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16 positives
8 neutrals
14 negatives


Neutral IlhadoPico
(4 reviews)
On Jun 4, 2017, IlhadoPico Sao Roque do Pico,
Portugal (Zone 11) wrote:

Posted on May 20, 2017, updated June 4, 2017
I am a hobbyist (plant collector), not a reseller or wholesaler. I live in the E.U. (Azores like Madeira is a climate to grow many tropical species) so I don\'t need any certificates. My order for 60 seeds (3 varieties of tropical palms x 20 seeds each for success of germination of at least 1 or 2 seeds, of course with much better germination rate expected, thus fresh seeds requested) was placed online on 21-APR-2017.

Our summers are not hot, so I need to have seeds by mid May as the least, so I can store them in a tiny greenhouse for up to 3 month germination, so I hoped that almost one month is enough to receive these regular, seemingly readily available seeds.

My last order with RPS was a year ago for Bismarckia nobilis (60 seeds) out of which 3 seeds germinated totalling in a 5% germination rate. Bismarckia usually germinated 50% to 75% from my past experiences, without any problems and grows very fast. That was an expensive experience as the seeds are expensive cost me about 1€ each or more. Yet I decided with no other source in sight I will take a chance and order more seeds from Tobias W. Spanner - this year.

I waited patiently thinking my seeds are on the way.

On 8-MAY-2017 I emailed them, and on 9-MAY-2017 I received an email:

\"thank you very much for your mail. Unfortunately there was a delay in processing your order. The seeds will be shipped this week so they should arrive in a few days time. Sorry for the delay ...\"

On 16-MAY-2017, almost a MONTH after I placed an order I receive an email noting that they are unable to charge my card. OK, so I assume they took almost a month to get me FRESH seeds as I requested. And the seeds were not shipped \"this week\". Yet they did not comment on the freshness on the seeds. I checked my card and I think it is my fault, because the card may be only good for my country, and not for the entire EU or the world.

On 16-MAY-2017 (4 days ago) I immediately within an hour sent them a bank wire from my computer and emailed them confirmations and even a PDF with proof of my bank wire and asked them to mail my seeds ASAP as I don\'t want to be late for germination. The bank noted that the wired money will be received the next day.

I emailed them to all possible working email adresses and of course to [email protected]. My software confirmed delivery and receipt of those emails pon their end. NO RESPONSE so far or confirmation of my shipped order. I don\'t want to lose entire year because of this, I hope they already mailed my seeds.

Despite that their site FAQ or Q&A notes that for small packets they accept only credit cards, and despite I offered them to pay with a different credit card, with no response to that email, I read their email states:

\"Alternatively you can pay for the order by transferring the total in the order confirmation below to our account\"

Therefore I quickly sent them a bank wire transfer (€32) without hesitation as I need the seeds here ASAP.

Again, I am a repeat customer and I have purchased from them before with mixed results: one time wrong species germinated (Washingtonia robusta seeds germinated as W. filifera), in another case as per above a 5% germination of seeds that usually germinate for me at least with a 50% rate and another case, I think in 2015 some of the very tropical seeds arrived already germinating as noted, which was a pleasant surprise that year, although the seeds did not make to grow, probably because my climate is not tropical enough.

So, I hope that they already mailed my seeds and they just neglectful to their (repeat) customers. Yet a brief message \"Your seeds have been mailed on ....\" would suffice. No proper communication earns them NEGATIVE feedback, so far.

If they keep my money (as the other reviewer noted) and never ship my seeds I will have to post this information in many other locations on the internet. It is too painful to lose entire year for germination because of some LOUSY \"service\" that can\'t communicate fairly with their especially with repeat customers.

REMARK: I may update this to Neutral or even Positive depending on the outcome of my order.

On June 4th, 2017, IlhadoPico changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

UPDATE: 3-JUN-2017: Seeds received, each packet containing about 5 extra bonus seeds. A short email with two words "SEEDS MAILED" or even an automated system message would have sufficed. Description of received seeds:

All 100% Hyophorbe seeds (both lagenicaulis and verschaffeltii) sank to the bottom in water. Good.

