Frequently Asked Questions: PlantScoutGeneral Questions
- What makes PlantScout unique?
- Do I have to be a subscribed member to use this feature?
- I am not getting any search results - help!
- How can I find a plant if I don't know its name?
- Are these the only companies selling this plant?
- I'm a vendor; why should I join PlantScout?
- I'm a vendor; how do I join PlantScout
- I'm a small vendor; how will PlantScout help me reach customers?
- I'm a vendor; how will I list my products?
- I'm a vendor; what should my spreadsheet of products look like?
- I'm a vendor; how will my products look to my customers on PlantScout?
- is international - vendors from anywhere in the world can participate.
- lets you search for seeds, plants and bulbs of any plant.
- has built-in vendor feedback and detailed plant information and images.
PlantScout is based on a solid foundation of two extremely popular and informative features: PlantFiles and the Garden Watchdog. The ever-growing PlantFiles contains more than 180,000 different plants, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of images and comments submitted by real-life gardeners.
The Watchdog has established itself as the industry leader in providing the largest directory of mailorder gardening companies combined with a public forum for gardeners to share their buying experiences. More than 70% of the comments are accompanied by a positive rating, making the Watchdog the place to turn for the inside scoop on the best-rated gardening companies. The ratings also give you the track record of each vendor that offers the plant you want, so you can make an informed buying decision.Back to the top
However, if you wish to interact with the Garden Watchdog or PlantFiles you need to register for a free username before you can leave feedback or comments. Subscribers also have the ability to conduct unlimited searches throughout PlantFiles while non-subscribed members have limited searching ability.
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Also remember that PlantScout is designed to help you find vendors selling a specific plant. Searching for "tree" or "groundcover" or "flower" isn't going to yield results, but a search for "Poplar" or "Sedum" or "Daffodil" will give you many search results to look through.
If you're looking for Salvia farinacea, using the full species name will help you target in on what you're seeking, but if you don't know how to spell "farinacea", then try searching for "Salvia", which will allow you to browse through the various species and cultivars until you find the one you're looking for. Back to the top
The Advanced Search feature of PlantFiles can help you locate a plant by its characteristics (height, bloom color, etc.) We also have a terrific ID forum where gardeners can post a description or image of their plant, and others will help them identify it, usually within a few hours. These features are available to our subscribed members. Back to the top
One of the most frequent questions our helpdesk receives is "Where can I buy this plant?" and years of trying to answer those questions one-on-one led us to develop PlantScout. Now everyone can get the answer to this question at their fingertips. If your favorite vendor hasn't joined PlantScout yet, encourage them to sign up soon!
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After more than four years of building and maintaining one of the largest databases of plants in the world, along with creating the single largest world-wide directory of mailorder gardening companies, we focused our creative energy on combining the information from each, to create the best possible way to answer the age-old question of "where can I buy this specific plant?" It's a question we hear quite often from the millions of gardeners who visit our site each year.
When you join PlantScout, these motivated buyers will be able to immediately reach you for their seed, bulb and plant purchases. As with the Garden Watchdog, PlantScout is open to all users (there is no subscription required for customers to access Plantscout.)
Once you sign up, your entire inventory can be entered into PlantScout quickly and easily. We will be happy to upload the data you provide to us in a simple spreadsheet format or we can extract and upload your data for you. We also offer a user-friendly company interface, which allows you to:
- See at a glance which items do not have a corresponding PlantFiles entry
- Review and edit any item for spelling or taxonomy changes
- Remove or add items when necessary
- Fully refresh your list at any time
- Access powerful and detailed reports on the number of times your company's information has been accessed, including real-time reports of clickthroughs.
We provide ongoing support to participating companies:
- A copy of your product list in a standard spreadsheet format is available at no extra charge; we'll be happy to send it to you for your own use.
- Technical support to troubleshoot errors or glitches.
- Taxonomy support to verify any plant's proper scientific name.
- Creation of additional entries to PlantFiles on request.
- Weekly report of clickthroughs (including an advanced report so you can track the plants that are triggering clickthroughs into your site.)
- E-mail and telephone support.
Based on the success of PlantFiles and Garden Watchdog, we anticipate PlantScout will be used by hundreds of thousands of users during the 2011 buying season. The annual cost to enroll is based on the number of products you wish to list (you may choose to include your entire inventory, or a portion of it - whatever makes the most sense for your business.) The following chart shows the price for each tier:
1 to 100
101 to 300
301 to 500
501 to 1,000
1,000 or more
By tiering the pricing, (see above) vendors are given the opportunity to participate in PlantScout for a nominal fee relative to the size of your offerings. We believe all vendors will find this is the absolute best value for your marketing dollar, whether you're a small vendor filling a unique niche in the horticultural trade or you offer thousands of species and cultivars.
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If you have any problems providing your data in this format, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide technical assistance to get your data loaded quickly and easily. Back to the top