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5 Reasons to Buy From Your Local Florist

flower bouquet

Spend Less, Get More! Buy Your Flowers From Your Local Florist!

Having a personal local florist means that, when we need flowers, we head down to their store, select an arrangement, then take it home or have it delivered. Quick and easy. Why would anyone not want such a simple process?

But what if you need to send flowers to someone out-of-state? You might call on the help of online services like FTD, Teleflora, or 1-800 Flowers. Large retailers and online florists want you to believe their services are always the better and more convenient way. In general, and in many cases, that’s true about buying products online. But it’s not true when it comes to your flower order. You should always order flowers from your local florist. Here are five good reasons why.

You Won’t Be Dealing with a Middleman

A huge misconception is that there are ‘little 1-800 Flowers shops’ all over the country pumping out flower arrangements to doorsteps. That’s entirely wrong. None of these online flower retailers have any actual flowers. They take your order, pocket a chunk of the money you paid, then pass that order on to a real florist. The real florist creates your arrangement.

These websites and the people running them know very little about flowers. They’re not florists. They provide numerous options and customizations on their websites, but you’re not dealing with a flower expert. You’re dealing with someone who simply takes orders for flowers.

A local florist takes your order after you select an arrangement on site or describe the specific arrangement you want. The florist isn’t a salesperson sitting in a call center, but one of a handful of local people who specialize in flowers.

“Fresh” is Really Fresh

How many times have you bought a bouquet and within two or three days it’s already wilted and dying? Major retailers and large box stores love to sell flowers, but they understand the risks associated with maintaining them in inventory. Storage in a proper environment to keep them fresh is costly. So, to cut costs, they buy flowers that are past their prime, but ready to sell immediately.

Your flowers may have been sitting in a florist’s refrigerator for two weeks looking stunning. When they’ve lost some of their “wow factor,” the florist passes them on to a big box retailer, then they hand them over to you. A quality rose, for example, should last between one and two weeks once you bring it home. If you buy a late market product, you’re lucky to get two or three days of life out of it. You get a flower that doesn’t last, yet you pay full price for it. The only people winning in this situation are the big retailers.

Local florists provide a win-win experience. You’re pleased with your purchase and they keep your business as a result.

rose box

You Really Do “Get What You Pay For”

Flowers come in different grades and that means prices will differ depending on where you buy them. Why do you think in some places you can buy a dozen roses for $20 and elsewhere pay double that? Prices are based on the quality of the flowers.

Flowers sold in the United States, for the most part, come from South America. Growers there produce up to 20 species at a time for exportation. During the export process, all the flowers get separated and sorted based on a pre-determined grade with corresponding pricing that’s passed on to wholesalers and retailers. Flower grades are mostly determined by the quality of the flower and the length of its stem.

For example, if you buy a dozen “gas station roses,” you’re likely getting a lower grade flower. That’s why they’re so cheap. Large retailers like Walmart can also sell their flowers at reduced prices because they buy in such large quantities.

When you buy from your local florist you know where your flowers are coming from. Even if they don’t grow all their own flowers, your florist can tell you where they bought them. Local florists take pride in what they do. They care about their product. They sell flowers with a higher grade. The high quality will make you proud of your floral choices and leave a good impression with your loved one who receives the gift.

There’s No Costly “Small Print”

What most people overlook when shopping for flowers on floral websites is the added costs. They don’t realize they’re getting ripped off because the online retailer doesn’t talk about all the fees.

When you order from 1-800 Flowers, for example, you’re paying a “finder’s fee” and shipping costs. They also add commissions. By the time they total your sale, you have no idea how much money is going to the actual florist. You might pay $79.99 for your flowers, but the local florist is only receiving $54.99 for the arrangement. This example translates to $25 you pay in fees.

You expected that your loved one would receive an arrangement worth $80. It’s a big disappointment when you realize what really happens.

Many online retailers also include “upcharges” on every sale. Services like ProFlowers and Teleflora charge extra for a vase. If you opt to not include one, your mother receives her tulips in a box and must arrange her own flowers. In contrast, your local florist includes a vase and creates a lovely arrangement.

Local Florists Prioritize Every Aspect of Service

Going to a local florist allows you to build a face-to-face relationship. You get to know someone by name, and they become invested in your life. Often, you get to see the flower arrangement you’re buying. If you tell them the flowers are for a funeral, they care about that because you’re their neighbor. Local shops live and die by their reputations, so they never want to do anything to damage the relationship.

Read consumer affairs sites with customer reviews. We checked Consumer Affairs and searched for “1-800-Flowers” to see what we could dig up. The best reviews appear at the top, but the majority are a mere 1 or 2 out of 5 stars. We found horror stories about their delivery process and customer service.

One customer called 1-800 Flowers after a childhood friend had passed. She needed the flowers sent to the funeral home quickly, so she paid for expedited shipping (which is something you would never have to do at a local florist). The day of the funeral came and she checked her order’s status online. It was still “pending.” After many customer services calls and complaint tickets, she still never received the flowers. All the online florist did to compensate her was to apologize and say they would “handle it.”

When you’re grieving over the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is whether your flowers will reach the funeral home on time. In 99 percent of cases, we could guarantee that local florists would go above and beyond to fix a problem. You wouldn’t have to call them more than once because they listen to you and care about your needs.

But these are problems you’d expect when dealing with a company that knows nothing about flowers; most likely knows nothing about where you live; and has no community connection to you and your area.

As you’re reading this, you probably realize that everything we said here is true, but it’s easy to get brainwashed by claims of “simple and easy online purchasing.” Many local florists allow you to shop online 24/7 as well, so there’s no reason to use “middleman” services that couldn’t care less about you or the occasion for which you’re buying flowers. Local florists are becoming savvier to keep up with big online competitors. Besides, shopping with a local florist means you get the personal touch you need whether you’re sending flowers halfway across the country or to someone across town. Shop locally and support independent businesses. They rely on the people who live around them and you’ll soon discover that you can rely on them too.

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