Ripped off by Breck's,,,,,,,,,

bud_wiOctober 1, 2006

I should have known better to never to order anything through the mail from an out of town place.

I can't get around now to shop like I used to so I've been ordering things online lately.

I placed my order with Breck's MONTHS ago. They sent me a card in the mail saying that the bulbs would be shipped 8/23-9/22/06

Sounded good.

On 9/20 I called them and made an inquiry about the status of my order.

I got a terse reply saying "Well they are shipped from Holland!!!"

So what? I don't care where they are shipped from. I wanted to know the status of my order.

They told me that I still had three more days and that they would arrive on 9/23 - the last day given on the card I received.

I *KNEW* I was never going to see those bulbs on 9/23. I could tell by the way they cut me off and just wanted to get me off the phone. Believe me, I was polite when I called. They just didn't seem very interested in my concerns. They didn't offer to look up my order or ask me to call back if I didn't get them.

It was a big order and I stupidly paid by check so I can't just call my CC company and get a charge back.

I didn't want to post this right away and gave them more time just in case they did arrive LATE. Well it is now October. If they do arrive eventually it will be to late to plant them probably.

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Nancy zone 6

I have had the EXACT thing happen to me from Brecks. I did receive the order much, much later than they said, and I think you will too. I don't order from them any more. As you said, their customer service isn't what it should be. Their stuff isn't great either.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 7:17AM
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I have ordered things from Brecks in the past. And I continue to do so with no problems. My bulbs arrive from them (holland)in early October which is plenty of time to get them in the ground and I'm in upper NY state where its cold. I think you have lots of time left. I currently have a $325 order coming from them which will come sometime in October AS USUAL. It will take me a grand total of 2 hours to get the bulbs in the ground since I have it ready and waiting. But maybe it gets colder sooner in KY than here in northern NY. Have a nice day.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Nancy zone 6

I think what really bothered me about them was being told they would arrive about such a date. My credit card was charged, but no shipment. I gave them a couple of weeks, called, and was told they were shipped from Holland. They gave me another date they should arrive & still no show. They did arrive in November. Not too late to plant bulbs of course; I often plant into Dec, but I wasn't impressed with the quality. Perhaps if they had been more straightforward to begin with I would be more forgiving. there are several companies I like much better though.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 1:17PM
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anitadehoff(Z8 Seattle/sunset 5)

Hello Bud,

Would you consider posting a review on garden watchdog? I've read (not from Brecks specifically) responses from companies trying to "do good" on their mistakes/problems. It's worth a shot.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I used their $25 free coupon last spring, and paid about $4 for the amount above the coupon. They arrived just fine about 3 weeks ago...from Holland.

Normally I wouldn't use Brecks, but that coupon was really a good deal.

In the past I ordered their Pink Daff Collection, only to find out the next spring at bloom time, that their pictures in the colored glossy brochure were not the 'true' bloom colors. I intended to complain, but never got it done and it's been years. Now I always 'doubt' what their flowers will really look like when they actually bloom.

Hope they arrive soon.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:27AM
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bellevie(z6 MD)

I, too ordered long ago using a coupon that effectively doubled the size of my order. The bulbs arrived over the weekend, a few weeks after the "we have shipped" notice. I was really iffy about Breck's, but this time they came through. Everything looks really good.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:35PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I've ordered pink daffodils, too, from other sources. None were really pink: maybe "fade to peach" would be more accurate.

I think maybe pink is a color unnatural to daffodils and breeding hasn't perfected it yet. Soil Ph plays a role too. I still want pink but it's on the "later when it's perfected" list. Pink daylilies are sometimes peach, too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:07PM
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Ladies, as far as I know up to date no 'true' pink daffs had been bred.
Some peach, some apricot-peach, but not true pink.
However, if those 'peaches' will be grown in part-shade aspect they are indeed look fairly pink (similar to color of Bonica rose) from the distance.
Keep in mind, it has to be part-shade at the time of their bloom, not a summer part-shade. In my garden that translates to almost full shade position in a summer and as a drawback foliage stays well into June for April bloomers.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:23PM
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Called them again today. This time they are blaming US Customs.

