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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To the moderator: I apologize if this is not the appropriate forum in which to post this. Please delete or move as you see fit. Thanks!

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Hi, All.

I guess a number of you recently discovered that I have access to some rare plants that many hobbyists have been looking for. I am very fortunate to live *relatively* close to Albany Aquarium, a wonderful aquarium shop that gets regular plant shipments, *usually* every two weeks. For about a year and a half, now, I've been filling occasional requests from hobbyists in the U.S. and it really hasn't been a problem at all since I regularly go right after a new shipment gets in, anyway (to satisfy my own curiosity and admire all the new stuff). There was a time when I could go as often as I pleased because I lived only a 20-minute walk away. Now I have to take quite a few buses to get there and a visit will typically take about four hours out of my day and about $5 or more out of my pocket just in bus fares.

I'm still more than happy to pick up plants for people, but I need to make this a little more efficient so I don't have to go more than "once per shipment" or do anything much beyond picking up, re-packaging, shipping out, and getting reimbursed... So here's the deal, which is always negotiable but would make my life easier if we could adhere to it as much as possible:

The LFS gets plant shipments [roughly] every two weeks, typically on Sundays. The employees work late into the night to unpack the plants and put them in the tanks. Therefore, I like to go on Monday or Tuesday when the plants are fresh. Whichever day I go, I'll send the plants out next day. If you're going to be out of town later that week, DO NOT submit a request. I cannot "hold" plants, as my tanks are tiny and provide sub-optimal conditions.

I am not really the type of person who likes to talk on the phone. Therefore, if you want to find out the exact price of a plant (and portions this includes) before you request that I pick it up, please call the store directly for this info. Their number is (510) 525-1166*. Please keep in mind that prices may change unexpectedly (usually not by much), and sales tax is going up to 8.75% as of July 1. I have no control over price variations, and I don't "negotiate" with the employees, who also have no control over them.

When you're sure you want it, just PM me with the species name, how much you want, and your address (please include 4-digit postal code if you know it). Just to be fair, I want to limit the number of portions a single person can buy to two. If the supply is way bigger than foreseeable demand, we can always fudge that. Rare stem plants are typically sold in bunches of three stems.

Plants that you can get locally, you should do so, especially if cost is an issue.

I make no guarantees. I'm not making a single red cent, and I'll be gosh-darned if I *lose* money (aside from bus fare, bubble-wrap, paper towels and packaging tape). I'll tell you right now that Limnophila aromatica will not survive long beyond the trip, no matter how well it's packaged or in how good a condition it arrives. If you want to take the risk and have me ship it, anyway, I get reimbursed no matter what the outcome. Crypts *will* melt in transit (some species worse than others). Elatine triandra *will* get pretty mushy. USPS *will* screw up, sometimes. All these things are out of my hands. I will use my best judgment as to the health of the plants in stock - if they look really bad, I won't waste your money. But if they look okay in the store and arrive dead, it's not my fault. I encourage people to make inquiries on the forums - find out if what you want is a poor shipper or has problems with shock or whatever...

If you're requesting more than one species, please make sure you want each of them badly enough to have them shipped separately. There's no guarantee that a shipment is going to include all of the plants you want and I don't want to be confused with "...only get B for me if they have A; if they don't get A, then don't bother sending me just B...Except if they have C and B, then I'll take those without A, but I don't want C if they don't have B or A. Of course if they have A then I'll take C, even if they don't have B." Nobody's done this to me, yet ;).

As for "emergencies," where you just HAVE to have something right away, even if it means I have to make an unscheduled trip... I think it would be fair to get paid $5 to cover bus fares PLUS $10 for my time (I have two little kids that my husband will have to watch on his own for four hours while he's trying to work) in addition to reimbursement for the plants.

For payments made via PayPal: I must charge an additional 3% of the grand total (incl. shipping) plus $0.30.

For those paying with personal checks: I'll contact you with your grand total and all other pertinent information.

And I'll only ship within the continental U.S.; Priority Mail, unless otherwise instructed. You can request delivery confirmation (which is an additional charge).

Please don't think that it's some big burden for me to be doing this. On the contrary, it's a real pleasure and I've gotten to know many interesting and totally cool people this way... I hope to continue doing so. It's just in the past week that I've suddenly been inundated with several requests for particular plants. I broke my record for number of visits to the shop in one week - something I can't continue to do. So this should be workable for everybody. I'll take requests up until I leave to go to the store, but they'll be filled in the order that I receive them. If I can't fill an order completely, it'll get priority for the next shipment (unless you decide to cancel the unfilled portion).

One last thing - I've only been "robbed" once (fortunately, they were just extra cuttings from my own tanks and not stuff I paid for out of my own pocket), but it's made me more wary of people whose names and/or handles I've never come across on the numerous forums I frequent. In these cases, I might ask you about what sites you're registered with or I might want to check your feedback rating if you have an AquaBid account. I'm normally a trusting person, but the one bad incident jaded me, I guess. So please don't feel offended if I ask for additional info about you.

Thanks for everybody's understanding... Maybe in time, Albany Aquarium will get set up for shipping directly from their store. Until then, I'm happy to provide this service. Happy planting, All!

Sincerely,
Naomi

*Albany Aquarium is a retail store with a single phone line and is NOT equipped with specially-trained customer service operators. Some employees are better able to answer questions about plants than others. Please have patience and maintain reasonable expectations. Getting a busy signal is not uncommon ;).

Store hours:
12-7 M-W, F
11-6 weekends/holidays
Closed Thursdays
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aw, shucks :oops: ... You guys make me blush...

It's really nothing. I'm constantly learning new stuff from y'all and all the folks here. So in a way, I do profit greatly from doing this :).

You guys are the best! :D Thanks!

-Naomi
 

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Three deafening cheers for Naomi!

There should be more people like her in this hobby :)

May her Pantanal grow and her callitrichoides prosper :D
 
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