Seeds of Change is the oldest and largest, 100% certified organic seed company in existence (1989). Every seed made available is certified organic. You can find a copy of our organic certificate (Oregon Tilth) on our web site.
Our mission states we act to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture.
In keeping with our mission we offer an increasingly full range of open pollinated, heirloom, traditional, rare, and hybrid germplasm of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Gardeners and market growers alike will seek our offers.
LizCtish Mount Sinai United States (1 review) October 21, 2013
I so wanted to love this company! Their mission statement made me so happy when my daughter gave me a $100 gift certificate. However, it's been nothing but problems since.
1.) The website did not credit my $100 even though I entered all required info.
2.) Even though it was late at night, I called immediately because the website says they have 24 hours a day service. Not true.
3.) The next day, at the first second they were open, I called and was told not to worry because they would immediately credit my charge card for the $100. Immediately turned out to be five days later AND they only credited me for $72.18.
4.) I called again and they gave me some explanation that was totally convoluted and seemed to be connected to when my items shipped. This made no sense to me but I couldn't get the person to understand so I decided to wait for the rest of the gift certificate to show up on my credit card. After all, my ordered items, they said would be delivered within the week.
5.) Here it is weeks later and nothing has arrived, nor has the missing $27.82 from the gift certificate been credited.
6.) I politely e-mailed them a few days ago inquiring as to a shipping date. The e-mail I received back today says that my garlic will arrive this Thursday but not as much as I ordered since it was unavailable. They wrote that of course I knew this from the phone message they left me. No message was ever received.
7.) I called today to find out what's going on with the $27.82.
The woman has to "talk with someone else" and they'll "call me back." So, I'm still waiting for them to apply the full gift certificate!
8.) Turns out none of the non-plant items I ordered (including a tool sharpener which I really need) will arrive for at least another week or more. That will be over a month since I placed my order.
As I said, I really wanted to like this company. They may be full of the best intentions, but their service really stinks. I won't be using them again.
Worst customer service I've ever experienced! They messed up my order for very expensive raised garden planters, and then never responded to my phone calls. I finally resolved the issue with zero help from them by contacting the manufacturer directly. Regarding my order for seeds- it was a nightmare. There was never any communication from them regarding things being back ordered. At one point after waiting over a month for tomato seedlings, I assumed they weren't sending them and bought some from a nursery...and then they arrived (leaving me with more tomato plants than I know what to do with!). Just this morning I noticed they charged my debit card $33.98 and called to ask why and was rudely told it was for the tomato plants I received over a month ago (which I had already been charged for). Now I have to fax my bank statement to them in order to get the charges reversed. From 1 order, I've ultimately made 5 phone calls to customer service. Never one time did anyone apologize, or make any effort at all to rectify their mistakes. I will NEVER, NEVER do business with this company again.
Posted on March 9, 2013, updated April 30, 2013
I ordered an item almost a month back but have not received it yet. I now wish I had checked with DG's review on SoC before I had even ordered.
I have bought seeds from them in the past for a number of years without any problems but I suspect the change of location (the address mentioned at the top is not current) as well as ownership must have resulted in detrimental changes. No business can survive for long with poor customer service! I want my money back or the product I paid for.On April 30th, 2013, tkh added the following:
My order for a single item, Mycorrhizae languished without action from SOC but my complaint to the BBB of Albuquerque, NM five weeks later was transferred to the BBB serving Los Angeles and the product was delivered (with some bonus seed packets) 75 days after placing my order. As a self-regulated agency, supported entirely by the dues of the member businesses, the BBB does a wonderful 'public service' without depending upon taxpayer funds! I am grateful for their influential intervention.
Seeds of Change is the worst company I've ever dealt with. I placed an order months ago and still waiting for it. I've called customer support which I suspect is just contracted to Seeds of Change as they really don't know anything other than what they can pull up on their screen --- which is worthless. As you can see from the website, whoever runs it is hiding like a coward. You can't even find out where they're located. Do yourself and favor, don't count on these idiots to get you anything. You'll be disappointed and probably ripped off.
hopflower Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9a) (26 reviews) March 8, 2013
Posted on March 8, 2013, updated March 8, 2013
I wish I had read this sooner. All these negative comments and I did not know about them. Years ago this company was one of the best, and I ordered from them with no problems. This time, I have waited over a month for one packet of tomato seeds, and have received two responses for my emails about it telling me that they were being shipped. I know the check has been cashed, which turned out to be about $9.00 for shipping and the seeds themselves, plus tax. This was in early February and now it is March. I live in northern California, and they are supposed to be in southern California. It does not take over a month to get a packet of seeds. When I call them, I get some music and no answer from a live person at all. I have tried three times.
