Rant about shipping costs

This time I’m talking veggie/flower seeds (true for fruit trees too!)

You know, sometimes, I just need two or three packets of a seed that I can’t find locally, or can’t find it at the time of year I really need it.

There are certain seed companies I love, like Johnny’s and Territorial, who have great quality products, and a great selection, but if I only need a couple things, I end up paying more for shipping than the cost of the damn seeds!

Now, I understand it costs a little money to package things together, but for an order that small it could be put in a regular padded postal envelope, I still don’t know why I have to pay eight bucks for that.

It also seems like these two companies in particular never hold “free shipping promos”.

As far as buying local, certain things, onions in particular, as well as some brassicas, the local stores never seem to even start stocking seed until about a month after I should have already started them indoors.

Rant over


Yes seed companies have their angles and small orders is where they make their money.

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I know exactly what you mean!

Hear! Hear!

I’ll forgive Johnny’s for quite a bit because you can have your seed order in hand before January.

If you do the math – including paying workers a living wage, you’ll discover it’s a bargain.


Then that should reflect on the seed prices, not on shipping.


The seeds are packaged independently of shipping.

You did not do the math for materials and labor in shipping a few packets of seeds.

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At the volumes of shipping they do it’s probably $6 minimum for shipping anything. Honestly it’s entirely possible that they lose money on shipping one packet of seeds.


as far as putting seeds in a regular envelope, you may get lucky on occassion getting your seeds in one piece but 99 out of 100 times the will come looking like sawdust.

I have done 1000’s of seed trades over the years and once in a while i would get seeds in a regular envelope that were smashed to smitherines. the mail sorting machine shows no mercy at times.

prices are out of control for sure, i used to be able to send a small bubble mailer full of seeds for .80 not to long ago now its 3.50.


I think that’s a reasonable price.


After years of using Burpee for everything, I started searching for an alternative because of their excessive shipping fees (I don’t think I’ve used Burpee for veggie garden seeds for over 10 years now). Johnny’s is OK for me if I’m ordering for the veggie garden as my total is high enough to qualify for free shipping (this year my total order with free shipping and 5% discount was $410.26). For small orders I find Seed Savers Exchange is good, they have free shipping or very low shipping fees and the seed prices are reasonable as well.

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@Richard, did you fall and hit your head Haha. Its not reasonable when you send 50-100 a year.

Actually its way to much for a small mailer.

I shipped ~120 a month. In my opinion, if it’s not reasonable then something’s wrong with your business model.

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Some of my favorite suppliers have low shipping rates for seeds. Fedco charges $6 handling for seed orders under $30, and I love their big selection. Ohio Heirloom Seeds charges less than $3 to ship a packet or two of seeds to my location, and though they have a smaller selection, they have some cool varieties.


High Mowing is free shipping for orders over $10. They are pretty much my go to seed company with organic GMO seeds.

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I love OHS, I’ve ordered lots of tomato seeds and smaller amounts of other seeds from them and have been happy with the results. Super cheap, and fast shipping to our place, but we are within 200 miles of them, too.


its a hobby not a business. shipping is too expensive…lets take a survey. glad you like throwing money out the window.

Then it’s time to get realistic about the costs of your hobby – just like USPS is starting to get realistic about the costs of their operation. For too long it’s been a taxpayer subsidized service.


I agree with you. The USPS needs to wake up and gets itself straightened out. It costs a lot to pack and ship items. The shipping price is something hard for a company to absorb. I think anyone that has a business or worked in a business that had to do the shipping would agree.


I’m fortunate in that I have never had to worry about the cost of anything but thanks for your concern.