and with easy-to-follow preparation instructions for even the most novice of chefs.
When you first visit the site, you might get a spin-and-win chance at a discount or some freebies. You'll have to enter your email and your name, and any coupons you get have to be redeemed within 12 hours. You could get savings of up to 10% or free products (but you can always click on "I don't feel lucky" if you'd prefer not to give them your information right off the bat). We also spotted a $10 off code at the top of the page, no personal info necessary, so be sure to peek up there too.
How about shipping? That will depend on where you live, the amount of your order, and how fast you want your seafood to arrive. Most states east of the Mississippi are considered "local", so ground shipping is free on orders over $199 and $19.99 for purchases under that amount. 2-Day Air is $24.99 and $34.99, respectively (same order threshold of $199), and overnight is $59.99 regardless of the order total. For the rest of the US, you'll pay $29.99 and $39.99 (again, same price point of $199) for 2-Day Air and $79.99 for overnight. You may want to factor delivery costs into your calculations if you're giving a gift certificate and want it to cover both the seafood and the shipping fees.
Few gift giving options
Gift-giving options are a little slim. You can send a Cameron's Seafood e-gift card in amounts ranging from $20 to $250 and let your recipients choose something for themselves, and there's a place for you to enter a short note as well. Or, you can select the seafood you want to send and enter a gift message during checkout. It's nothing fancy, but the focus is on the food and not fancy packaging when shopping here.
100% satisfaction guarantee
Finally, every purchase you make comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If anything isn't right with your seafood order, contact Cameron's within 24 hours of delivery to request either a reship or a full refund.
Cameron's Seafood does really well in the reputation department, starting with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB gives this fishmonger a perfect "A+" rating and accreditation over more than 25 years in business - and better yet, there were no complaints filed. Plus, over more than 2,300 independently-verified customer reviews, this retailer earned an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Shoppers say that the crab cakes are huge, the seafood is packaged exceptionally well to ensure maximum freshness at delivery, and that customer service is very responsive when any problems have come up. We even found people saying that they were switching their brand loyalty to Cameron's Seafood (after previously buying from another online seafood store) because of how impressed they were with multiple orders from this retailer.
Strong choice - especially for crab
Although you won't find the world's most robust gift-giving options or widest range of seafood options here, Cameron's Seafood provides delicious crabs and crab products that won't disappoint (along with several other types of seafood that are equally good). You're sure to have a great dining experience no matter what you order, and we highly recommend them - particularly if you're interested in top-of-the-line Maryland Blue crab.
Fulton Fish Market is one of the newer online seafood stores in our evaluation, having gotten its start in 2014 in New York. The company strives to get people eating seafood at home again, even going so far as to call itself the "Amazon of Fish" at times!
You won't be disappointed with the quality of the products you buy here: all of the fresh seafood they offer has gone through numerous taste tests with foodies, chefs and more before being selected for their store. They even have a quality director that is a seafood chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.
2nd largest fish market in the world
Most of their fish is sourced from the nearly two million pounds that cross the docks at the Fulton Market every night - a fish market that is only second in size to the one in Tokyo. The company prioritizes sustainably-caught or ethically-farmed fish from waters local to the US. Seafood and fish choices include salmon, halibut, scallops, shrimp, swordfish and more. You can go directly to the type of seafood you want through the links at the top of the site, or browse customer favorites and see what others have purchased.
Delivered whole or expertly prepared
Depending on the type of seafood you select, you may have a few extra steps when placing your order. For example, when buying halibut, the default is for your fish to come whole and head off. If you'd like it to be prepared further before shipment, like being filleted, having the skin removed, or being portioned into pieces, you'll need to enter that in the dropdown box before adding the product to your cart. There may be an extra charge for the preparation you select. Many of the seafood items you'll find here come with ample information about nutritional values, preparation methods, and even helpful chef videos for how to grill, pan sear, and so on.
Fulton Fish Market is one of a small number of seafood retailers that offers a subscription plan for regular deliveries. It's called the Fish Drop, and you can choose a shipment schedule that's weekly, biweekly or monthly. Options include the Try 'Em All Box (8 6-oz portions, two types of fish, $89.95), Fulton Faves (also 8 6-oz portions, three types of fish, you choose the seafood from among their customers' favorites, $89.95 to $99.95), Just for Me & You (4 6-oz portions, two types of fish, $64.95), and the Intro to Seafood box for those who might need some milder seafood varieties (same portions and pricing as the Try 'Em All). Shipping is free on every delivery within a subscription plan.