If you wish to donate to a seed company, write these people a check. But you won't get any product; just excuses that they are "updating their computer system" and that "the seeds are on their way".On March 8th, 2013, hopflower added the following:
Of all times to respond, someone finally told me that they have just shipped (again). They should be here Monday; having been put in the mail yesterday. I don't appreciate being told that they had shipped when they hadn't. I learned, too, that the company contact is in Minnesota, not California; because I asked.
I still give these people a negative rating: never have I had such a hard time getting a packet of seeds from anyone. I won't place an order again.
Not going to rate, but am going to try one with the same name. Info as follows. I can't grow quinoa here, but I can grow amaranth, good for my bees, good for me, and to risk $10 trying them out, I can do that.
Seeds of Change
P.O. Box 4908 Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
Call our customer service center at 888.762.7333
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
conilowe Canada de los Alamos, NM (1 review) September 27, 2012
I have used them in the past and had overall positive experiences; they are the only source I know of for some varieties I really like. I will never buy from them again, though; at the time they were bought out by Mars they took their good reputation and nearly all their jobs from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. They did not, however, take their warehouse cats. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/local news/Home-sought-for-...
I have been attempting to get paid for the nearly $20,000 of plants I supplied to Seeds of Change's customers for them for over 2 years. When they closed their Santa Fe, NM headquarters, their research facilities and moved their office to the Los Angeles area, they either destroyed their records or stored them and they apparently refuse to pay the money they owe. They also laid off all personnel with knowledge of the facts of the purchasing and changed computer systems apparently. Be cautious in dealing with this company and please help me save my family farm's finances by helping us to get paid. I have contacted them by telephone dozens of times, made a special trip to their listed address and do not get contacts back. I wish their president would respond with the payment!
I ordered 4 packets of corn seed, all to be sent 2nd day air. Although two packets were sent correctly, the remaining two were sent at the same time, but through regular mail. When I contacted customer service, I found that they knew of no reason for the separate package, and said it was probably a computer glitch. I was disappointed that no attempt was made to ameliorate the situation. I was also rather disappointed to find that there were so few seeds in each packet -- substantially fewer than other companies I have used. I will likely not purchase from this company again.
Evilchicken Bernardsville, NJ (Zone 6a) (3 reviews) March 16, 2012
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CHARGES FROM THIS COMPANY!
I got their catalog this year and placed a small order. My order arrived promptly, but it only had three of the four items in the box. The last item wasn't listed on the inventory slip as coming separately (it wasn't mentioned at all), and I received no communication from the company about my order at all so I emailed them via their website, which says that they respond within 48 hours. Three business days later I hadn't gotten a response so I came here to check them out. Uh-oh.
Because of what a previous reviewer said regarding them charging more than your shopping cart says, I immediately double checked on that. I had no confirmation email from them, so I went directly to my bank records. Sure enough - there were two charges from Seeds of Change, back to back. They looked like my charge split into two until I added them up and discovered that it was $0.70 more than it should have been. At this point I took a day to cool down.
During that time, Seeds of change did reply to my email, informing me that part of my order was shipping directly from the manufacturer. The stuff arrived as promised not long after.
I sent them another email, informing them they had overcharged me and demanding that they refund me ASAP. To their credit, they did send out a refund check right away.
They still get a negative rating because 1) they're a PIA to work with. No communication unless I initiated it, and I had to double check them at every turn. Although they refunded me the money they took that I didn't owe, I had to spend time checking my accounts, writing the company, and now I have an extra errand to run to deposit that check. All for $0.70. It's not worth it, but I'll be ***ned if I let them have that 70 cents.
2) I don't trust them at all. I'm not the only one to get overcharged, and it happened in such a way that I never would have noticed if someone else on here hadn't alerted me to their problems with Seeds of Change getting overenthusiastic about money. 70 cents doesn't sound like much, but if you do it to 1000 customers, it adds up to 700 dollars.
3) If they "error" this much with money, can I trust them with anything else? Are my seeds really organic? I purchased a rare variety. Is it really what they say it is? I have no faith in the answers to these questions now, and will never do business with Seeds of Change again.
