I'm sure most of you have heard about (or experienced yourself) a horror story beginning with 'I ordered flowers online...' So I'm here to tell you the truth about online florists.
I will use Traralgon as the town in the examples, but this applies for any town you enter in a google search. If you've ever googled 'Traralgon Florist', 'Traralgon Flower Delivery', 'Florists in Traralgon' etc you probably would have seen a combination (or all) of the following 'florists' you can order from: Sarah's, Easy Flowers, The Flower Man, Meg's, Petals, Fast Flowers, Fresh Flowers and Gifts, Interflora, Bloomex... The list goes on. And they're always at the top of the page so they're likely to be the first thing you click on.
None of these are REAL florists. They are what we call OG's - or 'Order Gatherers'. When you order off these sites, you are paying a premium price for something that you are very unlikely to receive to the same standard as their professionally photoshopped photos. These OG's take your order (and money) and then pass that order on to a local florist in that town (after taking a substantial cut of the money) and expect them to execute the order with little to no profit margin. So for example, if you order a $75 arrangement you of course expect to see something large & full of flowers. The OG will pass that order to a local florist and say 'can you make this for $40?' So when the florist at the end makes this order and sends it out it often fails to impress because they have had to make it within their margins.
Unfortunately it's all too common and is constantly giving florists a bad name.
So why do florists accept these orders? In a world where it's so hard to compete with the big guys, sometimes they have no choice. Again, when you search for a florist, these OG's are the first bunch you see, and how many people will scroll past these to find a local florist?
The best thing you can do is scroll that little bit further to the Map and find a proper local florist - the little red arrow points to their location and you can call them direct or if they have a REAL website, place the order on that.
And thats where it gets tricky too - a lot of local florists have OG websites (that is, websites made by an OG that they are a member of, posing as real florist). So what should you really be looking for when ordering flowers online?
1. Real photos.
Photos of products that look like they have been taken by the florist, not in a studio.
If you're using google, check to see if the business has reviews. It's worth reading what previous customers experiences were. Same goes on Facebook - check that feedback!
3. A real location.
Sarah's, Meg's, Easy Flowers etc will never have a physical address. This is why it's worth the extra half a second of scrolling down to the Map, to see if the florist has a physical location in that town. If in doubt, give them a call! A good florist will always list their number.
Every single photo on our website has been taken by me (or a photographer) of products that I have made with my own two hands. What you see is exactly what you will get - and if there is ever an instance where I may need to substitute a particular element - you will be called before to confirm you are happy for the order to be sent.
Moral of the story? Do your research. Look at a few different websites. Make phone calls if you want. Scroll that extra half page. Heck, even go to the second or third page of google! The extra time you put in to your order will ensure you are a) supporting a local business and b) receiving a lovingly made, beautiful bunch of blooms!