Peculiar Vendor

John Ruger

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Wanted to get some feedback from you guys. I've been trying to purchase some bonsai material from Hollow Creek Bonsai. Now, the material itself costs some pretty serious money, so I emailed them on 10/25 to check on availability of 3 pieces and asked if they would send some updated pics since I'm not going to plunk down $$$ unless I know what it looks like today.

They emailed me back on the same day, said they could possibly do it 3 days later. Three days came and went. 6 days later, I emailed them again and got no response. Five days after that I emailed them again for just one pic of each tree, practically begging the guy. Four days later and still no response.

Is this typical of him?? I've been really respectful toward them from my first email to my last, thanking them each time for their time and help:confused: I just don't get it:confused: Do any of you guys know the owner? Is he always like this?
 
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never dealt with them... have checked out their site before, have some nice stuff, did think some of their prices were a little steep. Perhaps I am just able to find better deals on the material I was looking at though.

Sorry, would have to say that it kinda troubles me when I can't get a good response before I turn over money, makes me wonder what is going to happen afterwards ??? Wait and see what some of the others have to say... but if it was me I'd move on !!!

Out of curiousity what kinda material where you looking for. Perhaps someone might be able to lead you in the right direction.
Good Luck !
 

treebeard55

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John, I know of one other individual who had problems with them along the same line. He bought a JBP based on what, it turned out, was a picture over a year old. It had changed enough that he didn't like it; on top of that they had left a wire on the lower trunk, resulting (in this case) in an ugly reverse taper.

When he tried to send the tree back for a refund, they gave him a lot of hassle. I think maybe they did eventually take the tree back for refund or exchange, but by then he wanted nothing more to do with them!

That's just one case I know of personally. I've never tried to buy anything from their website myself.
 

John Ruger

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[/QUOTE]Out of curiousity what kinda material where you looking for. Perhaps someone might be able to lead you in the right direction.
Good Luck ![/QUOTE]

Junipers, I purchased material from B.W. at Evergreengardenworks and am very happy with the quality and his prompt help. But I'm looking for larger material with a lot more movement and options. Hollow Creek has material, expensive as hell, but I simply can't find anything similar. I've checked out Golden arrow, but saw nothing of interest...who the hell knows, I'm just getting sick and tired of screwing around with with some of these clowns.
 

John Ruger

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Thanks for the info. Steve. And this is what worries the hell out of me and I'm sure a lot of others; unless we can see what the material looks like today, it's just too much of a risk and I for the life of me can't understand a businessman who doesn't seem to get that.
 

Gene Deci

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Hey John, I had a similar experience trying to buy some pots. I finally just quit trying.
 

sammiboii

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This is a most helpful thread. I wish there was more like this or maybe there are and I just haven't really looked. If nurseries and potters knew that we talk to one another about vendors they'd be more willing to be more professional. It's really important because we are part of the customer base for most bonsai vendors and potters.

I've had wonderful experience with Rob Addonizio at Taiko Earth and highly recommend him and his pots.

Sorry John, I don't have any experience with Hollow Creek but I have been on their website before. If this happened to me, I would definitely move on. Speaking of Junipers, try Steve Cratty with Plant City Bonsai. He supplied the junipers for the Joshua Roth New Talent competition I think for at least the past 3 years. Not cheap but good stuff.

Have a great weekend!!!
Sam
 

rockm

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"I've checked out Golden arrow, but saw nothing of interest..."

You have to know WHEN to look at Golden Arrow:D. Andy Smith, the owner, collects at certain times of the year. Sometimes there is nothing on his site. Other times, like in the early spring, there is so much good stuff that moves so quickly, you have to be fast on the keyboard to get the really good stuff. I bought a 200 year-old twin trunk Ponderosa in late spring during his "burlap bonanza" sale for just over $175. It is a terrific tree and Andy knows how to ship his stock It has put on so much growth in the time it's been in the backyard it's starting to look like a haystack.

Andy is among the most knowledgeable and honest bonsai sellers I have done business with in the last 20 years.
 

JudyB

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I've had both good and mediocre experiences with this vendor. I think that Fred just gets too busy sometimes to keep up. It was better a few years ago before he moved. I got some nice deals on stuff, and the tree was actually better than the photo, as it was a couple years older than the pic. I wasn't buying anything super expensive, so the extra growth was a bonus. I bought a pot from him last spring however and he sent the right pot in the wrong color. I didn't have the time window to send it back and wait for the other one, so used it. That was serendipitous, as the color the pot was, works far better than the color the pot I chose. The bad thing was that I contacted him to tell him about the issue, and never got a reply at all. So I'd have to say that if you can nail him down about the item you're after, you'd probably be happy, but I wouldn't buy it without talking to him first. He also doesn't clean his site of sold stock very often, so if you click on the tree and don't get a larger shot, that probably means it's sold. But I do have 2 very nice trees from there.
 

John Ruger

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sammiboii, thanks for the tip. I had never heard of Plant City so I took a quick gander on their site...looks like they may have what I'm looking for, I'll have to contact them and see...THANKS LOADS

Rock, I understand exactly what you mean. I've looked a lot of times on their site and seen incredible yamadori. My problem was I wasn't in the market for junis at the times, so I kicked myself quite a few times in the ass...especially the last few weeks. Like the old adage "you snooze, you loose"....

JudyB, you're batting .500 which is far better than me. The material that I asked them about wasn't already sold since sold items were indicated on the site. And I couldn't agree more about talking to him first before buying and at least seeing what the material looks like today...I'd be certifiably nuts if I didn't...which I'm afraid I'm becoming.
 

sammiboii

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Hear, hear! :)

Wow, I've never been on Andy's website before. He's got some nice stuff. I don't really care much for pines personally but there is some great potential there.

Does anyone else have any other sources like this? It's great to hear you guys recommend him too.

Have a great weekend!!!
Sam
 

mcpesq817

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I've bought a couple of trees from Andy, and would wholeheartedly recommend considering him. Other vendors I have bought from in the past are Brent Walston of www.evergreengardenworks.com and Don Blackmond of www.gregorybeachbonsai.com. Both have great stock that is very healthy, and are incredibly consumer friendly and willing to share their knowledge with you.

I'm going to post a separate thread on a recent specimen seiju elm that arrived from Brent last night, but I figured I would note here that the tree is absolutely incredible and dealing with Brent through the process was great.
 

John Ruger

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one heartbreaker was when oregon bonsai stopped internet sales...
 

rockm

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....and Vito Megna in Texas.:(
 

sdavis

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Try the stock at weetree.com. An honest and excellent supplier at a reasonable price in Oregon.
 

John Ruger

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yep, I'm waiting until they start putting out their bare root stock come winter....
 

davetree

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I have had good experiences with weetree. I have a very nice Japanese maple and a trident maple from them. Both excellent pieces of stock for the money.
 

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