After ordering 6 packs of seeds in February, 3 were said to be crop failures and weren't shipped. I was not sent a refund check along with my 3 packs of seeds that they did send. A month later, a phone call and 3 e-mails and I still don't have a refund check! I will never do business with them again.
Grocer14 West Columbia, SC (1 review) March 25, 2011
My store has been a wholesale retailer for Seeds of Change for many years. I took over ordering seeds for the store several months ago, and every order has been a struggle. E-mails are sometimes answered after several days, even weeks, but are usually ignored altogether. I have also called the company several times and have yet to speak with Shari Garman about my last order, which was ordered a month before it arrived, missing several of the items I ordered and was charged for in full. The company does not have a specific ordering process, and the wholesale area on their website is not helpful and explains nothing. This is not acceptable. My store typically moves large amounts of seeds, especially during this time of year, but if it takes a month to receive an incomplete order, it may be time to reconsider my decision to remain with Seeds of Change. It seems I am not alone.
Pitcom Avondale, PA (Zone 6b) (23 reviews) March 24, 2011
I have been dealing with seeds of Change for several years and have recommended them to countless friends. But I am sad to say that as time goes by, their customer service seems to have fallen further by the wayside. Their online system needs some serious updating. Their website commonly shows items as being "In Stock" and you get a copy of your order in e-mail. Then to your surprise when you receive your order, items may show up as "canceled, or back ordered", without warning. Instead of charging you for your entire order, they partially charge you for each portion of your shipment they send out. One of my last orders has come in 4 different packages! It's no wonder they charge astronomical prices for shipping and handling. I ordered some seed potatoes that never arrived. I called their CS and was informed that their system showing them as being delivered, but they offered to send out a new set. This company just needs to overhaul their ordering system, and i think a lot of the problems will go away.
steveparadis Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) (1 review) March 11, 2011
We are a retailer. We ordered the rack program from Seeds of Change in February 2010. We bought over $6000 of seed packets from them. The unsold seeds were returned for refund (as offered by Seeds of Change) in September 2010. Shari Garmen and Tim Lien, who work for them, both promised payment of the refund of $2957. It is now March 2011. We still havent received our refund, despite email and phone promises. This company, owned by Mars, has no integrity and considers theft of others money as business as usual. BEWARE! We are pursuing with a civil suit if not refunded this week.
dmac085 Greensboro, NC (Zone 7a) (39 reviews) March 7, 2011
This is regarding a simple small seed order. I was pleased with the order process, confirmation email and turn around time in processing my order.
I had wanted one each of the bush size marigold seeds they carry (and no one else did) but talked myself out of it for a few years--seemed a bit pricey and shipping wasn't the least expensive I'd seen. Decided to go ahead and "splurge" on my marigolds and was pleased to receive them today.
Ordered on Feb 26 and received from NM on March 7. Seed qty seemed accurate and am looking forward to growing them this season
Seeds of Change appears to have serious quality control issues regarding the amount of seeds in their packs. One would think that the exorbitant prices they charge could pay for better quality control.
Out of all 21 seed packs (originals and replacements) I received this year, 13 of them contained significantly less than the amount of seed advertised:
-Three packs of calendula ranged from 60-70% of the advertised amount.
-Three packs of beans ranged from 35-60% of the advertised amount.
-All seven packs of onion seeds contained less than 30% of what was advertised!
In summary, if you order from Seeds of Change make sure to double-check every pack for quantity when you receive your order. Thankfully their customer service is very good about quickly sending out replacement packs.
doghill6 Central Point, OR (Zone 8a) (28 reviews) March 3, 2011
I ordered from this company 2 years ago. They back ordered half of the seeds, and then only sent one of the back ordered items a couple of months later. I never heard a word about the rest of them. I get their catalog still, full of mouth-watering varieties, but no way. Even the catalog comes late.
