Frequently Asked Questions
What payment methods do you accept?
We primarily take check or money order by mail. We can take cash if you are willing to send. We also accept Bitcoin. Simply email email@example.com to request a fresh address. We can take bank wire on orders over $500. You may also reach out to us for additional custom payment arrangements. We are usually willing to do whatever we can to accommodate you. We so not take Paypal or Credit card because their policies discriminate against a lot of the plants we offer. As of 2017, we cannot accept Paypal. Even the automatic Bitcoin gateways have discriminated for similar reasons. This has really made it hard for us, and we spend a lot of extra time to collect payment manually. Some people are unwilling to use other methods, and some people are even rude, but that only helps reinforce the institutions that will limit access to otherwise legal products. But we still have a large customer base that keeps us going. We do this for you guys. We have been in business for almost 20 years. We have no reason to scam anyone out of a few dollars. We have many regular customers, and we really appreciate that you guys support us back.
What is your return Policy?
-If we accidentally sent you an incorrect amount, a missing item or the wrong item, please email us within 24 hours of receiving the product to notify us of the issue. We may ask you to provide pictures supporting any mistakes that may have been made. We will send or refund for any missing items or quantities. We guarantee live delivery on all plants, so as long as you provide a picture of the plant in poor condition, we will replace it if it cannot be saved. If we mistakenly sent the wrong item, we will usually send you a return shipping label, and we can send the correct item when the original has been sent back. Due to the nature of our business, all other sales are final. Any other returns or refunds will be made at the sole discretion of or staff.
Do you ship worldwide?
-Yes, we ship worldwide. We do quite a lot of international shipping, usually without problems. However, you must be aware that we require all international buyers to accept the risk of arrival. That means we are not responsible for orders that do not arrive. We cannot be held accountable for customs problems or uninsured items that are lost or damaged. We will not refund or replace items that do not arrive unless insurance will cover it. Even if an item is legal in a country, it can still be held by customs. There are specific items we do not ship to certain countries. Pages for these items will notify you that we do not ship there. If you order these items anyway, we will refund your money. Please be aware that there still may be problems with certain items even if we do not mention it. It is the buyer’s responsibility to take all needed measures to ensure that what they order is unrestricted.
What method do you ship?
-For increased speed and reliability, most U.S. orders placed on our website are shipped via USPS priority mail. Express mail is also offered at additional cost. Express mail includes up to $100 of insurance. For certain heavier items such as cacti cuttings, parcel post may be offered. We do not use first class mail for items ordered on our website.
International (including and Canada)
-Items are shipped via first class international mail unless registered mail has been chosen by the buyer. This is the most economical method of shipping outside of the U.S. However, there is no way to track or insure items that are sent using this method unless the buyer pays for registered mail. Once we ship the item it is no longer our responsibility. We cannot replace or refund items for any reason once they have been shipped. The cost of registered mail is an additional $13.65 and includes tracking and insurance up to $49.99. All other items are sent using postage stamps in the interest of saving time. Please note that in purchasing from our site, buyers agree to assume responsibility for items that do not arrive for any reason.
*ALL ORDERS ARE SHIPPED TO THE ADDRESS ON THE PAYPAL ACCOUNT
How long before orders are shipped?
-We ship Monday- Friday. We often to ship orders out within 1-2 business days, but we deal with a large order volume, and certain orders can require a lot of time to prepare. If we are unusually busy, such as after a weekend or holiday, shipping can take several days. If there is a problem with the order, there might be a delay while we restock or as we await your reply to a question we ask. Be sure to keep an eye on the email you used for Paypal because we will contact you there if there are any backorders or issues with your address. Orders paid for with echecks will not be considered paid for until the echeck clears. LIVE PLANTS will ship on Mondays and Tuesdays to keep them from sitting in the post. Many ship form our different growers, and this requires time for communication between departments. Please allow extra time for delivery on all live plants or fresh cocoa seeds. The mail service you select at checkout refers tot he time it will take in transit once shipped. A faster mail service does not necessarily imply we will process quicker.
