As an aquarist with two freshwater, coldwater tanks, I shop at in this store's fish room quite often.
When my first 20-gallon-high tank leaked, the manager, Gene, was very good about replacing it for me, and I haven't had any problems with the second one. I appreciate the gracious, no-hassle service he provided when that happened.
I also use this store for some of my gardening supplies.
Generally, my experiences have been good, with a few notable exceptions:
They don't stock some of my preferred fish supplies, but since they are one of two aquarium stores I regularly use, I can usually find at the other outlet what these folks don't have. It would be nice, though, when I'm in Spokane, if I could find everything I need at one time.
I also resent that they won't accept payment by check. One must either have cash or a credit card. This is inconvenient, and I personally think it's unfair. I feel I and other honest customers are being penalized for the bad behavior of a few by everyone having their check-writing privileges denied them. People should be judged by their individual behavior, not lumped into a common category like that. It's like the teacher who punishes the whole class because one or two kids within it act up.
As far as their stock goes, I have only gotten healthy fish from them, and I rarely see any dead or dying fish in their tanks. When I do see it, I quietly and discreetly inform the employee in charge, and he or she always appreciates it and takes care of the situation right away.
They do a good job of quarantining their new stock, but no matter how well they take care of it, there will always be a few inevitable casualties that nobody can have any control over. Just comes with the territory.
I have generally found their staff to be courteous and helpful. They do get a little busy in the fish room from time to time, and need more people on hand to help out. There have been times when I've waited for help longer than I feel I should have.
Also, depending on who is on staff while I'm there, the level and degree of knowledge and helpfulness varies. When I purchased a new Life-Glo bulb for my 65-gallon, I had a very hard time getting the salespersons to pay attention to my questions and address my concerns. They seemed to be ignoring them or blowing them off, despite my communicating them repeatedly. In fact, I came away without having them answered or addressed, at all.
I knew from researching the subject which bulb I really wanted and needed, but they didn't have it and neither did the other store I use. It's a fairly common aquarium bulb, so I couldn't understand why it was so difficult to find it. Their selection was sorely limited in the aquarium lights department. They really only had one in the right size and design for my ballast, and it was some off-brand that never showed up in any of my research.
The one I ended up having to settle for really wasn't ideal for my purposes (to grow my plants faster and more vigorously.) Ever since I've had this new light, I've had diatom build-ups in my tank which I didn't have before.
Overall, this is generally a good store, and I shall continue shopping there for certain things. But they would benefit from addressing some of the concerns I've expressed here. There is some room for improvement, which is why I've given them a neutral rating.
This business is a landmark here in Spokane. It's longevity is due to it's good service and respect for it's customers. Personnel is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. A great garden store for supplies and plants at reasonable prices
I have shopped at Northwest Seed for many many years. I have House plants, a dog, many lizards, chickens, and one Conure all from Northwest seed. The people who work there are always friendly and always have an answer for me. The pet room workers are knowlegeable and truly care about the pets...(even naming some of them). My kids and I love this store and encourage others to check out this local gem.
I agree an update is needed but, that would only make the store even better then it already is.
See you on Wednesday!
amanda_is Deer Park, WA (1 review) February 14, 2010
The pet area in this store is filthy and stinky. The animals are improperly cared for and the pet area staff is rude and doesn't care about the health of the animals. I brought multiple issues to the staff's attention regarding 2 Leopard Geckos about two months ago, and they told me they were healthy and getting the proper care. Then about a month ago, after seeing the condition of the geckos only worsen, I spoke to them again and got the same response. I even spoke with the store manager and owner (Robert Mauk) and still nothing was done to help these poor animals. These geckos had hardly any water and the water they did have was clearly old and dirty. The floor of their cage was covered in poop, so clearly the cage had not been cleaned in over a month. (Leopard Geckos only poop about once per day). The only food these geckos had were a few meal worms crawling around in the gecko poop (This is what causes parasites/diseases because the worms eat the poop and then the geckos eat the worms). Also, the geckos had no shelter whatsoever. Leopard Geckos need a dark cave like shelter where they can sleep during the day because they are nocturnal. The male gecko was the thinnest and had a divot down his whole entire back. After not being able to stand it anymore, I made my VERY LAST purchase here and bought these geckos. I took the sickest gecko (the male with the divot down his back) the very next day to the vet and the veterinarian agreed 100% with me that these animals were not cared for properly and were underweight. They also had parasites (pinworms) at a level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Just yesterday I went into this store again to observe how the animals were being cared for and was not surprised when I found other Leopard Geckos in the same condition. Other animals were also nearly out of water and had cages full of poop. It is disgusting and inhumane. Something needs to be done. Please do not shop here for anything. The best thing you can do is to not support this business. Animal neglect is serious and should not be supported. It should be stopped.