First the guy said that the bulbs are shipped directly to me from Holland and *they* (Breck's?) don't recieve them and ship them out. The guy said "We don't touch them!"

Then, he said that the whole shipment of bulbs is sitting in NY waiting to be *sorted* and delivered to everyone. Hmmmm.

Then he went on to say they have been in business for 120 years blah, blah, blah...........

When I said it will soon be to late to plant them for my zone he told me I can plant them "Right up to the time the ground freezes".

Of course that does not make any sense and I told him so. They have to have time in the ground to root a bit so they don't just freeze into little rocks and turn to mush in the spring.

I gathered that I was talking to someone in 'shipping' or customer service who reads from a script and not someone who gardens. He sounded young. A real 'know-it-all'.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 6:00PM
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For several years now I've been puzzling over the widely divergent experiences people report from specific companies. Postings on bear out this observation. Without making a systematic assessment, I can still say any given company will have customer watchdog reports ranging from ecstatic to enraged on anything from bulb quality to customer service. Percentages of positive, neutral and negative ratings also seem to vary significantly from year to year. I've got some theories to explain this, but they're pretty speculative.

Sorry you've had a frustrating mail order experience, Bud. I've had a couple myself. My single experience with Breck's several years ago turned out to be very positive, though. By the way, I'm in Zone 6 and most years I'm still tucking new bulbs into my beds almost right up until Christmas (sometimes I've got to thaw the ground a while first using a black plastic tarp). So I'm wondering if in Zone 5 you might not be able to successfully plant bulbs later than you might be thinking, like into mid-November, maybe? Dunno, just wondering. That wouldn't compensate for the frustration, I know, but maybe when and if you see those blooms in the spring it will all be a distant memory.



    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:47PM
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Hi everyone!

Count me as another person "ripped off". I had read either here or on another garden forum that Brecks wasn't the best place to buy bulbs from, but when I saw a coupon in their catalog for a free $25 bulb coupon, I thought I'd take a chance. I ordered 80 Mountain Lilies for $24.95 and didn't order anything else, and just paid for shipping charges. I kind of apologized for not ordering more, but their customer service person said not to worry about it. I thought I'd see how well they'd do considering their reputation isn't all that good. Well . . . !!!!

I gave them a call this week to find out the status of the order. I thought I'd drop the phone when they told me that my credit card had been turned down and the order was cancelled! Now my credit is perfectly fine. My card can certainly handle a $8.50 shipping charge! The clerk said he'd check further. He told me that they mailed me telling me that the order was cancelled and why. That was a lot of baloney! I never received any notice from them in the mail!

I'd been pleasantly dreaming about how nice those 80 blue bulbs blooming in my front yard would look. I LOVE blue flowers! I would have jumped at the chance to fix any problem regarding the order so I could get my blue bulbs!

I think Brecks just didn't like the fact that I didn't order anything else along with their coupon. I will never order anything from them. It's not worth the aggravation! Why should I when there are so many fine bulb companies out there who run great businesses like Brent & Beckys, Bluestone Perenials,John Scheepers, and a few others.

I was able to restrain myself from yelling into the phone; it wasn't the clerk's fault. He talked to a supervisor and asked if I could still use the $25 coupon offer, but the supervisor told him I couldn't! No more orders to Brecks.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:02PM
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jenny05(zone 5)

Actually he was correct stating that you can plant up til the ground freezes. You have to remember that once the top of the ground freezes it usually takes quite a bit longer for it to freeze several inches down. There are a few bulbs out there...Hyacinths are one, that do require some time to develop a root system to make it through the winter, but I know from personal experience that tulips and daffodils do not. I am in zone 4/b, and about 2 years ago I had some bulbs (50 daffodil bulbs, and around 150 tulip bulbs) that got missed when I planted everything else. By the time I found them they didn't look all that good, as well as it was already a week into December and the ground had frozen. I held onto them and we had around a 3 day thaw where the ground got soft enough I could work it, and I planted them (this is mid-December). They did come up a little later than some of the others come spring, but all of them bloomed. If the bulbs do ever show up my guess you probably won't have a problem planting them and getting them to bloom as long as you can get them in the ground before it freezes solid.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:37AM
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fairydancer(z5 NY)

I used that $25 coupon .... the order was less than $25, so I didn't even have to pay shipping. I got the order a couple of weeks ago.

