ordrer placed 9/5/07, 2 weeks ago. Invoice received. No product yet, no info on anticipated shipping date. No info that order is backordered. THE SITE DOES NOT HAVE A PHONE NUMBER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE -- only email. I consider this a poor prognostic sign. I have emailed. I have called directory assistance and been given the same number as the Better Business Number shows as well as a back up number. In both cases the answering machine does not identify as a business nor sound in any way sound professional. It provides instructions to leave a message which has not returned so far today.
About a year ago I did have an order from them arrive. I do not remember the timeliness but it does not stand out as having been a problem.
However, the process this year does not correspond with how any reliable business, including a home business, should run. I have always had very strong doubts about any US based mail order business which does not bother to have a customer service phone line. Now I know why.
On September 20th, 2007, quadradox added the following:
I received no response after 4 more days. Either they are out of business or only occasionally "in" when it suits them. I cancelled my order. I expect to work with companies which can at least be counted on to communicate reliably when an order cannot be shipped yet and is pending or back ordered. (Though I still have no idea whether the inappropriate silence from Whatcom is due to the fact they just don't have the merchandise to ship or they are out partying somewhere instead of filling orders.)
On May 7, 2007, cereal_tiller South Padre Island, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:
Great company. excellent customer service. Great packaging. Professional, prompt, courteous and extraordinary response. My large order had many back orders. Nothing shipped without my okay. Germination of the seeds was outstanding. Will do business with them again. Sometimes I wonder what people expecet as the negatives I read didn't even seem anything like what I experienced. I am a difficult and demanding customer; an attorney and I say the company is A+. Will do business with them again without any hesistation.
I ordered some palm seeds which were completely crispy feeling and some were moldy. Of course, they never germinated. The only thing that did germinate was supposedly split-leaf philodendron or 'monstera deliciosa' which I ordered as such and was labeled as such but was in fact heartleaf philodendron, a VERY common plant of which I already have a few! I still even have the bag that was labeled 'monstera deliciosa' -- and like an idiot began to stake the heartleaf when it grew and was limp!
On Sep 3, 2006, TxTurqoize San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Wow...I was surprised at how many negatives that I saw! I've had 3 experiences with Whatcom that I found to be completely satisfactory. My buddha belly and turtle back seeds arrived very promptly and in great condition. The packaging was ideal too....
I have ordered 3 times from this company and have had great results. Originally, I ordered an assortment of exotic plants I found interesting and every variety had some seeds that germinated. I now have ordered an assortment of seeds from Asian and African species for my geography students. Because baobabs may take months to germinate I planted them three weeks ago - 4 of 5 are growing already...
ummmmm.....nothing has germinated.......and palm seeds old and moldy......but they are sending replacements for the palm seeds....so......Ill remain neutral until I see the state the NEXT seeds are in.....I truly hope things are better :0)
On May 22nd, 2006, dixie_angel changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I just want to cry. I got my replacement seeds and, while not being moldy......they were...awful....as bad as the last batch.....I feel bad making this a negative but....nothing I ordered from them germinated......and with 9 kids between my husband and I we cannot afford to waste our money on items from compaies who obviously put more value on pretty plastic baggies and photo cards for their seeds than in the seeds themselves...or their customers PLEASE learn from my mistake.....think twice before giving away your money. :0(
Packaging was excellent, and instructions very informative. Fast shipping. Most (but not all) seeds are germinating fine; any problems have been my own fault. Some complaints about the low quantity of seeds shipped are out of place, IMO; their website clearly stated the number of seeds I would receive for each species. I'll order from them again.
On Feb 20, 2006, Erynne Hillsburgh, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:
Placed an order back in December 2005 and before I knew it, it was in my mailbox....super quick shipping! I ordered three types of seeds, for what I felt were very reasonable prices and included were some great planting instructions.
So far, I've just sowed one type, brug.sanguinea, and all seeds have germinated. The other types ordered were Sarracenia purpurea and Eryngium planum.......I will report back only if they fail to germinate but I'm hoping that won't be the case.
