Is It Worth Taking a Chance on GYO Seedbank?

Bad reviews on GYO abound, but maybe it’s a diamond in the rough. Are the complaints exaggerated? Unbiased 2020 review.
Author: Jason Oliver

Those who have spent any time at all seeking out GYO Seedbank reviews have almost certainly come across a lot of complaints, accusations, and otherwise negative reviews.

After reading through pages and pages of that kind of stuff, it can be hard to sort through what’s relevant and what’s not. That’s what this comprehensive review is for.

If you’re tired of sifting through endless reviews of varying quality and just want one, in-depth, unbiased review that takes everything into account and wraps it up in one easy to understand package, you’ve come to the right place.

See our recommendations at the bottom of this page!


Is GYO Seedbank Legit?

Strictly speaking, GYO Seedbank is legit. Meaning that they’re not a total scam operation that will just take money from unsuspecting people who order from them and never send them anything in return.

Being a legit business is the minimum bar to cross, but it’s certainly not a ringing endorsement. After all, there are tons of legit businesses out there that sell products that aren’t worth the box they’re shipped in. If you want to know whether this legit seed bank is actually worth buying from, keep reading!

History

GYO Seedbank is quite a new seed bank and doesn’t have much history to speak of. The history that they do have is a bit unusual. Read all about that in the next section.

Alternate Identities

GYO Seeds may be new to the scene, but there’s actually evidence that GYO is run by the same people who run Bonza Seeds, which has been around for ages. These same people also run The Single Seed Center and potentially other seed reselling brands.

In fact, clicking through certain links on the GYO Seeds website redirects visitors to a fourth store called Homegrown Cannabis Co. This is quickly becoming a tangled web, though it’s likely only the tip of the iceberg.

These multiple personalities are not something that they advertise, but it’s been uncovered in recent years by eagle-eyed customers who noticed a few suspicious similarities between them.

First, customer support messages would come from all three seed banks that were similar if not identical, and all of the messages were signed by the same person.

Then, signing into a GYO account would take the user to a shared help desk where previous support tickets from GYO Seeds, Bonza, and The Single Seed Center could all be seen.

Finally, all three brands had identical social media feeds, so the similarities are undeniable even though the brands are still trying to deny them for some reason.

Alternate Identities Aren’t A Good Thing for Seed Banks

The reason that GYO Seedbank is reluctant to admit that they run multiple seed bank brands is likely because there is little reason to do so for seed banks that are operating on the up and up.

The best seed banks keep only one storefront open, which provides all of the seeds that they sell. There would be no benefit for a good seed bank to have multiple brands under the same umbrella because they would all be selling the same things for the same prices. It would only add confusion and extra work for them without any added benefit.

So, the fact that GYO Seeds/Bonza/The Single Seed Center/who knows what else choose to operate multiple storefronts is not a good sign. It could be a way to spread out customer complaints about the business so that no one brand takes all the heat.

It’s certainly possible that whenever one brand starts amassing negative reviews and losing customers, the parent company simply starts a new one under a new name and keeps operating as usual. This makes it harder for customers to keep track of which brands are trustworthy newcomers and which are just the latest in a long line of alternate identities from a bad brand.

Price Discrepancies Cause Questions

What’s not identical between these three identical brands is the prices each shop charges for what are allegedly the exact same strains from the exact same breeders. A seed that sells for $3 on one site could easily sell for $4 or $6 on the others. For premium seeds, the discrepancy is even larger, with one site selling for $13 what the others are selling for $19 or even $23.

This level of changeable pricing has many customers worried about whether they’re actually getting the seeds that they ordered or not. After all, what would account for such a large difference in price if each seed bank was buying the same thing from the same breeder at the same standard wholesale price?

Reputation

Because of their relative newness in the online cannabis seed reselling industry, GYO hasn’t had a lot of time to build up much of a reputation. However, since GYO Seedbank happens to be run by the same people who also run Bonza Seeds, The Single Seed Center, and possibly other seed bank brands, so some of the reputation of those businesses can be inferred to apply to GYO Seedbank as well.

