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USA Weekend Tips For Buying Flower Online Reconizes FlowerShopNetwork.com

I spend a good majority of my time telling people about the benefits of using a real local florist; about the power of flowers and what a great gift they make; how to take care of the flowers they receive; and what flowers are appropriate for whatever occasion. Of course, I always picture people popping into their local florist to place their order or to pick up some flowers. But last Friday while I was thinking of blog ideas for this week, I made a note to discuss how to order flowers online. I thought this would be a timely blog topic since the Mothers Day holiday was fast approaching.

So Sunday when I was reading USA Weekend, there staring me in the face were the very tips I was going to discuss with all of you this week. Of course they had beaten me to the punch and done it quite well, especially since USA Weekend and Amy Stewart recognized FlowerShopNetwork.com as a authoritative place to find real local florists online.

So instead of reinventing the wheel I though I’d republish the tips written by USA Weekend on Sunday May 4th, 2008 –:
Buying flowers online

1. Check the company’s website to see how it sends the flowers. Are they in a vase or are they boxed? “Flowers sent through a local florist typically arrive professionally designed in a vase or container, ready to be displayed,” says Jennifer Sparks, vice president of marketing for the Society of American Florists. “Flowers sent through a grower or distribution center usually arrive in a box and must be set up by the recipient.”

2. Beware of “order gatherers” — companies that take orders through the Internet, pocket a commission and pass on the remaining money to a local florist to fill the order, says Amy Stewart, author of “Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers.” “Consumers receive less than what they pay for and have little recourse for resolving problems. Order gatherers appear to be local but are based somewhere else. If in doubt, call them to find out.” If you want to buy online but still support a local business, then try FlowerShopNetwork.com or B. Brooks Fine Flowers (bbrooks.com), two online networks of local florists.

3. Select “green” flowers. Consider eco-friendly, organic, fair trade or VeriFlora-certified flowers. “Buying ‘green’ flowers is a great way to support better farming practices all over the world, and they’re priced competitively,” Stewart says. Find eco-friendly options at organicbouquet.com and www.flowerbud.com.

4. Compare prices. Find out how much will be added to the price for service charges, shipping or delivery and whether a vase is included in the price. “A good way to comparison shop is to find out how many stems you’re getting, then calculate the price per stem,” Stewart says. “Mixed bouquets and potted plants are good values, too.”

5. Read the terms. Check the company’s replacement or refund policy and freshness guarantee. Find out who will deliver the flowers — a ground carrier such as FedEx or a floral shop employee. Provide the correct delivery address where the recipient can receive the flowers directly. — Janet Reese</i>

These are some of the most helpful tips for ordering flowers online and we appreciate the nod given to our service of providing consumers with a way to contact a real local florist. Although I would have added a 6th tip.

6. Fill Out The Special Instruction Box. When ordering on line fill out the special instruction box with things like — Will be home after 3pm or their cell phone number or apartment is on the second floor. Information of this nature will help the delivery drivers find and deliver your gift in a timely fashion.

Ordering flowers online may not be as fun as popping into your local florist but the convenience factor is tremendous. If you follow these tips, your flower gift giving will seem almost effortless while the recipient will think you work hard to give them something special.

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