Delicate Subject?

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Or just newbie stuff?
I still consider myself very fortunate that I stumbled upon Dave's Garden. I've met some fantastic people, and completed several cool trades....

That is why I wanted to bring this topic up for discussion.

When I recently posted that I had irises to trade, I was amazed at the responses I got.... I packed up my trades and mailed them off, luckily at the time, I wasn't in monsoon season like we seem to be now.

I've read the trade primer, and I know that I should chalk it up to experience, but darn it, I feel "violated" so to speak.

I had several people who wanted to trade with me, they offered some things I wanted, and in one case, I passed up a really good deal on a plant because I was supposed to be getting one in trade.

I dug my irises up, and carefully separated them by colors, washed them and packaged them. Took them to the post office and mailed them away, and we all know postage isn't cheap, looking forward to what I'd be recieving in the mail in return.

In most cases I was tickled pink with the trades I received. But, several.... not just one or two people, SEVERAL people never sent anything in return, and when I emailed them a gentle reminder, they ignored my of right now, they're still ignoring my emails.

I'm just wondering if this happens to everyone, or if this happens often... are there some folks out there who just "prey" on the newbies, and have filled their gardens with trades innocent people have sent them?


Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

It hasn't happened to me, yet, but I expect it eventually will.

On the other hand, several people have been so very generous, sending me plants for postage, and a couple of folks even refused postage.
I hope I can remember these experiences when the inevitable bad trade happens.

I don't have a solution to the problem, unless it's a feedback system like ebay's. Even that's not attractive, since it would make what are now friendly trades so business-ey.

What did you not get?


Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

the thing I'm most sad about not getting was blueberry bushes.

They had a couple at a nursery I stopped at, deeply discounted, (with berries on them even) and I put them down, and said, NO MELISSA you're getting some any day now in the trade.... :-(
No blueberries for me til next year.

I agree, I've had some fantastic trades... and I'm just wondering if the people who took advantage were "non members"

I don't know their DG name, and I'm wondering if they just surfed in here by accident, and decided to take advantage?

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Melissa-0, so sorry for your bad experience. There is always the chance that this will happen, I have had a few bad ones myself. One thing I do, is always go to the Member List in your Menu Box on the right of the page and I look them up. If there is a red YES beside their name, they are paid subscribers. If they are not subscribers, I do not accept trades with them. If they are subscribers, I feel we earn sort of a reputation as good or bad traders. There is a little more obligation to each other as part of the DG family! This is not always the case, there are a few, very few DG'ers that I will not trade with, most are just great. Don't get discouraged or you will limit yourself in trades in the future. Hope this helps a little.

Good luck

Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

hmmm, I would think that they must have contacted you via DG email, in which case their DG name would be at the bottom of the message.

A non-subscriber can't read past the first post, or post to the forums, right? I don't know if a non-member can read the first post or click to email ....

I will surely keep that in mind in future trades.
*note to self ... don't arrange trades with non-DG members*

I wish I could help you out with the blueberry bushes! I don't grow any fruit or veggies at all. =(


Kylertown, PA(Zone 5b)

This is one of the reasons that I usually do "Postage Only" trades, if I do any trading at all. It's alot of work to dig, clean and pack plants only to end up with empty hands and footing the bill to boot.

You may want to henceforth make it clear that you will only send your end of the trade AFTER you receive the promised trade from the other person. IF they are legit, they won't have a problem with this.

Another good idea-- sell your extra plants on the Lily Auction and use the money to buy your blueberry bushes or whatever you want. This is what I have been doing.

This message was edited Thursday, Aug 14th 7:27 AM

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

During the 2+ years I have been a member, I've done quite a few trades. Only 1-2 went bad, but I also must confess I still owe a trade from last year. I had moved the plants, and wasn't sure which one was the right color, and this year it didn't bloom so I still don't know. (We have been in email contact about it, though.)

I make a habit of not sending plants for postage until I receive the postage unless it's someone I have traded with previously. That's particularly important when someone is doing a co-op. When it's just a Trade, unfortunately you have to just take your chances.

Did you list your trades in our Trade-Tracker? (Listed under Your Tools on the right column.) Davesgarden sends automatic emails for you if you do.

