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Birmingham, AL, United States

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Big Wire Companies or Local Florist?

People call regularly to the shop and ask if we are a local florist. I love it when that happens & wish I could reach out and hug them through the phone! Most people don't think about the difference it makes on the consumer. So, today I hope to provide a little insight when you order flowers, balloons and gift baskets online.
I'm sure most people have heard of companies like Teleflora and 1-800-Flowers. They are called wire companies to those of us in the florist industry. Companies like Teleflora and 1-800-Flowers take orders online or over the phone and farm out those orders to mom and pop florists around the world (like us).  While they have catchy commericals and fabulous websites with hundreds of pictures to choose from - it's the local florists who buy the vases, the flowers, the ribbons, the balloons, make the beautiful bouquets and deliver the gifts. The catch is, the local florist doesn't receive all the money you pay. Usually there is a $15 service fee and that stays with the wire company. The wire companies charge local florists monthly fees and each arrangement comes with a transaction fee as well. Because florist's only receive a portion of the money, they can't always make the arrangement just as you see it online. They either do and lose money or they cut a few corners to actually make a few dollars on the order.

Then there are companies like Just Flowers, Gift Tree, or Blooms Today. These companies are simply websites that take your $15 service fee and try to find a florist that will do the arrangement you want for much less than what you actually paid. Unfortunately, this means that you aren't getting your full value.

I know, it's easy to just google "buy flowers" and click on the first ad or link. But if you want to speak to someone who works in the same building as the person making your arrangement - think about finding a local florist. At Ann's Balloons and Flowers we try our best to offer great customer service. When you call our phone, you speak to a live person! We'll go through all our balloon designs to find the perfect one to match your sentiments. Looking for a peculiar stuffed animal to send to someone to make them smile? We'll search through our plush animals to try to make your gift as special as the person you're wanting to send it to.

The point is - you get the most value for your money when you cut out the middle man. Help your local economy by supporting small businesses, liks us, who have been in your community for over 30 years.