I placed another order on 9/5. They were supposed to arrive on Oct 6th. Not here yet, but I'll definitely give it some more time before I get concerned. I'm not worried about the bulbs, but I ordered the Daylily collection and I'm a bit concerned they may get here too late to overwinter successfully. Anyone have any words of comfort about the daylily chances?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 5:40AM
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Nancy zone 6

I agree with Deb. I have read that on bulb sites that you should plant well before frost to give the bulb time to develop roots, but I was told years ago by a fellow gardener that it is better to plant after the first hard frost. His reasoning was that digging "varmints" couldn't dig & eat his bulbs. I've never been troubled "knock on wood" by moles/voles etc, but I've often planted quite late & never had any problem when planting healthy bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:12AM
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OK, the bulbs have arrived.

The news weather report tonight says we are getting 4-8 inches of SNOW!

The bulbs I ordered are all little guys..........
except for the cyclamaen

butterfly tulip

The packages say 2-3 inches deep. Looks like I'll have to shovel snow to get them in the ground.

I always have bought my bulbs at Steins and planted in late September. This is going to be *new* for me. Or should I just save myself the time, and toss them all, and chalk it up to a lesson learned?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 3:08AM
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Nancy zone 6

I would plant them, but I've never planted after a snow :) I have found snowdrops to be more difficult for some reason, but I think crocus, triteleia, aconite should be fine. Not sure about "larkspur". Must be something I am not familiar with, the only larkspur I grow is an annual from seed. I need to go to Brecks & find out about that one.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:13AM
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You must be further north of me bud_wi (I assume you are in Wisconsin by your name). In Madison WI they are saying we won't get enough snow to have anything stick on the ground. I still haven't planted my tulips since I decided to get another variety at the last minute and I'm still waiting for them to arrive so I can place everything and start planting. If they get here by the weekend it should be good for planting since it will be about 50 degrees F by then. At least the planting goes really fast with bulbs that only need to go a few inches down like the ones you have. I'd wait for the snow to melt and then plant them as we should have at least one more warm spell.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:51AM
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Plant 'em, bud.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 1:00PM
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I ordered months ago and haven't received them or a card with ETA. I hope they come. Of course, from what you have all said, here in zone 8, I should have some time. I hope they do come, though. This is my first time ordering bulbs and I was really excited. Dannic

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:32PM
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I used the free $25.00 coupon I got from Breck's and the order arrived within 2 weeks. I have ordered from them before and have been happy with both the quality of the items and the shipping time. Maybe I just lucked out? It is scary when you place a large order, even from some place with an excellent reputation. Mistakes are made, we are all human (even in Holland) but compensation should be a part of the deal and certainly courtesy should be foremost if they want any of us back. Sorry you had such lousy luck with Brecks. But there are many other places that sell bulbs, so I'd sure give them a chance. I'd also write to Brecks and see what comes of that. Probably nothing, but sometimes you get surprised. Whatever....good luck.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 4:13PM
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dirtdivarocks(z6 SW PA)

You say you've been ripped off because your bulbs arrived 2 1/2 weeks late. There was a delay due to US customs. Now you are considering pitching the bulbs. Just Plant em. Then if you experience trouble with them coming up, call and they will refund your money or send new bulbs. I've never had a problem with Brecks and they have always sent replacements if something didn't come up. I realize this may be something new to you, but perhaps you could learn something. I also agree with Jenny05. I have planted bulbs late, including iris, and they have come up for me in the spring. I don't think bad-mouthing a company in a public forum for the reasons you stated is justified.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 5:04PM
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Well that all stinks...

I have ordered from Breck's and all mine plants have been fine. Except those hyacinths that never bloomed... But then I just called in and they promised to send me free ones. [which they did] I also got a pink carpet lily collection...10 bulbs for $30! And they only gave me NINE was quite put out. But I will have to call them again.

