There are many times that I am asked the same questions by my friends and family who are looking to buy flowers. Being that they do not buy them very often, they know that I can provide many answers to their questions.
Whether it is a friend or a loved one, the first question is always the same: Are you sure that buying flowers is right for every occasion? Of course, the answer is the same as well: Yes. Flowers are a great present to give for any occasion, whether you are going to visit your parents or whether you simply wish to show some affection on Valentine’s Day.
Now, the second question is a little bit more difficult to deal with because that is when my family and friends ask me: “where is the best place to get these flowers for their loved ones?” I always stick with the fact that if you are someone that is close to a local florist, work with them. They have the best flowers, know how to great their customers, and are the best option for people to get flowers.
If you do not have access to a local florist, then there is always the chance that you will encounter order gatherers. These businesses are not florists, but they will try to convince you that they are. All they are is a call center that has people waiting to take your orders and pass them on to real floral shops that will actually fulfill and deliver your order. The problem is that they are very difficult to tell apart from online florists because they take out ads in the same places and advertise online to purposely confuse you. The simple fact of the matter is that order gatherers work to take as much money from you as possible.
You may be wondering how they do this, and the answer is a bit disturbing for a consumer. One of their favorite and most successful tricks is to use an outrageous handling charge that will be applied to you, even if they are not the ones that are doing the handling.
It is also very common for them to inflate the overall delivery charge and then only give a small portion of the actual income to the local florist who will be performing the delivery. Another way that they manage to skim money off of the top of the order is to change the actual product that you are ordering. If you wanted to get a set of special long stem roses, they will order a lesser quality product so that you get something that bears a semblance to the item, but is much cheaper. They pocket that money and continue to spread their lies online to draw in more customers.
The most difficult part about dealing with the order gatherers is that they advertise in the same areas as a real local florist so that you cannot tell the difference. They will completely inundate the search engines online so that their results show up first. Being that they have so much more capital for advertising when compared with local florists, it is very difficult for them to even compete. Sadly, the order gatherers even have the habit of using the address of a good, reputable, local business for their online purposes, tricking people into believing that they are ordering from a florist when they are actually getting ripped off.
More information on avoiding order gatherers and finding a real local florist can be found here, on the blog of Mark Anderson – someone who has worked in all aspects of the flower business over the past twenty-five years.