This post was updated on .
How seed-trading works:
Seed exchanges take place in the Offers and Wants forums. Trading privileges are required in order to post (and they are required even to view the 'Walled' forums). Your privileges may be revoked with or without you losing your membership.
Here's how you can participate:
* Ideally, create your tradelists. There are forums for that.
* Ideally, set up a profile post for yourself in the Profiles forum.
* Ideally, make a link to your profile post in your signature.
* Ideally, link to your tradelist posts in your profile post.
* Post wants in the Wants forum.
* Post things you're offering, whether for trade, sale, etc. in the Offers forum.
* If you can't see the Wants and Offers forum, that means you're either not logged in or you don't have the privilege.
* Only exchange seeds and plants within your own country (so please state your country).
* Do not exchange patented seeds/plants, nor PVP seeds/plants, nor other such.
* Be honest. There's nothing quite like receiving a completely different species than the person said they would give you.
* Do your homework, and list the full name of every breed/species you trade. For instance, if it's VF Roma, don't just call it Roma. If it's Roma, don't pretend it's VF Roma (it's not). If someone asks for gooseberries, don't send them cape gooseberries. If you're listing True Black Brandywine, don't call it Black Brandywine (which is another tomato entirely), nor vice versa. If someone asks for Celebrity F1, don't send them Celebrity F2. If someone asks for African Horned Cucumbers, don't send them cucumbers (they're a different species and they do not resemble each other).
* When you respond to an offer or a want in a publicly visible forum, it's good practice to post in the thread before (or soon after) emailing the person. This way, they'll know you have trading privileges, if that matters to them.
* Do not quote posts in the 'Walled' forums outside of them without permission.
* You may want to have a PayPal account set up to make it easy to send and receive money for shipping, should that be in the bargain you make.
* If you buy or sell stuff, realize there are probably laws pertaining to those activities; there may be taxes that need to be paid, too. Anyway, please obey the law.
This post was updated on .
* When you send seeds, include a note to let the recipient know who you are. They might not know or remember your real name.
* Add the zip+4 code to the end of the zipcode for addresses: https://tools.usps.com/zip-code-lookup.htm?byaddress
* Get a good supply of additional ounce stamps to save yourself some money when your envelope needs a little more postage. Also, the first forever stamp is only good for one ounce.
* Realize that most letters in the mail go through a machine that can potentially damage your seeds. People normally add some kind of padding to protect them (often foam or extra-durable bubble wrap; I often just crumple up a piece of paper, open it up, and put the seeds inside, to make it thicker).
* Taping your seeds in place can prevent them from going places in the envelope where you don't want them.
* For extra protection, write 'non-machinable' on the envelope and add an extra 1-ounce stamp. They don't always honor it, but if you make your envelope thick enough, they'll have to. Also know that there are specific stamps you can get that are worth the cost of a forever stamp plus the non-machinable surcharge; those stamps are said to have a butterfly on them.
* Get a postage scale (if you can find a good one)
* Realize that if you don't add enough postage, the recipient may have to pay the balance in order to receive the mail. Or, the post office may send it back to you with an insufficient postage note.
* Let the recipient know when you've mailed your seeds.
* Let the sender know when you've received your seeds.
* If you like to trade seeds, accept seeds from others, and do SASE offers and such, don't be shy. Do it as much as you want, as many times as you want.
* Unless you have permission, it's a good idea not to re-trade seeds you receive from someone (but this is not a rule).
* Don't trade seeds just to sell them on eBay or something. It's not right. If you know the seeds are legally salable, and you make an agreement with the other party wherein they know you're going to sell the seeds, that's another matter. However, you're free to do whatever you want with seeds you save yourself from those, where legal, unless you've made an agreement to do otherwise.
* Tell people the history of your seeds where possible.
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