And do cheer up! Here in zone three even though we have had a few INCHES of snow, I was still able to plant my bulbs. It will be OK. Just plant and water well. Thats my advice

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 9:59PM
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I, too, used the $25 coupon from Brecks, in combination with a couple of their buy-one-get-one-free offers, so I have a relatively big order coming. I agree, it did take quite awhile from the time they sent me an e-mail saying "your order has been shipped" until the time I received my order. Well...half my order. The other half has just now been shipped, so I expect it's arrival in a couple more weeks. I'm not too worried about it....the money I saved is worth the wait, and I've never been one to 'baby' my plants.

You're right, Bud, it's probably too late to plant them. You should send them to me!


    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 1:16PM
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flora2b(z6a bc)

In regards to late planting....last fall, I was in a hurry to plant some hyacinths bulbs. As I was fitting this in after work and family commitments, it was dark when I was finishing up. On a nice day in February, I discovered that I had missed covering in 3 of the hyacinths bulb holes, with no snow cover over winter, and a week of below normal cold -25, I wasn't sure. Well, I covered them when I was able to move the earth and lo and behold they all came up and bloomed just fine. Sadly, alot of gardeners lost roses that they had had for many years.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 2:21AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I am not a regular to this forum by any means. I am just here to see what is being said about which mail order and web based companies. I've been gardening for about 40 years in just about every northern hemisphere zone and have run into some timing problems once in a while. For the most part, late planting is fine for those plants that require cold dormancy. I have been known to be planting as late as November 9th. The bulbs have responded just fine except for the ones the critters got. As for the bulbs that I couldn't get in the ground before a hard freeze, I laid the bulbs on the ground where I wanted them and covered them with bagged garden soil. They came up very nicely. Sandy
P.S. The best way to protect tulip bulbs from rodents is to surround them or intersperse them with dafodils.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 5:52AM
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mgmb(z5 Madison WI)

Yeah, Brecks. Their customer service and shipping policies are lame, and their catalog pictures and descriptions make exaggerated claims about "blue" dahlias, "pink" daffs, etc. My tulips in fall 06 arrived in late November - although it was bizarrely warm and could have planted them, I sent them back because I already ordered replacements from Scheepers that showed up in less than a week. I tried to cancel the order BEFORE it departed from Holland - but was told it was not possible. That's just a pure stupid-ass policy. When it boils down to it I'd rather do business with a company that keeps you infomed, makes true claims about the product and has good customer service.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:51AM
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All I can say is 'cheap is cheap. I've been happy with somewhat more expensive sources...but only somewhat more expensive. I've routinely been disappointed with the "bargains" I've bought. Check with gardenwatch and evaluate the suppliers. The alternative is running the risk of getting undersized bulbs, or late delivery or mislabeled plants.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 7:54PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Breck's is not generally considered to be a reliable bulb company. I recommend Scheepers--always reliable, good quality bulbs and courteous to deal with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 6:14AM
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Dear Bud:

I experienced nearly the exact same thing from Breck's. Missed deadlines, significanly overpriced and underquality merchandise, and poor customer service.

Oh, and don't be fooled by the $25 coupon. If you use the coupon, and then some of the crappy bulbs they sent you don't come up, and you call for a refund, they deduct the refund from the cost of the bulbs they are replacing. So, unless more than $25 worth didn't come up, you get bent over yet again....

I echo laceyvail's suggestion about ordering from Scheepers. Much better selection, half the cost, 3 times the quality. The daffodil bulbs I got from Scheepers this last fall (within 2 days of the date projected on my e-mail order confirmation, I might add) had 3 and 4 noses. In essence, I have the equivalent of 3-year-old clumps coming up the first year I planted them. Right now, one of the bulbs I planted 4 months ago is pushing 5 stems. Just can't beat their quality. Plus, they ALWAYS err on the side of too many rather than too few. Two of the 20-packs of daffs I ordered actually had 23 bulbs in them.

Hope everything comes up. If you do order more, though, I cannot recommend Scheepers more highly for quality, customer service, or timeliness.

Happy growing... Igwiz

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 1:42PM
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I have become one of the unlucky customers of Breck's.

