Monday, June 13, 2016

Ordering from a real florist

With such a plethora of online websites vying for your business, how do you know that you are ordering from a real florist and not someone sitting behind a computer terminal in a call centre who wouldn't know a helianthus from a hypertext?

It's quite difficult to identify the actual florist among the weeds of affiliate companies pretending to be 'your local flower shop'.  The best flower arrangement, best value, quality and service comes from dealing directly with a real florist who will create something bespoke just for you.

What is an Order Gatherer?  (or a FAKE Florist)

This term describes floral service marketers, both real and virtual, that aggressively promote the sale of flower arrangements and related gifts which they intend to relay to local florists for execution. They work from a call centre and may not even be in Australia.  Recently one Order Gatherer has been mentioned in the Senate with many florists not being paid.

How does this work?

When you call or place an order online, you may, unknowingly be communicating with a FAKE Florist (an order gathering operation).  They take your order and credit card details for payment and then relay your order to a florist in your delivery area.  The order gatherer pockets a processing fee and a hefty percentage of the sale as well, reimbursing the florist a fraction of the actual cost of the delivery, if at all.

Wouldn't it be far better value for your $100 investment to be used creating that wow bouquet or arrangement rather than something for $50?

What are some common practices of FAKE florists? (Order Gatherers)

  • they use misleading advertisement titles and text that confuses consumers by featuring specific city names when they don't operate local flower shops that directly service the location and where their sites fail to clearly inform consumers how these orders are serviced.
  • they use city specific website pages with text crafted to confuse consumers by targeting city names when the order gatherers do not operate shops in the vicinity
  • they use misleading phrases like 'we deliver to' when the order gatherer only relays to a local florist for fulfillment, implying a service which they do not provide
  • they may mislead you by claiming the delivery is free

Don't order flowers from the first paid advertisement that pops up on Google.  These are just some of the companies that gather flower orders from the internet and relay them on to real florists to execute and deliver while retaining large commissions.
  • Ready Flowers (now ZFlowers) as of May 2017
  • Easy Flowers
  • Sarah's Flowers
  • Meg's Flowers
  • 1300 Flowers
  • Fast Flowers
  • Teleflora
  • Bloomex
  • Freshflowersandgifts
  • Floristworks
  • Freshflowers

Tips to avoid being fooled by flower Order Gathers

  • Check the Home and About Us pages for the address of the business 
  • Call the shop - the number should be local to the state and if they answer with a name such as Flower Shop, ask for the specific name of the flower shop.  This can be tricky though because usually it is 1800 or 1300 number and many florists use only mobile numbers. 
  • Ask what is your address and if they decline, consider calling another florist.  This can be tricky too as many real florists work from studios and don't have high street shop fronts
  • Usually the business name ie The Florist Tree has the URL to match ie  In Australia you cannot register a URL without the corresponding business registration
  • Google the phone number.  If it appears under many different business names with different locations, be suspicious
  • Be aware that just because an ad or website name says City Name Florist, it doesn't mean the company is located in or actually delivers to that city
  • If following a link from a search engine ad, find the site's home page.  Order Gatherer sites often contain directory like links named after states, cities or suburbs.  Each page will appear virtually the same except for the city name.  ie some order gatherers have registered URL's for individual suburbs eg
  • Check social media pages - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for businesss pages and confirm the contact details and look at their work
  • Check the reviews on Facebook, Blogs, florist websites, Google and Independent reviewers such as Feefo , Yelp etc
    • Order from sites with only real florists listed:- 

    Armed with all this knowledge in the future,  I hope you are rewarded with a much happier buying experience.  

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