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DaveH San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) (29 reviews) June 25, 2009
Last year a small group of orchid enthusiasts in the US placed a combined order with AON for over 100 plants, and my part of the order was 18 plants. I was not the person who organized the order. We ordered from AON because of their good selection of native Australian orchids that are very hard to find in the US. We ordered as a group in order to defray the considerable US import phyto inspection and documentation fee of $175.
Although AON sells plants on their website, they apparently also sell large numbers of plants on Ebay, where foreign buyers can make purchases without any import documentation, but at the risk of having their purchases seized by customs in their country. Our group chose to order from the nursery and get proper documentation to avoid this risk.
Our order was placed on July 31, 2008. At the time, the owner of the nursery indicated that he needed to renew his export permits, and the estimated date for shipping the order was the last week of August. But apparently the owner greatly underestimated what was involved in getting his export permits in order and dealing with US customs.
To make a long story short, it took AON over 9 months to send the order. When it was eventually sent, US customs inspection found some disease and needed to treat the entire box, at an additional cost of $353 for the disinfection. The head of our group finally received the order on June 1, 2009. The plants were bare root and in pretty good shape, considering the long delay going through customs, but had lost all their roots from the disinfection process - not a big problem, since orchids will re-root. AON's prices are very good, in many cases around $5 US. But the import documentation and disinfection costs worked out to about $7 US extra per plant.
CymbidiMan Inverleigh, Vic Australia (11 reviews) August 15, 2005
Two out of three orders have had mistakes, but they were quickly rectified. Plants are of the finest quality and fairly priced.