You are here

Getting unordered seeds and stuff in the mail?

Share this page

Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. There could be a few things going on, so let’s start unraveling the Great Unwanted Goods Mystery of 2020.

First, DON’T PLANT MYSTERY SEEDS. And don’t throw them away. Instead, follow the USDA’s advice on what to do.

Did you order something and get seeds or other junk instead? If that’s you, dispute the charges for the thing you didn’t get. We hear that some sellers might be sending stuff so they can show payment companies the tracking numbers to prove they delivered something to you. So: tell the payment service you used (PayPal, for example), and your credit or debit card company right away that you got seeds, never got anything, or got something other than what you ordered. If the seller tries to use a tracking number to prove it delivered, point out anything to show that it’s not credible — maybe a weight listed that’s different from the package you got, or a different delivery address.

You might have read about the “brushing” scam. In this one, somebody sends you stuff, unordered, because it lets them give themselves a great review in your name. Annoying, but whatever, right? Nope. More than annoying. It could mean that the scammers have created an account in your name, or taken over your account, on online retail sites. Or even created new accounts (maybe lots of them) in other names tied to your address. Letting them post lots of seemingly-real reviews. So keep an eye on your online shopping accounts. If you spot activity that isn’t yours, report it to the site right away, and think about changing your password for that site.

Finally, if you got seeds or anything else in that mail that you didn’t order, you don’t have to pay for it. You also never have to return unordered merchandise.

Is it jinxing us to ask how much weirder 2020 can get? Let’s be careful out there. And if you spot a scam, tell the FTC:


Many online US sites as well as street shops sell seeds originating from China with numerous seed packets on display at discount stores. The more exotic seeds are often sold by foreign merchants and are regarded as invasive according to the US plant index. Gardening enthusiasts should always ask questions of the merchant and do some research.

This one was interesting . Thanks

I got seeds and not sure where to take them to get them checked. Been months ago and I did order them but got others too that I didn't order. Now what?

Follow the USDA’s advice on what to do.

I received a packet of very pretty handkerchiefs which I thought came from a Chinese friend. A Chinese friend still here at Purdue looked at the "envelope" and couldn't tell whom it was from although my friend in China said she was sending me something. (She knew I used handkerchiefs.) I put them in the washer and dryer and have been using them. Should I be worried?

Good to know thanks for the warning

I received mask filters and beanie hats. Strange stuff !

I have been getting weird stuff I didn't order for almost a year. A drone (sic) Q-tips, cookie cutters, party lights etc. I was always wondering why and where did it come from. There is never any information on or in the packages, once or twice there was a business card. What can I do about this?

I received a package with a jumper for a baby. I did not order the item. It came from China and had my name and address information. There was no return address, or point of origin. Should I be concerned someone has my personal information (identity theft?)

Thanks for all the updates , always read your texts. They are really useful.

I received a pkg of blue colored seeds. Pkg address was unreadable I just pitched them into the garbage

My sister didn't order anything; but received a small packet of seeds marked Seedwe Meyer Dwarf LEMON. The back of the airmail pkg was stamped "if undelivered please send: 1P2 ONLINE; 16 Mikkelsen Ave. Tregear; NSW, 2770, Australia.

I have not received seeds, however have received new rolls of 35 mm film I did not order. Anyone else receiving such items?

I got one yesterday.

I received "wire connectors" from China. Definitely didn't order them. Reported to Amazon and changed my password. Amazon didn't see anything suspicious on my history or reviews.

Received 3 Gold Coins from china, instead of the Aprons I ordered. Probably fake i know.

I recently ordered an item that I have not received; that item should have been delivered on 08/12/2020. Yesterday I received two items that I have not ordered. This article was very helpful and now I know what to do.

As of 8.20.20 - We have now received our second bag of beans. The weird thing is the second bag has listed on them the name of some beans I ordered through Amazon. But the shipping envelope still shows (1 necklace) so I will not be planting these.

Received a 35mm roll of film. Came from CNE, 3822 Rockfield Blvd, Lake Forest, CA 92638. Didn't order anything. Anyone else?

received junk necklace from the same address

I received a package from China today. Not ordered, not wanted. It is a scarf. After a quick online research I called my local police station to share. The recommended I contact the FTC. I can't figure out where to report the issue on your website.

Leave a Comment