Purchasing Plumeria Cuttings Plants And Seedlings On Ebay

Hi Everybody,
I recently published the following article titled, Purchasing Plumeria Cuttings Plants And Seedlings On Ebay. I thought this article might be helpful to some interested in the subject. The article also applies to plant purchases in general....
Purchasing plumeria cuttings, plants and seedlings on Ebay can be an exciting adventure, but unfortunately it can end up as a very frustrating experience if one doesn't know what to look for.
After locating cuttings, plants or seedlings one likes, the buyer should take a look at the *vendor's positive feedback* which is shown as a percentage. It should be *close to or at 100%*.
Directly below the positive feedback is the *feedback score* which is the number of actual positive responses the vendor has received from buyers. This number reflects the number of products sold to customers who provided positive feedback per items purchased. The higher that number is reflects the vendor's reliability to provide quality products on a consistent basis.
PLUMERIA CUTTINGS, PLANTS[/B] AND *SEEDLINGS* ARE OFFERED FROM *VENDORS WORLDWIDE* ON EBAY WITH THE MAJORITY BEING LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH EAST ASIA, FOR EXAMPLE MALAYSIA AND THAILAND.
UNFORTUNATELY, SOME VENDORS FROM SOUTH EAST ASIA HAVE GIVEN A BAD REPUTATION TO THE REGION IN GENERAL AS THEY WERE SELLING POOR QUALITY PLUMERIAS TO EBAY CUSTOMERS. BUT THIS SHOULD NOT KEEP ONE FROM PURCHASING FROM VENDORS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA AS LONG AS THEY SHOW A POSITIVE FEEDBACK CLOSE TO OR AT 100%.
READING THE *LATEST POSITIVE FEEDBACKS* LEFT BY PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS ALSO IS A HELPFUL TOOL WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY FROM A SPECIFIC VENDOR. THIS IS FOUND ON THE MERCHANT'S HOMEPAGE LOCATED RIGHT BELOW THE POSITIVE FEEDBACK AND FEEDBACK SCORE.
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*FOLLOWING ARE SOME TIPS FOR PURCHASING PLUMERIA CUTTINGS, PLANTS AND SEEDLINGS ON EBAY.
Only buy if you're able to see a [b]picture* of what is being offered to the buyer.
When viewing pictures of *dark blue* or *purple plumeria flowers*, the buyer should know that most of these pictures are produced using *photoshops* and the colors of the flowers have been altered. Generally speaking, there are no known dark blue or purple colored plumeria flowers.
During certain months of the year, especially from April to July, rooted plumeria plants with *visible inflorescences*, flower stalks, are offered. If an inflorescence has already opened flowers, the developing buds and inflorescense may be lost after the plant arrives at its new destination and is planted in a climate different from its origin. Shipping stress may be another contributing factor for the loss of the buds and inflorescence.
If the inflorescence has emerged only a short way, it may or may not continue to develop in its new home due to the above mentioned reasons.
Showing a *tennis ball* or *shoe* next to the plant offered gives the buyer a clearer perspective to the actual size of the plant he or she is thinking about buying.
Check on the *shipping charges* which should be reasonable depending from where the cuttings, plants or seedlings are being shipped from. One can compare the shipping charges from other Ebay vendors in the same area for a perspective of what would be considered reasonable.
Question phrases, like *very easy to grow*. Each plumeria has its own characteristics, and when adjusting to a new non tropical temperate growing zone the plumeria has to face new challenges to root, flower and grow.
If the vendor offers a *return policy*, it should be read very carefully. The buyer can contact the vendor with an email for any clarifications.
One has to be leery of purchases that offer *free phytosanitary inspection certificates* and *free shipping* from *overseas*. Generally, there is a cost for each inspection certificate and, of course, shipping and handling charges. Any shipment of plumerias coming to the United States or Canada needs to have properly executed inspection certificates. One may contact the local Customs office or visit their website to find out what forms and procedures need to be followed.
Some foreign vendors include a *disclaimer notice* on their Ebay page stating that they are not responsible for any cuttings or plants confiscated by Customs agents.
Sometimes a picture of the mother plant is placed next to the picture of the *seedling*. The buyer is interested in purchasing the plumeria seedling which is the item that the seller is actually offering to sell. Placing the pictures next to each other can bring about confusion.
The buyer may come to the belief that the flowers of the seedling will look the same as the mother plant. This is not the case. *One unique characteristic of plumeria seedlings is that they never grow and develop to look exactly the same as the mother plant.*
When purchasing plumeria seedlings the buyer needs to make sure he or she understands these points of confusion by carefully reading the seller's description to know what he is selling and what is being purchased. The buyer needs to know that the picture of the mother plant does not suggest that the seedling is going to be an exact replica of the mother plant when fully developed and grown.
The buyer can consult with family members, friends or other gardeners he or she knows and ask them if they have ordered from a particular vendor and what their experience was.
In conclusion, it can be said that Ebay is a great place to shop for anything, including plumeria cuttings, plants and seedlings if one follows guidelines on how to choose a reputable retailer.
Copyright Bob Walsh
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BobWalsh


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On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 14:04:19 +0000, BobWalsh

So, something's wonky if it's 110% ?

