Possum Creek Herb Farm

whitedog1April 18, 2013

Fair Warning! I am a small herb retailer. I ordered some plants from Possum Creek Herb Farm. The plants were reasonable in price I I felt I would be able to resell at a good profit and stay under the cost of the same type plants at big box retailer. Alas it was not to be. The shipping charges were unbelievable. According to UPS, the shipping charge of over $65,00 was for the eqivalant of 125 lbs of goods. I don't think 36 plants would weight 125 lbs. When I canceled the order, they charged me a $35.00 restocking fee. Maybe their plants are so reasonable because they actually make their money off bogus shipping charges or restocking fees after you cancel the order. To further add injury, they are refunding me with a check, not back to my credit card. They can take a credit card for payment but not for refund. Seems a bit shady to me. Beware - Stay clear of Possum Creek Herb Farm!!!!!!

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bardamu_gw

No offense but to me it sounds like you had dollar signs in your eyes before proper planning. Next time, start plants from seeds and you'll make out like a bandit. Also a lot of what you said is written plainly on their website, by the way, like the restocking fee.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:43PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Bardamu...I think It is wise for anyone going into plant selling to approach it with dollar signs in their eyes.

I've been researching the feasibility of establishing a local market niche as a seller of medicinal herbs. There are some perennials that thrive here, and others that I would have to baby along to get a reasonable crop...without a greenhouse that is not practical. But one of the basic lessons I've taken away from the GW market gardening forum is that customers like variety.

I can see why a small seller would buy plugs, starts, and non rooted cuttings from other vendors, and concentrate their làrger energies on the "gravy" crops.

Jan

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:51AM
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HerbieTX

It seems unfair to badmouth them for policies that they make clear on their website. Some years back I lived in Tennessee and bought a large batch of plants from Possum Creek for personal planting, not resale. I recall that the shipping was a little expensive, but the plants were packed with care, and were of excellent quality. They had an interesting variety of plants, and the plants thrived. In particular, I had a circle garden of all their varieties of lavender, which flourished beautifully. I have a good local source for plants, or I absolutely would buy from Possum Creek again.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 2:37PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I'm sorry you got burned. Seems like an outrageous money for shipping. I don't care what their loyal fans say. I prefer to grow my own from seeds, but it isn't always possible.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Whitedog needs to do a better job at researching his/her purchases.....that's an essential part of doing business. You cannot make those kinds of mistakes and expect to stay in business.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:49PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Their posted shipping charge policy states that they add $5 to the cost of the first plant and $1 to each thereafter. I would have expected 36 plants shipping cost to be $40.00, not $65.

And, ,maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any information about a restocking policy. If OP canceled the order immediately, the plants were never removed from stock to begin with.

Jan

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:58PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Either way, I hope the OP contributes more to our forum than venting. I personally dislike it when people join GW just for the sake of griping about some vendor they rightly or wrongly have a grudge with. I think the viewpoints of a small herb retailer would be interesting and I'm sure they could offer much advice.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:05PM
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bardamu_gw

Very funny.. yes, I think wanting to make money is probably a good basic strategy for wanting to be and stay in business. I also agree planning and research pays off.

I took a second look at that website. It is actually very confusing. I actually thought the OP order was wholesale.. now that I realize it was only 36 plants purchased, below the 100 minimum wholesale policy, the OP makes more sense.

1 They do retail and wholesale sales,
2 The web cites a $35 restocking fee notice for the wholesale orders that have a minimum of 100 plants.
3 And it says at the bottom of the retail page: Wholesale and Retail shopping share a cart. Retail shipping is calculated through the cart. Wholesale shipping is manually calculated and customer is notified.

Because the OP states less than 100 plants were purchased which is the minimum allowed for wholesale, this should have been a retail order, yet he was charged wholesale shipping and wholesale return policy. There is something wrong here.

Have to agree the website is not as clear as it should be. Seems like the kind of business I'd have to speak with the vendor before making the first purchase to understand everything.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:44PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The policies for the wholesale buyer are clearly stated, and not the same for the retail customer.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:53PM
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PossumCreek

I am here to address the complaint placed by Whitedog1. I know her as My Imagination a company located in WI. She was a new customer of mine and we did not have any interaction prior to her placing of her order.
1. The order was placed on January 31, 2013 for 72 plants (not the 36 she is stating in her complaint). On said order the plant total came to $108 with shipping in the amount of $65.20.
2. Shipping is calculated to the PENNY according to the size of the boxes (there would have been 3), weight of each box and the zone it was shipping to. The shipping company sets the shipping rate not Possum Creek Herb Farm. Let me be very clear about this next part......the shipping was calculated at the time the order was placed. The shipping company INCREASED their rates on or about the first of March as they do EVERY year. I did NOT go back to her order or any order and INCREASE the shipping. I absorbed that increase and did NOT extend it to the customer as I have every right to.Also, remember the order was placed at the end of January. The order was not canceled until 4/18/13 because of the shipping charges? The same shipping charges that were on the order for almost three months or more? Every customer receives a copy of one of our orders at the time they place the order. No communication was made until 4/17/13 when she began questioning the shipping.
3. The customer ordered from the wholesale portion of my website because she was able to provide a tax id number saying she was reselling the plants. Great! If you will note on my wholesale page it clearly states that if any wholesale order is canceled that a $35.00 restocking fee will be held from the refund. Let me explain why for those of you that have replied to this complaint. This order was placed and plants were grown against the order. That is how wholesale is done in the plant world. The grower takes the chance that the customer will take possession of the order at the time the customer specified. This customer said she did not have a greenhouse, lived in zone 3 or 4 and could I ship as late as possible. First week in June was the chosen shipping week. She was charged a deposit and then the balance plus the shipping was charged near the end of March. The plants were grown and the order was complete. I was just waiting for the all clear to ship according to her specifications. So, when a wholesale order is canceled I think it is quite fair to retain a restocking deposit against the costs I incurred growing the specified plants in the first place. Note: I do not retain a restocking fee on retail plants.
4. Customer complained that I refunded her order with a check instead of back to her credit card. All credit card transaction companies charge fees for incoming funds or for outgoing refunds. Company policy is to refund with a company check because many times it's quicker for the customer and I am not incurring any extra fees.
5. Everything was clearly stated on the website. Sometimes it is good to read the print and if there is a question PRIOR to ordering contact the company.
I have been growing and selling quality herbs for over 15 years and this is the first public complaint I felt I had to respond to because there were so many indiscrepancies in the complaint.
So to wrap this up once and for all because I am not responding again to this complaint or to this woman. You were charged fairly for shipping. In fact, you got a deal on shipping. You stated in your email to me that you would have had to raise your plant prices to over $7 per plant to recoup the shipping and overhead. 72 plants aren't going to help you much with your overhead and each plant would have shipped for less than a buck. You could have charged your customers about $3.50 or so per plant and made a nice little profit. Shame really because these were really nice plants. Full sized and ready to go into someone's garden or a container. I grow herbs. I leave the shipping rates to those that do that for a living. Thank you for your time.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:26PM
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