Updated May 15, 2019
Garden Goods Direct Grade: C+
Overall rating: 79.5
Location: Bowie, MD
Why do we list location? This is so you can know, in most cases, where the evergreen shrubs you buy are coming from.
You can read details on what each category means and how we score it here.
|Years site Active||9.5|
|Range of sizes||9|
Garden Goods Direct Review
Garden Goods Direct has re-designed their site. In our opinion it reaffirms that they are really good plant people. Just maybe not the greatest marketing folks. Their new design is a tribute to the design company who actually gets free advertising from Garden Goods Direct with a link at the bottom of their website.. The new site design looks awesome. I'd be willing to bet the overall conversions have declined since the site changes as well as the number of pages per session. There's too many basic issues to list here and you would get bored at me talking about optimization. They seem like good people, I kind of feel bad for them.
We've ordered from Garden Goods Direct, interacted via email with their support and really like them overall. They have a good selection with good prices. And at least from what we received, they send quality plant materials. Check out our blog post, "Camellia's from Garden Goods Direct" for a complete review including a bunch of pictures.
Overall the rating for Garden Goods Direct this month went down 1 point and their grade is at a C+. Their domain authority, or what Google thinks of the site as it relates to the online nursery industry, went down a substantial 8 points in March and dropped another point in April. Garden Goods Direct still hasn't recovered any of the loss. In our opinion, the drop is nothing serious as far as buying from them online. They just need to make a few tweaks and they should back on the rise again.
It appears they're the online store for, or associated with Patuxent Garden Center. We came to this brilliant deduction because they share the same address. They don't have a lot of reviews for products but they have a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Etsy with 2,119 reviews. That's a plus.
They have an impressive number of evergreen trees & shrubs. Mostly 1 and 3 gallon sizes and at reasonable prices relative to what others online are charging.
One part of the new design that is an improvement is the checkout process. It's fast, intuitive and much easier to navigate through. After shopping and buying from them online, It's good to see that part improve.
Our bottom line is they seem to be good people that care. Especially with the latest site design changes, it is more obvious that they are plant people, not necessarily online marketing people. That's not a totally bad thing!
What were the red flags? We deducted four points for the following reasons.
- Even though the site is relatively new, it's still been around for 9 years. The number of reviews on the product pages were unusually low. It could just be that they don't actively solicit them?
- Their guarantee and return policies are very similar to Nature Hills. That's not necessarily a good thing. You will get a 50% store credit if something you bought from them dies. They do cover that for a full year where others charge for a full 1 year guarantee. They also charge a 10% ($10 minimum) if you cancel an order before it ships. Fulfilling orders for live plants is not easy. It's not like a robot pulling a product off a shelf in a warehouse somewhere. Having worked in the business, and actually spending time in fields pulling trees & shrubs for orders, I can vouch that it is labor intensive.
- We mentioned it above but the new site design actually makes it tougher for a user in many ways.
- Their domain authority has dropped 9 points the past three months. Not a huge concern other than they dropped more than any other online nursery we review.
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