JFTR, virtually all eBay transactions involving "power sellers" and anyone else with multiple hundreds of transactions or more have the seller witholding feedback until the BUYER has provided feedback. I call this "hostage feedback" - it's the seller's way of ensuring that they'll get positive feedback from buyers who may be disappointed with the transaction, but would also just as soon NOT get a negative on their own record (as a neg for some buyer with a few score transactions will have a greater percentage impact than a neg on someone with hundreds or thousands of transactions).
The entire eBay feedback mechanism really is a bad joke. eBay will almost always side with vendors (as they're the ones generating the sales - the buyers may be paying for it, but if nobody was selling, there'd be nothing to buy). eBay will also nix one participants feedback - the neg, the comment, and the affect on the feedback percentage - while leaving the other in place (versus nixxing the record of the entire feedback exchange, or say, publising that "x" feedbacks have been redacted, which would at least tell prospective buyers that there have been a lot of bad exchanges that have been wiped, while not sharing the details of them).
When some shady sellers get enough negative feedback, they simply create a new account and proceed to do business under that with a clean slate. Sort of like somehow walking away from a bad credit history, except that the way eBay does things makes it really easy for the bad sellers to do this and stay in business.

No offence, but a lot of your article sounds like "the idiot's guide to eBay". It applies to ANY transaction on eBay, and even a bunch of your commentary on plants does as well (photoshopped images and shipping issues for instance).

I haven't purchased plants on eBay - seems silly since those of us in the USA could very well run afoul of US Agriculture Department and Customs regulations, and the seller isn't going to credit you when your shipment is destroyed on arrival in the US.
Unrelated to plants, but Customs intercepted a shipment products which were counterfeits of stuff the company I worked for at the time made. I did some comparisons for them, but still remain astounded that they'd have even known that the product wasn't a legit shipment - you inspect a crate from somewhere, how do you know they're not legitimately behing shipped from abroad? Anyway - TSA are bumbling fools, but I've got some respect for Customs Inspectors.

Caveat: many outfits selling things use stock images. This is especially true when it's not an individual item (say, some collector item, etc).

This advice seems geared towards sellers. Why not say, "if size matters, look for auctions providing a scale reference in the photos - such as a ruler, or common object of known size." IMO, a shoe would be a poor scale reference, esp as Asians tend to be much more slight of build than Westerners, so their shoes would be substantially smaller, and therefore, the plant would appear to be larger. Asia, US, and Europe all use different systems for shoe (and clothing) sizes, so "size 11" (or whatever) won't translate consistently either. If the seller has a clue, they should be using a ruler.

I can't speak towards shipping costs for plant material, but I've ordered specific electronic devices from Sinapore and Hong Kong over the years (hey, if the stuff is manufactured there, why suffer the markup of buying it from a domestic vendor?), and often the shipping is rolled into the item cost (which is a bit surprising, since the seller would be paying eBay a smaller cut if they didn't), or is like US$1 (even on a sizeable order). Chief issue with Asian origin stuff is how long it takes to arrive, and the inability to track the shipment because it's not coming via a common parcel carrier with tracking services.
Phytosanitary certificates may be worthless if the customs agency doesn't recognize the authority of the issuing inspection agency (that technically merely being the plant seller). If there's reason to not allow soil or plants in from a specific region, the certificate will be meaningless.

What a surprise.
Note that even BETWEEN STATES in the USA, there can be Agriculture department issues, particularly in states where Agriculture is a big business. California for instance can get really picky, but adjoining Nevada quite probably doesn't care.

Assuming that they've been propogated from seed. What about rooted cuttings? Anyone who needs to be told about eBay feedback, etc, probably would easily categorize a small start as a "seedling" even if it was a propogated cutting.
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On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 13:01:02 -0700, Sean Straw wrote:

Ebay changed the feedback procedure and rules so this can no longer be done. This was done quite a while ago-maybe 4 years.
"Sellers can leave only positive ratings for buyers. That means buyers should feel free to leave honest Feedback without fear of retaliation. We also have safeguards in place to protect sellers against unfair negative or neutral Feedback."
The whole thing here: http://pages.ebay.com/services/forum/feedback.html
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Sean Straw;962295 Wrote: > On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 14:04:19 +0000, BobWalsh

> should

> to

> is

> develop

Sean,
Your reply is filled with a lot of negative comments that you seem to want to create *the perfect situation* for ordering plants on eBay. Nothing is going to make it *PERFECT*.
Since you have never ordered plants from eBay, per your own admission, there is nothing more for me to respond to.
Bob Walsh
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