13 Pritchardia pacifica seeds sank to the bottom, while other 13 were clearly rattling and floating and looked different (with "noses"). I doubt the rattling-floating seeds are of any use, but I will try to germinate them separately.

Neutral silybear
(1 review)
On Oct 2, 2013, silybear Praha,
Czech Republic wrote:

More orders from this seller.
First, lets say 3 orders were OK, I ordered under "new" cycad seeds. Came nice fresh, heavy seeds, about 70-90 pct sprouting success. I was happy.
But last two orders were just bad, once I have got 12 cycad seeds, where 11 of them were for sure very old and light and floating on water - no way the person who was packaging seeds didnt notice it. These were not noted "new" on the website, so I guess they dont care about old seeds to get rid of and happily selling them on and on. Not only my impression.
When I sent 3 emails about this order, no response at all. Funny was, altough no response to my complaint, few days after I sent new order email to them and right away they sent me email with payment instruction. So no response to problem, but imediate response to another order request.
And last order 20 seeds of cycas, even under "new", they were very light and floating in water - I have suspection they just sell the old seeds as new ones, OK I can be wrong, but since the very same species I ordered year before was very fresh and heavy seeds, year later, same seeds under "new" were light and till yet, none of them germinated yet (still keeping in process).
So, I had strong need to add my comment. Earlier orders were fine, latest bad.

On Oct 2, 2013, responded with:

"On Dec 3, 2013 3:57 PM, responded with:

I am sorry about your problem with this batch of Cycas. Next time you place an order, please make sure to mention this in the "comments" field and we will be happy to replace them."

Neutral NorthSC
(10 reviews)
On Jun 30, 2013, NorthSC North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Posted on June 30, 2013, updated June 30, 2013
3 years ago I ordered several different palm seeds, a very small order and it took some time, but I received it all in good order. Three years later, now, I found out when the palms grew up a little bit that one of the seeds turned out to be something else. Not a big deal as I still have the palm, but I needed this particular seeds for a research to compare to the others, how they germinate, how they grow etc. I do not leave negative feedback, because seeds were received and no problem except the above problem.

Also, a totally different issue: recently I went to their website to leave a feedback about Bismarckia nobilis which is being sold by as zone 8B palm and it is impossible to grow that particular palm tree in zone 8B nor in 9A and it probably is impossible to grow anywhere else as it dies no matter how perfect conditions are. An extremely hard to transplant palm. So I left appropriate 3 star feedback on germination page at about this Bismarckia Palm (sold by another company), but the feedback was not posted at RPS. Only 5 and some 4 star feedbacks are there. Now I question as well whether some of those seed germination comments are honest. So it's not a big deal, but a word of caution.

On June 30th, 2013, NorthSC added the following:

P.S. I meant not "one of the seeds" but "one packet of the seeds, all 10 seeds in that particular packet of that particular palm genus germinated and grew up as something else. Not the right one. I was doing all that research in 3 years on the wrong batch of palms.
On Jun 30, 2013, responded with:

"On Dec 3, 2013 3:45 PM, responded with:

Thanks for your comments. I think it would be fair if you elaborated a bit on what you ordered and what came out of the seeds you received and how you determined that is was something else. Palms often look very different when young, compared to a mature plant.

A comment about transplanting success with Bismarckia is obviously misplaced in our germination comments. If you bought the palm at, advertised with incorrect information, perhaps you should comment there?! I would also like to mention that we are in no way affiliated with"

Neutral franmor
(3 reviews)
On Jan 10, 2012, franmor puebla,
Mexico wrote:

Posted on October 30, 2008, updated January 10, 2012
Very bad service, MORE than a year and I have not received nor the seeds I paid, neither a refund of my money, they prefer to ignore the many emails (about 30) I've sent them.

