Today I had a look at some of the pots of snowdrops that have shown no sign of life on my display bench. This can be a dispiriting experience though most are simply biding their time. But there have been casualties. ‘Pieces of Eight‘ has a hole right through it, infestation or rot, I’m not sure. So a blast of fungicide but little or no hope. I have also just done the hot water treatment of 40C to kill any larvae still devouring the bulb. Snowdrops achieve huge prices on eBay. Given that a passing narcissus fly may take a fancy to your prized and expensive plant it’s a huge risk. I have parted with no money for snowdrops this season and little over the past two years. All my snowdrops now come from swaps and I’m very cynical about new varieties that add little if anything to the range. For instance most featured below are very adjacent to a number I could mention – clever marketing campaigns from sellers who rightly see eBay as the money tree that keeps on giving. Some growers I know have switched sales entirely to eBay. Here are a few delights on offer today. One has little visual merit from what I can see and maximum merit in terms of price. By the time you read this post one at least will have been sold. ‘Titanic’ gives me that sinking feeling. Should you be a reader outside the UK I will convert the currency for you. (£200 is a lot.) Note that the price for delivery varies. It does not cost £10 to post a single snowdrop. Greedy! Oh, and I have one of those featured below bought last year for a sliver of the price. It has at least two flower buds and one plant will be swapped after flowering. I may get a replacement piece of eight.

6 thoughts on “Snowdrops: Inflated Prices, Ridiculous Prices on eBay

  1. You echo my thoughts and feelings on the present sale-fest of snowdrops. It is a craze and some are cashing in very efficiently on it. What amazes me is that I regularly see people who are only starting to collect snowdrops buying only the latest introductions – the most expensive – with the understanding that these are the best, the must-haves. Exchange is the only way to enjoy the pastime.

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  2. Good man, Paddy. I did a few sums a while back adding up the sales figures I could find of a number of three main sellers, some of whom also do talks, stalls etc. Nice income. Good people but it's more than a hobby. Should you wish to swap just drop me a line at my email address. Oh and some of the older varieties are just as good as the latest expensive introductions. (Ian)

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  3. I will now confess my guilt. In my early, desperate days I paid silly prices for common bulbs. In my later, obsessive days I have paid inexplicable prices for even more bulbs I'm convinced I need. Fortunately now I can manage a few trades and it's much more budget friendly, plus I sold a few so that made the latest purchases less painful. Just for the record I am only a spectator on eBay, but I do enjoy watching the others spend away!

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  4. No guilt. I've been there. I'm not sure I still have that need to get the latest marvel. I have a couple of contacts who are able to supply new snowdrops at a lower price but I haven't been in touch since last year. Ebay is a mug's game at this time of year, slightly better in April. Eighteen months ago I shared a purchase of 'Golden Fleece', getting the baby offshoot. It's certainly going to flower this year, possibly with two buds. 'Midas' is in the garden and should throw out a few blooms. Those two were the last time I parted with the sort of money I simply wouldn't consider now. And I've got very enthusiastic about miniature narcissus varieties. Lots of choice and many from your neck of the woods. Guilt free collector heaven.

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  5. It is worth stating, I believe, that those who are selling snowdrops do not force anybody to part with their money. They offer a snowdrop for sale and it is up to those who see this offer to take it up or not. I don't have the latest snowdrops and see very few of them which stand out for me so I am not tempted. Good big groups are what suit me – an impact in the garden – though I do have a few which I especially treasure for their individuality.

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  6. Quite correct, Paddy. When Joe Sharman or Anne Wright spend years breeding and building up stock they deserve recompense. No problem with anyone concerned. We pay what we are prepared to pay though my warnings about pest and pestilence apply. Massed displays of 'S Arnott' or 'Trumps' look good here. Joe Sharman's 'Louella' is one I'd buy when the price comes down.

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