lemurianne Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) (15 reviews) March 2, 2011
Posted on May 14, 2008, updated March 2, 2011
I'm so sad to hear of the negative experiences other shoppers have had with Seeds of Change. They have an amazing selection of certified organic seeds and I have always received good service. This year I made multiple seed orders that arrived promptly and thus far have had 100% germination, with the pumpkin plants doing amazingly well already just in my south windows! Their shipping rates can be outrageous, but otherwise I'd highly recommend this company based on my experience with them!On March 2nd, 2011, lemurianne changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I cannot believe the time I've had trying to get seeds from this company this year!!! This is THE WORST service I have ever had from a seed company, EVER!!! I placed an order on on January 4th, including ONE pack of seeds that was backordered. I was informed on another board by someone who seemed to know what they were talking about that the backordered seed would be available in a few weeks time at the most. It may have been, but Seeds of Change does not hold the items that are available in an order with a backordered item. Meanwhile, by the time the originally backordered seed was back in stock, other items had become backordered, and in one case DISCONTINUED. But Seeds of Change did not cancel the item from my order, instead my order sat in limbo for 6 weeks. Finally in mid-February I emailed them asking about the order and they apologized that since one item had been discontinued my order could not be filled (!?!!), but promised that the remaining items would be shipped out "next week". Well, the next week came and went, and I emailed again only to receive an apology that it hadn't been shipped yet but would definitely be shipped "tomorrow". Well that was last week and today I emailed again, and the final word is that THREE of the FOUR items that were available to ship two weeks ago are now backordered. I would cancel the order if only I could purchase the Blush tomato anywhere else!! I'm really tempted to cancel anyway. This is just ridiculous. If you must order from SoC, I suggest that you DO NOT choose to have your entire order shipped when the backordered items are in stock. The shipping is absurd, but go ahead and pay it twice if there's something you really want! I, however, will never order from these hooligans again.
redjeep hillsboro, OR (9 reviews) February 12, 2011
Posted on January 17, 2010, updated February 12, 2011
Website orderers beware! I ordered today from Seeds of Change. I printed my confirmation, after submitting my order. I noted the shipping was expensive, $9.14, for 6 packs of seeds, but I let it go. Then, I then recieved an email, listing my order. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered, in the time it took from my printing my confirmation to recieving the email, my order went from $30.78 to $34.08. Why? Because in several minutes the price of Tejas Pepper seeds went from $3.99 to $6.29. I do not know if there is a pepper on earth I would pay $6.29 for a pack of seeds. A pack of sunflowers went from $2.79 to $3.79. My impression is they are total crooks, because this is obviously automatic, you make an order, look at the price, put in your credit card, and then the confirmation adds an extra 10% here or there within your order. Talk about hypocrits, I should have known, the more anyone babbles about carbon neutral and organic the more likely they are to be crooks and liars. Abundant Life and Bountiful Gardens are not perfect, but they are not crooks and they fix their mistakes. Don't be an organic lemming charging forward to get ripped off. Just because they use enviorobabble does not make them good!On February 12th, 2011, redjeep added the following:
2011 update. This is golden, I forgot and ordered from Seeds of change. I can almost promise you, that if you do not make a print out of your final cart, and compare it to the bill they email you a minute later, you are getting ripped off and do not know it. I made my order January 25, I recieved my order Feb 11, this is the longest of any company I ordered from. I paid $12.95 to ship, I thought, 17 packs of seeds. I only recieved 12 packs of seeds, cost of shipping on the envelope, $1.73, profit on shipping for Seeds of Change, $11.22. In the packet, a list of the 12 packs they deigned to send me, along with a list of two backorders. No mention of the other 3 packs of seeds. While checking my order, noted the price of one of the packs they did manage to send me, in my cart and on the reciept I printed for Sivan F1 was $3.29. Price on emailed reciept $3.99. Yes, it is only 70cents. But, considering the price of the packs, the exorbitant shipping, the extended time to recieve the order, the lack of any interest in informing buyers the seeds they want were never available in the first place, all adds up to CROOKS. Order from Bountiful, Seeds from Italy and Victory. Good family companies, not corporate jerks.
Overall my experience with Seeds of Change is good. Years ago I ordered from them before the height of the new green-living/organic food movement. The seed I ordered from their website all was true-to-type and germination was indeed excellent (in the order there were at least six varieties of tomatoes, and even more packs of herb and flower seeds). Once in the ground, plants grew very well the rest of the season. I do not garden exclusively one way (i.e., organic or traditional practices). What works best with least number of inputs, is efficient, using safe and sound practices, and minding good judgment for me works holistically.
Seeds of Change offers many novel varieties of vegetable, flower, and herb seed that you will likely not (and likely never) find growing in cell packs at a big-box store in your district.
In 2008 I ordered seed from them for research purposes. I experienced no ills ordering from them, nor were the prices shockingly high.
Why pricing is high:
(1) A company is a company and usually the goal is to make money to make (a) a profit and (b) pay their workers and taxes!
