TrueLeafMarket.com: Price Decreases & Website Improvements

Parker Garlitz + photo

Parker Garlitz

Jan 26
5 min read
bubble 9
woman on laptop with vegetables around her

We don’t often provide updates like this one, but we have been working hard on lots of improvements. We wanted to take a quick opportunity to let you know what we’ve been doing, and what is still coming. We’d like to begin by wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2024! We’d also like to take a moment and express our gratitude for your business, and the trust you place in us.

Now some updates:

Seed Prices Coming DOWN - Summary

The quick summary update is, after a period of Covid driven cost increases, we have finally been able to lower prices across the board. So far, we have been able to reduce prices on countless hundreds of varieties of vegetable, microgreens, sprouts, herb seeds and more. We expect to continue to reduce prices in the foreseeable future. We hope you notice these improved prices, especially on the bulk sizes.

Seed Pricing Detailed View

Now, for a longer ‘reasons why’ version: The garden seed industry is usually very predictable. The amount of seed the nation will require next year will likely be very close to the demand last year. Because seed can’t sit on a shelf forever waiting to be planted (germination rates decline over time), it doesn’t make sense to grow many years’ supply in advance.

cargo shipping containers

When an event like COVID drives garden seed demand sky-high, as it did in 2020, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the availability of seed for 2021 and beyond. Also, Covid lockdowns caused some seed farms, especially internationally, to miss a full planting season. For example, we grow most of our black oil sunflower seed in Italy, and our growers missed the 2020 planting season. There are countless examples. You may also recall that in 2021 and 2022, there were Covid related problems with international sea cargo, with container ships parked off US ports sometimes for weeks or even months, waiting to be unloaded. During this time, the cost of shipping a container full of goods internationally skyrocketed. For a short period in late 2021, the freight cost for a full container went from $3000 to almost $30,000. Almost a 1000% increase in freight costs. While we grow a very large percentage of our seeds domestically, we do contract with international growers for seed production, especially in the southern hemisphere where possible. We have growers in Chile, Brazil, Poland, Italy, France, and many other countries. And finally, during much of the past three years, the USA has been dealing with generally high rates of inflation.

So… between Covid driven seed shortages, insane international freight costs, and high inflation, we have seen our cost of producing and purchasing seed increase like no time in the living experience of anyone in the seed industry. While we tried to keep prices as low as possible, we had no choice but to increase prices over the past three years.

Seed Prices Finally Coming Down

Inflation seems to be easing, international shipping rates have finally normalized, and seed production has finally caught up with the Covid surge. Garden seed inventories are normalizing, and we have dramatically increased our efforts in growing seed directly. We grow, mill, and process a huge volume of seed in the Central Valley of California, and have dramatically increased the volume we grow ourselves over the last couple of years.

The net effect of all these factors is, we can finally lower prices, and are doing so, almost across the board. We have already lowered prices on many hundreds of varieties and expect to be able to lower prices in the near future. Some varieties are now priced 10% to 15% lower than they were last year, while other varieties are 30% to 50% lower than last year. We hope you have noticed.

Website Improvements

We have been working hard on improving the TrueLeafMarket.com website. Here are some quick bullet points of some of the major improvements we made in 2023. We also hope you have noticed.

cell phone icon

Headless Ecommerce - In 2023 we re-platformed the website with a headless ecommerce architecture. The result is a website that is much, much faster, and more user friendly, especially on mobile devices.

true leaf market flyout menu screenshot

Improved Flyout Menu - We have dramatically improved the findability of products by browsing with the main flyout menu. These improvements are most noticeable on mobile devices.

magnifying glass search icon

New Search Engine - We have upgraded the search engine, and the result is faster, more accurate results.

Guided Shopping seed selector quizz icon

Garden Seed Selector Quizzes - We have been working hard on a guided shopping experience in some of the vegetable seed categories, where newer gardeners have struggled to pick the perfect varieties to grow in their garden based on their growing zone, desired characteristics, and level of experience. We plan on building out more quizzes over time, but hope you find these seed selector quizzes helpful.

hortisketch garden planner logo

Garden Planner - We have partnered with Hortisketch to make available a web-based garden planner and mapping tool, that is fully integrated into your True Leaf Market account. This paid optional service is the best in class among garden planners. We hope you’ll check it out.

bag of potatoes sketch

Bulbs & Pre-Ordering - We have begun to offer bulbs and plant starts, beginning with garlic, potatoes, onions, and other edible starts. By summer we will be offering flower bulbs for fall planting, and later this year spring bulbs for planting next year. All are available for pre-order.

We will continue to roll out new improvements including improved filtering functionality, subscription options for those making regular recurring purchases, more personalized product recommendations, and even more speed enhancements. We are proud to have been ranked the #1 best online shop in the Garden & Craft > Flowers & Plants category by Newsweek magazine for the past two years. We plan on improving your online experience with us even more.

Thank you again for your business and trust. We cannot express our gratitude enough.


The True Leaf Market Team

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 comments

Andy

Thank you for focusing and building your business on us home garden folks. Means a lot.


Season

Awesome! Thanks!


Shannon

This is amazing. I am so glad that I found this company. Thank you all for trying to do what is right.


Dave

Thank you for being transparent and giving your customers a well constructed business plan. Your competition could take a lesson from your business model. You treat your customers right, and it a pleasure doing business with you ! Thank you!


Paul Jones

Y’all have made a great site better. Thank you


Tim

This is awesome news! Will the free shipping continue to be at $75?


Veronica

I gave up all the other seed and almost all other gargen buying websites (you don’t sell rose bushes :(>……….). I also brag about your company to everybody I can.


Priscilla A Dugas

I want to thank you for your very well written and helpful, planting guides. I discovered them last summer and have spent a lot of productive hours learning the ins and outs of correct seed starting and plant needs. I have been gardening all of my life and your site continues to inform me of details that are new to me. Well done.


Ginger

Thank you for the update! I wish I had known just 8 hours earlier. 😪


  1. 10 Natives of the Southwest USA for Pest ControlMexican Hat Flower Meadow

    10 Natives of the Southwest USA for Pest Control

    Written By Lara Wadsworth The Southwestern United States is a region incredibly unique to the rest of the country. The hot, dry weather can be challenging for plants and animals to thrive without additional help. That is why gardening with natives can ...


    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    2024-04-15
    7 min read
    bubble 0
  2. Spring Into Action - Celebrating Earth DayEarth from space

    Spring Into Action - Celebrating Earth Day

    Written By Chelsea Hafer Spring is quickly arriving, and that means that Earth Day is near! Earth Day is the perfect occasion to appreciate our wonderful planet and all that it does for us and think of ways you can give back to it. In this blog post, w...


    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    2024-04-15
    4 min read
    bubble 0
  3. Everything You Need To Know About Rain Gardensnigella flower with raindrops

    Everything You Need To Know About Rain Gardens

    Written By Lara Wadsworth Rain gardens are quickly gaining popularity for their perfect marriage of utility and beauty. What simply looks like a beautifully landscaped garden is actually a native habitat that serves as a storm drain and water sponge. B...


    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    2024-04-08
    5 min read
    bubble 1
  4. Northeastern Natives for Attracting Beneficial Insectsyarrow meadow

    Northeastern Natives for Attracting Beneficial Insects

    Written By Lara Wadsworth The Northeastern United States is rich with American history, but did you also know that it is rich in plant biodiversity? Nature has learned through time how to work in harmony with the various species that attempt to thrive....


    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    2024-04-08
    6 min read
    bubble 1