Mr. S. Möller aswered me one time 5 five months ago, he offered a refund and told me "we will keep you informed" and since then nothing more has happened, and they still ignore the many mails I send them asking about my order. Be very careful if you buy them.

order 1146-96-31960

Total US$: 203.00

On January 10th, 2012, franmor changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

On february 2009 I finally received a compensation, new seeds in good condition, and an apologise of Mr. Spanner. That is why I'm changing my comment from negative to Neutral.
Neutral B1ZZYL1ZZY
(2 reviews)
On Aug 18, 2006, B1ZZYL1ZZY Javea,
Spain (Zone 10a) wrote:

My Order :

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your order dated 02-07-2006 at 00:57. We hereby confirm receipt of your order as detailed below. (Please keep this e-mail for your records, as you will not receive a written invoice with your delivery):

My first message to Rare Palm Seeds:

Dear Service

I have not recieved my order yet. It has been 10 days. Please could you let me know the status of it. Order details below.

Many thanks

Response from Rare Palm Seeds:

Thank you very much for your mail. Unfortunately there will be a delay in processing your order as Mr. Spanner is abroad travelling at the moment. The seeds will be shipped at the end of July.

Best regards,


All goods deliverable from the warehouse are generally dispatched within seven working days. Once dispatched, delivery within the E. U. takes 3 – 5 working days, and for products delivered to other countries up to 4 weeks. Please do not submit delivery status queries before the expiry of these periods. With inquiries about your order, please be sure to include the order number and the purchaser's name.

If your parcel is damaged on arrival, we recommend that you make an immediate claim for damages to the delivery agent and have this claim confirmed in writing. This is the simplest way of making a claim.

Second message to Rare Palm Seeds at the end of July:


I am writing with regards to the order I place for some palm seed. My concern is that the viability will be affected now as they should be very fresh when sown. Please let me know what you will be doing about this. I am paying quite a ot of money for these seeds and I want them to be in top condition. Can you let me know when these seeds were harvested?

I hope you understand my concerns.

No Reply............

Last message from me 06-Aug

Please can you let me know the status of my order placed on 2nd July. You did not reply to my last e-mail and I am left wondering if I am ever to received my seeds. Please can you tell me what is happening.
No reply to this as I assume the order had been despatched and I recieved the seeds a couple of days later.

They should learn to communicate with the customer not leave them hanging wondering if they have just kissed goodbye to their money. I am not giving a negative because I think that what Tobias is doing is very good but the problem is one of communication........Please, Rare Palm Seeds take note and listen to your customers without whom you do not have a business.

On Aug 18, 2006, responded with:


On Aug 19, 2006 9:06 AM, added:

Our apologies, we are aware that our communication is not always 100% efficient. We are trying to reply to every message, but sometimes we are simply overwhelmed with the amount of e-mails we receive (and that already excludes all the spam messages). We try to concentrate on getting out your orders. Please take into account that we are shipping out hundreds of orders a week, to nearly 150 countries around the world, all with different import regulations that require attention. We handle large quantities of perishable, difficult-to-handle and even more difficult to obtain palm seeds in a large variety that is second to none for good reason. Our website is the most popular palm site on the internet and naturally requires a lot of maintenance as we would like to keep it there and have the best information on palms available for everyone.
Rarepalmseeds is just a small company with 8 employees. Our communication is not outsourced to some call center in a far away place and hiring and training more people to answer all the e-mails we receive is a serious cost factor that will reflect on the cost of seeds you buy.
We think we can offer a good compromise between cost and service and hope you will be easy on us even if you are not getting a reply to every e-mail as you should. Its not because we are rude or lazy, just very busy."

