Buy Local

I read a statement that ordering through a National Wire Service might have you ending up with a daisy in a bud vase……

There are three ways to order:

1. Local florist: You can order hand-delivered flowers through a real florist’s shop. Buying Local is the best, the National Wire Services have consumer complaints about these orders that often begin with the phrase “I paid more than $40 and only got…”  More and more consumers are also understanding the value of placing orders direct with the local flower shops that will design and deliver their bouquets. Today, the web has opened the doors of local florists to consumers from all over the world.  Avoid bouquets that are stuffed full of cheap “filler” flowers like carnations, daisies, sprays of baby’s breath and ferns.  We at The Wild Orchid use only high end flowers.  Google can help you find a local shop (either near you or near the recipient), but be careful – you’ll be surprised at how many of these listings are purposely designed to look local (with a local area code etc.) but they actually redirect you to a national call center.

2. Wire Service: You can order hand-delivered flowers through a national wire service like FTD, 1800Flowers.com or Teleflora. In addition to the 27% commissions, the national wire services also collect substantial fees from florists for a wide range of services. National wire services like FTD, 1800Flowers.com and Teleflora tack on a service charge (as much as $14.99) and extract a commission fee (as much as 29%) on orders placed through them. If you order directly from your local florist’s shop or (better yet) a florist located in the recipient’s delivery area, you can often avoid some or all of these fees and get more bouquet for the buck.  Lets say you’re in Seattle and you need to send some flowers to your mom in Scottsdale. If you go through a national wire service like 1800Flowers.com, FTD or Teleflora, as much as 30-50% of the value of your order can wind up in the hands of the wire service and not the florist who is filling your order. By placing your order directly with a local florist shop in Scottsdale, you can avoid the hefty service charges (as much as $14.99) and commission fees (as much as 29%) charged by the wire services.  The Customer Service departments for these companies have been outsourced, in some cases to the Philippines, a Call Center Job we could have right here in the United States.

3. Grower-Direct Shipment: You can order “grower-direct” flowers which are shipped in a box via UPS or FedEx.  A hand-delivered bouquet makes a far more personal statement than a UPS-delivered box of grower-direct flowers.

Finally:
The Wild Orchid buys from Fair Trade Certified Growers.  Look for Veriflora and/or Fair Trade Certified flowers. The flower industry is known for using large amounts of fungicides and toxins to grow and preserve their blooms and these can be harmful to the environment and to the growers who are exposed to them on a daily basis. Veriflora Certified flowers are produced under environmentally-friendly conditions that help to protect both the growers and local ecosystems. Flowers designated as Fair Trade Certified are also produced under conditions that help to protect the health and standard of living of growers in developing countries.