There seems to be quite a bit of controversy surrounding the cost that various carnivorous plant suppliers charge for shipping. This same controversy is what has kept us from writing this blog post in the past. However, we feel that this information is easily apparent anyways; so why not discuss it!
Some potential customers have asked us why we don’t offer ‘free shipping’, or why we don’t offer a ‘flat-rate’ charge for shipping, no matter how many items a customer purchases. Many other carnivorous plant suppliers do just that. We do not do this for several reasons; but the main one is that whether a business includes these costs in the price of the items or as a separate shipping charge, the customer is still paying it...and sometimes getting overcharged!
Here at PetFlyTrap, we always use USPS Priority Mail, and our shipping charges are based on the size and weight of the item(s)…nothing more, and nothing less. The price you are quoted is the same as you would pay if you took the package to the post office instead of us. We do not add any additional charges to this amount…not even for heat packs in winter, which we include FREE OF CHARGE whenever they are necessary. We feel these are just a ‘cost of doing business’ this time of year, and don’t feel you should have to pay extra for them, or have no guarantee from the supplier if you don’t buy the heat pack. While some other nurseries are charging extra money for ‘winter shipping protocols’ (which means they use heat packs and ship via USPS Priority Mail, which are our standard shipping practices), we charge the same amount year-round.
We also ship all plants POTTED, while many others send everything bareroot, or with a bag of soil. While shipping plants potted adds weight to the item, it also means you get a plant that is all set to go straight out of the package. Simply read over our online care sheets, carefully unpack the potted plant, water it, and you’re all set! No need to worry about the stress of ordering and receiving a bareroot plant, and finding the correct soil, pots, etc. We believe you’ll find that even with the added weight, our shipping is still cheaper than the ‘winter shipping’ prices that some others charge!
Regarding ‘free’ shipping or flat-rate shipping, this just means that the extra cost of shipping is included in the price of the items. But this can cost you more in the long run. If the cost for shipping one plant is included in the price, and you order just that one plant, this can be okay. But the more plants you order, the less the actual shipping costs. For example, if you order five plants and the cost for shipping each plant separately is included in the cost of the plants, you are paying for five separate shipments. If they are all placed in one box, you are being heavily overcharged for shipping.
We have calculated the average shipping charges that were actually paid by PetFlyTrap.com customers for the first 13 days of this month for shipping one 3-inch potted plant via USPS Priority Mail. No matter the destination…California to Maine, and everywhere in between…the average actual shipping cost via USPS Priority Mail that our customers paid was $8.39. This includes a heat pack, average delivery time of 2-3 days, and the ability to track your package along the way. Not a bad deal at all!
The bottom line is that as the customer, the decision is up to you. We believe that you will find our prices some of the best in the industry, without any added hidden costs; and our shipping prices are based on the actual weight, not on some surcharge that’s added to the cost of the plants.
Just one more way that PetFlytrap.com tries to treat you fairly and keep our customers’ costs as low as possible.