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

Sorry this happened to you! I am new at DG and have been on DG less than a year. This recently happened to me too and I found out later that the person who "stiffed" me had a also done to severak others over the past year and was a regular poster here on DG. I wasn't really wanting to trade -- but he e-mailed me after seeing a post on another thread that had nothing to do with plant trading. My garden is VERY new and I didn't have much to begin with -- but I looked at it as an opportunity to expand what I had. Anyway - he wrote lengthy e-mails up to the time of trading and once my box went out, I haven't heard a word from him since. Others have had the same problem with this person and I believe he is being "dealt" with.

I don't think this will keep me from trading in the future. I just plan to be a bit more careful and discerning.

Princeton, IL(Zone 5a)

I am fairly new at DG as well, but feel like a duck in water. I love it here! The only trade I have gotten involved in was the secret hosta trade, and I signed up for the new one too! I will certainly take this advise into mind for any possible trade I might have in the future.

IndaShade, what is this lily auction?

LimeyLisa Kay

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

I beleive that non-members can go to your trade list/home page by clicking on your name. I put a note on mine that I will only trade with subscribers, but will accept sase from non-subscribers. Then I do not send things till I have received the postage. This has cut down considerably on the requests. When I ask for postage, sometimes I never hear from them again. And yes, if you post a picture, or discuss a plant when you start a thread, anyone can read that and click on your name there.

Akron, OH(Zone 10b)

Melissa, I am sorry to hear about your trouble. I hope our trade went as expected.


Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Melissa, that stinks. I was hoping things would get better. :( Try not to think most people are that way. Heck, I still know I owe a couple of people and they kid me about it and I even point out that I owe people. It's not that I'm not sending stuff out, it's just a time thing. Between the kids, my job and all this blasted know. Not answering your email is a bad sign. Maybe they are ill or on vacation or something. Hard to say. Can you go back and track through your email or check your receipt to figure out what you sent where and maybe to who? We'll have to set up some time for you to come raid my yard. :) And, if you don't have a pond, build one! LOL I have too many plants. No fruit, sorry to say. I'm waiting til I get my acreage. LOL There is one slight problem with waiting to mail until you get your trade (unless you both agree) and that is if both ends are waiting, the trade will never happen. Sigh. What to do?? One thing some people do, is post they would like to trade in the first frame, then put the list of what they want to trade in the reply frame so non-members don't know what it is. I hope things get better for you.

Mukwonago, WI(Zone 5a)

Sorry to hear about your bad experience, Melissa. DON'T give up on trading because of one or two non-entities. You are right about the atmosphere at Dave' is a great place to be able to expand your young and growing gardens and it is also a wonderful place to meet fellow gardeners and to gain knowlege about many kinds of plants. Most of the traders here are MORE than generous and will usually send additional things when trading with you. I only wish I had some blueberry bushes to send to you. I'd do so in a heartbeat. Are you looking for anything else? Email me and we'll see if I have anything you may want to add to your gardens.


Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

I too am to blame sometimes as I forget who I sent what to and if I sent it or not :(
My memory is sometimes just not there due to meds and I even loose my notes that I write stuff on.

I would send you some blueberries if I had more but I only have one miniature bush that I had bought from ParkSeed this year and it's not very big

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Sorry about the Bluberry bushes. I've only been trading for a couple of weeks, but I'm having fun. I've sent out a PILE of FREE IRISES & FREE TIGERLILIES Packages (53). Whew! Talk about a leap of faith.... Anyway, I'm already starting to get trade items & postage back. I'm keeping track of it all--I'm good at this! Anyway, I'll let you all know percentages in a week or so. Being generous with my plants is no problem, but that kind of postage bill can decimate my garden budget for the year if I get stiffed to often....

Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

I try very hard to keep up with my trades, even the 'for postage', even the ones that won't accept postage. Even the ones I'm sending out, sans postage. I don't do a whole lot of trading because I know I'll get confused if I have too many going on at one time.
I'm totally impressed by how some of ya'll seem to be able to juggle all those trades ... If I had to ship out 53 boxes of anything, the return address would be the "funny farm"! I had to ship 4 boxes this week, and managed to screw that up! LOL

Let me say this - if I ever owe you a trade or postage or anything, don't be shy about reminding me. And if I don't answer email, something is terribly wrong. Post something here to let me know.

