The Spore Works :: Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the products and services offered by Sporeworks. If your question is not answered in the below list, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your inquiry.


Where are the bags, agar products, etc? As part of our strategy to continue supplying our customers with quality rare and exotic spores and cultures, Spore Works is now focusing all our efforts on the maintenance and expansion of our Spores for Microscopy and Specialty Mushroom Cultures. Please visit for many of the items we previously sold.


Ordering and General Policies

How do I pay for my order? Our phone ordering support is available 9am to 5pm EST Monday through Friday and 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday at (802-444-0111). Wish to pay by Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrency? We can do that too. Not familiar with Bitcoin? Please visit the Bitcoin website to learn more. Orders can also be paid through the mail with cash, check, or money order. See below for addition details and instructions. 

How do I pay for an order with Bitcoin or CryptoCurrency?  Not familiar with Bitcoin? Please visit the Bitcoin website to learn more. Bitcoin is an alternative electronic currency that can be used to safely and securely purchase goods online. To use Bitcoins, you will first need to install a Bitcoin Wallet. We recommend CoPay, or Exodus (a multi-coin solution). Once your wallet is up and running, you can purchase Bitcoins with your bank account through a feature in the CoPay wallet. We also recommend LocalBitcoins and Binance as marketplaces for purchasing Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrency via cash, check, money order, direct bank deposits, etc. With Bitcoin fees rising, we understand many customers may wish to use other Alt Coins as payment. We now also support payment with Algorand (ALGO)Cosmos (ATOM), Avalanche (AVAX)Bitcoin(BTC), Cardano (ADA)Chainlink (LINK)Ethereum (ETH)Bitcoin Cash (BCH)DASHDogecoin (DOGE), Fantom (FTM), (Litecoin (LTC)Monero (XMR), Polkadot (DOT)Polygon (MATIC)Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), Stellar (XLM)Tron (TRX), or ZCash (ZEC). When you are ready, click the "Checkout" button. After providing your details under the Payment Information, choose from the available shipping options and select "Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrerncy." A drop down box will appear to allow you to choose your coin type. Submit your order and an invoice will appear with a payment link to complete payment via the payment system. Once coins are sent, it may take up to 90 minutes to confirm your payment and for your order status to update (this is normal). Once payment is received and confirmed, you will receive confirmation by email to the address provided in your order. 

How do I place an order through the mail? Add the desired items to your shopping cart using the buttons provided on the item pages. When you are ready, click the "Checkout" button located in the left-hand column of your screen. Begin by providing your address information and available shipping services and rates will be displayed. Select the appropriate service, see below for notes on shipping time guarantees. Under the Payment Information, select "Mail Order: Cash, Money Order, Cashiers Check" and click "submit order." A printable invoice will appear, and a copy will be provided to your email. Print this and mail along with payment to the address listed at the top of the invoice. If you are unable to print your invoice, simply send your payment along with your ORDER ID number from the top of invoice. Make check and money orders payable to "The Spore Works." Please note: orders paid by personal check may be held for up to two weeks, and mailed payments requiring signature for pickup may take slightly longer to process (certified mail, registered mail, signature required delivery, etc.).

Can I place a "hand written" mail order without generating an invoice? Yes, we can accept manually produced mail orders without generating an invoice through our online system. Please use the online cart to calculate your shipping charges, or call (802-444-0111) during normal business hours to receive a shipping quote by phone. Create a manual order form (typed or legibly hand written) and include: a list of ordered items, your name and address information, shipping method cost, and order total. Mail along with cash, check, or money order payable to "The Spore Works" to: The Works, PO Box 3337, Knoxville, TN 37927

How do I pay with my credit card? Credit card payments are completed via phone ordering. First, finalize your order using our online checkout. Select the Credit Card payment option, check the box to agree to our "terms and conditions," and "submit" your order. An invoice will appear on your screen and a copy will also be provided to your email. Your invoice contains an Order ID Number. Our phone ordering support is available 9am to 5pm EST Monday through Friday and 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday at (802-444-0111). Please call this number to complete your payment, or someone from our staff will attempt to reach your shortly to complete the transaction. Card payments are conducted by phone to help protect ourselves and our customers from scams and fraud, we appreciate your understanding.