How long will my order take to arrive after it is shipped?
-It depends on the shipping method and destination. first class mail can range from 3-7 days on average. Orders within the US sent with priority mail usually arrive in 2-3 days. However, this is not guaranteed by USPS. We’ve seen orders take over a week. Express within the US is 1-2 days and is guaranteed within this timeframe. International orders are estimated at 7-11 BUSINESS days. This excludes weekends and holidays. But orders to certain areas, such as Asia, South America or Eastern Europe often take significantly longer. Express mail international is typically estimated at 5-6 days. The mail service you select at checkout refers tot he time it will take in transit once shipped. A faster mail service does not necessarily imply we will process quicker.
Does my order come with tracking?
-All orders in the U.S. automatically are sent with tracking when the label is made. We will enter it the email address you used for Paypal when creating a shipping label, and stamps.com will send you the tracking automatically.
-International orders can be tracked ONLY if they are sent using registered or express mail. Most buyers do not realize the USPS does not offer any service for tracking 1st class international mail. We use a customs form on orders over 1/8″ in thickness. So small packets may be sent without a customs form as a plain letter. You can request that we use a customs form when you reply to our international shipping policy if you want proof of shipping. If you request that we use a customs form, the customs form number will show the item was accepted by USPS. But tracking will not update after the package leaves New York. So it will only help to prove the package was sent. We wish there were more options, but this is not within our control. This fact is at the heart of our international shipping policy. To be absolutely clear, once an item is sent internationally, we have no way of tracking the package unless you have chosen to pay for registered or express mail. Since the costs of these services are expensive, we do not require them, but we do require all international buyers to accept full responsibility for items that do not arrive for any reason.
Do you offer insurance?
-Absolutely. We ship priority mail by default so that full insurance is included for most orders. Priority mail automatically includes insurance up to $100. We offer the option for customers to choose first class on smaller packages. But they are uninsured. Insurance must be added to 1st class parcels or items going international if you want coverage. Accordingly, we are not responsible for damage or loss of uninsured parcels sent in the U.S. or internationally. Please contact us for options if you’re looking to add insurance to an international order prior to ordering. We will help you figure out the best solution for your specific case..
Do you guarantee live delivery of plants?
-Yes. We guarantee your plant will arrive alive under most circumstances. However, we do require the buyer to be responsible for frozen plants in the winter. We have no control over when you pick up a package after delivery and as such we will not be responsible if it freezes. If it’s clearly frozen, contact us with pictures right away, and we will try to work out a compromise for a replacement. But all decisions regarding replacements will be at the sole discretion of the seller. USPS will usually cover dead plants if it is their fault.
Please keep in mind that condition of a live plant can vary, especially with a plant that goes through the mail. Be sure to always follow the unpacking instructions HERE. Never put a plant outside right away or into the sun as that can kill it in just a few minutes. Also, do not repot right away because disturbing the roots can put extra stress on a plant that is already stressed. Always give it some time to adjust. If a plant arrives in bad shape, be sure to send us pictures the day you get it. If it is toasted, we will replace it for free. Please also keep in mind that you may get tracking days before a plant has shipped. But if we determine that the plant died because USPS delayed the package, they will usually cover it if you use priority mail. If we think it can be saved, we will help you nurse it back to health. If we fail, and you can show us pictures, we will replace it. But wilting and leaf drop are fairly common, especially with some plants. We’ve often brought back plants to full health form nothing but a healthy stem. So be sure to contact us right away if there’s any issue.
Do you guarantee germination on your seeds?
