Frequently Asked Questions

How does Local Seeds work?

Local Seeds is a marketplace for local seed savers. Anyone in Australia can create a vendor account and sell seeds.

Seed buyers from Australia can purchase seeds from any other vendor in the store.

For more details for vendors, see How can I sell seeds on local seeds?.

For buyers

Are the seeds good quality?

Since we allow anyone in Australia to sell seeds in our marketplace the quality of different vendors may vary. Some may be amateur gardeners savings seeds for the first time, while others may be professional farmers.

Seeds produced from plants grown in your local area, under similar conditions to your home garden, are likely to perform better.

We do our best to ensure vendors clearly label what they’re offering. If you’re concerned about the quality of any particular vendor please let us know.

Are seeds guaranteed to be non-GMO?

Currently, the only genetically modified food crops produced in Australia are canola and cotton, so it’s extremely unlikely that any vendor would have access to GM seeds.

In any case, selling GM seeds is against our vendor policy. While we currently don’t have a mechanism to certify the origin of seeds sold in our marketplace we do our best to vet every vendor before they’re allowed to sell in our marketplace.

Are seeds guaranteed to be organic, non-hybrid, and open-pollinated?

Local Seeds’ mission is to encourage more people to save seeds, help preserve genetic diversity, and give people access to seeds that are adapted to their local environment.

Therefore we strive to curate vendors that are using sustainable methods to save seeds, including organic farming and permaculture. Seeds saved using these methods will generally be organically grown, non-hybrid and open-pollinated.

Currently, we don’t have a mechanism to certify the origin of seeds, but we do our best to ensure vendors clearly label what they’re offering. If you’re concerned about the origin or quality of seeds from any particular vendor please let us know.

Some species cross-pollinate easily. How do I know they’re true to type (true breed)?

We do our best to vet vendors and their products to ensure they’re following the right procedures. We also ask vendors to describe their process to grow each seed variety in their description. You can also check out our featured growers, who have a good track record of following best practices here.

If you have any questions about a particular product you can ask the vendor directly by posting it in the discussion section.

I live in Western Australia or Tasmania. Can I buy seeds?

Due to strict quarantine restrictions we currently only accept orders from WA and TAS if the vendor is from the same state.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards via Stripe (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) and PayPal.

How is shipping calculated?

Local Seeds offers 3 options for shipping: Standard, Standard + tracking and Express. Shipping cost is set to 30% of the sale with a minimum charge of $2 for Standard, $3.50 for Standard + tracking and $8 for Express. Shipping is calculated once per vendor in the shopping cart and is capped at $15 per vendor.

Please note a few of our vendors live in remote locations and can only send seeds via Standard postage. This is noted in their seeds’ descriptions.

How long it will take for my seeds to arrive?

Once you place an order it is up to the vendor to fulfil it. We ask vendors to fulfil orders within 5 business days, but most will fulfil orders within 2 days. When vendors fulfil your order you will receive an email notification. Most seeds arrive within 1-2 weeks. However, before contacting us, please allow for up to 4 weeks from the completion date in case of Australia Post delays.

How long do seeds last?

How long seeds last depends on the type of seed and storage conditions. Most vegetable seeds last between 3 to 4 years. See table below:

Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Salsify1
Corn (sweet), Okra, Pepper2
Asparagus, Bean, Broccoli, Carrot, Celeriac, Celery, Chinese cabbage, Kohlrabi, New Zealand spinach, Pea, Spinach3
Beet, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard (Swiss), Chicory, Eggplant, Fennel, Kale, Mustard, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Squash, Tomato, Turnip, Watermelon4
Collards, Cucumber, Endive, Muskmelon, Radish5
Source: Iowa State University

Do you offer refunds or returns?

If you change your mind and need to cancel an order please get in touch via our contact form as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to contact the seller and cancel the order before it gets sent.

Some vendors may also accept returns within a reasonable amount of time after an order has been fulfilled.

However, as Local Seeds does not process orders directly we cannot guarantee refunds or returns if you change your mind.

For vendors

Who can sell on Local Seeds?

Anyone in Australia can sell seeds on Local Seeds.

How can I sell seeds on local seeds?

Navigate to Account on the top-right menu and register as a vendor. Once you’re registered as a vendor you can start adding products right away via the Vendor Dashboard, but they will only be visible on the marketplace once approved by Local Seeds.

When someone purchases seeds from your store you will receive an email notification with the buyer’s details. Once you have fulfilled the order you can mark it as complete from the Vendor Dashboard.

Watch the video below for a detailed walk-through:

Also, check out our blog post 6 Tips for Selling Seeds Online on Local Seeds.

Do I need to be a business and have an ABN to sell seeds?

You can sell seeds as a hobby and don’t necessarily need to be a business to sell seeds on Local Seeds.

Whether or not you are operating as a business and the implications of that depend on a number of factors. Please consult the ATO to understand your obligations.

How long will it take for me to be approved as a vendor?

We do our best to approve vendors as soon as possible. It usually takes between 1-3 business days.

What kind of seeds can I sell?

You can sell any non-GM seeds that have been harvested in Australia and you are either the producer or are authorised to sell by the producer.

Our buyers are looking for seeds harvested locally, so you must only sell seeds within close proximity to your store’s registered address.

Local Seeds strongly favours organic, non-hybrid, open-pollinated seeds.

How much does it cost to sell seeds on Local Seeds?

Local Seeds does not charge any fees for keeping a store and listing products. We charge a 15% commission (plus 7% for online ads which you can opt out of) on the total of each sale (excl. shipping) plus transaction fees. Transaction fees for orders made via Stripe are 1.75% + A$0.30 whereas orders made via PayPal are 2.60% + A$0.30. However, this amount will be split between vendors for each order, so you only incur the full fee if you’re the only vendor in the order. The commission is used to cover the costs of running the website, including hosting, development, advertisement, and a small profit margin.

For example:
2x lettuce seeds ($5 each): $10
Shipping costs: $3
Buyer is charged: $13
Commission (22% of $10): $2.20
Transaction fees (e.g. PayPal): (13 * 0.026) + 0.30 = 0.64
You receive = 13 – 2.2 – 0.64 = $10.16

How does Local Seeds compare to other marketplaces, like eBay or Etsy?

General-purpose marketplaces like eBay and Etsy are significantly different to Local Seeds in many ways.

Firstly, they are massive general-purpose global marketplaces, whereas Local Seeds is a small Australian niche marketplace for seeds.

In addition to that, there are some key differences in how our fees are applied*:

FeaturesLocal SeedsEtsyeBay
Fees apply to shippingNoYesYes
Reduced payment processing fees by splitting between vendorsYesNoNo
Fixed fee in addition to percentage penalising smaller transactions (which is the case for most seed sales)NoYesYes
Additional fees for keeping a store/listing productsNoYesYes
*Yes, this may be a biased comparison 🙂

How/when will I get paid?

All proceeds from sales are held in an escrow account. You can request a withdrawal as long as your balance is above $5. Once you make a request we’ll process it as soon as possible, usually between 2-5 days. You can choose to withdraw via bank transfer or via Paypal (may incur additional fees).

I don’t have a lot of seeds. Can I still sell on Local Seeds?

Of course! I’m a backyard grower myself and I thought a platform like this could be especially useful for small scale growers who may not produce enough to have a shop on their own.

I have a large variety of seeds. Do I have to add them one by one?

No, you don’t. Once you’ve registered as a vendor, just send a spreadsheet to [email protected] with your selection and we’ll be happy to add them to your store.