Are there any GOOD places to order bulbs? (Tulips, daffodils)

After a few years of trying to order bulbs from catalogs and getting VERY poor results, I went to gardenwatchdog and found that most EVERY catalog that I get has a ton of negatives from people complaining about moldy bulbs, mislabeled bulbs, tiny bulbs, and poor growth rates. Last year I planted a small patch of bulbs I got at my local Frank's, and they all grew beautifully this year.
I have to wonder, what are these companies thinking? How is it that they are allowed to operate? Why doesn't a corporate officer for one of these companies say, "Holy cow, we have to DO something about our product quality!"
Some of the companies are, but not limited to:
Michigan Bulb Gurney's Breck's Dutch Gardens Brent & Becky's Bulbs Wayside
It would appear that some companies are actually the SAME, they just start a separate "division" doing business as a different name, I would guess to try to hide their poor reputation? But then they still continue to perform poorly!
The BIGGEST question I have is, where are the BEST places online to order bulbs? I'm mainly interested in Tulips and Daffodils (Narcissus).
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If you look at these different companies on Gardenwatchdog, you see that most of them show the exact same trends... nothing but positive replies for one year, say 1999, and then a bunch of negatives start at relatively the same time, mostly around 2001-2002.
I'm just speculating here... I think most of these companies import their stocks from The Netherlands, probably from the same suppliers. So, the quality of the stock is dependant on the quality of the shipments from the Netherlands. I'm betting these bulbs aren't put on a plane and overnighted. They probably come by boat, and I'll bet they spend weeks in boxes. If they sit around in hot and humid places, they can get soft and moldy.
Last year, I ordered 5 Decoy Daffodil bulbs from Breck's. I ordered them in June. They arrived in September, and they were HUGE double bulbs, very firm with great color, and they ended up growing GREAT, with foliage that outlasted all of the other daffodils I saw planted by neighbors. HOWEVER, after I planted these 5, I looked at the area and thought, "You know, I could fit 10 more of them in there." So, I went online late in September and ordered another 10 from Breck's. They arrived in a couple of weeks, and the quality was AWFUL. The bulbs were soft, many moldy, and most were very light, like they were just husks and hollow inside. I planted them anyway, and not one of these 10 grew. SO, it may have to do with WHEN YOU ORDER.
If you can find a place that raises and produces bulbs HERE in the USA, you probably will get much better quality. ALternatively, if you can find an importer that actually INSPECTS the product and SORTS OUT bad bulbs, that should be good as well.
I hear vanengelen.com / johnscheepers.com (they are sister companies) are pretty good. I looked them up on Gardenwatchdog and they are one of the few bulb vendors with no negative comments (yet anyway).

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Pelvis Popcan wrote:

I have ordered from them for the last couple of years and I have been very happy with the quality of the bulbs I have received. I intend to order my bulbs from them this year too. Their prices may not be as low as some of your local discount stores but you get what you pay for.
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Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 19:55:19 -0400, "~ Lori ~" <ljadkins@keep yer junkmail.comcast.net> wrote:

I've had good results from Scheepers for a few years now.
Swyck
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I have had fantastic luck with Schleepers. the retail division of Van B

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yeah, them... LOL. cant spell.

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Vicki H wrote:

Van Engelen [www.vanengelen.com] for large volumes; John Scheepers [www.johnscheepers.com] for small. These are actually two divisions of the same company; one's for wholesale, the other retail. I've never had a complaint about ANYTHING I've gotten from them.
Chris Owens
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