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Sweet Aquatics: Gantt, Alabama

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by MOD_Dawn, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Sweet Aquatics
    10429 Barnes Bridge Rd
    Gantt, Alabama 36474

    http://www.sweetaquatics.com/

    Originally this store was listed in Hamilton, Ohio..and on their website it still lists that in their header, but if you goto their contact us you'll find they are actually now in Gantt, Alabama.

    First, the shipping charges:
    I paid was $9.35 for a 3Lb 8oz package that arrived in a Priority Mail "shoe" box that had the inside lined with styrofoam sheets cut to fit the box. Also enclosed within the box was frozen ice packs. Each type of plant was seperated into it's own transparent plastic bag which was clearly marked with black permanent marker. These bags were stapled Closed at the tops.
    The shipping label was printed online and included Delivery Confirmation. Upon calculations via USPS website (unless the seller gets more of a online label discount than I do), they paid $10.51
    So shipping costs were definately great!

    Next, arrival/transit turnaround time from order date:
    Order was placed August 16th and arrived via USPS postal carrier on August 26th. So 11 days complete turnaround (days from when order was placed to when order was received). Not too shabby!

    Now onto actual pricing of the goods:
    I have to save their prices appeared to be the cheapest that I came across, and according to the photos/stem count they exceeded other retailers which normally include 5-6 stems, whereas Sweet Aquatics states they include 6-8.

    Notations/Policies to share:
    My actual order:
     
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Now onto the important stuff, like what the plants actually looked like when they arrived and what condition they arrived in once removed from their plastic bags.

    {*}6 x Sagittaria Subulata (Dwarf) = $3.60 arrived in fair condition, as you can tell by the photos some stalks were yellow while others were a nice even lightish green color.
    View attachment ai56.tinypic.com_a04zk.jpg

    {*}4 x Ludwigia Natans (Ludwigia Repens) = $5.40 arrived with a hairlike ?algae growing off the leaves in a upward direction. A large majority of the leaves had pinholes and all the stems appeared to be clippings being none had roots. First photo shows the upward ?algae, 2nd moreso shows the pinholes in the leaves.
    ai54.tinypic.com_2poeg7p.jpg
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    {*}1 x Echinodorus Paul Kloecker LG = $12.00 arrived with impressive long oval leaves, a substantial root system, but also came with mushy brown patches/spots on the leaves that if you were to touch them would dissipate.
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    2nd image lost from host.
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    {*}1 x Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red lg clump = $4.50 that arrived in a massive clump, HUGE portion for the price as I would have easily paid $8.99 at my local fish store. Arrived with the edges melted, but this may simply be crypt rot/melting...which is something that's fairly normal for crypts. Sorry, photo lost from host.

    {*}2 x Cyperus Helferi Pot = $7.00 arrived with a nice root system, large slender blades, and in a very nice size (wide'ish) portion. However, they both also arrived with the browning on the blades that is appearing to advance down towards the base.
    ai51.tinypic.com_2n82e07.jpg
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    {*}1 x Java Fern (Microsorium Pteropus) = $2.50 arrived with 2 fair sized leaves and a nice rooting, but 1 leaf was completely detached. The leaf that remained is tattered at the tip and is also browned/browning. Sorry, photo lost from host

    {*}4 x Echinodorus Angustifolia 'Vesuvius' Pot = $18.00 arrived as several blades combined and tucked into a plant pot. The blades (for the most part) were transparent, there was VERY minimal root evidence and the plant looked like death.
    ai51.tinypic.com_fz2ae8.jpg
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    {*}1 x Crinum Calamistratum = $6.00 arrived with at least 3 blades that were nice sized and a very advanced root system, but the bulb itself felt mushy and 1/2 of it was brown. no photo-sorry.

    {*}4 x Rotalla Wallichii = $5.40 arrived in very good condition with nice a descent amount of nice sized stalks! Just needs to color back up imo as it arrived with barely the tips being pink.
     
  3. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Being the larger majority of this order arrived in poor condition I immediately notified the seller. I then updated the letter to include photos once I was able to get the camera charged.

    To date I am currently waiting to hear back from Sweet Aquatics and have kept the mailing box and plants in case they would like them sent back.
     
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Well after e-mailing the company and using their contact form and not hearing back, I simply sent communications through Paypal today hoping they'll at least respond that way. If I don't hear something in the next few days I guess I'll be forced to escalate it to a claim and let PayPal decide it. Hoping that it doesn't get to that point.
     
  5. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Those plants look pretty bad.

    The only problem with PayPal though is if you have to file a claim with them all they have to do is provide a tracking number showing you received them and PayPal will close the case.
     
  6. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Ugh! Well they clearly advertise 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
    And clearly if I'm not satisfied with what arrived (photos clearly show why).

