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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Why you should send Valentine flowers to surprise your sweetheart at work…

Valentine flower delivery

There is nothing like the “wow” factor when flowers come through the office door!

Make her Monday and start her Valentine’s week with flower power. She’ll be the first to get flowers, and you’ll be the hero.

Or send flowers on Feb. 12 or 13 with a note: “I couldn’t wait to say I Love You.” She’ll be the first to receive Valentine’s Day flowers. Imagine the water cooler talk on that one!

Valentine tips courtesy of the Society of American Florists

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What’s the perfect Valentine’s gift?

Hint:  It’s NOT the red rose!

Searching for THE perfect Valentine’s Day gift, most men assume that the red rose is the ONLY flower suitable for giving their sweetheart on the February 14 holiday.

Truth be told, florists sell a LOT of red roses for Valentine’s Day.  Somehow the floral industry has to come up with enough red roses to satisfy the extreme demand.  To that end, rose growers do all they can to push roses to bud at exactly the right time.  Sometimes roses might be harvested too early or stored too long, in order to have enough roses available to ship to florists for February 14.  The result is reduced red rose quality, along with higher wholesale and retail prices.

And what’s even crazier?  Women don’t necessarily prefer red roses!  We tell our male customers that most women would rather receive roses in one of the other gorgeous colors that are available, or that they prefer other flowers.  Modern day ladies want something a bit more unique, fun or personal than the ordinary dozen red roses!

RosesWhat other flowers?  Try tulips, which are in season this time of year, and which evoke a welcomed breath of spring.  Fragrant oriental lilies are a spectacular and lasting flower.  The younger generation likes gerbera daisies, which come in a variety of vibrant hues.

Valentine flowers

What’s the best floral Valentine’s Day gift?  If you prefer the traditional, we recommend a vase of one dozen roses in one of the fabulous non-red varieties we will be getting in for the holiday.  Or, we recommend a beautiful vase of assorted varieties of flowers, mixing a rainbow of colors and blooms to dazzle your Valentine.  We can blend some higher-priced flowers (like roses) with less-expensive ones, for a larger, fuller arrangement.  By leaving the details of your arrangement to the expertise of our floral designers, we can pick from the choicest of the day’s blooms, to give you more value for your dollar.

Some folks complain about flowers as a gift because they do not last.  But ask any woman, and you will discover that the memory of a floral gift lasts forever!  So don’t be bashful guys…your sweetheart would love a gift of flowers on February 14.  And we can work with any budget to make this Valentine’s Day one she will hold in her heart forever!

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