The Art of the Middlemen

Most floral consumers have heard of FTD and Teleflora.  They are the two most recognized wire services in the floral industry.  Traditionally, they offered services for real local florists to send and receive orders for a reasonable cost.  They still offer these services to florists, but with advances in technology and utilizing the internet, they directly compete for customer orders with their florist members.  The wire service network costs have substantially increased over the last few years to a point where it is no longer a viable method of sending or receiving orders for many florists - especially in light of the competition.  Fairfield Flowers is one of those florists.

'Order Gatherer' (OG) is another term familiar to many wary floral consumers.  'Order Gatherer' is defined very simply:   Pursuing floral orders from areas that you do not serve and for areas that you do not serve for the sole purpose of relaying those orders to real local florists that do serve those areas.  The OG then receives a 'rebate' from the wire service for their efforts - on top of the 20% commission from the sale and any 'service fees' charged directly to you - the consumer.

Here is an example:

    A customer in Florida calls to order a $69.95 rose arrangement from an OG in Texas for delivery to Ohio.  A delivery fee of $8.95 and a service or handling fee of $12.95 is then added.  The total charge to the customer is $91.85.

    The OG then relays the order to a Real Florist in Ohio that designs the rose arrangement and delivers it to the recipient.  For this, the OG receives:  The service or handling fee of $12.95, the rebate of $7.00, and a commission of $13.99 for a total of $33.94!  Remember, a flower has yet to be touched and the order value has been reduced 37%.

As you can see, order gatherers are simply middlemen.  Traditionally, real local florists were the middleman and played an important role in getting flowers delivered out of their local area - and we still do.  But, with the advent of the internet, more and more customers are purchasing flowers on-line and order gatherers are not the real local florist those customers are likely looking for.  Many OG's are telemarketers and online marketers in an office setting.  These are the most deceitful of order gatherers.  We strongly recommend that these marketing middlemen be avoided when placing your order.

Now, how can you tell if you are dealing with a real local florist, an OG, or a florist OG?  A simple rule of thumb is always effective:

Location, location, location!  Where are they physically located?  Their physical address should be on the main index page of their website.  If it is not, you can check the 'About Us' page of their website.  If you are unable to tell where they are located viewing these two pages, then you should call and ask them.  If you are satisfied with their telephone response, then place your order.  Simple.

What is so bad about these order gatherers?  After all, 1800flowers.com, ftd.com and teleflora.com are all OG's.  Aren't these names synonymous with quality floral products?  Well, let's see:

1800flowers.com - The mother of all order gatherers.  1800flowers.com takes the order and sends it to one of their real local florist members in the recipients town.  The real local florist receives only 71% of the money you paid 1800flowers.com.  When you order $50.00 worth of flowers from 1800flowers.com, the real local florist gets paid $35.50 for $50.00 worth of flowers.  Are you getting your money's worth?

ftd.com - The oldest and most widely recognized name in floral delivery.  ftd.com takes the order and sends it to one of their real local florist members in the recipients town.  The real local florist receives only 73% of the money you paid ftd.com unless the real local florist is also a member of 1800flowers.com.  In this case the real local florist receives only 71% of the money you paid ftd.com.  When you order $50.00 worth of flowers from ftd.com, the real local florist gets paid $36.50 for $50.00 worth of flowers.  If the real local florist is also a member of 1800flowers.com, they only receive $35.50 for $50 worth of flowers.  Are you getting your money's worth?

teleflora.com - The only privately held company of the three.  teleflora.com takes the order and sends it to one of their real local florist members in the recipients town.  The real local florist receives only 73% of the money you paid teleflora.com.  When you order $50.00 worth of flowers from teleflora.com, the real local florist gets paid $36.50 for $50.00 worth of flowers.  Are you getting your money's worth?

Keep in mind, that the percentages surrendered by the real local florist are not the only wire service cost to the real local florist.  There are membership dues and fees that can be $500 per month.  Wire services are expensive for the real local florist and they don't receive all of the money you paid the wire service OG.  Are you getting your money's worth?

 

Eugene, Oregon

local 541-689-8807   toll free 800-835-9171

 

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