The online shopping cart isn't working for me, do I have other options? Our online shopping cart has been tested to be functional for all browser types. Check to ensure you have cookies and javascript enabled, as the cart will utilize cookies to keep shopping cart and address information present during your shopping session. Also ensure you are browsing from a current version of the site and not an earlier downloaded or cached version. If you continue to have trouble with our ordering system, please submit a message through the Contact Us link below, or call (802-444-0111) during normal business hours.

Do you have a phone number I can call to place my order? Yes, we offer phone ordering support Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm EST and 10am to 6pm EST on Saturday and Sunday. Before calling, finalize your order using our online checkout. Select the Credit Card payment option, check the box to agree to our "terms and conditions," and "submit" your order. An invoice will appear on your screen and a copy will also be provided to your email. Then, call us at (802-444-0111). Note: this is not a toll free number. If we are unavailable to take your call, please leave a message and someone will get back to you quickly. We have a small and dedicated staff, and appreciate your patience and understanding. 

How soon are orders shipped and what are typical delivery times? Orders are typically processed and shipped within 24-48 hours of payment receipt. We ship daily Monday through Friday. Orders placed on Friday afternoon through Sunday may not be processed and shipped until Monday or Tuesday, as it often takes a day or two to catch up from the weekend order load. Occasional product backorder may delay your order for a few extra days. We will do our best to inform you if your order is expected to be delayed longer than 3-4 days. Transit time depends on the delivery method chosen during checkout. While we offer UPS Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, and 3 Day Select shipping options, this does not guarantee your order will arrive the day after or two days after it is placed. We place orders with express shipping on priority fulfillment and do everything possible to ship them as soon as possible. UPS express shipping options do not provide weekend delivery and weekends do not count towards delivery speed guarantee, so orders placed for Next Day or 2nd Day service on Thursday or Friday will likely not make delivery until the following Week.

What sort of packaging do you use and how is it labeled? Packaging will depend on the items ordered. Orders for spore prints are shipped in small 4 x 8 inch padded bubble mailers. Culture and spore syringes are mailed in small white cardboard boxes measuring 10 x 2 x 2 inches (larger, brown boxes are used for big orders) or else shipped in USPS provided Priority Mail packaging (Flat Rate Mailers). Domestic packages will only contain the needed labels for shipping and will not display outside descriptions of the packaged contents. International orders requiring boxes for shipping (not spore prints) will be labeled with a customs claim ticket describing the contents and value of the package. The return address label will be marked as "The Works" on all orders. Your name and phone number (if provided) will be included on the address. Please be aware for USPS mail that the delivery name must be listed as valid for that address, or else the package may be returned to us.

What delivery options do I have and will I receive multiple packages? Spore Works currently offers two carrier options: UPS and United States Postal Service Mail (USPS). We offer Express AIR UPS shipping options, and USPS Priority Mail. These methods are the most reliable and cost efficient available. Each will allow you to track your package to some degree (protecting them from loss in shipment). Our items are shipped from the same location, but you may receive multiple shipments if an item or items are temporarily backlogged and delaying the rest of your order. All orders are shipped as requested during the checkout procedure (unless otherwise arrange prior to order placement by contacting us).

How do I know if my order has been shipped? When placing your order be sure to include a valid email address we can use to contact you with tracking information. As soon as your order is processed and shipped a confirmation email will be sent to the provided email and include your UPS tracking number or Priority Mail delivery confirmation number. UPS tracking numbers can be used to track the progress of your order. Delivery confirmation from the US mail will only tell if and when you have successfully received your package.

My tracking number says my order was delivered, but I never received it, now what? Some shippers may leave your package at your door without requesting signature. If your UPS tracking number or US Priority Mail delivery confirmation number shows delivery but you do not have your package, there are several options. First, please check with other members of your household to ensure your package was not secured by someone else. If your order is still not accounted for, please contact us for additional instructions and to arrange for replacement order to be mailed. We may ask for you to file a lost package claim with the shipper so we can obtain some compensation for the package they lost or misplaced at delivery. After a claim is filed we will then promptly reship a replacement order free of charge to minimize any delay for you to receive your order.

