Updated September 1, 2020
Gardener Direct Nursery Direct Grade: D
Overall rating: 64.5
Location: Blanchard, OK
Why do we list location? This is so you can know, in most cases, where the evergreen shrubs you buy are coming from.
Breakdown of scores from each of the 11 factors we evaluate. You can read details on what each category means and how we score it here.
|Years site Active||7|
|Range of sizes||8|
Gardener Direct's rating this month is at 64.5 which puts them at a D grade. Gardener Direct scores high marks for the range of sizes offered, selection and their return policy. Everything else we grade didn't do as well. Gardener Direct is firmly entrenched in the bottom tier of our online nurseries we rank.
Gardener Direct appears to have a decent selection of sizes. We found bare root as well as 1, 3 & 7 gallon sizes available. They also seem to have some attractive prices.
We also gave them a decent rating of 7.5 out of 10 for their return policy. It's similar to others but they do say they will give a full refund or exchange. "If your plants happened to get damaged during shipping or you are not fully satisfied with your order you may return it within 30 days of the ship date for a full refund or exchange. Shipping costs may not be covered in some cases." Of course returning a perishable item in good condition may be problematic. There are a few hoops to jump through. You can read their return policy here https://www.gardenerdirect.com/returns/
Their terms of service are one of the longest we reviewed from all the sites selling evergreen shrubs online. It was 12 pages when we copied it into a Word document. 12 pages!!!
It appears some revisions have been made to the overall design for GardenerDirect.com. The site looks a lot better is a lot easier to get around. Site search, which we said in the past was useless has been revised. For the 4th month in a row, some of the selections from their top menu, however, go to a page with a 404 error. There's also a lot of products featured that are out of stock when you click on them.
There's also a disclaimer at the bottom of the GardenersDirect.com site that is very odd. Just really curious what prompted this to be added: "GardenerDirect.com is an affiliate of ToGoGarden, Inc. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information entered by Gardener Direct members is not endorsed by GardenerDirect.com. Never use any information from this site to diagnose or treat any medical problem."
While their prices seem reasonable, the ship costs can be high. We found a few evergreen shrub where the ship cost did not match up with what they list as ship costs here https://www.gardenerdirect.com/shipping-rates.
For example, a Leyland Cypress in a 2.5 quart container was $19.97. The shipping they charged was $12.50. Their shipping rates chart says the ship cost should only have been $10.50. That's a pretty big discrepancy.
Gardener Direct say they 'ships straight from the grower' but we couldn't find anything whether they were an actual nursery or if they are a drop shipper that send orders to other nurseries around the country.
It is also hard to find Gardener Direct reviews anywhere. We've been looking for months & could not find GardenerDirect.com Google customer reviews anywhere. That's a pretty big red flag. Then, out of nowhere, 2 Google reviews pop up. And, of course, both of them are 5 star reviews. The picture they show with their Google business listing looks to be a home.
They still seem to get decent traffic from the metrics we monitor. They just wouldn't be a place we would consider buying from.
What were the red flags?
- For having been around since 2009, they don't have a lot of reviews on their product pages. And all of them are 4 or 5 stars.
- There's not a lot of reviews on their Facebook page. The most recent from May, 2017.
- Their Google business profile lists them in Blanchard, OK. Their BBB profile says the location is McDonough, GA.
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