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

I have to agree with Sundry. Don't know how you managed to mail out 53 boxes, Wandasflowers. I would have had to pull my hair out to get that one straight. I mailed out 20 before, but that was mailing out antique medicine bottles that I sold on Ebay. Believe me, that was a nerve racking experience on it's own. Don't think I'll ever do that one again

(Zone 4b)

Melissa I am a newbie too and never recieved postage from some one I guess I need to figure out if this is the person you folks are talking about? I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I'VE forgotten to send someone something in my new and exciting trade forum, if this is true...please who evr you are, e mail me. luv greta

"down the Shore", NJ(Zone 7a)

Melissa, I think you will find your bad experiences to be the exception rather than the rule. A shame you had a few right off the bat though. The suggestion to deal only with people who are registered is a good one. (Put subscribed members only in your initial post.) In the long run, you will find almost everyone here to be generous, so try not to let the bad apple(s) ruin it for you. Remember, that sometimes Life interferes with our fun...we think they could at least email, but who knows what dreadful problems have cropped up. I wish we had a feedback system, even if just a Positive one; this has been discussed previously and seems out of the question. Maybe someone should start a thread of his favorite traders? Problem then could be they might be inundated with requests! John

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

The only problem with a 'good trader' list, is that if someone does not get named, they may feel hurt. Not saying they were not a good trader, they just did not get mentioned. I saw it at the other place. I guess the easiest way to say someone sent you a great trade is just to post in mail call. Then it is there for whomever reads it. Ya think?? Or even post on the original trade post?? I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, just trying to think ahead. :)

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I'm wondering if somehow a trades completed section.... I know I had to email a few people to ask if they'd gotten my trades... and in one case, someone had to email me to ask if the trade they sent me had arrived. Something similar to "mail call" or maybe just using Mail call section to report trades received?
Heck, I don't know the answer.

I had 2 trades get lost on their way to me, but in both cases when I emailed the folks the trades were coming from, they immediately set out to make it right. Heck, maybe all my trades were mailed, and the post office just has it out for me??

Davena, your trade was FANTASTIC... don't worry!
I'm hoping I can dig through the mud tonight to finish your trade and get it mailed off to you! Our problem the past couple of weeks has been RAIN RAIN RAIN!!! It looks like rain right now!

To everyone who has completed trades with me, THANK YOU. Your promptness and generousity made my day on whatever day your package arrived... it's almost like Christmas in July and August!
Badseed, I was going to email you last night, but knew I'd be gone from home early today and wouldn't have a chance to check email. But, SOON... My classes start full force next Friday, and I know after that I'll be before that!

"down the Shore", NJ(Zone 7a)

Badseed, you are right about people who may feel hurt if left out... there are lots of good reasons why we don't do feedback, I guess. The big thing I always remember is someone from another site who deliberately set out to get boxes of plants from many people without sending anything in return. Another bad one was someone who had a fabulous trade list of seeds, and arranged many exchanges- but when it came down to it, asked us all to send her our seeds first, with a note to remind her of what she was to send... that red-flag kept me from trading and good thing!

Best is to probably trade with people you get to know here at daves, and remember 99% of your trades will be good ones! And of the remainder, the person may have an excellent reason they cannot complete the trade, or indeed even let you know. Sometimes, they will contact you unexpectedly much later to send your plants!

Albany (again), NY(Zone 5b)

Melissa - yes. You'll find the best and a few losers here. As I look through the names of people who have posted on this thread, I have several fond memories. Pardancanda noticed that I was interested in heirloom tomatoes and sent some as a surprise, hostas from him have a prominent place in my garden, he even surprised me with some castor seeds after my May disaster when I lost most of my seedlings. Azalea and the blue sky vine she tucked in a box of brugs that tiG was sending. Darius is "gladwoman" :), Wanda and flowox are WIP - waiting for packages and I owe them packages. There are SOOO many good people out here that I am humbly grateful to.

Flip side: I just endured having to chase someone down for months on money that I sent and he never sent anything - but, that was eventually resolved, to my great relief. Yep, Alyssum - same loon.

I think over time, there are many ways of finding out who is good for their word and who isn't. Watch the posts, messages back and forth. Go look in the co-op threads to see if the person paid or didn't pay. Look to see what threads might have been "started". Discreetly ask around. If the person is an unknown, don't let it be a total deterrent, just wait for their trades first (like was mentioned above on members only).

One thing that was NOT mentioned, which I think bears emphasis. If someone fails to trade - do something about it, privately ask your colleagues here - "IS THIS PERSON A PROBLEM". You'll either hear: Ohhhhh, no, this person's definitely reliable, maybe something is up! OR Stay away - person is a total loser. Maybe each person thinks they have individually been cheated, but if you start asking around, you might hear some: "oh, me too!", "Same here". These things can be asked quietly and privately, with dignity in case there are extenuating circumstances.