I have ordered many times from this company, and everything has been shipped in a prompt and professional manner, with great little instructions sheets included. They have a neat site, with lots of reasonably priced stuff and they have never disappointed me. I never hesitate to recommend this company. Thanks to Whatcom, I have some great stuf growing in my garden!
On October 24th, 2006, DONBROWN added the following:
Just placed another order with this company, and as always , have received personal attention and helpful emails, even though my orders are only small. I find that my germination results with their seeds have improved as my skills with germinating difficult seeds has improved. For those who have had disappointing germination results.......keep in mind that many of these plants have tough requirements and long germination periods, so any disappointing resluts may be a reflection of that, as opposed to the quality of the seed, which, in my case, has never appeared to be substandard.
This is a great little company which deserves a try!
On Dec 30, 2005, pardygwyn Port Angeles, WA wrote:
I bought some hot pepper seeds which arrived quickly. Most germinated, but many of the plants were cross-pollinated and nothing like advertised - carribean red peppers were small and yellow, chocolate peppers were orange, etc.
On Aug 6, 2005, mountainmeadowseeds Augusta, WV (Zone 5b) wrote:
Nice packaging - speedy delivery - good seed germination. I wanted to add that the growing instructions were appreciated. From personal experience on growing plants by seed it is mostly trial and error. If the seeds don't grow it doesn't necessarily mean the seeds are bad! Of course if they are crumbled or crushed then the seller should be contacted, but if the seeds don't grow and you planted all of them at once......your fault for not saving some to try another method. I know that many factors contribute to the germination of seeds. Not all seeds should be planted the same. Some need more watering than others and some need darkness to germinate. Bottom heat is useful and humidity domes work on some seeds. It's all trial and error..........saying a little prayer won't hurt either :)
Overall I rate my transaction as a good one. I'll buy again.
On Jul 10, 2005, voytek Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've bought 3 times from this company. First time on ebay (2 years ago), second time last year - in both situation everything was OK. I placed my last order about 6 weeks ago. Seeds arrived decomposed in plastic bags. I sent emaisl with complain twice. No response. This is respect-less. I left them positive feedback on ebay, second time I sent them "Thank you" email. This time this is my negative feedback for this company. If you are going to place an order be very careful.
I have ordered with this company and so far my seeds are germinating just fine.
I wanted to add this little tidbit:
I've been trying to start my own milkweed seeds harvested from my own plants this year, and have one out of twenty success rate. Just goes to show, not all seed problems stem from freshness.
On June 28th, 2005, mjkerkau added the following:
Today I received my missing seeds from a previous order, only a week after emailing the company to tell them they never arrived. NO hassle!
Look, I have ordered fro Whatcom Seeds and found them to be perfectly good. Most people here seem to be clueless of the requirements for seed germination. Want a hard one? Try growing Balsa. If you want to grow coffee, get your plants from Toptropicals.com in Florida or fruitlovers.com in Hawaii. Quit trying to grow coffee for yourself, it takes a lot of time and care and in The US it is nearly impossible. I grow and export Cacao plants from my Seattle greenhouse and I know the requirements of most tropicals. If you contact toptropicals.com tell Dave that Rob sent you from Seattle. If you contact Oscar at fruitlovers.com tell him I said hello as well. I have a variety of sources for rare plants if you need more info.
I ordered seeds 3 weeks ago and did not get them. Sent email note to them 1 week ago - no response. Emailed again today - will give them 2 days and if no response will dispute the charge with credit card company.
I am quite surprised with other peoples' experiences with Whatcom seeds. I have had very good luck with their seeds. I have ordered every single cycad species and a couple palms and others, sometimes repeatedly, and I have never had a species NOT germinate. For every palm and cycad I've ordered, I have never experienced germination below 60-70%, which is great for these prices.
I can really only speak for palms and cycads, but I hope people realize that these seeds often require very specific conditions and sometimes a great deal of time before they germinate, up to a year for some species. I say this not to belittle in any way the reviews of those who have been truly wronged, but only as a cautionary note that you must employ a scrupulous germination procedure before passing judgement on the supplier.
