Something called order gathering can really take the fun out of sending and receiving flowers. This is how it happens and how you can avoid it.
When you order flowers you take a risk – the risk that you fall prey to something called order gathering. This starts with a business that can't really fill your order (because they aren't really a florist, or because they are too far away from the recipient) trying to convince you otherwise.
They'll show you a great website, with great photography of beautiful flowers, and promise that is what you will receive. And of course they'll happily take your money.
Now they have a problem – they need somebody to actually prepare and deliver those flowers. But order gathering only makes sense if the order gatherer, the company that just took your order, gets to keep a big percentage of what you paid them.
So they start contacting real local florists that are near the recipient and seeing how cheaply they can get something, anything, delivered to the recipient.
They don't disclose what the customer paid, they don't want the filling florist to know. Instead they explain that they only got a little money, and ask what can be delivered in return. The emphasis is not on what you were promised and paid for, it's on finding the cheapest possible alternative.
The real florist, the one that does all the work, doesn't make any money. You don't get what you paid for. The recipient doesn't get what you intended. The only party that benefits is the order-gatherer, who did nothing but get in the middle and trick you from ordering from them. They didn't add any value, but they typically skim at least 30% of the total order value.
Order gathering in the flower business absolutely sucks. The good news is that it is easy to avoid. Follow these simple steps to make sure that you deal with a real local florist.
It's worth it. Research, and anecdotal experience prove that flowers really are the best gift in almost any situation.