(2) You are paying for their overhead, seed packaging, labor, shipping and fuel costs, marketing, (their catalogue and website do have attractive pictures), seed cleaning, germination testing, R&D, advertising, website, etc., and also part of the organic trend!
(3) Because there is high demand for all things organic, guess what, they can charge a high price to sell all things organic.
So remember when you order, you are ordering from a company that uses a change-the-world mentality in their marketing schema as a front to run a profit. It is easier to accomplish the latter vs. the former in this instance. Prices will continue to go up on everything from organic seeds to artisan focaccia bread from the local baker.
Ordered asparagus in early March. Was told they'd be shipped in about a week. A month later, they still hadn't been shipped so I requested the order to be canceled as it was getting too hot in Arizona to plant them. They said they would cancel the order but 3 months later (late June), they showed up on my doorstep (no notice they shipped or anything) mostly dead.
Posted on July 10, 2009, updated July 1, 2010
I ordered seeds and root zone. I like the catalog, and where else in mail catalogs can you find bat and seabird guano?
The products arrived quickly, and seed packets had good instructions on them. I like the selection of organic fertilizers, heirloom seeds, and the fact that 1% is donated to charity.
My only complaint would be that they were out of a few products I wanted, and I was told they were cancelled. I'm not sure if that means they no longer carry them, or just out.
I'll let you know how the seeds germinate. On July 1st, 2010, dirtygyrl changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
The seed germ was good, but the best part was the detailed info on each seed pkt.
Tried to order from them later, and they were out of several products. They referred me to another company, which was unusual and nice.
However, received catalog this year and was very disappointed. They no longer carry some of the organic products ( found another source). After reading the catalog (lots of things not listed there) and other reviews on here, I think I'll try business somewhere else.
At the end of March I ordered 20 strawberry and 10 asparagus crowns from Seeds of Change. I waited patiently for over a month for them to arrive, which was fine by me because our late season snow made it impossible to plant them immediatly anyways. After planting and letting them become established I came to realize that 5 (25%) of the strawberies and 2 (20%) of the asparagus failed to produce any leaves or in the case of the asparagus, any stalks. I contacted customer service this afternoon and explained what happened and that my expectations for live plants were 100% success. I almost immediatly received a response back stating that I would be receiving a refund next week for the plants that did not produce. I apprecited both the quick reply and the immediate reconcilliation of the situation. All in all a great experience with Seeds of Change.
coltsfoot Susquehanna, PA (4 reviews) May 13, 2010
I received 50 bareroot red osier doogwood;all arived in very good condition securely packed. It is obvious that this company cares about the quality and packaging of it's products. 5/12/10
I order from Seeds of Change because they have tomato varieties that do well in my challenging climate. They have varieties that will set fruit in lower than normal temperatures. I love the Ropreco paste tomato. Great germination. I have successfully grown it for several years. Seeds of Change is the only source I can find for it. I ordered early and received my seeds promptly.
carolinavic East Flat Rock, NC (1 review) February 8, 2010
My concern is with their down wind proximity to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Not only are they just a few miles from the largest source of airborne radioactive emissions in America, but some years back there was a huge fire in and around LANL that dumped a couple of feet of ash on the Rio Grande valley below. It was reported that the lab told some nearby residents their vegetables were contaminated (the lab did not distinguish if it was "uptake" by the plants or contact with the ash.) I inquired about their testing for radioactivity with a supervisor because my sister had given my folks some sprout seeds. The super (who was not on the farm at the time) told me they didn't have any ash fall on the farm. (Totally impossible) He was also rather rude and very defensive. He did tell me that the farm was only for research and that their seeds actually came from Cal. He did admit that they did no testing for radioactivity, but if their farm is for research, doesn't radioactivity effect genetics? He also told me they moved their farm to the present location to be closer to the home office in Santa Fe, NM. Anyone who knows anything about NM knows that you don't set up shop in SF if sustainablity is a goal. Very rude, questionable genetics, and not responsive to legitimate concerns.
Ordered three seed packets by telephone from SoC. Two of the three arrived very quickly a big positive. Needless to say however, cannot comment on germination yet. Prices are higher than most other seed companies, which is a negative. Shipping is on par with others, but thats not necessarily a positive. As one reviewer stated earlier, the profit should be in the product, not hidden in the shipping.
I have placed orders with Seeds of Change for the past 2 years. I just received this year's order, which I placed over the Internet. It arrived promptly and was correctly billed.
