Sea-Monkeys are one of the most famous of mail order scams. Their original $0.49 price was not cheap for children who made the first purchases in 1957. They were nothing like their playful portrayals in comic book advertisements. They were minuscule brine shrimp who were incapable of building castles, playing tennis, or even just smiling for a camera.
Nonetheless, Sea-Monkeys were lucrative for their enterprising inventor. For many such capitalists, profit is the priority. It is no different for the many mail order scams that involve seed and plants. They range from the rare monkey face orchid to multicolored tomatoes. Consumers get either nothing or random seed or plants that are nothing like they expect.
Most mail order scams that involve seed or plants are on e-commerce sites. They mostly include popular buzz words such as ‘rare’, ‘organic’ and ‘bonsai’, even in regard to plants that are not conducive to bonsai culture. Associated illustrations are obviously faked, but somehow convince enough consumers to sustain their deceptive mail order exploitation.
Fortunately, the vast majority of online seed and plant suppliers are very trustworthy and reputable. They provide precisely what they claim to provide. Their commodities become available prior to the season that is best for delivery. Then, delivery happens early during the regionally best season for planting. Products are not marketable out of their seasons.
Many seed catalogs and plant catalogs enact more than seasonal or climactic limitations to their sales. For various reasons, particular species are not admissible within particular states or counties. Some may be potential vectors of disease. Some may be too likely to naturalize and interfere with natural ecosystems. Species limitations are fortunately rare.
Much of the seeds and plants that are available from e-commerce sites such as eBay are from the home gardens of those selling them. The sellers are generally quite trustworthy and reputable, but can make mistakes. It is easy to misidentify some species, especially by common names. Also, such sellers are very often unaware of marketability limitations.