Sending flowers should be a "feel good" experience.
Giving a gift of flowers, like any act of giving should give the donor a warm feeling of
accomplishment, and like with any other gift it should leave the
recipient with a warm, loved and cared for feeling.
But what happens when the flowers you ordered don't live up to your
expectations?, substitutions are sent, and sure you got free delivery
as advertised, but the arrangement only had half the flowers in it
compared to the bouquet that was pictured in the ad from which you
ordered! This can be a common occurrence unless you know exactly who
you are dealing with or order from your trusted local florist or flower
Here are some things to look for when choosing a florist or ordering
flowers to be sent to another city or state/province or even overseas.
Choosing a Local Florist
When sending flowers to be delivered within your city it is always best
to use your local florist, the one you would trust with your wedding
flowers or other important occasion flowers. If you haven't ordered or
bought flowers in the past, check with a friend or relative, you can
also check the local phone book for a florist near you, but make sure
that they really are near you with a local phone # and a local address,
yellow page listings that only list an 800# and no local phone # can be
a tip off that the company you are about to call is not really a local
florist at all, but one that will transfer your flower order back to a
florist in your city to have it delivered to the recipient. See: Affiliates, Agents & Commission Based Sales Outlets
How to Send Flowers By Wire
If you have a good local florist that you deal with it's always best to
place your order with them as they regularly send flowers to many
city's and most likely know of a reputable florist in the location you
would like your flowers delivered. Your local florist already knows
your likes or dislikes and will be able to assist you in making a
suitable purchase for the occasion, and they will be able to
look after any discrepancies and in general guarantee your satisfaction.
How to Choose an out of town florist
If you don't have a good local florist that you deal with you could try to locate a local florist in the recipients area via yellow pages or the internet, but be careful when selecting a florist in unfamiliar territory!
If you are planning to order by phone your first choice should be to
ask a friend or relative in the city where the flowers are to be
delivered for the name and number of a good florist in their town. If
that's not possible you could call information to get a florist's phone
number, but they often just pick the first number that comes up in the
book, and that may not be a local florist at all, but instead a floral
agent or commissioned sales outlet (many cities have 800flowers listed
as there first full page
ad, and they are located in NYC). You could also check the Internet,
but extra caution is needed here as there are literally 1000's of web
sites that pose as local florists but are in reality commission based sales outlets.
What Flowers Should I Order
Purchasing flowers when you are in the store and can
actually see the flowers, choose the style of bouquet suitable for the
occasion as well as speak to a clerk in person is relatively easy and
you can feel quite confident that the flowers you have chosen will
actually be delivered. "you've made a selection and seen the product,
or at least the quality of flowers and plants as well as the displays
in the store" But what if you have to order without seeing the actual
product.....it's not like ordering a manufactured item where every item
comes out of the same factory and the same mold. Each and every flower
is different, yes just like every person is different so is every rose,
"no two roses are identical" and every floral designer has their own
flair for arranging flowers, just like every individual has their own
The most important thing when ordering flowers "sight unseen" even if
you have seen a picture in a magazine ad or on the Internet, is to deal
directly with the local florist shop that will actually make the delivery with their delivery vehicles or delivery service.
When phoning the local delivering florist it's generally a good idea to
let them know what occasion the floral gift is for, what kind of
sentiment they are to present and the date they're to be delivered
first, this way the florist can assist you with making an
informed decision based on what flowers are (or will) be
available to best fulfill your wishes. If you have a certain style of
design or feeling you would like sent be sure to discuss this with the
florist, as well as any likes (bright colours, long lasting, fragrant
etc.) and dislikes (no daisies, no carnations, no red, etc.). Most
often the nicest and best value floral arrangements are the ones that
have the least amount of restrictions as that way the florist knowing
your basic requirements can create your floral order with their
freshest and nicest blossoms available on the required delivery date.
Affiliates & Commissioned Sales Outlets
This type of business are better known in the industry as "Order
Gatherers", these business' have evolved over time and have really come
to the forefront like many other business's with the popularity of the
Internet. A few started off as, and still are legitimate flower shops,
but many no nothing about flowers other than the more we sell the more
money we make, so they'll promise you anything because we'll just send
it via a wire service to a local florist where your order is to be
delivered and let them worry about making it look just like the picture
and delivering it for the price we sold it for less a healthy commission, service
charges, taxes etc.
This scenario can create several problems: Firstly they advertise
products that are not always available in every part of the Country
making substitution probable, and secondly they have no idea of local
demographics or delivery schedules, let alone the fact that the florist
that will eventually deliver your flower order has to pay a huge
commission to the order gatherer as well as service charges and
membership fees to a wire service to receive your order.
Wire Services FTD, Teleflora, etc.
A Flowers by Wire Service was started in 1910 by a group of florists as a co-operative and was called Florists Telegraph Delivery
or FTD for short, it was joined in the 1950's and 60's by Teleflora and
several other privately owned flowers by wire services to which for a
fee and monthly dues flowers shops could join and transfer orders
between fellow members. In the 1980's and 90's many of these wire
services either folded or were bought up by Teleflora, and FTD was also
taken over by a financial group and no longer operated as a
co-operative but instead now operates as a for profit corporation listed on the NYSE.
As in any business you have to keep up with the changing times and these wire services are no different.
Where wire services once devoted all their resources to the member florists, giving them ready access to technology for transfering orders between members as well as advertising and promotional materials including specialty floral holiday containers, this has in recent years changed and now the wire services are actively vying for the retail flower dollar with their web sites and in some cases even sponsoring and promoting Commissioned Sales Outlets.