I have noted, as others have, that shipping seems a bit steep. I also think they could be more proactive communicating the status of backordered items - I had to initiate the conversation about an soil block maker in backorder limbo last year, but then the situation was neatly remedied.
In summary, I will continue to do business with Seeds of Change. I think they're a good company doing good work, and hopefully they've been able to clean up their act on complaints past gardeners have had. My experience has been positive overall.
I must state that Seeds of Change has some of the worst customer service I've ever experienced. I am a vegetarian and eat only Organic, so I am a large customer through buyer's clubs, direct ordering, etc.
I placed an order on March 7th for a variety of products including asparagus crowns and strawberries and never received them. I was told multiple times via email that they were at the warehouse/drop shipper/on-their-way and the never showed up. I was finally told on June 12th that they were gone and I would not be receiving any.
Why was I not corresponded with regarding this matter at a much earlier date when I could still purchase elsewhere?
I just got off the phone with a supervisor, who was completely unhelpful in explaining to me why this happened. He proceeded to say "what do you want me to do," for which I stated nothing at all, just wanted to voice my displeasure with the way this was handled.
I was then told that other asparagus crowns were available. I asked, since it's late in the year and because of this fiasco, if he could send a small amount at no charge so that we could try to establish them for next year.
He said he couldn't do that and only offered free shipping if I were to purchase. Very sad.
While I will still be supporting Seeds of Change, I will never attempt to purchase live plants from SoC again; I will make known to others of my ordeal and to heed my recommendation to stay away.
I hope SoC does better in the future and develops a better mode of communication with their customers.
I ordered 12 heirloom tomato seedlings in February for April Delivery. I dug and prepared a large new bed for them. It is now June, and they have not arrived.
I have spoken with SOC's customer service company (it's an out-sourced vendor) 4 times. 3 times I was promised that the plants would arrive at the end of the week. Today, in addition to being spoken to rudely, I was told that I was not allowed to cancel my order. It's clear, from reading the preceding reviews, that SOC is not the same great company it once was. How nice for all of us that there are now several other retailers to choose from when purchasing organic seed.
I wish that SOC cared about our business, but I don't think they do.
I am very frustrated with the customer service of this company! They are rude and terrible to deal with. Only buy from them if what you want cannot be found elsewhere. It is too bad because I agree with their mission. I will just have to find another company with a similar mission, and thank goodness there are many of them!
I order from Seeds of Change every year. I think their selection is great, and they are one of the few companies out there that offer 100% organic seeds. They always ship promptly, and germination has been consistantly good. I look forward to their catalog every spring to see what has been added.
BunSmoke Salt Lake City, UT (1 review) April 27, 2009
Seeds of Change has terrible customer service and has wasted my time. I will never give them my business. I ordered a garden tool, paying significant shipping charge (shipping was 23.7% of the cost of the item) because I really needed the implement. They promptly sent me an email saying that my order was received and that item will arrive in 4-10 days. 17 days later I call them and they shrug and say "sorry dude, that item is on back order". The email never said it was on back order. I canceled. The people at Seeds of Change need to lay off the weed and get their act together.
First, I've supported them in the past because of their socially-responsible company mission: to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture; permaculture; becoming carbon neutral; and their outstanding seed donation program. However, their horrible service and excessive shipping costs are inexcusable.
After ordering online I called on 2/16/09 to cancel my orders of seeds and two varieties of potatoes. I did so because I had horrible customer service with these orders--incorrect shipping charges, no order confirmation with corrected charges, no response to email inquiries, several unhelpful calls to customer service, no updates on internal changes made to my order, seeds not shipped expediently (eight days after ordering at time of cancellation). The customer service rep, Joe, assured me that he had canceled my orders entirely. Meanwhile, I ordered organic potatoes from another company (for $15 less than what SOC charged in total).
Two weeks after I'd canceled in disgust, SOC nevertheless charged my credit card. When I emailed to repeat my request --"Please cancel this order in its entirety and remove all pending charges to my account"--I received a form-like response in which they explained that they couldn't cancel my order with their grower! Days later, the charge had disappeared from my bank records. Two weeks later, it reappeared and was processed by my bank!
Not only do i have a lasting headache from this ordeal, but I've got more potatoes than I know what to do with!