The unfortunate thing is that none of these seed banks have a particularly stellar reputation. Bonza is not bad, but any good reputation it has mostly comes from the fact that it’s been in business for years and years, rather than from any great feats of product quality, customer service, or any other merits.

Seed Selection at GYO Seedbank

Seed Selection at GYO Seedbank seems to be quite vast, though it would be pretty easy to list a ton of different strains and only deliver a few, if the reviews about seed swapping are correct.

Nevertheless, some of the top breeders that GYO Seeds claims to stock seeds from (even though GYO is not listed as an authorized dealer on many of these breeder sites, as another review pointed out) include: Greenhouse Seeds, Spliff Seeds, Strain Hunters, Sweet Seeds, Dutch Passion, Nirvana Seeds, Humboldt, Blimburn Certified, Fast Buds, Bomb Seeds, Barneys Farm, Seedsman, Dr Krippling, and 00 Seeds.

Out of these 16 “top breeders,” only four have GYO Seedbank listed as an authorized reseller. Those four seed brands are Dutch Passion, Fast Buds, Bomb Seeds, and 00 Seeds. A few more, like Barneys Farm, have Bonza Seeds listed on their authorized resellers/official distributors page. Some don’t have these pages at all, so it’s hard to know whether they’re working with GYO Seeds or not without contacting them directly.

Product Quality

Like any seed bank, product quality at GYO Seeds will vary based on the individual seed strain and breeder you’re actually buying from. The original breeder is who determines the upper bound of product quality, but there’s plenty that an irresponsible seed bank can do (or not do) to make things worse.

Things like improper storage, fluctuating temperatures, humidity, and simply keeping seeds for too long before shipping can cause them to lose freshness as well as viability. That means that even if the seeds do pop, they may not grow as well or produce as high a yield as expected.

And all that is assuming that the seeds that were ordered and paid for are actually the same as the ones being shipped out. According to many negative GYO Seedbank reviews online, that may not always be the case. Several reviewers have complained about the fact that the seeds they received in their orders were nothing like the seeds that they thought they were getting, either in the grow or the final product

Customer Service at GYO Seedbank

The customer service available at GYO Seedbank is pretty minimal. They are available to process returns and deal with some complaints, but for the most part, they’re not that helpful.

It makes sense though when you remember that GYO essentially has one customer service team that is split between 3 or more different brands. And they’re brands that have a higher than average rate of complaints and negative reviews, so they must be pretty busy all the time.

GYO Shopping Experience and Website

The shopping experience on the GYO Seedbank is awful if you’re not in the “right” country. For example, US buyers will be shown the GYO Seedbank page even though GYO apparently doesn’t ship to the US itself. As a result, none of the links go where they should, and more often than not a visitor will end up redirected to the homepage of this random other seed bank, Home Grown Cannabis Co. It’s very annoying for the average website visitor.

Canadian customers can at least use the site as normal, though that’s not exactly a huge step up in terms of quality. The pages are so stuffed full of pictures and text that the overcrowded effect is difficult to navigate and quite overwhelming after a while. These web pages were definitely not designed with the customer in mind.

Promotions, Discounts, and Free Seeds at GYO Seed Bank

Discounts can sometimes be found at GYO Seedbank, or possibly at one of its “sister” seedbanks, which are known to have differing pricing structures. That’s not really a great way to go discount hunting though since you may or may not end up getting what you actually bargained for.

GYO Club

A better way to get a discount would be to join the GYO Club, a membership that is advertised as offering “great, members-only offers and rewards” including free tracked shipping on all orders, club competitions, guaranteed replacements, a 10% VIP discount on every order, a GYO T-shirt, and extra Eucalyptus points. Eucalyptus points are GYO Seedbank’s proprietary rewards currency which can be used to redeem different offers like discounts on future orders and free merchandise.

