Every grower of plants has an occasional order
where most of the plants are ready but one or more aren't ready. Here,
one in every 50 orders has a plant that's not ready. It's really not
And it's not a problem on large orders.
We can usually work around delaying a 2nd box to cover the 'not ready'
plants on large orders. It's when 1-2 plants aren't ready on small to medium orders
8 or less plants. There simply aren't sufficient funds within the
Shipping and Handling paid to cover a 2nd box.
Up thru 2007, we shipped all back orders, even
one plant, at our expense but a cost analysis of this at the end of 2007
showed that when we did this, particularly on a small order, shipping a
single extra plant, cost us the profit on the entire order and sometimes
more depending on how far away the customer was. Our accountant was very quick to point this out
this was illogical.
"Well, isn't it your fault when plants you've sold
aren't ready?" you might ask.
Sometimes, when a plant isn't ready at ship
time, it is actually, in some way, our fault. Often, however, when
plants we've put online for you to order aren't ready, it's most often due to things
outside our control: delay of plugs from a supplier, plugs arriving
younger/smaller than expected, really lousy weather that's slowed a crop
down or other things that would have to be blamed more on Mother Nature than
us. Based on 30+ years experience, we can make a very, very good
estimate at how long a plug will take to become a rooted plant BUT we can
never discount the weather/sun or delays from wholesalers in that process. Sun and temperature
can throw our predictions right out the window!
Starting in 2008 we opted to give the
customer some options up front which should make the problem of 1-2 plants
not ready on small orders at ship time
less of a problem.
"Why don't you just delay the entire
order?" you might ask.
Succinctly put, it's just not that easy! Unfortunately, when pulling thousands of
plants for shipment for the next week, the Pullers
don't know that an order is missing a plant until they start to collate the
plants from the various houses into orders. At that point, we can't
afford to put the plants back in their various 6-7 growing houses and then
re-pull them the next week. And there's insufficient space to hold
part of an order over
in the packing greenhouse and/or the light in that medium shade temporary
packing house isn't appropriate for holding them that long, so they must ship once they're pulled.
Occasionally we can delay the entire order,
but not often: Obviously if 6-7 or less of the exact same plant
aren't ready, we just reschedule the order. Or if 6-7 of the same plant
ready but two that were ready and pulled came from a nearby house
(rather than 1/4 mile away where some of our houses are), we can put
the two plants back. It's the reverse that's the problem -- 6-7 plants
plants ordered, pulled from many different houses and 1 isn't ready. That's where the problem is
-- a lot of plants coming from a lot of places and 1 or 2 not ready.
At that point, we have to ship and make a decision about the 1-2 plants not
If it's 3 or more plants not ready and/or the
order has 9 or more plants, there's sufficient S&H money from your order to cover (or nearly cover)
shipping an additional box and we just Back Order the Plants. We use
the profit on the unavailable plants plus what you've paid for S&H
originally to cover shipping the 2nd box. Obviously, we only break even
on the later plants, but it seems like reasonable customer service.
Your choice then is to tell us what to do
when it's 1-2 plants lightly rooted in a small to medium order (8 plants or less).
Of course, if they're not rooted at all vs. lightly rooted, we of course,
wouldn't ship them
These are the choices during Check Out:
Just select your preference.