This is a point I want to make loud and clear - if there is a pattern of abuse, Terry and Dave should know. They want this to be a good trading environment. And, if people start speaking up about problems, then they will take action.

End of soapbox! Gotta love this place and all of the flowers and treats in my yard that are a direct result of many of you. I hope that in time, as I become established, I can reciprocate.

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

I too have had a bad experience with seeds when I hosted the seed RR. First one of them seemed to be lost with no replies from the person when I sent e-mails but it eventually showed back up. But then another got lost at a certain person's house and from what I have been told through e-mails, this person has done this to many others. The thing I'm ashamed about is that I actually stuck up for this person in a different situation and then I got burned myself by that very same person who I had defended before :(
The seeds never did make it to the last two people and I never did get an answer as to what happened as I've just been ignored about the subject. I didn't see this person post for a few weeks but now this person is back on here at DG, posting all over the place and acting like nothing happened. Ok, that was my bad experience.
If I ever promised anything to you and I haven't sent it (besided Carena, I "must get that african violet to her soon or she'll shoot me), please let me know. I really, honestly, forget too many things and then rack my brain to figure out what or who it is that I've forgotten, so I don't mind e-mails saying "hey, remember.........? are you still going to send it?"

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

The Trade - Tracker here on DG is a wonderful tool. Look in the box on the right of the page under your Tools. Dave has made it really easy to keep up with our trades, it's fun to look back on them too, helps to remind me of who sent me what, or vice versa. Now, just remember to fill it in when you send or receive something. You can even send an automatic message when your trade has been completed.

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

I think the trade tracker is a great idea but when you have a million and one things going through your head all day, every day, like I do (don't worry, I confuse myself often) it just seems to be a hassle to go to the page, fill everything in, then go back and make sure you check it off. I rather do my pencil and paper thing and have more time to pack the stuff I'm supposed to send. I try to make myself a folder in my email program that are items that need sent, items expected. Once I mail it, I delete the email from needing to send and once I receive something, I delete that one. Might not make sense to many but it works better for me. I tried Trade Tracker in the very beginning and it was a pain for me but all the power to ya if you can use it. Just not my thing ;)

Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

The trade tracker works for me, but I also send myself emails. I send myself emails for everything, it's the only way I can keep stuff straight.

hmmm, I need to go update my tracker now....


Georgetown, TX(Zone 8a)

Melissa, I do still owe you, and others. I am painfully aware of it, but I do have your canna, with green tops. The heat would fry them, so I just have to double up to make up for the fact that you will probably not get blooms in your zone this year. A pox on USPS!

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Aimee, you and I have been in contact all along. I don't mind waiting til you think it's safe to ship!

Sundry, I email myself too! It's good to know I'm not the only one! LOL

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

Ah Aimee......I swear her post office has it out for her and that's one of the reasons I have not mailed her the egg that I made her yet. Still trying to figure out how to send it as the UPS office claims they can't find her house and she lives just down the road from them........duh
I'm glad I get my mail but once I mailed something to Morp and it took 3 weeks via first class to get to her and she's only about 2 hours away.

Woodburn, OR(Zone 8a)

I've had good experiences with the few trades I've made, I know that for the most part, everyone here at DG is honest and generous, and I love to share when I can. People forget,or are busy with personal stuff, but that's how life is sometimes. I don't have a lot to share yet, my gardens are still new, but I'm working on it, and everything I do share is sent with love. and if I don't get anything in return I don't fret about it, I just think of it as "paying forward". And flowox, the only thing I'm going to shoot at you is xxx and OOO's!

