Why should you be concerned about what web site you choose to send flowers online? After all, any web site can probably take your order, charge your credit card and send the order to a real florist in the destination town or city, who will hand make your gift and then deliver it. So why is there a danger? What is the big deal?
There is a danger only if you are concerned about how your dollars are actually spent in filling your order. There are basically two types of web sites.
One type is operated by a REAL florist with a bricks and mortar flower shop who sends wire orders out in the time proven system that has existed for over 100 years. Real florists have been sending orders to each other for years using the telegraph initially, then the phone and recently using electronic private comunication networks operated by F TD and Tele flora.
The second type of web site is operated by an order gatherer or broker who has no flowers, no floral designers, and has never made a bouquet or delivered one. This broker exists in a commercial second floor office, garage or home office (bedroom). These sites exist only because F TD, Tele flora, Interflora and 1800 freely grant send order only network licenses to thousands of affiliates who do not have a have a real flower shop. (They do not have to fill and deliver an order) Up until about 1995 when the web came into commercial use, Teleflor and FT D were very careful to only grant network access to proper real florists who actually owned a flower shop with a flower cooler, proper outdoor signage and a succesful floral designer. Every member was tested prior to admission.
The web came along, greed took over and not only have they issued thousands of send order licenses to non florist affiliates, but they also started to collect orders themselves. After all, why not keep all of the commission and the sending fee instead of sharing it with non florist affiliates or with real florists.
The bottom line is that about 30% of your dollars go to pay non florists if you choose that type of a web site. It is recommended that you select a web site operated by a REAL florist. How can you tell? Check the “About Us” link on the web site………..many non florists sites will only list a phone number and an email address. Some may tell you they are located in Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida or Toronto. However, REAL florists will always tell you about their flower shop, their actual location, and often some of their history. Most are family owned and operated and you can often speak directly to the owner or one of the family.
We will write more about this subject in a future post.