Designs with you in mind!
After coming off the heels of one of the biggest floral holidays, Valentine's Day, I felt it necessary to come out & tell you.....You are being deceived, taken advantage of & yes, even ripped off! What do I mean, you ask? Well I am about to let you in on some of the biggest secrets & foul practices in the floral industry.
Hello my name is Tammy, & I want to be your flower lady........
Not a design you will find at a Super store, gas station, or hardware store!
1. Not all florists listed in the Yellow pages are actual florists:
1. Not all florists listed in the Yellow pages are actual florists:
Many of the florists listed in your local yellow pages are not a brick & mortar flower shop & are not even in your city, let alone your state. They are called "Order Gatherers" meaning they may be sitting in a tiny room in the far reaches of a state miles & miles away from your city or the city you are trying to send flowers to.
They also have no idea what is in season or on hand in a local flower shop on any given day. They take your order & charge you for flowers, delivery charges, service charges, handling charges etc. that are NOT passed on to the Local florist that they, in turn, send the order to. So a bouquet that you are wanting to spend $50 on now can turn into a total charge of $70-$80 or even more!! With the flower shop, who receives the order, only being given the money for the flowers & a delivery charge. Sometimes the amount you are charged for the delivery charge is inflated way beyond what that local florist would have charged you had you called them directly.
Example: Customer placed an order for a local funeral service with an "order gatherer" I received the order for a bouquet for $71.95 plus they charged them a $16.50 delivery charge & $5.04 for tax, making the total amount of the order come to $93.49
Now, first of all my delivery charge for all hospitals & funeral homes locally is only $3 & second of all I am certain there were additional service & handling fees charged to the person who ordered that didn't appear to me on my computer order.
I called the sender back & told them to cancel the order & to order directly from my shop. I saved her $13.50 in delivery fees, but she couldn't get the service & handling fees returned. She could have saved even more if only she had called me directly.
I recently checked our local Yellow Pages online & found 25 "order gatherers" or "Wire Services (ie. FTD, Teleflora etc.) before I got to my listing. WOW there is something definitely wrong when the actual brick & mortar local flower shops are not listed under their city before the order gatherers & wire services!!
2. Wire Service "Holiday Specials":
These are the nationally advertised "specials" or the "specials" the order gatherers or wire services offer. Not all flower shops carry the containers for these "specials", making it difficult to fill orders when they come in. If we are not given a second choice we need to reject the order, therefore loosing money & customers.
Seriously, do you really care that you get a "collectible Thomas Kinkade' bowl or what ever they are offering. It will elevate the cost of your bouquet, because a lot of the money you spend is for the container, NOT the flowers. What do recipients do with these "collectible containers"?? In my experience they are usually found in a garage sale or the Goodwill Store in a couple of months!
Again if you call your local florist they will be able to offer you suitable containers for lovely flower arrangements without inflating the cost due to a "cutesy promotional container", that no one truly wants.
3. What you see isn't always what you might get:
Another misconception about the "Holiday Specials" they offer, are the photos vs. the actual product the recipient receives. The reason being is, not all flower shops will have in stock the flowers that are shown in the photo of the specials. This can be due to unavailability, last minute orders that they cannot get flowers in time etc.
But what I really disapprove of is the fact that in order to make the flower arrangement beautiful & appealing to the public, the photo, used for advertisement, is taken at a time when all the flowers are completely open & at their prime state of beauty. This is not how you will receive it from your florist, nor is it the way you would want to receive it. Reason being, if all the flowers were completely open at the time you receive it they wouldn't last as long as they should. So when a recipient receives flowers in the state of progression that will afford them time to enjoy the bouquet, they are unhappy, because it "DIDN'T LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE". It is deceiving to the public. Florists are given a recipe of what to use in these flower arrangements, specific amounts of stems of certain kinds of flowers, that not always results in a "Pretty" arrangement.
4. Price Does NOT Equal Quality:
You would never think to come to a flower shop to purchase groceries, have your tires rotated, pump your gas or pick up a hammer & saw, so why then do consumers go to super stores, grocery stores, hardware store, gas stations etc to purchase FLOWERS??
Just as I do not have first hand knowledge of gas, food, tires etc, they usually do not have first hand knowledge on the care of fresh flowers. Nor do they usually have, on staff, a quality experienced floral designer.
If you really take the time to actually look at what you are purchasing, you will see that the flowers are usually of poor quality & the arrangement is lacking design elements that you can find in the flower shops of your local florists.
Also some of these "Order Gatherers" will send flowers via UPS or FEDEX they arrive at the recipients door as loose wilted flowers & an empty vase...ASSEMBLY REQUIRED!! How long have these flowers been out of water?? If the recipient doesn't know to re cut the stems before placing them in water, how long do you think this flower arrangement will last...NOT LONG!
I can tell you that when you purchase flowers from my flower shop they come with great customer service, a guarantee of freshness, product knowledge & years of floral design skills. You will leave my shop with a flower arrangement that I am extremely proud of & instructions will be given to you (or the recipient if we deliver) on how to prolong the life of your flowers.
With access to the Internet & the consumer's use of credit & debit cards, there is really no reason why you cannot send flowers anywhere in the country & speak to a local florist directly. You can use search engines such as Google, Bing, MSN, & Yahoo to find flower shops in every city in the country.
Just make sure that you check the listing to make sure they have a local phone number, local address & if you speak to them, they should be able to tell you where they have an actual brick & mortar flower shop location. If not, then they are most likely an "Order Gather" & you should try another number. You won' regret it!
I encourage you to develop a good repore with your local florist, they are full of knowledge, great ideas & should be willing to work with any budget. If consumers continue to purchase flowers in places, other than local flower shops, I fear the flower shops as we knew them will cease to exist. Unfortunately, they are one of the fasted growing types of businesses going out of business.
In an economic time such as we are in, where flowers are considered a frivolous novelty that cost too much & don't last long enough, it saddens me to see consumers waste their money on inferior product.
There will be more to come on this subject.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FLORISTS!!