Policies

Where We Are

Sproutpeople's physical location is...

170 Mendell Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Local folks - or those visiting the Bay Area may be able to pick-up orders from our facility, but will still need to place the order online and allow us time to fill it (2-3 business days). We email when it is ready for pick-up.

Product Returns 

Due to health and safety concerns we cannot accept returns of used or opened items. We will accept return of un-used items only. We are a tiny company and our margins are very low. If you have not used your items you may return them to us for a refund. We will credit you the cost of the items minus a 15% restocking fee. 

 If you wish to return unused items because you are having problems sprouting something, try this:

1. Read the in-depth page for the seed you are sprouting.
2. Visit our Help page.
3. Write us an E-mail using our Contact Form.

Try and see this our way: We sprout the same seeds you get from us. We sprout them in the same Sprouters we sell. We get great sprouts from these seeds. We've grown over 200 TONS of sprouts and tens of thousands of trays of Grass and Greens. If we can't help you - who can??? If we accepted seeds back - we'd have people giving up on sprouting instead of learning. We'd go out of business and the quitters would never know what they were missing! To us this seems like the height of logic.

We have to point out that we do not make any false claims to sell products - in fact we warn customers to avoid certain products. We feel that our honesty compensates for our strict return policy. We also point out all over our site, that we are a small family business, and frankly you just can't expect a family business to run like a big corporation.

Cancellations: We understand that sometimes an order needs to be canceled. Life happens!  But please note that cancelations cost us 3.5% in fees on the total order. We reserve the right to assess that charge when issuing refunds on canceled orders.

The Telephone

Our phone number is 415 566-4566   But for fastest service, please email us using our contact form or helper@sproutpeople.org

You will get our voicemail.  We are busy mixing seeds, packing and shipping orders, answering emails, and a whole lot of other stuff.  It keeps us very busy!  Since I (Gil) am responsible for the phone - and since I love to talk and can not shut up - phone calls can take up a disproportionate amount of time and subsequently slow down the shipping of orders.  So, I try to call you back  - but it takes time. I want to be forthright so that you don't get frustrated.  Honestly I love (LOVE!) talking with you all!  But the reality is that email is much faster in our case.  So though it is less personal - we try to make it fun -- and it is more efficient!

I want to tell you the story of why we didn't use the phone for over a decade - so here is the deal:

We stopped using the telephone in 2001. Here is the short story...

Back in 2001 we were still using the phone. One day I (Gil) was talking to a long-time customer while pushing my (then 4 year old) daughter on the swing in our backyard (this is what a mom n' pop business is like on the internet). It dawned on me that my priorities were severely messed up, so I stopped using the phone. I love to talk and I love to help, but my family would never see me if I picked up the phone again, and that's just wrong - don't you think?!

The way to contact us is through E-mail =:-) We are quite fast and VERY thorough. We love to help.

So, we have been an internet only business since 2001. We are not a big corporation. We are but 2 people with some helpers, Mom n' Pop Sprout. We decided after years of juggling our family's (kids, dogs, cats and even our own) needs, and the needs of Sproutpeople, that we had to make more time for our kids, so we stopped talking on the phone. All calls go to voicemail and have for over a decade. We are very fast to fill orders and answer e-mail, and though we wish we could make the time to talk, we just can't seem to get more minutes into a each hour. We are many years older than when we started, and our days are too short and made up of too few hours to do everything. This limitation in our business has not kept us from pleasing our customers, nor from growing (as we have every year since 1993). We do what we do as well as we can, and we think we do it very well indeed. We appreciate your patronage more than we can say.

We ask that you search our site for answers before emailing us. This site is bigger than any 4 sprout books put together, it is always available and it is free, and we know that almost all questions are answered here. I have spent years - literally years - writing, editing, and re-writng this site. I NEED you to use it. It is part of me. Let me ask - if you buy a book - do you write the author with questions? Maybe? No? PLEASE try finding answers here before writing. We pay Google for an exceptional site search engine. We have hundreds of pages. We love to help, but we are unhappy when we have to answer questions in email that are readily available on our site. I suppose it's just my ego - but I need you to treat this site like a book. After over 2 decades of sprouting we know a whole lot and we have put it into our site. Please, PLEASE use it. It is here for you. I wrote it for YOU!

Thanks again for your support and your many kind words.