-No. We take extra measures to preserve the freshness of our seed. But we do not guarantee germination on all seeds because the seeds are only part of the equation that makes them grow. Regardless of your experience level, sometimes the conditions are not right even if they seem so. Sometimes the seeds simply take a long time. There are some seeds that take up to 6 months to germinate, and they require conditions to be maintained throughout. Variable germination is especially true when growing outdoors. Many of the seeds we grow are exotic and are not domesticated. Many of them are being grown in an environment where they are not native. As such, they maintain wild characteristics that make them germinate slow or irregularly. Sometimes even a seed that’s easy to sprout will not work well in some cases. The best we can do is maintain fresh stock, and we get new stock of most seeds one to several times per year. We encounter a lot of instances where batches of the same seed perform differently even in the same room. Seeds can drown, die from mold or cook in the sun just like the roots of a plant can rot and suddenly cause a healthy plant to die. Sometimes half a pot of seeds grows well, and the other half does not grow simply because of minor changes in moisture or sunlight. If we think there may be an issue with a certain batch, then we may test them and offer a replacement. But any types of replacements on seeds is 100% to be made at the sole discretion of the seller.
I need an item in a hurry. Do you offer expedited shipping?
-Yes. We offer express mail options both within the US and internationally. International orders will also benefit from the tracking and insurance provided with the express mail international service. We often use UPS on heavy bulk orders. If you’re ordering bulk, you may wish to contact us for a more accurate shipping quote since the shipping calculator figures shipping for USPS. On heavy orders, it may be charging you more than you should be paying.
What type of packaging / labeling do you use?
-U.S. expedited orders are generally sent with USPS priority or express mail packaging, depending on the shipping service used. first class orders are generally sent in plain yellow bubble envelopes with padding.We are environmentally-conscious and try to reuse whatever we can for packaging materials. Please be aware that our return address does not include our company name in case you are relying on that to spot your order.
-Most international orders are shipped in yellow bubble envelopes. We use manila envelopes for many larger orders. We label individual seed packets by botanical (Latin) name. We can accommodate packing requests providing the request does not ask us to misrepresent package contents in any way. Misrepresentation will usually do more to delay your package than accuracy. If you are afraid of an item being named, it probably means you should not order it. Please note that in purchasing from our site, buyers agree to assume responsibility for items that do not arrive for any reason. Registered mail is available for an additional $13.65 and includes tracking and insurance. These orders are required to include customs forms. Most other orders will also include a customs form. We may not fill out customs forms on very small orders if the total envelope is 1/8″ thick or less. These parcels are totally untrackable and are sent using postage stamps. We use stamps in order to save time so we can focus more on getting orders sent quickly. If you want a customs form to be used on these small orders, be sure to request one when replying to our international shipping policy email.
My package arrived damaged. What do we do now?
-If you used Priority mail, insurance has been added to the package,. Just send us pictures and details, so we can begin a claim for you. We will reship the items for you as soon as the claim is settled. Be sure to save all packaging because it may be required to settle the claim down the line. If you did not choose to add insurance or use priority mail, you’ve opted out of the coverage, so we cannot guarantee a replacement or refund.
My package did not arrive. What do we do now?
-We use Priority mail by default because it is insured. If you added insurance or used Priority mail, insurance has been added to the package. If enough time has passed, we will file a claim for you. We will reship the items for you as soon as the claim is settled. Sometimes items arrive during the claim process. If you did not choose to add insurance or use priority mail, you’ve opted out of the coverage, so we cannot guarantee a replacement or refund. If an item shows delivered by USPS that you did not get, you should contact your local post office. We cannot file a claim on a package that shows delivery.
Can I mail payment?
-Yes. We accept cash or USPS money order. We now accept personal checks. . Please include your printed order form with your payment or we will not be able to fill your order properly. You may also opt to print your shopping cart page instead of filling out an order form too. If you want tracking, we depend on you including your email address. Be sure to write your shipping address clearly so we can make sure your package goes to the correct location.Including your order number can be helpful.
Do you ship to my country?
Yes. We ship worldwide. However, please note that we do not replace items that do not arrive for any reason. Since we cannot know the laws of every country or state, we require the buyer to assume the responsibility for all items he or she orders. While an item may be legal in a country, it may still be prevented from entering if it goes against agricultural/ environmental regulations. We have had customers call their local customs for advice. Certain pages on this site will specify when items are not shipped to certain locations. Do not order from these locations because items will not be shipped there.