It is true the products cost more to ship, however, I truly like knowing my seeds are not genetically or hormonally engineered; a lot are heirloom. I have bought seed several times in the last few years and have been more than pleased with the produce I harvested. I will continue to order from Seeds of Change.
Enjoyed the catalogue, well organized and had nicely photographed. Prices and shipping are high. Selection is nothing special.
My order was received pretty quickly. I was missing one item, and the order form stated it was out of stock. I received a check in the mail a couple of days later.
Germination rates are good. Seed packets are informative. Packs are also plastic with a resealable opening. Seeds get stuck in the zipper when pouring them, causing them to scatter all over. I found it's best to scoop the seeds out of the pack.
Overall a positive experience.
1SickPuppy Waukesha, WI (12 reviews) March 4, 2009
I was all set to order 2oz of onion seeds which would of cost just under $50. When I found out it would cost over $11.00 to ship 2oz of seed I canceled the order.
They can say what they want to justify this but I won't buy it. The profit should be in the seed itself and not hidden in the shipping cost.
My experience with Seeds of Change began in 2007, when a friend gave me the company's butterfly seed collection as a holiday gift. Not only was I delighted to receive a wonderful grouping of seeds, but I was very impressed by the company's mission. I also love the seed packets, which are recyclable and filled with planting information (unlike other specialty seed companies, who often post a generic label on each packet and direct you to their website/seed catalog for more information). Since then, I've ordered from them several times and been perfectly happy with the products and services. The shipping charges seem reasonable -- I paid $11.70 for six seed packets and 20 crowns of strawberries, and $20.40 for a dozen live seedlings shipping 2nd Day Air, a charge that was very clearly stated on their website. Everything germinated and grew.
I will always shop first at Seeds of Change. Not only are their products and services great, but their socially-responsible company mission is admirable: to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture; permaculture; becoming carbon neutral; and their outstanding seed donation program. I love this company!
Positive: they do reply quickly to emails (within 8 hours). However, they seem to lack a bit on the listening and comprehension department (see below for explanation).
Thus far my experience has been negative. Placed an order online. Upon receiving their confirmation email I noticed that there were three shipping charges:
1 for the fingerling potatoes (correctly charged)
1 charge of $4.75 for S&H 2 seed packs (??)
1 charge of $4.75 for S&H 2 seed packs (??)
**Upon reading the comment right below mine it appears there is a trend as the S&H charges for four seed packs added up to $9.50 as well.**
Six emails later and getting replies that indicated the associate did not read my questions (I'll spare you the painful details of their answers), which were basically "Why am I getting charged S&H twice?" & "Could you guys send me all 4 packs in one order so I can save myself $4.75?" I decided to call. The Cust Service associate was kind and polite...but it did take a lot of explaining for her to understand my question (which she had also read on my emailed version). It went like this:
Me- "How much do you charge for S&H of 1 seed pack?"
Cust Svc- "$4.75"
Me- "How much do you charge for S&H of 2 seed packs?"
Cust Svc- "$4.75"
Me- "How much do you charge for S&H of 3 seed packs?"
Cust Svc- "$4.75"
Me- "How much do you charge for S&H of 4 seed packs?"
Cust Svc- "$4.75"
Me: "Are my seeds being shipped all together?"
Cust Svc- "Yes. ***silence*** OOOOOOOOOOOOH, I see what you mean!"
She was slow to get to it but in the end she understood and tried to fix the damage. They will now post a credit on my card and she agreed to email me back saying that they would do so (just for me to keep for my records).
I hope I don't have to again send repeated emails and make additional calls to ensure the refund is taken care of. If you see no further updates it means they kept their word about that...if they don't I'll be sure to post it here.
Why the negative rating? For one, I am suspicious of a company that appears to have a trend of making errors that benefit them (If I was being charged $9.50 but they would only pay $4.75 for shipping...guess where the extra $4.75 was going...). Also, it really should not take frustration and an additional hour to place one simple order of a few seed packs. This felt like homework.
PS: Also placed a very large order with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SouthernExposure.com) and their site is easy to navigate and it all went through without any issues. What a difference!
Pandora75 Staten Island, NY (1 review) January 14, 2009
I attempted to place an on line order and was surprised to find that 7 virtually weightless small seed packets generated more than a $9 shipping charge, and so I did not complete my purchase. Many on line companies are restructuring their shipping charges to be fairer and use a "weight basis" instead of a "price total basis" . The inequity becomes very clear for customers buying "seeds only". I spoke to the customer service area but they were not helpful.