Neutral basilio
(4 reviews)
On Jul 24, 2006, basilio Athens,
Greece (Zone 9b) wrote:

I ordered about seven different seed small packs from this company. My order arrived after 17-18 days, which I consider logical. I must say that ALL the packs contained more than 10 seeds, which is the quantity of the normal pack, and one even contained about 18 seeds (great). Now, after 2 months that I've placed my seeds in containers and with constant ambient heat between 22 - 35C, the results are the following :

Sabal causiarum : 11 germinated out of 14.
Bangalow Palms : 4 germinated out of 14
Arenga Engleri : 4 germinated out of 12
Roystonea Regia : 3 germinated out of 16
Roystonea Borinquena : none out of 18
Euterpe Edulis : none out of 15
Musa Sikkimensis banana : 2 out of 14

I can't say that the germination results are too great, but seem more or less ok, although I expecting roystonea borinquenas to have germinated (at least some) by now. The rest of the seeds appear in good condition though, so I'll keep waiting.

One thing I have to say is that just minutes after I placed my order in their site, I emailed them asking if I could add another seed pack in my order. They replied that I could and I replied right back asking to add a phoenix rupicola. But my addition never arrived.

Overall, though, I'm fairly satisfied from my first purchase and I will definitely buy again from them in the future.

On March 2nd, 2007, basilio changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

My second attempt to purchase seeds from this company was not as a pleasant experience as the first one. I placed my order on 7th of January and after about 45 days it had not arrived yet. I emailed them asking for information on my order, but they never replied. I emailed them again a week later, but zero response. So I called them on the phone and the lady that answered told me that my order had been shipped but she wasn't sure when. She also said that the delay was probable due to Christmas' busy period, to which I replied that my order was placed AFTER Christmas and New Year's Day, so this could not be an excuse. When I told her that it was almost 2 months since I placed the order, she said that it must had been lost (!) and she added that they are going to replace it. So, after having spent two whole months waiting for the original order, I'm now waiting for the replacement, hoping that it won't take another two months to arrive FROM GERMANY TO GREECE (a mere two and a half hours flight!). They sure have a great collection of seeds, but if my order doesn't arrive within the next couple of weeks, I won't buy from them again and I'll have to reconsider my rating even more.
On March 21st, 2007, basilio added the following:

This is an update to my previous comment : Seeds finally arrived today, that is 2 and a half months after my original order. On the package, the postage date is 16 of March, so it left Germany just 5 days ago, although rarepalmseeds' claims to have shipped it on 21st of February...can it be? Well, whatever. Seeds came as ordered, they look ok and I must add that a pack of chambeyronia macrocarpa includes 15 seeds, all of them already germinated, which I find a welcome suprise, either they were sent to me germinated by purpose or they popped on the way to Greece (size of roots, though, indicates that they were probably sent germinated).
I won't change my rating for now (neutral) and, given their great catalogue, maybe I'll give them another try in the future. But I really hope their service improves (as well as their habit of never answering to customers, unless their comments are public).
On Jul 24, 2006, responded with:


On Mar 3, 2007 7:12 AM, added:

Your original order was shipped mid January, not an unfair delay. After your call, a replacement was shipped on Feb. 21st, which should arrive any day. Please blame any shortcomings beyond this on the Greek postal system."

Neutral elHoagie
(4 reviews)
On Sep 1, 2005, elHoagie Altadena, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Only made one order to this company about 1 year ago. My germination rate exceeded/met expectations with all species. Downside was that it took about 2 months to receive my seeds.

Neutral amorning1
(6 reviews)
On Aug 10, 2005, amorning1 Islamorada, FL wrote:

OVERCHARGED ME. I ordered $100 worth of palm seeds and my CC was chgd $174.96 !!! I was expecting MAYBE $25 for phyto and MAYBE $15 for shipping global priority. I haven't got my seeds yet, but i'm terrified to think all that money.....down the drain.....If ....IF I get decent germination I might change my rating to Neutral. I will NEVER give out my CC number ever again! Man.....buying seeds is a gamble. You're gambling they will sprout.

On August 15th, 2005, amorning1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

On August 16th, 2005, amorning1 added the following:

If I get good germination I will change the rating to positive, I'll let you know in about a month.

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