Free shipping on orders over $125
On other orders, shipping is at no cost when your order total is at least $125 after any applied discounts. For smaller orders, you'll have to enter your products in the cart and see the calculated charges during checkout for delivery via FedEx. All seafood is packaged in a 100% biodegradable, recyclable spun cotton insulated liner with frozen gel packs (that can also be reused).
Gift giving options
If you're looking to use Fulton Fish Market for a gift-giving occasion, you can send a gift card via email, in any dollar amount from $10 to $1000. They'll pre-fill the subject line and message with something appropriate, or feel free to add your own. You'll also find some classy options for gifting (or keeping for yourself!) in their Seafood Bundles section. From the Seafood Dinner Party Box for 4 to the Paella Dinner Box and beyond, you won't be lacking impressive options to send. We'd have liked to see a little more description on those, like cooking suggestions or the ability to see the actual customer reviews and not just the star ratings they left, but that's a minor detail.
We were a little disappointed to see that Fulton Fish Market doesn't have a clearly-stated satisfaction guarantee. Their return policy says that they want you to be happy with your purchase, and that you can contact their customer service team if there are any issues - but they stop short of saying how long you have to do that or what you can expect (a refund, replacement, or store credit). They may ask you for photos of the products and the box, so be sure to hang on to them if you anticipate a need to call the business.
Scarce customer reviews
That kind of information would be helpful, since this seafood store doesn't have as much feedback as some of the businesses we considered. There weren't hundreds (or even dozens) of customer reviews on their site or elsewhere, and we didn't see a listing with the BBB yet.
Overall, Fulton Fish Market comes across as a reputable, high-quality source of seafood, and we really like the clean layout of their website, subscription plans and package options for entertaining and gifting, and their commitment to sustainability. We think that as they gain a stronger foothold in the online seafood industry, they're going to make a very big name for themselves. We look forward to seeing the ample customer feedback that should follow. This is a great place to buy seafood.
For many years, Giovanni's Fish Market has been family-owned and operated in California, started by a commercial abalone diver back in 1973. Most of their seafood is sourced locally, with some imports as well. (You know you're really getting fish "fresh from the boat" when a store has a video showing its fishermen off Morro Bay - and the sea lions are eagerly hoping for a taste, waiting in the water! Watch the video and see for yourself.)
Basic shopping experience
Shopping online is pretty basic: you can browse their main page, but it's easiest to go directly to the links on the left side. Generally speaking, you'll find abalone, crab, fillet fish, lobster, oysters, shellfish, shrimp, smoked fish, sushi, and also some sauces and spices to enhance your dining experience. Be sure to click on the Specials link if you want the day's hottest deals. Also, don't miss the featured items listed a little further down; at the time of our most recent visit, those included calamari, halibut, poke cubes, and sablefish.
Simple gift options
Giovanni's Fish Market has some of the gift options you'd expect: gift cards that can be used in person or gift codes for online purchases, in denominations ranging from $25 to $250. You can also enter a gift message in the second step of checkout, in the same place where you would add delivery instructions, if you choose to send a gift code or you're sending a specific seafood product to someone else.
They also have some gift possibilities that you might not find at other seafood stores. Maybe your special someone has always needed a crab claw cutter or shrimp deveiner. Giovanni's has got you covered! Of course, if you'd like something a little less savage, you can also order t-shirts, hats, and sushi-making kits.
Expect some shipping costs
Giovanni's doesn't quite measure up when considering shipping costs. The company only delivers orders over $300 for free, while some of their rivals have a much lower threshold - or ship every purchase at no cost. All other orders ship strictly by weight: lower prices for California residents, but still anywhere from $25 to $39.99. Outside of CA, your shipping costs will range from just under $50 to just under $200. Granted, that's for overnight shipping (no other speeds are available), but it's still something you should factor in when comparing seafood retailers. Also, because it's overnight delivery, they don't automatically include dry ice: you'll have to select that (for an extra $10) during the checkout process. Orders can be shipped ASAP or delivered on a specific date.
Very favorable reviews
Moving on to reputation: although the Giovanni's site is somewhat outdated-looking (with a site copyright of 2006, for example), their customer reviews are absolutely current - and very favorable! From people who placed a big order for a BBQ to those who use this seafood store to keep their freezers stocked, it's hard to find anyone with a bad thing to say about the quality of the fish offered here. We didn't find a BBB listing for this company, but thousands of shopper reviews across the internet didn't leave us with any major concerns.
Returns for in-store credit
It's good to know that their customers are so satisfied, because Giovanni's return policy had us scratching our heads a little. Like most online seafood stores, they guarantee that your delivery will be fresh. You'll have 24 hours from delivery to request a return authorization form. Yes, you read that right: they will actually have you return your seafood. We don't know that we'd want to be on the receiving end of those returns, but hey, not our problem, right? Their policy is described as a refund, but it comes in the form of a full store credit.
