Please follow these basic guidelines with your trades so your transactions can go smoothly. We are going to be cracking down on problem traders so if you don’t want to be one...READ and HEED! We want the Trade Forum to be a positive experience for ALL members. Remember...trade unto others as you would have others trade unto you!
Trade at your own risk. The forum owner/moderators are not responsible for privately conduced trades gone awry. We will however do our utmost to solve any trade problems IF THEY ARE REPORTED TO US. Following the guidelines below will help ensure a good trade. Check the Bad Trader List often for new updates.
1) Read all the TRADING RULES pinned at the top of the Trade Forum so you know what is allowed to trade and what isn’t.
2) Once you have established a partner (or partners) in a specific trade, make sure you communicate via PM or emails to work out the terms of the deal. I’d suggest you save all communications until the trade is smoothly and successfully completed.
3) If there is a shipping fee involved, make sure you receive the shipping fee BEFORE you ship the material.
4) Establish a reasonable time limit for the transaction: “I’d like to complete this within two weeks.” Allow reasonable time frames for members to respond and payments (when applicable) to clear. Not everybody checks their email or PMs constantly and email is subject to delays. Bank (include PayPal) transactions have a minimum time to clear - usually three working days but can be up to 10-15 as most financial institutions will tell you.
5) Include a photo in your trade offer whenever possible or send a photo to any interested party so it is CLEAR what you are offering. Lacking that, give a DETAILED description such as size, health and age of plant. Make every effort to have your material PROPERLY ID’ed. (We all make mistakes sometimes and have mis-ID’ed material but do your best!)
6) Once an agreement is made, make your transaction in a timely manner. That’s NOT months down the road after you accept an offer unless you have OK’ed this with your partner. Make sure your material is ready to be shipped when you make your offer. *Do not offer material you don’t actually have ready to go!
7) Pack your material well:
Seeds: seeds should be in some kind of small, sealed container like a small envelope, folded paper, small baggie, etc. The seeds also need to be cushioned in some way so they do not get crushed in the mail machines. Use bubble-wrap, bubble envelopes, thick layer of paper towel, etc. Don’t just stick some seeds loose in an envelope!
Plants: Make sure plants are packed in some MOIST environment...moist paper towel, misted baggie, moist sphagnum moss, etc. Do not ship them DRY. Make sure they are in a container that will prevent them from being crushed in the mail...thick cardboard box, Priority box, plastic container, etc. Make sure they are stabilized so they don’t bounce around loose and get broken to pieces.
[HINT: To prevent pitcher fluid loss during shipping, take a wad of cotton sized to fit the inside of the pitcher, wrap it in plastic wrap (so the cotton won't absorb the fluid) and gently stuff it into the mouth of fluid-containing pitchers.]
Packing: Use lots of cushioning/padding inside your boxes; mark your labels CLEARLY, double-checking addresses. Put: FRAGILE and PERISHABLE on the outside of the container.
Mailing: Choose the fastest method of shipping possible when the material is perishable! Most plants cannot survive 10-15 days in the mail especially in hot or cold weather. They are tender material and will arrive as mush if you don’t get the package to the recipient quickly! Well packed and properly shipped plants almost always survive the mail.
8) If unforeseen circumstances occur (illness, family problem, death/damage to plant, etc.), contact your trade partner as soon as possible to explain the delay or problem! Communication goes a long way in smoothing problems.
9) If you are doing a GIVE-AWAY, you are still responsible for following through on your offer. Do not take SASE’s and then not send out the seed. *Do not ignore the communications from the people who accepted your offer. *A give-away is no different than any other trade. *You are still responsible for completing your agreement. So don’t make an offer you don’t intend to complete with ALL who accept your offer.
10) If you wish to impose limitations on who can participate in Give Away For Active Members state those limitations clearly in the original post of the trade or give-away. Criteria such as "must be a Green/Thank You Member", "Must have a post count minimum of 200 posts", "Must not have received a give-away in the past 3 months" are acceptable. Vague criteria such as "an active member" should not be used, give details so people know if they qualify or not. The criteria should not be changed once people start to participate, unless clarifications need to be given (be specific to start and avoid this ). "Give Away" threads should not limit users based on forum activity, use "Give Away For Active Users" instead.
11) If you encounter problems, please try:
First: to COMMUNICATE privately with your trade partner and work it out on your own. Respond to emails and PMs.
Second: Privately consult a moderator: If you are at a point where you are still unhappy with a trade result, contact a moderator and let us know about your problems. He/she will help you try to resolve the issue.
Third: Punitive and/or public action will be taken with offending individual.
Please PRIVATELY report ALL trade/giveaway/auction problems so we can be aware if any member seems to cause CONSISTENT problems with trading. Reports will not necessarily mean any action will be taken on a single report. It will simply be investigated and documented privately and, only if the situation is warranted, will there be punitive action taken. We are looking for a pattern with any person so we can prevent other members from being burned. You will be doing not only yourself, but the membership at large, a huge favor by keeping the “deadbeats” off the Trade Forum.
Any of these situations are grounds for making a complaint, including but not limited to:
• Lack of response to emails or PMs regarding your trade.
• Receiving something other than what was offered/described to you
• Receiving plant material that was damaged *from poor packing*
• Receiving material damaged from excessive time in the mail system (excluding fault of the post office)
• Taking too long to complete the transaction (drags on for months)
• Accepting shipping money and not sending material
• Accepting SASE’s and not sending material
• Exchange of material not completed (One partner sending his trade item and not receiving the item expected in return)
• Taking money and/or shipping in a private sale and not sending material
If you are feeling anger, disappointment, disgust or a feeling like you never want to trade with that person again, then you may have a bad trade on your hands. *Discuss the situation with a moderator!
WE CANNOT HELP YOU WITH PROBLEMS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT. If you don’t care enough and do not take it upon yourself to be responsible in reporting trade issues, then YOU are part of the problem! The moderators are always here to help you!
Thank you for your cooperation! Have fun trading!