How To Find the Best Flowers Online

One of the big attractions of buying things using the Internet is avoiding the middleman. By buying direct from the manufacturer, or at least from a wholesaler, you avoid a whole lot of transport, storage and advertising costs added to the price of the product, as well as general business overheads. It's easy to think that florists online are the same. So when you've got a sick cousin who lives in New York, you might think the best thing to do is get online and do a search for "New York florists". By ordering flowers locally for your cousin, you believe you'll get fresher flowers and cut out any extra fees charged by a centralized ordering service.

Of course the big problem with the Internet is that appearances can be very deceiving. Unfortunately this has happened to the florist industry online. National companies set up websites or advertisements online, which appear to be for a local florist in New York, for example. But although you might think you're ordering flowers from a New York florist, so you get a better deal, in fact your order gets sent to a central booking office and is then sent on to a local florist - with extra fees included.

It's a very frustrating situation, because it's not always that easy to spot the bogus advertisers. Often they have thousands of web pages online, each one targeted to a specific city. They also pay high prices to make sure their ads are at the top of the list. The phone number is a local number, so it looks genuine, but then it redirects to a central location.

Many consumer groups and other authorities have condemned this practice for its misleading nature, but it still happens. So as a consumer, how can you make sure you're really dealing with a New York florist, rather than a central booking service? The first thing to check is the address of the company. Bogus operators generally don't list an address at all, or it may possibly be a false one.

Try calling and asking where their store is located, and if you don't a quick, concise answer, chances are you've found a dodgy operator. The other thing to consider is whether or not trying to deal with a local florist in New York is really going to achieve anything. Nowadays most local florists are linked into some sort of national network, so if you go and order your flower arrangement at your local florist, they will pass the order across and you will still get the flowers you want, delivered at the time you request. Although this means you might still end up paying an ordering fee, the good thing is that if anything goes wrong, you know you can go back to your local florist and complain.

That's not always possible with an anonymous online company. If you still want the convenience of buying flowers online, then spend a few minutes checking to see if the local florist you're considering is genuine. Check for a contact address and a toll-free phone number. Look for industry certification or membership, and a customer satisfaction policy.

When you're ordering, check the URL starts with the letters "https", and for added security, it might even be better to call them and place the order that way. Don't let the behavior of a few disreputable companies discourage you from buying flowers online. There are lots of genuine, hard-working florists in every major city, and with a few small checks you will be able to contact them and place your order. Failing that, visit your local florist so that you have the added peace of mind of knowing you have someone to talk to if anything goes wrong.

Steve Dolan loves flowers and flower arrangements. Take a look at Flowers and Flower Arrangements for more on flowers, and for that special florist click Florists and Online Flower Orders

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