hungry carnivores wrote:Customs. They're a necessary evil but they do suck for plant orders. I've received those "Rose of jericho" things from China and to get around a phytosanitary, they dried them and declared them as "Dried flower". Went right through. So maybe FTS could ship seeds/dried propagules?
I honestly don't know if the majority of the problems we had happened with customs or not. The tracking information usually indicated when packages were delivered to customs. Some did get stopped there. However, some cleared customs and then the tracking updating stopped. I think either the mail personnel in some countries is corrupt or the people ordering from us just lied about whether or not the seeds were actually delivered. The same goes with the TC cultures I sent overseas.
It is certainly easy enough to get most packages through and I do chance it for trusted friends and people I've dealt with in the past. But I am not taking on any new customers and won't ship small-dollar orders overseas at all. It's just not worth the hassle as we've got plenty of business in the US to keep us going most of the year.
MikeB wrote:International shipping of seeds isn't a big problem. I shipped a bunch of flytrap seeds to a guy in Slovenia a couple months ago, took about 10 days to arrive via First Class Mail.
This is absolutely true and I'd guess somewhere on the order of 90% of our seeds that we've shipped internationally have been delivered. I've probably shipped over 1000 orders to nearly every country in the world at this point. There are certainly a few "problem" countries though. And sometimes you end up with people who simply want to scam on the international level. We sell out our FTS Venus flytrap seeds every year (except last year, which I donated to the FTC Seed Bank), so there's no reason for me to risk shipping overseas and losing money when we have virtually no problems shipping within the US.