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      July 16, 2020

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  4. Giovanni's Fish Market
  5. The Crab Place

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Giovanni's Fish Market vs The Crab Place

To help you find the Best Seafood, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Giovanni's Fish Market and The Crab Place.

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Get Your Seafood at Sizzlefish Today! Where can you buy the best seafood online? 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!).

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Best Reviews

2020

Seafood Reviews

3.5 stars
Giovanni's Fish Market

GIOVANNI'S FISH MARKET

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Gift Options:

Gift shop with seafood tools, accessories and clothing; gift cards

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.

Seafood accessories

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.

Worth considering

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.

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3 stars
The Crab Place

THE CRAB PLACE

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Gift Options:

Gift certificates, cookbooks, kitchen tools, seasonings and sauces; can include a personalized gift message on a gift card

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.

Save $10

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.

VIP Club

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.

Good reputation

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.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Selection. Does the company offer a wide variety of seafood to choose from, or do they specialize in just a few kinds? What gift-giving options are available?
  • Pricing. How much can you expect to spend for the seafood you're craving? Are prices competitive with what you'd find at a competitor's site?
  • Reputation. What do other shoppers say about their experiences buying seafood from the company? Is the customer service team knowledgeable and responsive if problems arise? Is there a strong satisfaction guarantee in place, in the event that your seafood arrives less-than-fresh?

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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