Online nurseries are handy because you can view hundreds of plants and prices without leaving your home – a major perk for many online shoppers. When it comes to certain items, online shopping
is risky to say the least, since you can see beautiful pictures at their website then receive something much less impressive when the package arrives.
Before the internet, if you were in the market for plants and flowers, you had to traipse down to the nearest nursery – if your town even had a nursery – to look through rows and rows of who knows what, hoping to find what you wanted. Internet shopping makes plant hunting easier physically but you have the disadvantage of seeing only pictures of perfect specimens, rather than the real plants you’ll receive.
How do you know, when you’re shopping for plants online, whether or not you’re dealing with a reputable company? One way is to get referrals from a friend or family member who has shopped at a particular online nursery online and been satisfied with their purchases. Seeing plants that someone else has purchased online may make it easier for you to give them a try.
Look around the site, particularly the “contact us” page, to see if they list a real telephone number and address of their business. Many online stores won’t list an address, and that doesn’t mean they’re not reputable, but ones that are willing to tell you exactly where they’re located seem even more upstanding. And, stores that refuse to allow you to call and talk to a real person can plant seeds of doubt as to whether or not they’re legitimate.
If there is a phone number listed, call it with a couple of questions about their products, just to make sure you are able to reach a real person and that they have any knowledge whatsoever about plants. Anyone can set up a website and sell plants or flowers but that doesn’t mean that the plants will be healthy and worth the money. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be. But, if you are able to talk to a representative, and they seem to know about plants, it warrants less cause for concern.
Compare prices at various online sites. If one place is extremely cheaper than another it could be a red flag. Sure, many companies get great wholesale deals and are able to pass the savings on to the public, but sometimes cheaper prices mean lower quality goods. That doesn’t necessarily mean that if someone has very cheap prices their goods aren’t top quality. And, some companies appear to have the cheapest prices until you see what it’ll cost you for shipping, where they try to make up for some of the lost money by charging in excess of the real shipping costs.
One place to go, in order to find out how other customers felt about the purchases they made at online nurseries, is a site called The Garden Watchdog. There are thousands of vendors listed along with thousands of customer reviews. The site even lists the top 30 companies, according to their ratings by former customers. This site provides a great service for those wishing to find a frequent provider of flowers and plants from the comfort of home.
If you’re still unsure about a site, but they have the prices and goods you want, try placing just a small order to see the quality of their plants firsthand. If you’re unsatisfied, make a return to check and see if they happily replace the merchandise or refund your money.
Purchasing products that formerly had to be seen in person is sometimes risky but being able to shop from home outweighs that risk for some people. Use caution whenever you make online purchases and do a little research before deciding from which company you’ll be doing business.