I placed my order on 8/28/07 using $25 coupon. Order total is $35.91 with the coupon.

Allium and Hyacynth should be here today, 10/08/07 although USPS is closed today. (I know Breck's usually uses USPS for domestic.)

My concerns are:
1) Tulips and Lilies may never be shipped. I have been checking my order status, and everytime I log on estimate dates are pushed back. Tulips should be ready to ship by now, I think. And I am in Zone 5, my planting time is almost over.

2) My CC is already charged for the shipped items + 79 cents. I hope that Tulips and Lilies will be shipped and that I will not be charged more than the total $35.91 at the end.

3) If Tulips and Lilies will not be shipped, how much will my charge be? Will I still receive $25 discount?

I wonder if anybody else here have had similar situation.

The following is my order status.

Items Not Shipped:
Delivery Estimate: 11/04/07 - 11/25/07
Delivery Estimate: 10/15/07 - 10/29/07
Items Shipped:
Shipped via Unknown Shipping Method
Track Package Here
Delivery Estimate: 10/06/07 - 10/08/07
Delivery Estimate: 10/06/07 - 10/08/07

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Next time try they are a wholesaler.
i've NEVER had a problem with them. they do NOT use any coupon deals.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 5:20PM
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jeanne, thanks for your comment.

Hyacinth and allium bulbs arrived yesterday via UPS. Allium bulbs are too small to be considered as premium.

I am still waiting for lily and tulip bulbs, but I will never buy anything from Breck's.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 7:16PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

VAn Engelen is the wholesale branch of Scheepers--fine company. Fine bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 5:51AM
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All I can say is: You get what you pay for! This goes for pretty much everything in this world!

I ordered from John Scheepers for the first time this year, and I'm extremely impressed! Top shelf bulbs, excellent packaging, timely delivery... and reasonable pricing... what more could you ask for? I ordered a Tiger Lily Mix, Camassia, Fritillaria, Eremurus and one Hippeastrum bulb. Everything was healthy, good sized, and protected well inside the shipping box. JS is definitely getting more orders from me!!

To the person who ordered daylilies and didn't know if they'd come in time for planting... if worse comes to worse, just pot them up, water them in, and keep them in your garage until spring... they should sprout just fine and be ready for planting in no time! I did this with several daylilies and hosta last year here in zone 5... I potted them up as I would anything else, and they kept over winter in a baby pool in my garage... they came up in spring as any other perennial, and I then planted them in the garden. I did lose one or two, but that's nothing to cry over...

Again... you truly get exactly what you pay for... it's better to bite the bullet and spend the normal amount of money for a product so you end up with quality. As someone else said, "Cheap is cheap." What do you expect for clearance rack prices?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 3:09AM
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No offense, but you have NO idea what you are talking about. In this case, "Cheap IS NOT cheap." If Breck's were a 20 bulbs for $2 store, then you get what you pay for. But Breck's is more like a $20 for 10 bulbs store.

The problem is, you DON'T get what you pay for. They are usually twice the cost of Scheepers, and the service SUCKS. And those aren't some fancy newly-crossed double. We're talking plain-jane, run-of-the-mill Ice Follies that you can get at Scheepers for $7.50.

The problem is that they are VERY easy to find on the Internet. As a kid, I grew up buying garden seeds from Gurney's (one of the many companies now owned by Scarlet Tanager LLC group). Once Scarlet got them, they went downhill fast. "Fake" coupons with money back guaruntees, but taking off the $25 coupon. Crap like that.

I agree, of course, that Scheepers is by far better. The major problem is that the buyer has to beware, and there just aren't enough folks that have heard yet that Breck's is to flowers as Yugo is to cars.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 2:58PM
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I HAVE dealt with Breck's in the past, so I'm not just whistling Dixie sideways... while some of the items are priced as you say, most people opt, instead, for the "penny" sale pages of the catalog, and/or order just enough to make using their "coupon" seem like a great deal...

I guess it all depends on what you consider "CHEAP"... the product is certainly cheap!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 12:27AM
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Cranebill: "For several years now I've been puzzling over the widely divergent experiences people report from specific companies".

