Ebay is 50 50 at best.......generally people don't know how to package palnts so they make it.
Buying plants online it best to find the source close to home.... Not sure where you live so I hard for me to tell you were to go.... Remeber to look at shipping cost because they are going to charge you the same for one plant as they would if you order 100 plants.
If you in the SE try Floridadriftwood.com
West Coast arazonia aqutics a good choice, aquariumplants.com even better
NE Petsolutions.com and Foster and Smith offer alot of standard plant and a few exotics.
All sell plants and know how to ship them.... never let a plant stay in the dark for more than 2 days they will melt. never order plant in the dead of winter witout paying for a heat pack. never order plants when you can have someone home to receave them, you don't want them sitting on your porch,
I order plants and livestock all the time online it the only way to get the plants I like....
If you have a good LFS in the area see if they can order them for you. Check the chain stores they sometimes have a few nice plants.
I think what he saying is to ship a plant correctly you need to package them. Just because you pay for shipping still doesn't mean that you not going to get it from USPS in an yellow enevolope. You take your chances when you buy from a priate person that has to ship it to you long distance, it 50/50. you save money on shipping
yes there's always a risk with the shipping conditions. There is also a seller on E-bay that is notorious for shipping wrong plants in a meat container in a yellow envelope, but his plants are so cheap and if you complain enough he'll refund your money - so people still buy from him, until e-bay shuts down his account for too many complaints. Then a couple month later a 'new' seller comes along with the exact same setup - and same town
Bayleesfish on aquabid offers free shipping on most of his plant auctions but not all of them anymore. He packs them very well and he will not disappoint you in what you receive for your money. I have dealt with Cory on a few occasions for personal plants and have even ordered plants for a growth contest for my old aquarium club while I was the AHAP chairman. His prices are hard to beat for the amount and quality IMO.
I also agree with djrichie on the aquariumplants.com, my old club has ordered from them as well and the plants were great quality and they were reasonable with pricing and shipping was timely.
I don't have any commercial interest with either of the above mentioned just speaking from personal experience. Do not assume someone is going to offer you bad service or plants because of free shipping. I have been selling plants on aquabid for years and have offered "free" shipping on several of my auctions and what I did is just include the price of shipping into the price for buy it now or started the auction with what I wanted to get with shipping included and I have never had a customer complain. The best thing you can do is read the sellers feedback before you decide to buy from them.
if you are still ooking, look into a seller called bayleespapa on aquabid. He packages well and has good deals on plants and substrate. The only thing i would say is tell him exactly the plants you wnat prior to his shipping as i had some bad luck with some liverworts and other things that my tanks were not fit for. although some of the stuff was top notch. so you take a gamble, also make sure you are there to sign off for the package so that it doesnt sit out and get temperature shock to the plants. Stay away from international sellers and larger sellers as they usually like to get a little more buck and give a little less bang...
There is a wonderful source on eBay who will even do a bit of calculating and helping on the shipping costs. He is under Mikeswetpets. I have purchased from him for many years and his plants are wonderful and of great quality.
I live in the midwest and he is in New York and they always get to me in wonderful shape without having to pay for the expensive shipping that I would have on some of the sites I have ordered from like: AquariumPlants.com Largest online sales / service site for the live aquarium plants & aquarium products community.. Their plants are wonderful but in order to get the live guarantee you have to pay a fortune for shipping. They do carry the new bio-spira type product for the freshwater tank though and it is the only online place I have found it.
Since it does not have to be shipped under refrigerated conditions like the old product there is a savings there but be prepared to still pay a bunch for it.
Let's face it shipping is high all over and the plants you buy in stores carry a great big chance of bringing home all kinds of snails and I have gotten some horribly infested plants from vendors I did not know on eBay and even ran aground of not getting a shipment at all from a vendor selling there as it was coming through Customs and was denied for being infested. Thank goodness I had paid through PayPal so I did get my money back. Never again. I am sticking with my friend Mike @ Mikeswetpets. He may even have a website, I have heard that one was forthcoming. I believe: Redirecting to secure server...
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