eBay seller...

Discussion in 'Maples' started by ColbyTrio, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

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    Well, Sam, you asked for comments so here's one from me --

    I'm sure you're a swell person and an honorable seller, but I wish you would stop using this forum to promote yourself. Most boards of this type prohibit commercial sellers from advertising, and I wish this board had a similar policy. Or perhaps it does, and the policy is simply not being enforced.

    Please.
     
  2. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    I've taken Sam up on her hold until Spring deal (shirasawanum 'Garden glory'.) I also acquired a robust 'Aratama' last spring from Eastfork and a 'Purple Ghost' last fall. I've not taken her up on the 15% discount -- she's sent me sweet plants!

    Ebay is a good for buying small, hard to locate plants. It also allows you to develop skills cultivating young maples without too much grief if you screw up or the tree is a lemon.

    I think it's legit for Sam to mention Eastfork here. I reason that it is good for gardening to have an open and candid exchange and if Eastfork was not all it claims to be she'd be set straight right away. We all benefit from the exchange of experiences and information.
    I'd appreciate hearing from some of the other vendors we all know about. Not just what's available and business practices but observations and cultural info.

    Gil
     
  3. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

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    I have no problem with Sam mentioning Eastfork, nor with her discussing observations and cultural info. It's the constant self-promotion that gets old. If she's got a great business, then satisfied customers like you can sing her praises.
     
  4. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    I agree with let the satisfied customers do the talking. Yet i haven't picked up on any constant self-promotion. I think you'll find that the moderators are swift in addressing that type of issue and keeping the forum on track.
     
  5. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I am surprised by the criticism levelled at Eastfork here because I have never noticed a 'buy this from me' approach from Sam, and this particular thread was in fact inviting comments on e-bay selling
    Ah well ... we live and learn .......
     
  6. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

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    I don't want to sound like too much of a Grinch, but if I wanted to spend the time I could supply quotes from several different threads in which Sam has made a point of promoting her own business. It just gets old. And on other boards, it wouldn't be allowed.

    I'm not suggesting that she leave -- just that she ought to think about toning it down. If I want to see commercial advertising, I can go to the commercial web sites.
     
  7. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Promoting youir business and offering something for sale on this forum are two entirely different things
    I just happen to think you are wrong
     
  8. amazondoc

    amazondoc Active Member

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    That's okay. Sam asked for comments, she got comments from both sides. :-)
     
  9. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    There was a previous comment that we should support merchants that use this forum. Sam was apart of this conversation from the get go and this prompted her to reply in the manner that she did, more like a good will jester?

    Read before you bleed, I know knee jerk responses got us where we are and I am sure no one means to be as negative as it seems.

    and see my posted in the Maple Society's Forum on how to bid on eBay and how you can call all the shots. To be sure eBay doesn't what you to know about this well known secret, which I call, how not to bid on eBay yet always be winner, that is if you want to be.

    We should buy locally if the tree is verifiable to be sourced locally : ) before we turn to a tree on the other side of the world. Albeit I have a fetish for brown trucks and brown boxes that that say do not crush! live plants! My postman has been trying to get into my back yard for two years and it is still pilled high with my brown boxes. I didn't proof this so if you know my english well so let me know if my adverb is in the wrong place or what is an adverb.
     
  10. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi guys,

    I asked for feedback and I think you are right - no more self-promotion. My maples do speak for themselves. But one last comment before I stop talking about my babies - yes that is how I treat each and every maple, sorry guys, but this is my passion and therefore I am passionate about having other maple lovers get the best value for their money. I started 25 years ago because I couldn't afford retail, so I got a wholesale license and I still couldn't afford to buy all the cultivars I saw. Then I met Talon Buchholz and I really got passionate. I can't compete with large nurseries so I concentrate on the rare and unusual - my niche'. I discount my maples more than I should, at least that is what Talon tells me, but I can't help it. I am a softy. Thanks all from me.

    Poetry to Burn - now I know who you are.
     
  11. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    Sam - I think that this is a very gracious response. While no one wants the site to veer towards the commercial (seems to invite spam, etc), having input from nursery owners is invaluable. Look for a PM about my latest wishlist.
     
