In the past, it was difficult to find a florist half way round the world. This led to the rise of organizations with networks of florists all over the globe that could deliver an order for you. Of course, they didn’t do this for free. A portion of your purchase price went to the organization that managed the network. This seemed fair because they did a lot of work to build their network of florists and to take your order. Besides, there really was no other way to send flowers to someone far away.
However, in the internet age, this model of relying on a third party organization to pass your order to a local florist no longer makes sense. There are florists that can take your order online in every city. There are three reasons that this is a better way to order flowers. First, since the florist gets 100% of the purchase price, they are able to give you 100% of the value you pay for. Second, the local florist has an incentive to provide the best possible service and product because it is their reputation at stake. When a florist is delivering on behalf of some online store, the customer doesn’t actually know who is making the delivery. Therefore they have no incentive to go the extra mile for you. If you don’t believe us, pick any online florist and Google “your-company reviews” Third, you eliminate difficulties in communication when you deal with the local business owner directly. They can help you with any questions or contact you directly if there is a problem instead of going through a call center in who-knows-what country.
Many people probably resort to these online sites because they wish to avoid difficulties ordering flowers in a foreign language. However, there is no reason to believe the online store you order from and the florist who delivers your flowers speak the same language.
As easy as it should be to find a local florist in a distant city, it is still sometimes surprisingly difficult. This is because the internet has also given rise to two other phenomenon. First, it has led to an explosion of companies advertising international flower delivery. Where there used to be one or two organizations you could turn to to send flowers overseas, there are now hundreds. If you do an internet search for “send flowers to city” it is likely that the first page or two are taken up by these companies.
As before, each of these companies takes a portion of the purchase price. How big is the portion of your purchase that goes to the international flower delivery companies? It varies from company to company and even from order to order. But the local florist sometimes gets less than 50% of the price advertised on the company’s website. You cannot expect a florist to provide $100 worth of flowers for $50.
The second reason that it is difficult to find a local florist is that these companies have discovered that people use the internet to contact local florists directly. Therefore, many of them also have websites posing as local florists, even though they do not actually have a physical flower store at all. They advertise themselves as a local florist under another name and then pass on the order through their network.
Wherever you are, if you wish to order flowers for someone in a distant city, take a moment to be sure that you are dealing with a real local florist that will handle your order with the care and attention it deserves.
This topic has been reported on extensively in the media. If you would like to know more, the Wall Street Journal posted an article that can be found here, and a local florist in the United States has created an extensive website devoted to the topic, including tips on finding a local florist. It can be found at http://www.floristdetective.com.