Don't be. Some complaints are legitimate and others are 'moles'. Notice how the subject changes to who you 'should' but from? There's a lot of trolls on these forums marketing for their company.

Having worked in the horticultural industry one varable that needs to be emphasized by suppliers is that they deal with a living organism...a plant. They aren't coming off of an assembly line and production and quality is subject to numerous variables...not all that can be controlled. A plant isn't a pair of shoes or a radio. Hort companies shouldn't promise more than they can make happen, or if they make a commitment, back it with a guarantee for reasonable substitution, return, etc.

I still recall customers wanting us to bring in a plant with a particulr colour flower. 'Why don't you have it'? Or 'why don't you grow it'. You try to explain as politiely as possible that humans don't come in orange or green and neither does the species or a cultivar of a plant that they want. Plants are living organisms. It's not just a matter of adding some dye to an assembly line.

Brecks and others have no excuse for poor customer service or providing a poor product. Gardeners, however, need to understand that material offered in a catalogue printed months previously are living things. The failure of some plant companies is not emphasizing that everything is contingent on sufficient quality product being available. In May you shouldn't promise fresh tomatoes for your neighbor in August. You can promise to give them some 'if' all goes well and you have a quality crop.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 3:30PM
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I'm self-employed in the canine health food industry, which does not send out "moles" to get bulb customers... all I can relate is what I know firsthand... I was highly impressed by one company, and deeply disappointed in another. JS sent me beautiful, full-sized bulbs... Breck's sent me acorn sized bulbs. You don't have to be a genius to figure out which company is the better deal! And those are only two companies compared... there are lots more out there, some good and some not so good...

Word of mouth is about the only way people are going to find out who is decent and who isn't without taking a chance themselves. After asking for information on whom I should send my money to, and researching those companies, I sent in my orders... I'm a happy customer because others shared their stories and their collected information here, in these forums.

Not all experiences with a particular company will be bad... but when the "bads" begin stacking up higher than the "goods", it tells a person something... The bottom line is this: it's a good thing that people are sharing their experiences, whether good or bad, about these bulb and plant companies... it's a big help to those who might be first time purchasers... research, using common sense and a grain of salt... and you won't be disappointed when your packages begin arriving for fall planting.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:41PM
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Jodik your baloney meter is still in high gear. I've received quality bulbs from Brecks and confidently order from them and a half dozen other companies. Most mail order companies use the same sources for bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Well, bully for you, plantcompost... I'm beyond thrilled that your personal experiences with Breck's have been super...

I'm not sure what part of the above post you perceive as "baloney", but your lack of knowledge is sure showing...

1. you have no personal knowledge of what my experiences have been with companies and purchases... for you to comment on that would be completely nonsensical.

2. while some companies may purchase their stock from the same places, don't kid yourself that they all buy the same quality bulbs from those places. If you think all bulbs sold by the growers are the same, think again. They are graded, similar to eggs, and sold by size and quality.

3. how is telling people to use common sense when mail order buying even close to being "baloney", or have anything to do with it?

Perhaps you should put down the "baloney" you hold so tightly long enough to research before writing...

Have a nice day.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 12:49PM
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plantcompost re your: "Most mail order companies use the same sources for bulbs."

It's startling how many gardeners (such as jodik) are unaware of that very fact. Clematis, roses, bulbs and most plant stock are sourced from a few suppliers and the same quality is offered at $10 a plant or $5 a plant or $2 a plant. Walmart isn't going to have inferior bulbs in quality or size from Brecks or home Depot or any one else. Gardeners should save their money and buy where the least expensive for 90% of their needs and use the saved dollars to order specialty items from mail order or the garden centers.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 1:19PM
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It has been my experience that most things are very competitive when you compare apples to apples. Occasionally you can find a good sale or really good price, though usually on further investigation, you get what you pay for. But the philosophy i always use is, if you don't know the difference buy the cheapest!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I have dealt with Breck's several times and it has always been satisfactory. In fact, I ordered a few things after I read this post and mentioned it to them and to my great surprise I received my order in about a week.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Nancy zone 6