    I didn't escalate to a claim, but by going through paypal I did receive a response asking me to close the paypal dispute (which was never escalated to a claim) and they'd refund $21.00 and I informed them to re-check their e-mail because the problem was with more than the initial few plants that I did a quick e-mail about because I was on my way out the door for a concert I was attending when the box arrived so I just had time to quickly place them in the substrate and drop a very short e-mail stating problems with the order and would further explain and send photos the next day (which I did).

    I'm guessing they haven't checked the rest of their e-mail though because they are asking for pictures to try to figure out what went wrong with the shipping and apologized for not getting back to me sooner stating something about going through another move which isn't far away?
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I just called paypal because the seller is only offering $21 something stating I didn't contact him within 24 hours which is a crock because I have the e-mail proving I did. Paypal said as of November 10th they now protect you for online purchases even if it wasn't through ebay and stated to me not to worry they would take care of it and get my money refunded.

    I did offer to pay for the Rotalla, Stone, and crypt figuring it was probably melt and may possibly come back to life.

    I told PayPal I'd gladly repackage what's left of these plants (leaves breaking off due to the browning/dying/deadness) and send them back in the same box he sent them to me in, but they said to wait until they give me an address and tell me to do so.

    Granted, others may have a good experience despite my personal experience as I know that's even been the case when I've dealt with other online retailers...but for me, I'll never be dealing with this person again.
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    UPDATE:
    Seller finally replied to paypal dispute and apparently wouldn't authorize the refund, so paypal was left to decide the case for themselves. Case was found in my favor and I was given a "different" address to return my order to in order to receive a full refund. Plants are now on their way to:
    I'm told once they show delivered my refund will be processed.
    I'm glad paypal offers protection for it's users :)
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Humm weird. At least you're getting a refund.
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    My thoughts exactly!
     
  11. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    UPDATE: According to PayPal e-mail full refund was recovered, all I was out was the cost of the return shipping (plus time and effort on my part in waiting for the time frame to end so paypal could officially provide me with a return address and the "ok" to go ahead and return everything).
     
  12. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    This is the reason why I always say that looking around for the cheapest price usually ends up costing more, headache wise, than if a person would have just ordered from the "higher" priced dealers.
     
  13. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I don't per say go for cheapest price when dealing with stock, BUT I do like to try different sources that most times comes via recommendation. This one was definately a headache though :(
     
  14. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    I deal with 3 places exclusively via the internet. Bobs tropical plants, msjinkzd and forsyth aquatics. Quality EVERYTIME!!
     
  15. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations, funny you mentioned forsyth...I just contacted them the other day about the congo tetras (tried to order, but was out of stock).

    I think plant-wise I'll stick MikesWetPets...never had issues with him and his shipping is fair.
     
  16. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    The other two specialize in micro fish...msjinkzd especially not only is she the invert QUEEN but she also has a HUGE variety of micro fish and some low light plants on hand usually. Bobstropical is where you want to go for plants and driftwood as well as dry ferts...trust me they're AWESOME!!! Msjinkzd always has stock that isn't listed on her site but I am happy to email you a full list of what she has available :)
     
  17. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I had planned to order from MsJinkzd before (when I setup the kiddos shrimp tank), at that time she only had limited types of shrimp and was much pricier that what we had seen on an aquabid listing.

    We got lucky via aquabid from a seller who cut the price and had just about every type of freshwater shrimp known to man.
    They arrived perfectly and coloration was AMAZING!

    Her fish prices were good though, I just didn't need any fish at the time she sent me the list :)

    I haven't tried Bobstropicals yet, but soon I will be looking for some moderate light plants so I'll give him a look being mikeswetpets seems to have more of the low lights listed lately.

    Thanks for the recommendations :)
     
  18. WhiteGloveAquatics

    WhiteGloveAquatics New Member

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    Im seeing the plant guy this weekend, send me a list of what you want and $30 bucks, itll cover all costs of plants and shipping, I will ship them monday morning at 830am central time.

    I tried to warn ya didnt I? I got their plants at our local swap last year, they looked great in bags, got em under my T5's and they were junk. no refund since it was at the swap but my satisfaction is informing people that they sell straight JUNK.

    Email me Dawn I get those easier then messages left on here.
    Yes I will even ship you the change if any. oh the snails too....Im trying to get a tank of MTS and a tank of pond snails going but my fish encourage me to smash the pond snails
     
  19. Alleycat

    Alleycat Member

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    Dawn, sorry to hear of your bad experience with Sweet Aquatics. They were local to me until they moved south, and always, always had excellent stock, and a perfect score card. They used to supply our club auctions with so many donations it would make your head spin. We were sad to hear they were leaving Ohio, but wished them well in Alabama.

    Perhaps they just need a fish on the head to wake them up wackfish

    Glen
     
  20. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Might be, buy I know they made two moves so maybe that had something to do with it?
    From Ohio, to Albama, and then another move which they said was close by.