Do you accept foreign currency?
-No. Unfortunately, we can only accept funds in U.S. dollars. But we do accept Bitcoin.
Do my seeds come with germination instructions?
-In an effort to reduce paper consumption, we have taken the time to include growing information on each of our seed listings. This also means that you’ll know exactly where to find them at any point in the future.
I am interested in one of your herbal products. What dosage do you recommend?
-We do not provide any information about dosage for any of our products. We do not offer any type of recommendation for use whatsoever because we are not qualified to give that kind of advice.
I am looking for something for this particular ailment. What do you suggest?
-Since we are not physicians, we do not offer any type of recommendation for use whatsoever for any of our products. We are geared towards providing products to those who are already educated about them.
How fresh are your products?
-We make an effort to only stock what we will use within a few months. Seeds are generally harvested at a particular time per year, so they will be from the last harvest. Additionally, we make efforts to store our products so they have limited contact with air and light.
I followed the growing instructions but I’m still having trouble. What should I do?
-Many of the seeds we carry are rare and still have their wild characteristics. Just like a wild animal, seeds that have not been domesticated tend to have wild traits. This often means that they will have slow or irregular germination. These traits are often bred out of domesticated seeds. The advantage of irregular germination in nature is that it prevents an entire generation from being killed off if unfavorable conditions should arrive. As a result of this, you may find new seedlings of certain species popping up a month a part for several months. Some growers will give up and reuse soil only to find plants of the previously planted species emerge.
Germination in many seeds is also triggered by very specific factors such as a change in temperature or saturation in water. It may also be necessary to wear down thick seed coats before soaking. This is called scarification. Some seeds can take months or even years to break out of dormancy even if special techniques are applied. It may in fact take several rounds of environmental change or a greater intensity of change than you are applying. Germination time estimates will also be longer if the initial conditions are not provided. It should be noted that soil temperature is not the same as air temperature. Heat mats may not be enough to raise the soil temperature for some species. Hot lamps are usually a better choice. Gibberellic acid (GA-3) is also very helpful in breaking dormancy in stubborn seeds.
Another problem to be aware of is that seeds can rot if the soil is too wet while newly sprouted seedlings can dry out and die under the soil if the soil gets too dry during the early stages. Seeds may also die from uneven watering, too much heat or too much cold. Sometimes it is helpful to dig up seeds and check on them if they seem to be stalling. We make efforts only to carry very perishable seeds right after harvest and only stock quantities of seeds that we will sell within a short time. Due to the variability in grower technique and the naturally fickle nature of many of our seeds, we do not offer replacements for seeds that do not grow.
I am in this particular environment or USDA Zone. What do you recommend?
-While we really enjoy making recommendations for people, the time it takes to run every aspect of this business has forced us out of being able to give these kinds of recommendations.
What USDA zone am I in?
I am interested in this particular species. Is it suitable for my environment?
-Sometimes you can find the answer to this in the species description on our website. You can also find the answer by typing in the species name along with “USDA Zone” or “Hardiness” into a search engine.
I’m looking for an item not on your site. Can you help?
While most of the products we have on hand will be listed, we often have access to various other species and products. If you are okay with the time and extra shipping costs that might be involve, contact us.
I’m looking for a different quantity of one of your items. Can you help?
-If it’s more than the minimum amount we offer, let us know. We will try to accommodate. We are always willing to accommodate wholesale inquiries. If it’s less than the minimum amount, we do not sell smaller quantities than what is listed.
Can I contact you by telephone?
We are strictly internet-based. We limit all contact to email. We typically get a lot of messages, and it became more complicated to listed to our messages, take notes, and then try to answer all the calls. People commonly forgot to include their contact information. Email provides everything we need to know, and it is easier to respond to everyone in a timely and efficient manner.
Do you have a physical store I can visit?
-No. At the current time, we are solely internet-based. We do not offer local pickup.
I’m having problems with the website. Can you help?
-Yes, Please contact our webmaster here.