I am under 18, can I still order from you? Spore Works requires all customers to be over the age of 18 to purchase any material from our catalog. Proof of age may be required, or proof of adult permission obtained if we suspect an order is placed by a minor. We are very sorry if this causes any problems for those wishing to purchase our goods, but if you are under the age of 18 we ask you get your parents written consent to buy goods from our catalog.

Do you ship to countries outside the USA? We are not currently shipping orders outside the USA. Due to increased complications for timely and proper delivery from COVID related restrictions, international shipping will remain suspended at this time. We are monitoring the situation and hope to resume international shipments once mail can safely reach our customers without complication.

Are there any item, ordering, or shipping restrictions for international customers? Ordering and item restrictions may vary depending on the country of destination. Some countries will not allow the importation of live culture or spore material, especially in hydrated syringe form. Australia and New Zealand will not allow any spore syringes, or culture syringes to pass through customs. Customers in these countries are asked to restrict their spore purchases to spore print samples only to ensure delivery may be possible. We ask that all international buyers consult their country's importation and duty schedules to be informed of any additional taxes or restrictions for importation of goods from our catalog. Sporeworks cannot accept responsibility for replacement of seized or confiscated orders. Canadian customers choosing UPS Standard delivery option have already had the brokerage fees included in their shipping costs, but may still be charged for duty on expensive items. We will not process any credit card payments originating in Russia or any Russian Federation countries, or from the country of Brazil. Furthermore, due to lack of address verification on most international orders, we reserve the right to refuse any large international orders. We ask customers in these countries to please contact us to make arrangements to pay for their orders via bank transfer or private international wire-transfer service, or to process their order via mail ordering.

My order appears to be damaged or broken after shipping, now what? Sometimes packages will receive rough handling during shipping. If you find your order has been damaged or broken in transit, please contact us to make additional arrangements. We may ask you to file a damage claim with the shipper so that we can be reclaim some funds for the damage they caused. We will then make arrangements for your package to be reshipped ASAP so as to minimize any delay for you in receiving good, clean, whole and undamaged merchandise.

What is your return and refund policy? We offer a sterility guarantee on spore and culture products for 30 days after purchase. A 20% restocking fee will be charged on all returned items. Items must be in original unused condition. No returns without written authorization. No returns after 30 days. Shipping charges are not refundable. Checks may take time to clear, for fastest service use credit card, cashiers check, or US Postal money order. If the shipper for any reason returns orders to us you will be billed for additional shipping charges. $20.00 service charge will be charged on all returned checks. Liquid culture products are sold with cleanliness and viability guarantee, should you find your cultures to be unviable or contaminated please contact us and we will make arrangements for replacement.

Can I have my order shipped as a gift to someone else? Yes, you may have your order shipped as a gift to someone else, but we will require additional steps to process the order. If you are sending your order to any address other than the billing address for the card, or sending it to any receiver name that is different than that of the cardholder we are required to obtain additional "proof of cardholder participation" to complete your order. You will be asked to provide a photo copy or scanned image of your ID via email or fax with a signed note authorizing the shipment of your order to the alternative name/address. You will receive these additional instructions within 24-48 hours via email after placing your order. As a result, orders shipped to any name or address different than the cardholder name or billing address may experience a slightly longer processing and shipping. Mail order payments do not require these additional requirements and can be shipped to any address legally able to receive the material in the order.

Do you include an invoice with my order? Spore Works will not include an invoice with your order unless specifically requested in the "Special Instructions" field during order checkout. Having an invoice included with your order can help in tracking potential sterility or cleanliness problems (in the case of contaminated spores or dirty spore syringes/cultures) and can speed up the replacement process by having the original order information on hand when you contact us.

How safe is my credit card information? Your credit card information is safe with SSL certification protecting the checkout process and ensuring security of the credit card processing and transmission. Our secure credit card processing system allows us to process your payment using our own merchant account via protected servers without 3rd party processing such as PayPal.

Do you sell, trade, or maintain any mailing lists? Spore Works offers our customers the option of signing up for a product announcement list, or "membership" in the webstore with a user account. NO information from subscribers of this list is sold to any other organization or traded to any other organization by Sporeworks. This list is maintained and managed internally by our company. Anyone wishing to remove their name from this list may contact us and request removal. Subscription to this list is recommended to stay up to date on new product releases. Membership or user account status with the webstore allows customers to manage, track, or reference previous orders. User accounts are not required to place an order.

