FAQ

About the Seed Sale

Seed packets from Baker Creek, Seed Savers Exchange, and North Star Seed & Nursery.

Who is running this?
Friends School Seed Sale is an official retail remnant of the Friends School Plant Sale, the 2020 edition of which was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. An alumnus of the school graciously volunteered to build the website and donate the server, database, and domain name to help sell the seeds that we had already ordered and received by the time the sale was canceled. All proceeds from sales go directly to Friends School of Minnesota, just like the in-person sale.

Can I buy plants?
We don’t have fully grown plants for sale this year, just seeds. Some of our growers are selling their plants themselves. We’ve compiled a list of resources on the 2020 FAQ page for the sale. Some growers will support the school if you mention you’re a customer or volunteer of the sale.

Update May 1: we’re selling some rare and unusual plants here! You’ll need to complete two separate purchases and you’ll need to pick up rare and unusual plants in person on May 16 or 17. Full details here.

Can I search by Latin name?
No, seeds are only listed under their common names. However, you can confirm the Latin name of a seed on its individual page.

I saw a seed that I wanted to buy, but I didn’t order it and now it’s gone. What happened and will you get more?
We’ve loaded in every seed we have and did a thorough inventory before sales went live. If you saw a seed previously and it has since disappeared, that means the seed is sold out. Once a seed is gone, it’s gone – we don’t have the capacity to order any more seeds. You can see how many packets of each seed type we have left by visiting the seed’s page. We have already had seeds sell out in the short time that we’ve been accepting orders.

Can I get multiple of the same seed type?
Yes. You can do this from your shopping cart, from the individual seed page, or by clicking “Add to cart” multiple times. Keep in mind that a packet contains several seeds; you can check how many seeds are in a packet on an individual seed’s page.

Is there an order minimum?
No. You can place an order for one seed packet and we’ll send it your way.

I wanted to order more seeds – can I get my order updated?
No, orders can’t be edited after they’re placed – please carefully check your order before you complete the checkout process! We can cancel and refund an order as long as we haven’t started packing it up yet (email info@friendsschoolplantsale.com if you need us to do this for you). Once we create a shipping label and finalize postage, orders are final and can’t be canceled – you’ll receive an email when this happens.

About the seeds

Is there a catalog or a listing of all of the seeds available?
The full list is available here, but we don’t have a PDF or paper version. You can also search for a seed, or browse by category using the links at the top of every page.

Which seeds are organic?
Organic seeds will have “Organic” written in the Tags section on the individual seed pages. Some, but not all, also feature the USDA Organic symbol throughout the site. You can browse the entire collection of organic seeds here.

Have the seeds been treated with fungicides or pesticides?
No. All of our seeds are untreated. (We have a long-standing policy against neonicotinoid pesticides.)

About payments

What payment forms do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB credit and debit cards with a United States billing address. Unlike the in-person sale, we can’t accept cash or checks for the Seed Sale.

Can I use a gift certificate?
Not here, sorry! Any existing gift certificates will be honored at the 2021 Plant Sale.

Is my payment information secure?
Yes. Friends School doesn’t see your credit or debit card information – that is handed off directly to our processing partner. We use industry-standard encryption and tokenization.

What’s the return policy?
Just like the in-person sale, all sales are final, even if your seeds fail to germinate.

The seeds I got in the mail didn’t match the ones I ordered. What do I do?
We certainly hope this doesn’t happen! In the unlikely event that you receive an envelope that’s missing seed packets or has the wrong ones, please email info@friendsschoolplantsale.com and we’ll try and sort it out. Some seed packets may get stuck together in transit, so you’ll want to be sure you’re genuinely missing something before reaching out.

I receive SNAP or WIC benefits, can I use those to buy seeds for plants that grow food?
Not with us. We aren’t set up to accept USDA benefits, so you’ll need to use another form of payment, even if the seeds we have listed would be otherwise eligible.

Why is there sales tax? I thought you were a nonprofit, and/or that food seeds aren’t taxable.
Sales tax law is very complex and varies considerably from one state to another. We are required to collect and remit sales tax in Minnesota for three primary reasons:

  • Unlike the in-person sale, we don’t know how long the Seed Sale is going to last (this is important because of an exemption in Minnesota sales tax law that varies based on how many days a year a nonprofit conducts fundraising sales, such as this).
  • Minnesota does not have a sales tax exemption for seeds of any kind, even those that can grow food.
  • Generally sales tax exemptions for nonprofits relate to business-to-business sales, not “retail” sales like this.

Sales tax will be calculated based on your shipping address.

About donations to Friends School

Can I make a donation to the school or round up my total?
Yes, you can add a donation to your total at checkout.

Keep in mind that the website doesn’t have an easy “round-up” feature like at the in-person plant sale. If you want to round up your total to a whole dollar amount, you’ll need to do the math yourself and enter your donation on the checkout page after entering your billing and shipping address (but before entering your credit or debit card). We’re looking into options to simplify the process.

If you’d like to make a donation separately from your purchase, you can do so directly on the school’s website here.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Donations can be (they go directly to Friends School of Minnesota, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit), but seed purchases aren’t. You’ll want to check with a qualified professional to be sure. Donations are listed as “Donation to Friends School of Minnesota” as a separate line item from your seeds.

Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Your donation will be listed on your order summary separately from your seeds, under the line item “Donation to Friends School of Minnesota”. If you’d rather get separate documentation for tax purposes or need any other paperwork related to your donation, you can email development@fsmn.org and we can help you out.

About shipping

How does shipping work and what does it cost?
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about our shipping rates and policies can be found here: Shipping and Handling. In summary, shipping is a flat $4.99 to anywhere within Minnesota and some Wisconsin addresses, and $5.99 to anywhere else outside of Minnesota (within the lower 48 U.S. states and Washington, DC). Shipping rates are the same no matter how many seeds you buy.

Why isn’t the form accepting my zip code?
Please enter your five-digit zip code in the billing address, not your nine-digit “zip+4” or “extended” zip code. If you’re shipping to a different address, then you can enter the extended code. The Post Office will convert your zip code into a “zip+4” when we create the shipping label.

I volunteered last year or am on the committee, can I get free shipping?
No. Shipping is the same price for everyone ($4.99 in-state, $5.99 out-of-state) regardless of your volunteer status.

When will I get my seeds?
We’ll do our best to get your seeds on their way to you within 3 business days of your order. From there, they’ll come to you via First-Class or Priority Mail. If and when we receive additional information from the Post Office about the status of your order, we’ll pass it along to you. All orders will be shipped out in the order they were received.

I live in the Twin Cities, can I come pick up the seeds?
No. All orders will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service, even if you’re within the Twin Cities. Setting up in-person pickups would be too complex and could be a safety issue, especially if you and another customer tried to pick up your orders at the same time.

I live in Hawaii, can I buy your seeds?
No. We can’t ship to Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories. This is primarily due to USDA inspection rules and the increased cost when shipping to these areas.

I live in Canada, can I buy your seeds?
No. We can only ship to domestic addresses due to international export regulations.

Do I get a tracking number?
Orders that were processed on or after Sunday, April 26 will automatically have tracking numbers assigned and emailed to you. Some orders before April 26 were processed without tracking numbers; this has since been resolved.

About something else

I have another question or feedback about the website. Who can I contact?
General questions and feedback can be directed to info@friendsschoolplantsale.com. If you’re experiencing technical problems with the website, send those to tate@tatebosler.com instead.