We send our Growing Supplies catalog and descriptive Violet
List to customers outside of the US via Air Mail.
Growing Supplies shipments - We can ship Growing Supplies via surface Mail or via Air Mail. Air Mail is faster (usually 7 - 10 days) and more expensive. Surface Mail is slower (6 - 10 weeks), but more economical. Growing supply shipments are charged for the total weight of the boxed order, not just for the contents. We can give you an estimate of the shipping costs, but actual costs may vary slightly when the items are packed in boxes. We have shipped orders over the years to Sweden, Hong Kong, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, Bermuda, and Thailand.
You can get an estimate of shipping charges and options for yourself at the US Postal Service website http://www.usps.com . Click on "calculate postage - International. This will give you an estimate of your shipping charges. You can also send us via e-mail a list of the items in which you are interested and we will send back a shipping estimate. Please specify an Air Mail estimate, a Surface Mail estimate, or both.
Canadian customers have reported to us that the import fees they must pay to receive shipments are much less if we use US Mail to send their shipments to them rather than using United Parcel Service. We will assume that Canadian inquires want US Mail estimates for shipping supply orders unless United Parcel Service is specifically requested.
Customers send us orders by fax, by telephone, and by mail. How to reach us. There is no on-line ordering capability. Please e-mail requests for freight estimates to email@example.com Colorado time is 7 hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time. Midnight in London, UK is 5 in the afternoon Colorado time. (Mountain Standard Time). At http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ you can compare times of day and night between places around the world.
African Violet seed orders are very popular with growers outside the U.S. We offer a flat rate $6 postage/handling fee for orders up to (and including) 5 packets of seed using Global Priority Mail. This mail service is available to most countries and takes 4 to 6 days. There is no insurance available using Global Priority Mail, therefore there is a slight chance that your seed shipment will not reach you. If you wish insurance on the seed shipment we use Air Parcel Post. Air Parcel Post can be insured. The cost is somewhat higher than Global Priority Mail. Please request via e-mail a cost estimate from us for Air Parcel Post with insurance to you.
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African Violet shipments - We sell African violets to be shipped as starter plants. The starter plants are approximately 4 - 6” in diameter and are individual rooted plants. The average age of the starter plants is 2 months old. For some foreign shipments we must remove the soil and repot the starter plants into moss. The pot is wrapped in plastic to hold the plant in the pot. Then the plant and pot are fastened into a cardboard tube to minimize breakage of the plants during shipping. We have shipped starter plants this way for many years with great success.
We have found the best way to ship the orders is by International Express Mail. There can be no guarantee of live delivery of plants shipped by International Express Mail. There is insurance against loss or physical destruction of the box and its contents. The cost of the insurance is included in the cost of mailing the shipment. Customers outside the US must assume all risk of damage to the shipment caused by exposure to temperatures that are too hot or too cold. This is because we cannot control the conditions to which the shipment may be exposed once it leaves our store. Live delivery is not guaranteed. United Parcel Service will not accept international shipments of live plants. We must use International Express Mail to send orders.
The usual shipment time via International Express Mail is 4 to 6 days. We mail orders out on Mondays and Tuesdays only. The following are estimates of package weights (and costs) for various sized orders: A box containing up to 6 plants weighs 2 lbs.($21.00); 7 - 9 plants weighs 3 lbs.($27.00); 10 - 12 plants weighs 5 lbs. ($40.00); 13 - 16 plants weighs 6 lbs. ($46.20); 17 - 25 plants weighs 8 lbs. ($58.60); 26 to 40 plants weighs 13 lbs. ($89.60); 41 to 55 plants weighs approx. 18 lbs. ($120.60). The largest box which can be sent by International Express Mail is 27 x 14 x 9”. Unfortunately the cost of the shipping is often more than the cost of the violets. Rates are subject to change.
Large orders may be packed in multiple boxes. The shipping charges for an order will be based on the actual total weight of the boxed plants. This is sometimes slightly different than the estimates listed above because some plants will be heavier than others.
You may need to send us an import permit which states that you are authorized by your government to receive live plant shipments. The import permit comes from your Department of Agriculture. The import permit tells us of the rules and regulations we must follow in sending your order. We must present your import permit to our Dept. of Agriculture to prove to them that you have your government’s permission to receive the shipment. We must also acquire a phytosanitary certificate from the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. Inquire with your Dept. of Agriculture to determine if it is necessary for you to obtain an import permit. Regulations are different for each country. This phytosanitary certificate proves that the plants we are shipping are insect and disease free. The cost of the Colorado phytosanitary certificate is $42. The cost of the Colorado phytosanitary certificate is added to the cost of the order.
Our business is family operated. There is no large staff. We do not grow large numbers of each variety. When an order arrives we begin setting aside the plants. When all of the plants are large enough to be shipped then the order can be mailed. We do not try to be fast. Growing plants is not a fast business. Orders for starter plants take 4 to 12 weeks to fill. Not all varieties are available at all times. International customers must list one acceptable substitute for each 3 varieties ordered in case we do not have the first choices. This is because the import permit does not give us a very long time to fill orders. We have been in business since 1978. Over the years since that time we have used substitute choices very little. All customers must list acceptable substitutes with any order. Substitutes must be listed on both domestic orders and on foreign orders. We will send you a letter by airmail a few days before we send out our order. This letter is to let you know that the order is on its way. If you provide an e-mail address we will notify you of the shipment date via e-mail.
There is much time spent working on the plants and preparing the order. We do not do any work on an order until payment is made for the order. We cannot tell the customer which varieties might be substituted before the order is placed and paid. Trying to determine which varieties are available before an order is placed and paid is too time consuming and too costly for us on such an inexpensive, labor intensive product as African Violets. We also do not make long distance telephone calls or send long-distance faxes (domestic or international) concerning unpaid orders. Customers who need an order fast, or who are unwilling to wait while we prepare the order, or who are unwilling to list substitutes will perhaps be served better elsewhere. Over the years we have successfully shipped plants to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore. Canada has imposed so many restrictions and additional costs such as for import brokers that shipping violets into Canada has become prohibitive.
We do not wish to appear unwilling to accept orders from outside the U. S. We do think that we can do a better job of filling orders if our potential customers outside the U.S. understand how we must do business.
We do not wish to discourage international orders. We do feel, however, that you should know of the risks of shipping live plants internationally.
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