  12. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Paxi
     
  13. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    It used to be that I had a great deal to say about this topic, but now, it seems more of a common sense sort of operation. The old "burn me once..." sort of deal. Yet I can say I have been burned more than once--so who's fault is that?

    There are some very nice people in maples, as there have always been, and when you find someone who truly loves the plant you have found a friend. I find myself relieved that I propagate a few plants now and have the opportunity to trade plants and scion wood with others that have or share a similar desire and passion. Not to say that to love maples one has to propagate them as a hobby or what have you, but it really changes the game and makes you happy that you are not completely trapped on the consumer-end of maples these days. It gives a guy some options.

    Even Talon's liners need some care, and Sam is doing a very smart thing by giving them extra care, potting them up, addressing potential issues and then trying to pass on a better product to her customer. Not to be plugging her, but she is doing what very few resellers do--when she can't create the perfect product herself--she tries to make an existing product better. That is the passion that we all benefit from. I will second her statement about traveling around the Oregon-Washington area looking for larger rare and specialty maples in good condition--it would be less painful just to burn your gas money--but the search continues.

    At first it would seem that eBay is the source of problematic maple sales and then one might turn to the internet for those that resell liners and make it appear that they are growing their own product when they are just passing off another persons maple. But then when you have some of your worst experiences with people established in maples or from those that advertise in the Maple Society Newsletter, you realize it is a character issue. One of personal values and ideals. You just have to find the right people, and to do that you just have to get burned. And even at that, it would seem that you might do well with one seller and I might do poorly and the pattern might always be that way--when we really interact with people in maples it is amazing the personalities that come out and how quickly we find out who we can have common ground with and who we cannot see eye to eye with. It is important to know that you are getting the truth (not a truth) when you ask questions and people need to stand behind their plant and their word. Pretty basic stuff.

    And Richard, you are darn right that a standard, regional or vigorous, strong, disease-free rootstock wouldn't hurt a bit. If we could have it produced in a boiling dry inferno it would be all the better. Until then, we just might have to watch the canker-ridden green stuff people use these days kill off one maple after another.
     
  14. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well said Galt :)
     
  15. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  16. greenZ

    greenZ Member

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    I bought several Japanese Maples on eBay last year. About two maples from various sellers. My worst plants came from Cal Maples. What a joke! The plants are small and "half-baked." The leaves were eaten by some kind of invisible bug. Yet they dare sent them to me thinking it's okay. On one of the plant, the grafted scion was toothpick size. What a joke!

    I will never buy from Cal Maple again. That was my first and last transaction with that eBay seller.
     
  17. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    I had mostly good experience with Cal Maples. I had issues with Plants Plus Pines. I received a maple that seemed to be an immaculate conception type graft along with pines that were loaded with a pine needle chomping critter that was super fecund.

    Herter is the mega seller. Herter offers some hard to find stuff in a small size. I've bought from him only in the past year or two so I can't comment on the 5 year survivability rate. The thing is you can get a small but desirable cultivar for <20$. That strategy gets plenty of action he's got 16,000 + feedbacks!
     
  18. ToddTheLorax

    ToddTheLorax Active Member

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    Since Sam was chastised for self-promotion I'll do it for her. I bought two maples directly from her site and a few dwarf conifers. I thought all the plants were great, especially the maples, which are two of the better ones in my zoo of tiny plants. They are doing fine in my hot, not so maple friendly climate of San Antonio ,Texas.

    There was a problem that occured in shipping with one of the orders (Fed Ex messed up the box) and she corrected a mistake that wasn't really her fault.

    I recently noticed she was selling some plants on ebay so I didnt hesitate to order a green trompenburg. I think I paid 12 bucks which seems very reasonable and its a nice little plant (already leafing out here in hot z8b)

    Becuase I'm slightly obsessive about plants Im probably not the easiest person to please but I have nothing but good things to say about my dealings with her. I'll continue to send her business without a discount. And I have the luxury of buying directly from a wholesaler if I want to. It's nice to deal with someone who appreciates your business and will give you some service - even if you have to pay retail.
     
  19. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Todd,

    Thanks, but mention the discount next time. Sam
     
  20. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    When we think of buying liners or young maples, and I am sure many have or are considering this, is that we should (if we are smart) try to find the best compromise between letting the seller or grower absorb the risk and us absorbing the risk. This would apply to many maples in the first three years of life.