On Apr 27, 2005, Daisy123 Pearl, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
Oh dear, poor stupid me. Wish I had known about this site before I spent my precious money. Oh, yes The package was pretty neat and the picture on the package was pretty, too bad I didn't plant the cute little package with the nice foam and the pretty flower picture. My shock was when I opened it up and saw there were only 5 seeds (5) five lousy seeds. I spent $23.00 building a special bed for Edleweiss because they only grow under special conditions. I sent Seedrack a email and complained and told them they ought to be ashamed, never got a reply. After that, I ordered from a different ebay seller called Seedmart that says there are 100 seeds in their packages, but, now I see that the reports here are not all that good either because they are also HIRT's Greenhouse and there were conplaints about old seed. Will hope for the best and will let you know.
On Apr 13, 2005, tofinosurfer Vancouver Canada wrote:
I filled my shopping cart, but when I went to check out, the first page in that process, which contains personal information, is not an encrypted page (https). I emailed them and asked for an explanation, and none was given.
On Mar 6, 2005, JaxFlaGardener Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I bought seeds only once from Whatcom/Seedrack through eBay about 2 years ago. My experience was completely positive. I ordered Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) and Buddha Belly (Jatropha podagrica) seeds. I followed the instructions for cold stratification in my refrigerator for the Black Pine seeds. The cold stratification process took several months, but I did get germination from at least four of the seeds. I have three of these healthy Japanese Black Pine plants in my garden and one in a pot awaiting Bonsai treatment (it has remained only a few inches tall whereas the others are now about 1 foot tall). I got zero germination from the Buddha Belly plants from the first shipment I received. I contacted the company by E-mail in regard to a possibly placing another order for different seeds and mentioned the lack of germination of the Buddha Belly seeds. They told me there had apparently been a problem with the previous Buddha Belly seeds and that I would receive a replacement. I basically forgot about the replacement offer, but several months later I did receive replacement Buddha Belly seeds at no cost to me for the seeds or shipping. These replacement seeds germinated well and I now have four mature and flowering Buddha Belly plants.
On Mar 5, 2005, Plumeriagod Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
I too was "duped" by seedracks cheap prices for seeds on ebay. I recieved the seeds quickly with germinating instructions. The only thing "good" about this company!!! I bought some of their more expensive seeds (cycad seeds). I bought 4 packages and 8 out of 10 seeds were old!!! I soaked them in water like they instructed, but 8 of the seeds floated! I found out later, during some research, that cycad seeds that float are generally old seeds and don't germinate!
I emailed them several times to try to solve the problem; I even offered to send pictures of the floating seeds and pay for the shipping for new seeds. They emailed me ONCE and asked where I found my info. I replied, "From the president of the Cycad Society." I even copied and pasted the info for them to read! They have never responded back!!
ALL I CAN SAY IS BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was taken in by the low prices and bought about 20 packets of seeds from Seedrack on eBay and then from Whatcom's website. The only seeds that germinated were the Purple Bells and the Abutilon, and the germination rate wasn't very good on those. I just chalked it up to cheap seeds and wrote it off. I don't know if they buy leftover seed or what, but I wouldn't recommend them. They do ship quickly though and don't rip you off on shipping, but that's pretty much worthless when they send old seeds. I always have good luck with Park Seed and J.L. Hudson Seed. Can't go wrong with these two companies.
I bought several seeds last fall, including some coffee (Coffea arabica), purple dragon carrot seed, pawpaw seeds, among others.
I was mainly excited about the coffee seeds. I researched like crazy to find all the info I would need to get those babies to grow. By the way, their instructions were incomplete for growing coffee, good thing I looked it up (well not really, didn't matter as the seeds were crap). I knew they lost their germination quickly, so I got them planted immediately. Anyway, I waited and waited, keeping them at just the right temp., and just the right moisture. However, I finally had to give up after 5 months or so. I sadly tossed them in the trash. I have not yet had a chance to plant the others, spring is around the corner. I have had the pawpaw seeds outside stratifying all winter (I also researched them a bit). I pulled on of the seeds out and it looks crummy, so I am thinking they are going to follow suit with the coffee seeds. I am giving them every chance in the world though, buying pawpaw plants is a bit pricey.
