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Friday, February 09, 2007

Flower Shopping? Get Real


Avoid a pricey detour. If you can’t deliver blooms of love in person, let a real florist do you proud.


image

Arrangement by a real florist, Coby Neal

The Flower Studio—Austin, TX

Photo: via Real Florists

Drinkers call New Year’s Eve “amateur night.” And when it comes to flowers, Valentine’s is “amateur day.” Like those millions who pop one champagne cork and get a little tipsy on December 31, millions more will be ordering bouquets of flowers now who won’t buy one more bloom the rest of the year.



Terrific! Better one bouquet than none, we say.



The problem is that folks unaccustomed to buying flowers may not know a real florist. Looking in the phonebook or on the internet, they may contact what seems to be a local shop but is actually a company in another city that gathers orders, skims money off the top, and then arranges to have someone in or near the destination make the delivery.



If you can withstand a brief wacky ad that leads off this report, check out a good video investigation of “Phantom Florists”, from a D.C.-area TV station.



In 19 states, this shady practice (advertising as a local flower shop when one’s operation is really just a phone center somewhere else) is against the law. That leaves 31 states, though, where there are plenty of absentee florists listed in the yellow pages.

So what? You say….

Well, the main problem is that if you buy through a skimmer-type order gatherer, you (and your beloved) won’t be getting out as much in flowers for what you spend, because you’re paying a middleman.

By, instead, dealing directly with the florist who’ll be handling the flowers you send, you’ll receive a number of real benefits. You can 1)  explain just what sort of arrangement you want, 2) ask questions if you’re not sure what you want, and get answers, and 3) know that your money is paying for flowers not an answering service.



Secondly, you’ll be supporting a locally-owned small business.



And third, you’ll be getting to know a real florist before that sad or happy day when you find yourself more than an amateur—needing flowers for a funeral or a wedding.



imageCentral Square Florist, Cambridge, MA

Photo: via Real Florists

How do you find a real florist? Very easy. Ask your friends. Or drive up to the nearest shopping area; you’ll likely find a florist there. If you use the phone book or locate a florist through a website to order a delivery in another town, make sure to ask, “Where is your shop?” and if the person on the other end of the line hesitates, call another florist.



For online listings of real florists across the U.S. you can check

here

or



here



or

here.

If there are similar services in other parts of the world, wise readers, please let us know of them. (By the way, we’re not a florist, nor are we affiliated with any company that buys or sells flowers.)

It’s a good idea to get your order in ASAP. Amateur Day is next Wednesday.


Posted by Julie on 02/09 at 12:55 PM
FloristsPermalink