I'm sure that florists are not the only victim of clever internet deception. But it is certainly rife in our industry. Wise buying can save you more than 40 per cent of a flower order, knowing who is taking your order, who is sending your flowers and where all the money goes.
Deal with the Florist Directly -
The best way of saving money when ordering online is to make sure you are dealing directly. That way you can be sure that the full amount of money that you are spending goes towards the flowers that you want to buy.
Resellers will take a cut
There are many internet sites set up for you to order flowers through. These are managed by resellers. They take orders for all over Australia and then allocate them to florists in the area. They will take a percentage from your flower value in fees or commissions. Good resellers will only take 10 per cent. Bad resellers will take 40 per cent or more. If you choose the wrong website to order through, you may spend $100 but only get $60 allocated to the florist. The florist will probably take out something like $10 for delivery leaving you $50 worth of flowers.....
Some Resellers are Good.
Now, you might be happy to pay for a reseller who has a high quality network of florists that they trust will do a good job. Interflora is an example. They quality control their florists and keep their commission to $8.25. They do not pretend to be a florist, but happily admit they are a relay organisation, relying on a network of florists to fill orders.
Some Resellers are Bad
Some resellers pretend that they are located in the area you are seeking to send flowers to. They set up hundreds or thousands of websites for specific suburbs so it looks like you have found a florist in the area. They may even have clever tricks to make their site look local - the time and weather, a local phone number, a map, and even a title like "Gungahlin Florist" if you happen to be looking for a florist in Gungahlin. However, these resellers are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or even Hong Kong. The "landing page" looks local and authentic but leads you straight to a shopping cart from which they will take a hefty commission, before passing it onto a florist with a much reduced value. These are the $100 orders that end up being filled with $50 of flowers. Buying local really makes a difference here.
How to Spot a Fraud
Truly local florists will have an appropriate street address on their site. You can ring for verification, and ask for their street address to be sure they are located in the area. Fake locals will not have a street address on their website, but just a contact phone number and/or email address.
Do your homework and save some money
I know I have a vested interest here is promoting a local Gungahlin business. But it does make me angry knowing consumers are tricked into thinking that they have found a local supplier when they haven't, and ripped off when commissions have been taken out without their knowledge.
ACT Government Ministers, ACCC, Fair Trading and ASIC
We have found this issue worthy of following up with the ACT Government Ministers, ACT Department of Fair Trading, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The Department of Fair Trading responded to the issue in a positive manner and some of the websites falsely claiming that they were located in Gungahlin were forced to change their wording so as not to be misleading. However, obviously the ACT Government is limited with what they can achieve, and in the end, consumer education can prevent some deception where government can do no more.
For the Record
Poetry in Flowers are located in Gungahlin, ACT. We deliver directly anywhere in Canberra and Queanbeyan. We can also go to Bungendore, Sutton, Wamboin, Murrumbateman, Tharwa and Yass for an additional fee and with plenty of notice. The full value of the order is allocated to the flower delivery - no leakage!!