So far a big fat negative, if I have a better experience with the other seeds, I might change it. :(
All those with negative experiences should contact the bbb (www.bbb.com), so they can get a report generated on this company. Some people check there before ordering from a company.
On March 27th, 2005, Southerngurl added the following:
Every pawpaw seed also failed. I wonder if any seed I recieved was viable. I will soon be planting the others. I will probably have similar luck as with planting a rock... the only difference being the green mold that seems to be a trademark of their seeds (mind you I have grown, so far, peppers, tomatoes, onions, echinacea angustifolia, pallida, and purpurea, broccoli and parsley [from bakercreek, high mowing seeds, and walmart] this year in the same mix used for their seeds, and all those did fine).
On Feb 21, 2005, throneofyord College Station, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
No seeds germinated.
I ordered these seeds in July 2004. Camellia sinensis (Tea Plant), Coffea arabica (Coffee Plant), Coffea catura (Dwarf Coffee Plant), Cortaderia selloana (White Pampas Grass), Cortaderia selloana rosea (Pink Pampas Grass), Zwolsche Krul (Par-Cel), Asimina triloba (Pawpaw) I bought extra packets of pampas grass. Not a single seed germinated. They warrant seed to be of the variety and quantity advertised. There is no assurance of viability or age. I
Received a gift certificate. Seed came very fast, gift certificate was handled very easily (like they knew I was going to be placing the order that day). Information on backorder came in about an hour after order placement. Packaging was excellent. After 3 weeks I have had 4 of 19 Coast Redwoods germinate (20% given by Whatcom as expection), 3 of 11 Dawn Redwoods (less than 50% given as expectation), 2 of 2 cashew nut trees (no germination expectation given), and today 2 of 6 Monkey Pod trees are pushing up soil (no germination data available). I will be starting another planting campaign this weekend, several seeds are also stratifying, I'll try to followup. I'm quite pleased. It is now my job to keep them going.
I purchased several packs of seeds (3-4 species) last year from Seedrack on eBay. My experience fits the pattern described by lots of previous comments. The transaction was smooth; the seeds arrived in nice packages and with clear sowing instructions. I grew several plants from one packet. From the other packets - nothing germinated. The packaging and delivery are great and seedrack has very high positive feedback on eBay. Like others, I received my seeds promptly and immediately left positive feedback on eBay. Months later, my opinion had changed. Unless I start seeing a change in comments here, I won't buy from seedrack again.
[There are some great sources of seeds and plants on eBay. But with seeds, eBay feedback is based mostly on packaging and delivery, and one has to learn the hard way about the freshness/viability of the seeds.
On Oct 11, 2004, ladyannne Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
I ordered a great deal of seeds from this company, and not one single solitary germination for my fifty dollars. My greenhouse is so full of other seeds and plants and I had to build a second, so I would bet the problem is not me.
On Aug 10, 2004, katherine88 New Tripoli, PA wrote:
I ordered lots of seeds ( tea, coffee, papyrus, venus flytrap, Sarracenia leucophylla, baobab tree, red velvet banana, toothache plant, and many more) and NOT ONE germinated. I had them under grow lights, in sterilized potting soil treated with fungicide and with bottom heat. packaging was great, but I had a zero percent germination rate...
On January 25th, 2005, katherine88 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Allright, I'll change to a positive because, as I remember, some of them DID come up. the shipping time was lightning fast, and the seeds were carefully packaged...I'm going to give them another chance with some palm seeds and see how the germination rate goes.
I have ordered many seeds from Whatcom, mostly palms, cycads, and other not so rare tropicals and have had relatively good luck. As an beginner palm and cycad grower, I've found that Whatcom is a great source for very inexpensive, medium quality seeds. I also like that you can order in relatively small quanitites. I've ordered all but one cycad and several palms and have only a single complaint: of 5 Kerriodoxa elegans seeds, 2 arrived fairly rotten and the other 3 refused to germinate. But boo hoo, I'll think I'll get over. Whatcom is a great source for beginners, probably not so much for pros. (And it's like I'll ever be a pro growing cycads and palms in Wisconsin anyway!)