How to be a smart consumer when ordering flowers online…

Do you know the secret to getting top quality, service and value when ordering flowers online?

Here’s the scoop on what you need to know to become a savvy floral consumer…

When it comes to the national online floral retailers, there are basically two types.  All floral websites display photos of beautifully designed floral arrangements.  But when you read the fine print on some sites, you’ll discover that the flowers are drop-shipped in a box from a central warehouse and are left on your doorstep, delivered by FedEx.  A vase may be provided, but it is an assemble-it-yourself gift that the recipient may or may not appreciate.  It is certainly not something suitable to send to a hospital or funeral home, or if you want to make a big impression.

Valentine's Week at FedEx

Valentine’s Week at FedEx

The other online floral retailers depend on the local florist to create and deliver their bouquets.  The nationals sometimes promise a product that might not even be available in the local flower shop.  Plus, the local florist is receiving only 73 cents on every dollar spent to fill your order to look like what is pictured on the national website.  With delivery costs and wire service fees that local florists pay, the local guys are most likely losing money on each order that they fill.

In addition, the national websites charge their customers unnecessary service fees that are not passed on to the local florists.  It is very profitable to be the big online presence, and very un-profitable to be the local florist actually arranging and delivering the flowers!

The result is the disappearance of the neighborhood flower shop, as more and more florists go out of business because they haven’t figured out that filling incoming orders from the big guys is actually hurting their bottom line.

What’s a smart consumer to do?

Rather than ordering from a national online floral service, do a Google search for a local florist in the city you are sending flowers.

BUT BEWARE!!!

Some of the big guys have created hundreds of doorway pages to their websites with individual city names, so that links to their site come up in any local search. They buy up local phone numbers and put up phony locations on Google Maps, so they appear to be a local florist.

When you find a company you think is a local florist — before you place an order online — phone them and tell them you’d like to pick up your flowers.   Ask for an address and directions to their store.  Only a true local florist will be able to do this!  A call center will not.

When you find a local florist, you’ve found someone you can work with to get the product and service you deserve.  Local florists are artists who will describe the freshest flowers available in their shops, fulfill unusual requests, and arrange for special or timed deliveries.  With no added middleman service charges, you will get more value for your dollar.  And you will be supporting Main Street America, sustaining those local businesses which are the lifeblood of our economy.

And now you are a savvy floral consumer!

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