Adding to Orders and Large Orders

I really am sorry to bitch at you constant customer, but we are a very small business. We work very hard. We love to save you the cost of shipping whenever possible (we loathe that UPS and the USPS make so much money off you). We have long tried to combine orders for those who forget something and then go back online to buy something else. The fact is, we can't keep up with that anymore. So, please be sure before you checkout of our shop, that you have everything you want. If you end up placing multiple orders within a day or three - and we notice (sometimes we do, sometimes we don't) - we will ship the orders together and will credit your credit card for the shipping saved. If you email us asking us to combine orders we might actually be able to do it (don't hold your breath) and once again - if we can do it - we will gladly issue a credit to your CC.

This one hurts, and we have discussed it often...
For those of you who purchase twenty - thirty - forty - fifty - or more pounds at once - please forgive us if it takes us an extra day or two to ship your order. We do not think it fair, but the reality is that we mix our seed by hand - and if your order is going to clean us out and other orders will pile up as a result - we will prioritize the smaller orders. Like I said - this hurts. We figure that you should get better service - being a bigger customer and all - but mixing seeds is a time consuming, and space consuming job. We can't do it every day or our little seed shop would grind to a halt (while everyone tried to squeeze around the seed-mixing wheelbarrow). We always ship orders out in the order we receive them, and we try to ship big orders out in that line - but if the timing isn't quite right - it is possible that your order won't ship for an additional day - or in extreme cases - two. Please forgive our shortcomings. We truly are doing the best we can.

Shipping

We ship orders as soon as possible - usually within 3-4 business days.  

So as not to delay your order, please keep in mind:

UPS Ground may be used ONLY if we are shipping to a STREET addresses in the United States.

If we are shipping to a PO BOX, APO or AFO you must choose Priority Mail.

If you have chosen Expedited Shipping (UPS Next Day, 2nd-Day, or 3-Day), PLEASE e-mail us as soon as you place your order so that we can move it to the front of the line.  If for any reason your order is processed too late to make it to you by the expedited delivery date, we will hold your order and contact you.

Be sure you provide the EXACT SHIPPING ADDRESS! If we ship to the wrong address it will come back to us and you will have to pay both the cost of that return (UPS charges us to return packages) and also to have it shipped again. If UPS delivers to an address other than that which you give (ie: You forget to put the apt. number or you give us 4700 when the address is 4722), they charge us twelve (12!) dollars. 

We fill orders in the order they are received.  If you need us to prioritize your order, you need to e-mail us as soon as you place your order so that we can satisfy your needs.  We love to help kind people so don't feel bad asking to move to the front of the line, we just need to know who needs special service.

International Shipping 

We are very sorry to have to say this, but we can not afford the expense we are incurring more and more often as a result of world wide governmental and postal silliness. We have decided to suspend international shipping, at least for this time.

Delayed Packages

99.9% of all packages make it to their destination on time. However, there can be delays. Rarely, a package gets mis-delivered to a neighbor’s house, or it is left behind at a delivery hub, or unfortunately stolen from a front porch. If your package is delayed beyond a couple of days, let us know and we will begin an investigation to recover it. We will keep you apprised every step of the way. Here is what will happen if you report to us that your package was not delivered:

For Domestic Ground US Priority Mail and UPS packages, 1-2-3:

1. After you verify with us that your package is missing, we must wait a certain amount of time and then we will initiate an investigation to find your package. It is often faster to spend a few days locating the original package than it is to send a new one right out. Most packages are recovered in a few days.

2. Although most delayed packages do make it to their destination in a reasonable amount of time, once started an investigation can take 8 to 15 business days, so please mark your calendar.

3. Immediately after the investigation, we will contact you to let you know if the original package was found and is on its way to you, or if we will be sending you a replacement.

For Domestic Expedited UPS packages:

Non-Ground, Expedited UPS packages virtually always make it to their destinations on time. But if you have chosen UPS Next Day, UPS 2 Day or UPS 3 Day Service and your box is delayed, we will make sure you get a replacement right away.

Your Privacy

Sproutpeople considers your personal information PRIVATE! 

  • We will never allow anyone else to see it.
  • We will not sell it, give it away or misplace it.
  • We will not use it to send you spam, though we hope to someday offer a newsletter (we'll warn you first).
  • We will never use it for the telemarketing of sprouting supplies.

 

We do appreciate you giving us all the information you can so that we may serve you better. 

  1. Including your phone number allows us an easy means of contact if we have a problem or question regarding your order.
  2. Providing us with your Credit Card's ACTUAL Billing Address (the place your bills are mailed to) allows us to verify that you are the owner of the card we are charging. Without it we are unable to complete your order. You may have us ship it anywhere - as long as we have that billing address too.

  Be well and happy.

  --Sproutpeople