How long has Spore Works been in business? Spore Works was founded in October of 1998. You can trust that your order will be filled in a timely manner by professionals with a long standing tradition and investment in quality products and service.

Culture and Spore Related Questions

Do you sell Psilocybe or Panaeolus spores to residents of CA, ID, or GA? Spore Works will not process any request to these states for Psilocybe or Panaeolus mushroom spores. California, Idaho, and Georgia state law may restrict possession of these mushrooms spores without first receiving proper permissions from the applicable state agricultural or research advisory agency. We regret that any order placed requesting these items shipped to these states will be refused, voided, or refunded. Residents of CA, ID, and GA are not restricted from ordering any other items sold on our site.

What is the best way to view my spores under a microscope? Spores are best viewed at 400x or higher magnification. Place a small amount of dried spores into a small amount of water and then place a small drop of the resulting solution on a glass slide and cover with a glass cover slip. Excess water can be absorbed with the corner of a paper towel to prevent the cover slip from floating and drifting. Pre-made spore solutions in hypodermic syringes can be conveniently dispensed directly onto the slide. Spores can be accurately measured with a stage micrometer (a glass slide with a tiny engraved ruler).

What is the difference between a spore print and a spore/culture syringe? Spore prints are collections of spores taken on a sterile medium, usually clean paper or foil, under sterile conditions. The spores are collected by placing a mature mushroom cap on the medium and allowing the cap to release spores. The spores then adhere to the surface of the medium after drying and form a "print." Prints are often used directly to observe spores under a microscope. Spore syringes are simply a mixture of clean spores in a sterile solution. This allows for direct microscopic examination of hydrated spores. Liquid culture syringes of edible, medicinal, and novelty species contain living mycelium on a nutrient broth solution and are designed to allow the direct inoculation of healthy tissue into substrate.

What is included with my microscopy kit? Your microscopy kit will include your selected spore type, in a liquid suspension as a spore filled syringe or as a spore print on paper or foil. It will also include a clean microscope slide and cover slip in a protective cardboard case with instructions for properly performing microscopy with your spores.

How should I store my cultures and spores and how long will they last? Liquid culture syringes should be stored in the clean ziplock baggie in which they were packaged and placed in your fridge until planned use. Spore prints should be stored in the clean ziplock baggie in which they are packaged. It is best to store this baggie in a refrigerated, draft-free location with low humidity. Spore prints can remain clean for many years if cared for properly. Spore syringes should be stored in a clean ziplock baggie (like the one used in shipping) and placed in a refrigerator. Refrigerating the syringes increases the length of time the spores will remain clean and usable for microscopy (up to 4-5 months).

How can I start growing my edible and medicinal cultures? It depends on the species you are attempting to grow and the skill level of the cultivator. We have prepared several cultures in convenient syringes that can be injected into pre-sterilized substrates for practically foolproof cultivation. Each edible, medicinal, and novelty species has its own requirements and should be well researched before ordering. We do not provide cultivation advice and highly recommend customers check out the books, information, and other resources offered by our friends at Everything Mushrooms.

Where do you get your cultures and spores from? Edible and medicinal cultures and spores are maintained by our skilled and qualified employees in our US labs. Psilocybe and Panaeolus genera spores are collected from wild specimens or provided via our our experienced and qualified research associates in Jamaica and Europe.

How are spores handled before I receive them? Spore prints are taken under sterile conditions are packaged in sterile baggies. The spores are never removed from their bag following printing. Spore syringes are created from clean prints in our positive HEPA pressure cleanroom laboratory and are shipped with the needle sterile. Culture syringes are prepared from a nutrient broth solution and stored at refrigerated temperatures prior to shipping.

Are these spores dangerous? None of the spores sold by our company are dangerous. They do not contain any harmful chemicals, toxins, or dangerous compounds. They are not hazardous to your health. Spores from psilocybe genera species are offered for microscopy use only.

My cultures or spores appear to be contaminated, now what? All spores and cultures are supplied with a 30 day cleanliness guarantee. Should you find any of our spore or culture products be contaminated with mold or bacteria please contact us with your original purchase information and we will make arrangements to replace your spores/cultures as per our sterility guarantee.