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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Ordering

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What are your hours of operation?

Our customer service and order desk are open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm daily, Pacific Standard Time.
Saturdays and Sundays somone on hand to answer your calls 10am to 4pm. January to May 29th.
The warehouse shipping, recieving and pick up desk is open 8am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday.
We are closed on all statutory holidays.
The Elliot Street Retail Store is open 9:30 am to 5:30 pm Mondays to Saturdays throughout the year.
Our retail store is also open on Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Where are you located?

West Coast Seeds is located at 3925 – 64th Street, Delta, BC, Canada, V4K 3N2. You will find us just east of Ladner in South Delta, between Vancouver and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Click here for a map showing how to find us.

Who owns West Coast Seeds?

APRIL 1, 2014

Although ownership has changed, our mission has not. West Coast Seeds’ commitment to the principles of organic growing remains our steadfast promise to our customers. We will continue to provide the best selection of open pollinated and hybrid seeds available, including certified organic and heirloom varieties. We remain firmly committed to providing untreated, non-GE/GMO seeds for organic growing.

The WCS team remains the same and will continue to supply our customers with the freshest, fattest seed available to us, with the highest germination rate possible. West Coast Seeds believes in the principle of eating locally produced food whenever possible. Sharing garden wisdom continues to be important to us so that you will have the best success with your seeds.

WCS continues to be a proud supporter of regional and overseas charitable organizations that promote organic growing, seed saving, and sustainable agriculture.

 

Charles, Isabelle, Craig, Carrie, Amanda, Brian and Allie (The Diamond Family)

We are 4th generation British Columbia based, and our family-owned businesses are overseen by Charles and Craig Diamond. Since Craig’s grandfather Jack Diamond, came to Canada in 1927 as a young man and purchased his first business in 1940, members of our family have been engaged as leaders in business. We continue to follow the principles of community and philanthropy set by Jack. The values of West Coast Seeds resonate deeply with our family and we are committed to uphold this tradition.

The Diamond family is proud and excited to take on stewardship of West Coast Seeds and will continue the path set by the founder Mary Ballon.
 

Eat local, grow food, grow from seed.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with a product?

If you are dissatisfied with any of our services or products, please contact us within a reasonable time period so we can take steps towards an agreeable solution. Your satisfaction is very important to us. Contact us by telephone, fax, email, or post at the numbers/address information listed above.

What if something is wrong with my order?

When you receive your order, please carefully check the contents. If anything seems wrong, missing, or out of place, just contact us, and we will fix the problem in a timely fashion. Our packing and shipping system has several levels of review to ensure accuracy and expediency. In the event of simple human error, we will be happy to work towards a speedy and agreeable solution.

Is it easy to buy online from West Coast Seeds?

Yes! You will find the online ordering system safe, secure and easy to navigate. Our website presents our whole range of seeds, books, tools, and other products with current prices, lots of information, and other features. Your order will be processed and shipped within two business days.

Can I order by mail?

Absolutely! Use the West Coast Seeds order form from inside our catalogue, or simply write us a letter. Be sure to indicate exact product number, size, and quantity for each item. Or use our online order system and print it off once the system has calculated your subtotal. We accept cheques and money orders, or you can indicate your Visa or Mastercard number and expiration date. We will process and ship your order within two business days. Click here to download a mail order/fax order form.

Mail your request to:

West Coast Seeds, 3925 – 64th Street, Delta, BC, Canada, V4K 3N2

Can I order by telephone or fax?

By all means! From the Lower Mainland of BC, dial (604) 952-8820, or toll free: 1-888-804-8820.

To send us a fax order, dial (604) 952-8828

Can I find West Coast Seeds products in stores?

Yes. Our retail seed racks are on display in over 100 stores in British Columbia. To find a store near you, visit our Retail Partners page.

Which credit cards are accepted?

For all orders, we accept Visa and Mastercard. We also accept personal cheques and money orders. In our Delta location, we accept all of these plus cash and debit.