***The 2 Leopard Geckos are now doing well. They eat like crazy and act like they have never eaten before in their lives (probably because they hardly got any food at the pet store). When I first got them, they had horrible aim when it came to catching worms and crickets. Now they are much more accurate and are actually putting on some weight. I have seen a reduction in the size of the divot in the male's back. There has an incredible increase in the amount of activity from both geckos (at the pet store I honestly did not see them move once). Mealworms are always offered in a dish and crickets are made available nearly everyday. The geckos also get the proper amount of calcium and humidity and are soaked after shedding to make sure all skin has been removed from sensitive areas such as toes. Fresh, clean water is always available and is changed at least once a day. They are on terrarium carpet which gets changed once a week. Poop is cleaned out as soon as it is seen (usually within the hour it has been left). Two dark shelters are available in the tank (one for each gecko). Both geckos have received proper medication to eliminate the pinworms and will be rechecked very soon to make sure the pinworms are indeed gone. I am happy to say that the health and happiness of these Leopard Geckos has greatly improved and will continue to improve and be closely monitored in my care.***
If you have any questions for me please do not hesitate to respond and ask me. Thank you for your time reading this. Again, please help by not supporting Northwest Seed and Pet's horrible pet business. Pet area staff, managers, and Robert Mauk (owner) do not deserve your support.
carmenjett Polson, MT (1 review) February 11, 2010
i will never go there again! i bought an american bull dog cross on feb 8 2008. i dont regret buying him since he brough us so much joy! but i have spent thousands on knee replacement's and other health issues he wound up having from poor breeding! i took him into his vet two days ago due to limping again and found out his hips had disintegrated and there was no surgery that could fix him this time!
So two years to the day i found him there he was put to sleep!
we are heart broken and nothing could ever replace him in our heart's.
Great store and employees! They had all the seeds I needed for this year's gardening (both flower and vegetable) all under one roof. I won't have to mess around with foul ups and poor customer service from mail order companies any more, now that I know where they are. They have lots of gardening products I can't get anywhere else as well without having to go through the horrible hit and miss of mail order. Thanks to Phyllis at 920 AM for the info on this store.
Good selection of basic gardening materials; well-priced. Excellent place to buy basic lawn seed and materials.
As to be expected, fairly traditional store. Not the place to go if you need information or are looking for native or xeriscaping plants.
Staff courtesy bumps the rating down to a neutral. While some of the employees are extremely courteous and helpful, some were less than interested in providing customer service. One employee was particularly condescending and abrupt about answering questions.
amandaemily Gulf Coast, United States (Zone 9a) (12 reviews) March 30, 2006
Their site has a small fraction of what is actually in their two stores in Spokane. Selection is extensive and usually cheaper than most places in Spokane.
One thing I like about their store is the fact their seed packets are arranged by variety, not grouped by brand name like most stores - making it easier to find what I'm looking for.
mosc0022 Coeur D Alene, ID (Zone 5a) (3 reviews) February 2, 2005
I can't speak for the mail-order, just about the actual store. It's great - has just about everything you need for seeds and pets (the name says it all). There are very few stores like it in the area. The prices are reasonable and the staff has been very helpful.
bbc Chesterfield, NJ (Zone 6b) (11 reviews) January 31, 2005
I ordered a HydroFarm 125W compact flourescent growlight from NWS&P. The price was excellent, and I received order and shipment confirmation immediately. Product was packaged extremely well, and I've had no complaints with this order whatsoever. I look forward to making future purchases with this company.