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I agree - it's really a complicated process. The LFS I get my plants from often suffers HUGE plant losses depending on the route that the shipment is taking, the timing of flights, and the mood of the inspectors... I guess if you're going to do it, now is the best time. The worst is during the summer, especially if the plants happen to stop through any hot places.

AFAIK, the receiving party has to pay the inspectors overtime if it goes past their regular hours. But it's worth it, because time is of essence... If they keep something "for closer inspection" then forget it - you'll never get it back in salvageable condition. Some plants will NOT take well to shipping. Others will be sent in emersed form and may not transition successfully.

Another cause of big losses is when the inspector has no idea what s/he is looking at or is "too careful." I heard a story of how the LFS had ordered a huge amount of Hygrophila difformis, and the inspector thought it was Ceratopteris thalictroides, which is banned in California. So they confiscated it all, which made up like *most* of the shipment :shock: :-X . By the time they realized their mistake several days later and approved the plants, it was too late (and H. difformis is not exactly a "delicate" plant, either). This sort of thing happens regularly, though, so money-wise, you have to be in a position where you're able to shrug it off and call it a [bad] day.

One more thing - again, if you can't be talked out of it, then it will at least make things much easier for you if you got LOCALS to get in on the deal with you. There will be stuff that arrives to YOU in bad condition - you don't want to send half-dead stuff to people all over the country, only to have it arrive to them all-dead, and have *them* be angry at *you* 8-[ . If you're dealing with just locals, then those poor plants don't have to suffer through an additional 3-5 days in dark boxes. You can arrange to have them pick it up right after it arrives.

You may not be making money on this deal, but I hope that the final outcome is not of 11 people ALL taking relatively big losses. Best of luck :)! Hope all goes well...

-Naomi
 
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