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

Carena, you're a sweetheart. And that african violet that I have for you sure is getting bigger. You'll get a bigger one than expected when I mail it to
I'll get it out to you next week for sure. I'm sorry it's taken so long.

hmmmmm.........being shot with xxx's and OOO's.......wonder how that
oh..........tic tac tow (sp?)........I win....LOL

Kentwood, LA(Zone 8b)

I know it is very dissapointing to send something and the waiting for the mail to come to get the promised plant and it not show up. I am still waiting for some to show up. The bad part is when they will not answer a email or attempt an explination, that is when you start to get those bad feeling about the person. For the most part the people on here are honest and will send you what they promised to send

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

Hey my ears are burning!are you all talking about me?
I have only had one problem since I have been here,all others have been great!
I have learned so much here,I did not know how to send plants or seeds before,now that i have seen the ingenious ways folks ship I think I am getting it down.
I'm bad on memory!wish there was a way to download more space in my head,or something to fill the space!
since I have a new job with lots of hours,I can only ship on Sat.I had all boxes but one ready,I stood and looked at the ears for 20 mins,could not for the life of me remember where to ship it,had to get on the road,because only PO open is in the next county,when I got home I had an Email asking if it had been sent?LOL!now I write a big note by puter,next year I am getting one of those white boards with markers,I have never looked at my trade tracker,may have to try it,I'm bad on puters.
I guess what I'm saying is,If you feel I have missed or forgotten you,,please let me know,gosh i'd sure hate to be on anyones list as a bad trader!
Here's shooting XXX's and OOO's at all of you!

Hampstead, NC(Zone 8a)

Like all of you have had good and bad trades, gotten "stiffed", and have had excellent trades.
My problem now is how long do you wait to complete a trade?
I owe $2.65 in trade with Pastor Mark from way back in Spring. Have tried to contact him with no luck. So what would you suggest I do? I feel bad that I owe him.
This is another side of the coin.
Thanks for any suggestions.

Franklin, LA(Zone 9a)

Just like life interferes with good people sending trades, maybe life interfered with Pastor Mark.

I've seen people online disappear for months. Then you find out that something terrible happened in their lives that kept them distracted from their online life, or their computer went toes-up, or sometimes, that something wonderful happened in real life that consumed all of their attention for a while. Life happens.

I see he isn't a subscriber ... have you posted a thread with his name in the subject? He won't be able to read all the replies, just the first message. If his name is in the subject, surely he won't miss it.

If you've made every effort to get in touch, and can't, I wouldn't fret about it anymore. When he re-appears, he'll be able to see that you were trying. You can re-solve your issue then.

That's my take on it.


Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

i'm sorry to hear of your bad trades. i too have had this problem. i have a bad memory, from living in chronic pain. so i use the trade tracker. i also write in a note of those "not to trade with" if all avenue's have been exhausted in trying to contact them.
i refuse to live with the "fear" of a bad trade. so i look at every trade as a giving experience. if the person follows through and sends the trade, money, i feel blessed. if they do not, i know that i have done the right thing, non the less.
my gardens are a tribute to the members of dave's generosity. i started gardening 4 seasons ago and found dave's at the same time. what a blessing. i try to reciprocate to others here, when i can, in my own way. i feel that what goes around, comes around. it may not be giving to the same person who was generous to me, but to someone else who wants something "real bad". :)
i agree with most others here that after doing all that you can to contact this person, it is our responsability to contact dave or terry about this. how else will they know.
cudo's for your courage to start this thread. i'm sure it wasn't an easy decision.
hang in there girlfriend. debi z

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

Been there, some did not answer at all or sent all sorts of excuses or really bad trades (4 tiny,dead twigs), I have been recently been reminded to get postage first and will start using the trade tracker as well as my notebook.
Bad things happen to good people and some get behind ( I did when my brother died and also when very ill-but please keep on trading-it is a bummer that you got burned so early, but I have had so many wonderful trades and "met" such interesting people ( my social group) that the bad apples are more like a couple of bad raisins in the bottom of the barrel. I am still hoping for rain-by the way.

crossville, TN(Zone 7a)

Melissa, I too am a yearling here at DG. But these folks are the greatest!! I had a totally empty garden when I first signed on and now I have some of the most wonderful plants I have ever seen!! I'm sure there are some people out there who are out for themselves only but they have to be the "bad apples". And this barrel is FULL to running over with healthy fruit!!!;) So sorry for your bad experience but I bet it won't happen very often.


Akron, OH(Zone 10b)

Melissa, you and I have done some great trading over the last few weeks. Since I am a newbie too, I was leary of bad trades. But I have found only a few "preditory" surfers out in the community- and those you can pretty much weed out right off the bat. 99% of the members here are GENEROUS, to the extreme. More times than I can count I have been SHOCKED by the wonderful condition of the plants when they arrived and the little extras tucked into the box.
Gardeners have to be the best group of people on the whole.
It must be that nurturing trait, that makes them happy to know they have made someone very happy.


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