The thing is that the GYO Club is a paid membership, so members would have to order quite a lot of seeds every month in order to make the costs worthwhile. A 3-month membership costs $65, 6 months costs $120.51, and a full year would cost $221.02. So, a member would have to spend more than $2,000 per year on seeds from GYO Seedbank in order to make the paid membership option pay for itself.

A paid membership club at a seed bank is something that’s rarely seen and doesn’t seem to be very beneficial to the customer in this case. It costs a lot for what’s being offered.

Free Seeds

GYO does offer free seeds to their customers, and the more the order costs, the more free seeds will be included. One unique aspect of their free seed offer is that the customer can actually choose which seeds they would like.

There are 5 different tiers, each with 3 different seeds to choose from. At the $39.01 order level, choose from Pineapple Hunk, Master Kush, or NYC Diesel Auto. At the $52.01 level, choose between LA S.A.G.E. CBD, Fruit Punch Auto, and Kilimanjaro. From $97.52, select either Dark Purple Auto, Red Leicester, or White Widow. Orders of $130.02 are eligible to receive Crystal Queen, Bubble Auto, or TSI Fly. When spending $175.53 and above, choose from Sweet Tooth, Shark Auto, or Durban.

Most seed shops provide a random selection of whatever they’ve got on hand for free seeds and just increase the quantity as the order total goes up. This method of choosing from different strains at different tiers is very unique, though there is no mention of what quantity of free seeds will be included at any tier, only that the number increases at each level.

Shipping, Return Policy, and Payment Methods

The closer one looks at GYO Seedbank, the more the cracks start to show. That’s especially evident in their shipping options, payment methods, and return policy.

Shipping

GYO claims to ship worldwide, but the snafu with its website shows that many of the brands fulfilling orders in certain areas such as the US aren’t actually GYO Seedbank itself. Customers in certain areas are redirected to other sites and aren’t able to place orders through GYO itself, so it’s more than a little weird for them to insist that they ship worldwide. More than likely, these other seed banks that it redirects to are also owned and operated by the same people as GYO, Bonza, and others, but at this point, they’re still trying to pretend that they’re not, so to redirect to another company from the homepage is very odd.

GYO explicitly states that it is not responsible for orders that are confiscated in customs and will not refund or replace those orders, in whole or in part, if they were not covered by insurance or a delivery guarantee. If you’re brave enough to order from GYO Seeds, be sure to get the guarantee!

The seeds may or may not arrive in their original breeder packaging, another red flag for those concerned about seed authenticity.

Shipping speeds can be quite slow since orders are not usually dispatched until 2 to 4 business days after payment is received. After that, it typically takes anywhere between 3 and 10 business days to actually be delivered, though it could be as much as 30 working days before delivery.

Payment Methods

Payment methods offered at GYO Seedbank include Visa and Mastercard payments as well as Bitcoin. Bank transfer and cash payments can be arranged upon request, but they are no longer accepting PayPal payments at all.

For some card purchases, customers have been asked to provide additional proof of ownership to show that they are in fact the owner of the card. This would require something like a copy of a recent card statement showing a name, address, and card number that matches what’s on the order for it to be placed properly. It’s an anti-fraud measure that many customers find unusual and invasive.

These extra measures are particularly likely to be required if the customer’s order is above a certain threshold, they place a large first order, they have a different billing address than shipping address, or they’re shipping to a PO box. Customers who are unable or unwilling to submit this extra information will need to pay with an alternate payment method or else have their orders canceled.

Return Policy

Returns are accepted within 28 days of delivery as long as they are still in their original, unbroken packaging. Customers will need to contact customer service to have their return approved before sending it in. The customer will also be responsible for the cost of return shipping as GYO Seeds does not offer pre-paid or free return shipping. Returns should be sent via a signature-required service with tracking back to GYO headquarters in the UK.

Final Review of GYO Seedbank

To round out this comprehensive review of GYO Seeds, it has to be said that it’s not a very good choice for anyone wanting to buy some cannabis seeds online and actually have confidence that they’re getting what they paid for.