    Sam mentions taking a 200 plant loss on 3000 plants. Pretty good and we have to assume that Talon took some loss too. That 200 is probably in the first year post grafting. When we spend $10-12 on a plant that has not even made it one year yet, why don't we wait to buy it in the second year for $20 rather than take on the risk of loss. This argument is not bound by the rarity of the plant and assumes it will still be available. Or, should be try to ask the people selling these plants the actual age of the plant or even better, ask them how long they will hold it. Buy it in the spring and ask for fall shipping.

    There is no reason to run to buy a plant that has gone from Talon at the first part of May to Herter and then to the buyer by June. Herter pays $5, buyer takes risk and pays double or triple or better plus shipping and packaging and takes all the risk. I just noticed that WorldPlants put up a winter clearance sale with some second year (at least one full season old) grafts for okay prices. Pretty good varieties as well. I have not had the greatest luck with their plants, but if one was going to by from them, an older plant would be better. Regular $15 the spring post grafting and now $20 after a full year. You do the risk assessment.

    The other thing that goes into the equation is that the root systems on most of these maples are so very small. When they come out of a 4" pot they can often take a good long time to get started--we have pulled 4" pots back out of gallons on a regular basis after a full season to see very little if any root growth. The risk again is so high. It may be widespread success for the enthusiasts in this forum or those that have a great love for plants, but there is no doubt that many people that buy these plants are taking heavy heavy losses.

    Just as a little side note that would probably make for some other good thread, is that I have been using a very common and popular Oregon-produced rootstock for a couple of seasons now ( as it is the best I can find) and it seems that for a well matched graft on a young rootstock, many of the scions have readily been outgrowing or showing more vigor than the rootstock itself. Not real sure at the moment, but while the rootstocks are fairly clean the vigor just isn't there and this stock is the base for many of the plants we are discussing here.
     
  21. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    As said by others ebay basically brings out the good, the bad, and the ugly. We've talked about the good and the bad. Well here's the ugly: this is the picture accompanying someone's sale of japanese maple seeds. Unfortunately a 98.5% positive feedback masks the fraud.
     

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  22. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Paxi,

    Yes I see that same photo over and over on Ebay. It is a joke, but then I guess some people still fall for it or it wouldn't be used so often.

    Spring is around the corner. Bulbs are growing and the hummers come back in 30 days. In a couple of months, check out the Maple Photo Gallery on this site. There are always great pictures of rare and unusual maples. Sam
     
  23. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    hi i read with interest this thread ,in Italy the problem not exist because on e bay maples not avaible..about the Eastforknursery:for me is well if you use this forum for
    promotion ,if is every ok for USA maples lover is a good thing..USA maples lover they can reply if have problems....
     
  24. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The thing about plants, unlike pots and statues is that they can look good but actually have an issue developing. For instance, stock that has not been kept fertilized at a retail outlet (minimizing maintenance at garden centers is common, with watering being done after wilting begins, fertilizing being late, if done at all, and potting on considered a sin) may be green but still deficient. This falling off in plant health manifests itself in reduced plant response after purchase. Another common time bomb is root destruction and top decline from water molds, these are really quite a big deal causing considerable losses to nurseries alone. The roots run the show, if they are having a problem the top can't do anything. Japanese maples are very touchy about drainage and other soil conditions. And, of course, there is the issue Jim brings up repeatedly of grafted stock infested with systemic pathogens.

    Speaking of roots, a very pernicious problem I see here is deformed root systems due to lack of potting on. I am getting so that, relative to how many I look at, I seldom buy plants as so many have bad roots. Expensive grafted items like dwarf conifers and Japanese maples are almost certain to be unacceptable, growers supplying garden centers here apparently even less likely to pot on liners earmarked to be used as rootstock than they might be otherwise.

    "Nearly every B&B tree I have purchased and installed, either in my own landscape or as part
    of a project, has had serious root defects."

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/B&B root ball.pdf
     
  25. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    It is great that we are all keeping integrity in focus rather than price. Candid, experience based comments help level the playing field. Thanks to UBC, this info is free to any enthusiast who wants to learn.

    As far as deception goes Herter is close to irreproachable relative to a few of the ebay bottom feeders.
     

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