Giovanni's Fish Market has a lot going for itself: a phenomenal track record with its customers and some unique gift options, to name a few. But, when you look at their higher-than-average delivery costs and slightly strange return policy, they're just a little bit off in comparison with our highest-ranked seafood stores. We still think they're a trustworthy source of seafood online, just not our first-place recommendation.
The Crab Place got its start in 1997, specializing just in fresh Maryland crab. Over the years, their business expanded to include other seafood options, like clams, crawfish, oysters and more.
Basic but easy to use website
You can easily see everything on offer by looking at the links on the left side of the page. That section also makes it simple to spot what might be on sale: at the time of our most recent visit, crab cakes, crawfish and snow crab legs were discounted 15%, and scallops were on sale for 20% off. Once you've clicked on a product that interests you, you'll see photos of each one and can order in the quantities you need. For example, Maryland Soft Shell Crabs were available in four sizes - Whales, Jumbos, Primes and Hotels - and sold in quantities of a half-dozen, dozen, and two dozen.
Want to save $10? Sign up for The Crab Place's email newsletter and they'll send you a code for the discount. We got that offer as a pop-up, but you may be able to find it around the site too.
If you think you're going to be a frequent buyer from this seafood store, you may want to consider their VIP Club. For $59/year, you will get free or discounted shipping, depending on where you live: most zip codes east of the Mississippi River qualify for free ground shipping or discounted faster options like 2-Day or Next-Day, while other areas get a $20 discount. You should be aware that the club calendar expires every year on March 31, so it might not be as much of a bargain if you sign up in February compared with April. This club automatically renews every year on 4/1 unless you cancel in advance.
Shipping is extra
Otherwise, shipping will probably run you anywhere from $19.95 to $69.96, based on your order total and delivery timeframe. The Crab Place doesn't offer free shipping on any orders outside of the VIP Club, no matter how much you spend. That's not as generous as many of their competitors who offer free delivery if your order reaches a certain minimum amount.
Good gifts for givers
How about gift-giving? The Crab Place offers both virtual and physical gift cards, ranging from $25 to $500. You can also enter a message if your purchase is a gift, and they'll enclose a gift card with the order. That's a separate box from the comments field, so you'll have up to 250 characters to express your well-wishes and another space if you have any special handling instructions to pass along. Besides seafood, this retailer carries a selection of cookbooks, kitchen tools, seasonings and sauces, if you'd like to put together a complete seafood dining experience for your gift recipient.
100% satisfaction guarantee
The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee that your order will arrive fresh or they'll replace it free of charge. You'll have 48 hours from delivery to make that claim - and, according to their policy, you may have to return your seafood for inspection. Sounds kind of gross to us, but we did spot a few customers who said they were asked to send in the spoiled fish before getting a replacement order.
This retailer has a good reputation overall, shown by an "A" grade from the Better Business Bureau. But, customer feedback in other places is mixed. On social media channels, we found an equal amount of positive and negative comments; some people posted photos of orders that didn't meet their expectations, and we didn't see much of a response from the company. Plus, most of the seafood shops we evaluated made it really easy to see current reviews that were collected independently; The Crab Place's website is so outdated, they don't have any review system there, and even their blog's most recent post was over 6 years old. But, their Facebook followers gave them an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars (across more than 400 people), so that's a good sign.
Could use an upgrade
The Crab Place could definitely use a refresh of their website, and it would be good to see any upgrades include a feed of current customer testimonials. In the meantime, this company's ranking still falls behind many of the seafood stores we considered. You might get a more robust customer service experience elsewhere, especially when it comes to shipping fees and satisfaction guarantees.
The best online seafood stores guarantee that you'll be 100% satisfied with your order, so that you don't have to worry about the quality of the packaging or the food itself. Another great perk of buying seafood online from a reputable store is the ability to select package deals. Why settle for just crab legs or a lobster tail when you can mix-and-match all of your favorites?
Some retailers go beyond seafood and allow you to purchase full meal packages, surf-and-turf combos, and much more. And, best of all, many of these packages and individual seafood items can be sent as a gift to the foodies on your gift-giving lists. (Say goodbye to boring gift cards!)
Whether you're buying seafood for yourself or someone else, you've got lots of options. How can you tell which online seafood store is the right one? Here are several factors to keep in mind as you make your decision:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best sources of seafood available to order online. We hope this information helps you get the freshest, most flavorful seafood delivered right to your home - or to the home of your lucky gift recipient!
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