Which should you buy…the $110 arrangement above…or the $20 Groupon, below?
We spend a lot of space encouraging readers to buy local and Valentine’s Day flowers are no exception.
Then you see something like this (photo, right) online and you wonder, right? Twenty bucks??
“Consumers will typically get the best value by using a local florist,” says Jennifer Sparks, with the Society of American Florists.
“When using a national online service or toll free service (many of whom put the orders through a local florist anyway), consumers will pay a service charge.”
Also, say experts, these flowers don’t always arrive arranged in a vase, but often boxed and undesigned.
At the Flower Bar in Larchmont, owner Nancy White says some of the more publicized problems with the major flower retailers “make us all look bad.
“Flowers area uniquely a local product – to be fresh, long-lasting and beautifully designed, a local product is the best choice. We are an independent, local and family-owned florist not affiliated with Teleflora/Proflowers, FTD, 1-800 Flowers, etc. because those networks do not serve the customer – and we don’t want to disappoint you.”
Florists also must answer to customers that wonder why prices on Valentines Day flowers go up each year.
“This year, Valentines Day comes with the Chinese New Year, and everyone wants red!,” says Elise Glaser of Larchmont, whose family owns a wholesale flower company.
“Our flowers come from Colombia and Ecuador, and many people don’t realize we have customs costs, and, of course, fuel is expensive.”
On Valentine’s Day, think about showing some love to your local florist.
for a directory: www.nationalfloristdirectory.com.