I've ordered bulbs from Brecks, they aren't the largest by any means, but will usually grow, might be a year or so before they are as large as JS, but that is ok for me usually for the dif in price. However, I ordered a bearded iris this spring from them. When I received it, it was the size of a nickel, & a bit soft. No company should send out a rhizome the size this was. They were supposed to send me a replacement this fall, but I just received a message that they were out of stock & would ship in spring. I've ordered from them before-never order plants. They often are dead. Brecks will tell you to plant they are just dormant. Anyone can tell the dif between dormant & dead though. They ended up replacing/refunding but it is not worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 1:50PM
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A smart shopper can walk into Wally world and buy a can of beans for 69 cents and the identical item in the grocery store is 99 cents. the shopper walk into Wally world and buy the exact same box of fertilizer for $3.00 less than at the nursery. I'm not going to suddenly assume that I'm also not getting a better deal on my plants and bulbs at a bigger retail store. My plants and bulbs have grown okay. We order a few things from Brecks over the years as much to use the free coupons as anything else and can't recall any negatives. What's not to like getting an extra $25 of bulbs for a couple of dollar order. Now and then here's had a dud with catalogue companies but always received credit

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 3:24PM
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I think most everyone who read my posts either didn't read the whole thing, or interpreted it the way THEY wanted it to read...


I realize that common sense is only present in approx. 75% of the population, but c'mon... Sheeesh!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 6:04PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

I've ordered from Breck's and many other bulb suppliers. I also buy bulbs at my local garden centers and big box stores. Bulb quality at ALL varies from year to year, but the *relative* quality from different suppliers doesn't change much. In other words, I know that if I buy Pink Impression tulips from John Scheepers, they will be larger and in better condition than the same variety purchased at Lowe's, or from Breck's.

Overall, I think Breck's prices are a bit high for what you get. It pays to do some research and compare prices and customer reviews at It's not so much that I've had unsatisfactory service or poor-quality bulbs from Breck's; it's just that there are other, more reliable companies selling better quality bulbs for the same or nearly the same price.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 7:15PM
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OKãÂÂfinally I received all of my bulbs. Lilies came last week and tulips came yesterday. I am in zone 5 and it's late to plant although weather seems to be warmer than average. I still don't understand why lilies and tulips came this late. I also do not understand why those packages were sent from Indiana. The bulbs are supposed come directly from Holland, right?

On top of that, Breck's overcharged me. They billed me each time they shipped package and the total exceeds the order total. I called my CC and they gave me credit but this should not have happened. Oh, well.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:00AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I'm glad people are finally getting their bulbs... I agree it's kind of late and for bulbs like snowdrops and aconites, it's not the late planting that does them in, it's the long storage in the warehouse.

I've ordered from Brecks with the $25 free coupon. Perennials were weak, bulbs were fine. But without the coupon I feel the prices are about twice what they should be.

If you are serious about comparing bulb prices, go with companies that are absolutely clear on what they are selling. There should be a specific species and cultivar name (not some made up name like 'blue mountain lilies' or 'pink desert tulips') and also there should be sizes listed for the bulbs, either a measurement of how big around the bulb is or some other classification like # of noses on daffodils.

Once you know what they are offering you can decide if the price is right for you. There's nothing wrong with buying cheap bulbs, I just don't like to see people paying too much for them.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 9:33PM
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Having once been a raving fan of Brecks and having been through a surprising ordeal lately, I think I have to update my information to let customers know that Brecks will issue a hostile letter insinuating you are a criminal and refusing all orders from you if you make use of the the lifetime guarantees.
And that when you call with questions about why your lilies have no fragrance or none of your crocus came up, and staff tell you to use the guarantee and you do, you will be flagged as a bad customer. That if a mistake is made and you are sent an order after you had cancelled it, and you contact them about it you will be flagged. I have a yard full of Brecks success, the neighbors ask and I had been raving to them about Brecks. This year, I put in no tulips, etc because I have been blacklisted. I had no ill will, I did nothing dishonest, I spent a ton of money over the years, and this is not ok.. I really thought you Brecks was better than that.
a former midwest farmgirl and former customer

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 1:21PM
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