What taxes apply to the different products?

Residents of British Columbia must pay 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on all items purchased except seeds, books, garlic, and potatoes. If you live outside of BC, you will not be charged PST.

If you are a professional grower or have Aboriginal status, be sure to include your status number, and you will not be charged PST.

A 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST) is charged on all items going to Canadian customers. This tax is not charged for orders from outside Canada. Some seeds are GST exempt: If you will be purchasing 5kg or more of large seeds (peas, beans, corn), or 125g of other vegetable seeds, you will not be charged GST. In the event that the seeds are sold by number rather than weight, orders for seeds of 2,500 or more will not be charged GST.

Is there a minimum order?

There is no minimum order at West Coast Seeds. However, because of the cost of shipping, it may be more economical to order more than one item. Our mimimum shipping and handling rate is $6.95.
To see our shipping rates, visit our Ordering and Shipping page.

What is the login for?

The login process is a security measure to insure that your details are kept safe. We suggest that when you place your first online order, you write down the login information and keep it in a safe place. You will need it to place online orders in the future.

The login function also makes it harder for our website to be corrupted by spam messages and so-called spambots.

How do I register for an online account?

Visit the Login page and you should see some text, "New Customer? Create an Account Now". Click the "Create an Account" button and fill out all the required fields.

I lost my password. Help!

Simply go to the Login page and click the link that says, "Forgot your password?". We will send a new password to the e-mail associated with your West Coast Seeds online account.

How do I know if a product is in stock?

You can assume that every item on our website is in stock unless otherwise indicated. But the best way to check if a particular item is in stock is to phone us at (604) 952-8820 or toll free: 1-888-804-8820. You can also email us at info@westcoastseeds.com. When you place an order for seeds, you will be asked if substitutions are OK. If you say yes, we will do our best to find a product that is as similar as possible to what you ordered. If you say no, any out of stock item on your order will remain on our system as a backorder. When the product arrives, we will ship it out to you.

Are any of the seeds treated with chemicals?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: None of our seeds are treated with insecticides, fungicides, or other chemicals. We offer only high quality, raw seed with the best germination rates available. In the rare instance when we offer “pelleted” seeds, the seeds are coated for easier handling with a non-toxic, earth friendly coating. Usually these coatings are made from clay or molasses, but they are not considered “treated” seeds.

Are any of the seeds genetically engineered?

No. To the best of our knowledge, West Coast Seeds does not offer any seeds that are genetically engineered (GE/GMO) or trans-genic. We specify to each one of our suppliers and growers that no GE products are to be included in our seeds. We feel that genetic engineering is fraught with problems, and that it has no place in our food supply. Please see the Safe Seed Pledge for more information.

How are the seeds packaged?

West Coast Seeds packets are hand-packed by weight. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) sets an approximate standard for the weight of each seed product by species. For instance, on the CFIA website, you can see that artichoke seeds are 25 seeds per gram, and white clover seeds are 1,500 seeds per gram. This is the standard by which seeds are rated for sale by the Canadian government and this standard is used throughout the agricultural industry.

More often than not, the seeds we offer are from the most recent harvest available. We specify to our suppliers that we are looking for fresh, fat seeds because these have the highest rate of germination.

In all cases the “seeds per gram” measurement is an approximation. As seeds age, and as they lose moisture, this standard will change. When ordering seeds, we recommend erring on the side of too many, rather than too few.

Why aren't my seeds germinating?

Seeds are living organisms in as much as a certain percent of them will germinate in the correct conditions and produce seedlings, which, in the correct conditions, will produce plants and eventually more seeds. Before we order our seeds, we determine if the germination rate meets our high standards. We also test each and every seed lot annually to ensure that the germination rate remains higher than Canada Number One, as set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Samples of each lot of our seeds are tested in independent laboratories that are CFIA certified.

We take germination rates very seriously and print the result of each test on our seed packets. It is the goal of West Coast Seeds to provide the finest, fattest seeds, as well as the information needed, so that you have success in your garden and on your farm.

