Every seed company has an obligation to sell good seeds to it's customers. Since seeds are living things, and can deteriorate with time and poor storage conditions, we need to ensure that the seeds that we are selling to you arrive in the best possible condition for germination. For most seeds like annual vegetable crops, this is fairly straightforward, while for other native species and perennials, it is not so easy as they can have complicated germination requirements.
We put the lab seed test results on our packets, so that our customers know what to expect. This seems like pretty basic information, but it is surprising how many seed companies will not label their seeds with this data. We label each packet with Purity, Germination Rate, Test Date, and Origin so that you know what you are getting. There are a few instances of rare or native seeds with complex germination requirements that we simply label as "Untested" as there is not a good way to determine the germination rate. On these species, we simply strive to offer fresh seed, and cull out any lots that are getting old.
We are licensed seed dealers in the State of WI, and cannot believe how many Internet startup seed companies there are that are not even registered or licensed to deal in seeds! The State of WI mandates that seeds be tested every 12 months, but some states have shorter time frames like 8 months. We test our seeds on a 6 month rotation to ensure that the seeds that we are selling are viable. Any under-performing lots are culled out, and disposed of. By following these protocols, we have very few complaints from our customers about seeds that will not grow, as they are proven to be good.