Admittedly shopping on line may seem easier – yes, I understand the convenience of perusing the internet at 3:00 AM in your pajamas; finding something you want and being able purchase that item. But have you ever stopped to consider the cost.
I know, I know – the site offers a coupon and maybe even free shipping. Its just that sometimes “cost” means more than the monetary value assigned to an object. Often times there are hidden costs, something that slides far beneath the surface and is rarely acknowledged.
I need to digress for a moment. Trust me, I will get back to on line purchasing issue. In case no one has ever told you. Flowers are the perfect gift. They come in an unimaginable number of varieties, a rainbow of colors. They are an affordable luxury. Flowers are available that will fit into ever budget. They will not add inches to your waist line. They last longer than that dinner at that fancy restaurant or the action packed movie you went to. Flowers make a happy day brighter and a sad day slightly more bearable.
When you are thinking of a gift, think of flowers first. That being said, its time to revisit shopping on line - when purchasing flowers on line, the majority of companies listed are, what we call in the industry, “Order Gathers”. They are not a “brick and mortar, walk through the door and leave with a bouquet of flowers” flower shop. These order gathers, for a hefty fee to the consumer and a sizeable chunk of the cost of the bouquet you have selected, will then pass the order to a “brick and mortar, walk through the door and leave with a bouquet of flowers” flower shop. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a waste to me. If you are purchasing flowers, wouldn’t you want your money spent on the flowers rather than a gigantic processing fee?
There are some super simple ways to stretch your floral dollars, invest in your local community and shop more efficiently. When you do go on line to look up a florist, look for a local phone number. Street addresses aren’t always a true indicator that you are looking at a real local florist. A good rule is the companies listed on the top of the page are order gathers and real florists are listed a bit further down.
Once you have a phone number, call it. When they answer, ask them this question – say it exactly as it is written – “I’d like to come by and pick something out in person. Where are you located? And what are your hours?” Remember, exactly as it is written. A real brick and mortar florist will answer you immediately. No hedging, no dodging the question by trying to get you place your order over the phone. If the person answering your call, doesn’t answer your question – chances are you have reached an order gatherer.
Once you have succeeded in finding your real brick and mortar florist, talk to them. Ask them questions – what looks great this week? Tell them what your wife, mother, brother, co-worker or best friend’s favorite flower is to see if the shop has it in stock or if they are able to order for you. Separate the delivery from the daisies. If you want your arrangement to be $50.00, ask for a $50.00 arrangement. However, if you want your total cost to be $50.00, let the florist know. (Remember, flowers are affordable and can fit into every budget. Large or small.) Florists charge for delivery. We have to. This nominal fee covers the wages earned by the delivery person, the insurance on the vehicle, the taxes for the vehicle, the fuel used to drive the vehicle, the wear and tear on the vehicle. And in most instances, your floral delivery can be made the same day. Think about what FED EX would charge for that service!
Your mission is over, it was a success. You found a real brick and mortar, walk through the door and leave with a bouquet of flowers florist that will create a spectacular arrangement especially for you. Keep your local economy strong. For every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68.00 is returned to the community. Your community – the community you live in. For every $100.00 spent in a national chain, only $43.00 is returned locally. When you purchase something on line, no money is returned to the community. Seems kind of simple to me, shop locally. Save money. Support your community. Makes sense, doesn't it?