Many variables can affect the germination rate of seeds. How the seeds were stored, their age, the depth at which they were planted, the weather, the soil they were planted in, moisture, and temperature can all play a role in the success or failure of germination.

West Coast Seeds is proud to offer seeds of the highest quality, and we stand by our product. Our exceptional germination rate was the reason that our founder, Mary Ballon, began selling seeds. If you are not satisfied with the germination rate of our seeds, please contact us as soon as possible with the following information: Variety of seed and lot number – these are printed on all of our seed packages. Please be prepared to describe how the seeds were planted, and all of the details mentioned above.

We want you to have success in your gardens and on your farms. We will work with you to find an agreeable solution to your germination problems. This is our guarantee. West Coast Seeds cannot, though, accept liability for how you plant, maintain, or store your seeds.

The primary reasons for failed germination are:

  • Seeds get eaten – mice, voles, birds, and wireworms all eat seeds. Check to see that the seed is still in the soil. Seeds rot – planted too deeply, over-watered, or in cold weather, our untreated seeds may simply rot. Dig up some seeds and squeeze them. If they are soft or partially decayed, this is the problem.
  • Seeds need specific conditions to germinate – temperature and moisture can be difficult to control beneath the soil, and are easily affected by weather, human error, and other factors. Maintaining controlled moisture in the top layer of soil is particularly challenging if it is sunny and/or windy. Timing is everything with seeds, so rely on your local first/last frost dates and hope for the weather to play along. Be sure to plant seeds at the depth recommended on each seed packet. Seeds that are planted too deeply will not germinate.
  • Seeds (usually) require well-cultivated soil – while some plant seeds (think dandelions) will grow nearly anywhere, many herb, flower, and vegetable seeds require soil that has good drainage, the correct pH level, and adequate fertility to succeed. Follow the directions for each seed’s specific requirements.
  • Seeds are sometimes poorly stored – make sure to store all of your unused seeds in a dry, airtight container in a cool part of your house. Excessive heat will kill seeds. Moisture (even high humidity) can cause seeds to go moldy or otherwise lose their viability.
  • Seeds have a limited life expectancy – over time, the viability of all seeds will diminish. Use fresh, fat seed whenever possible.

What does West Coast Seeds do with my personal information?

We take your personal information and privacy very seriously. West Coast Seeds does not knowingly share your details with any second party of any kind. We maintain your mailing information on our secure server in order to send out catalogues and other promotions. If you wish to have your mailing information treated differently for any reason, please contact us. We will be happy to meet your specific privacy needs.

What areas do you ship to?

We will ship anywhere in North America. However our focus is on the Maritime Pacific Northwest region, and we have selected seeds that will do particularly well in this climate. The seeds that we sell have been tested for growing in our local environment of south coastal British Columbia.

Please note: Due to border restrictions, we cannot ship garlic or potatoes into the U.S. Mason Bee cocoons when ordered will be shipped from within the U.S. to our U.S customers.

How are shipping charges calculated?

The Internet shipping calculator is fairly accurate, but there are variations depending on dimension/weight and size of the box. The exact shipping will be charged once the order is boxed and weighed. The amount is often less than the amount originally quoted on your order confirmation. If for some reason it is significantly more, we will contact you for confirmation before shipping.

West Coast Seeds is committed to keeping shipping costs as low as possible, and we use a number of carriers to effect this. We use Canada Post, Canpar, and/or Purolator or Greyhound to select the best service for your order and your location. For more details on your shipping options, please visit our Ordering and Shipping information page.

When will products be delivered?

After receiving your order, we process it and ship it within two business days. Seasonal products (garlic, potatoes, nematodes, mason bees) will ship as noted on this site according to availability. The peak of our order processing season is March, when processing may take more than 48 hours. Once your parcel has been shipped, you can expect it within a few days in Canada, slightly longer to the U.S. For information about backordered items, please visit the Ordering and Shipping page.