The huge quantity of negative reviews is a big mark against them, but not the absolute biggest. That distinction would have to go to the fact that they operate several different seed banks under different brands, including GYO Seedbank, Bonza seeds, The Single Seed Center, Home Grown Cannabis Co, and some that may not have been uncovered yet.

Another huge issue with GYO is the uncertainty that many of their customers have over whether or not they’re receiving the proper seeds. That’s a huge concern! If a customer can’t be assured of product quality, why would they buy?

The paid membership they offer also seems a bit fishy. Paying for discounts seems a bit counterintuitive, and it’s doubtful that the average customer would be able to make the membership worth their while.

Their middle-of-the-pack customer service, sales, and the ability to choose some free seeds certainly don’t make up for these major marks against them, unfortunately.

Better Alternatives

In short, GYO Seedbank is probably not the best place to buy seeds. The large quantity of negative GYO Seeds reviews online is hard to ignore. It’s also suspicious that they choose to operate so many different seed bank brands, with such a large discrepancy between prices at each one.

There are so many great places to buy high-quality cannabis seeds that no one needs to risk their hard-earned money by buying seeds from GYO Seedbank. Not convinced? Just check out this list of better alternatives, all of which come positively reviewed:

The following seed breeders are shipping worldwide and highly recommended:
  • Marijuana-Seeds.NL (MSNL) – This British seed bank is a well-known and high-quality seed breeder with a massive variety of cannabis strains. They have an excellent customer service team, offer worldwide stealth shipping, awesome promotions, and free cannabis seeds with every purchase. Payment options are credit cards, bank transfer, cash, money orders, and Bitcoin. Bitcoin and bank transfer orders automatically receives a 15% discount on top of any sales prices.
  • Ministry of Cannabis – This Spanish seed bank is highly-recommended for seed buyers on a budget. Ministry of Cannabis may be inexpensive, but their seeds definitely aren't cheap. They offer a great value for your money and ship worldwide with stealth packaging. Payment options are Bitcoin, Mastercard, Visa, bank transfer, moneygram (for orders of 100 Euros or more), or cash. Their customer service is responsive and friendly.
  • Crop King Seeds – Based in Canada, Crop King doesn't have wide variety like MSNL, but the products they do have are high quality. They have an impressive germination guarantee that gives new buyers peace of mind. They also have a friendly customer service team and worldwide stealth shipping. Payment options are Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and Interac E-Transfers (Canadian customers only).
# SEED BANK SHIPPING PAYMENT OVERALL SCORE SPECIAL OFFERS
1. MSNL Seed Bank Worldwide Credit CardsBitcoinWire TransfersCash 9.6 [Review]
2. Ministry of Cannabis Worldwide Credit CardsBitcoinWire TransfersCash 9.3 [Review] 10% Coupon: CNBS10
3. Crop King Seeds Worldwide Credit CardsBitcoin 9.2 [Review]
4. ILGM Seed Bank US UK EU AU NZ Credit CardsBitcoinWire TransfersCash 9.2 [Review]
5. WeedSeedsExpress Worldwide BitcoinWire TransfersCash 9.0 [Review]
6. Sensi Seeds EU Countries Only Credit CardsWire TransfersCash 8.9 [Review] None
7. Paradise Seeds EU Countries Only Credit CardsBitcoinWire TransfersCash 8.7 [Review] 10% Coupon: YYBHTFCM
Related Pages:
  • Buy Cannabis Seeds - A highly detailed guide for the American grower. Federal laws, local laws in different states, as well as in-depth guide to choosing the right strain.
Jason Oliver - CNBS Author: Jason Oliver
Jason is our master grower. He has been growing cannabis for almost 10 years and working in a commercial cannabis cultivation business as an external consultant for more than three years. Helping us with getting all the facts right, Jason shares his insights via in-depth grower’s and buyer’s guides which are advanced but yet easy to read and understand.
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