The Dirt on Buying Flowers

Even though it’s only been a couple of weeks, I’ve learned a lot at my new job at Gray’s Flower Shop – and I’m not just talking daily job responsibilities. I’m talking the real truth about buying flowers.

I mean truth in a couple different ways: The first is the cost behind it – not only of the flowers but the production…multiplied by the number of middle men involved. This is forever changing how I (and hopefully you too, green(ish) reader) will order flowers in the future. I’m specifically talking about using sites like FTD and 1800Flowers (I know I know, I took classes from them and should be more loyal) to order flowers for family and friends who live in other cities/states. This revelation was prompted by an angry customer who called the shop recently, wanting to know why she was charged nearly $70 for a $35 arrangement. After bringing up her order, we realized that it was placed through one of these such websites, and then filtered to us for production/delivery, because we were the shop closest to the recipient’s address. So, besides the normal cut we got (for cost of flowers, labor and delivery), the website that simply took the order was taking a huge chunk for themselves. To avoid this ridiculousness, all that woman had to do was look up flower shops in the area in which she was tying to send flowers, and call one shop directly to make the order. That way, she would have paid only for the $35 arrangement, plus local delivery fees.

This procedure may be common knowledge to some people, but it was news to me! I do usually  order flowers/plants for my mom’s birthday, and have never thought anything of going to 1800Flowers and ordering from there….when in reality, I could just skip that part, call up a shop close to where she lives and essentially make that order myself. No extra time/effort involved…but much less of a cost. And this doesn’t mean that you can’t pick something out online at these FTD type sites! The way it works is that FTD, etc sends it’s exact designs/containers to every shop in it’s network…so most of them can recreate exactly what you see on the screen (or close enough). Just thought I’d give ya’ll a heads up…

The other truth is the reasons behind these purchases. In the course of one day, I will have been let in on everything from the how the customer and the deceased grew up together (funeral work) to why we’re buying white roses for grandma’s 90th (birthday) to the secret mission of sending flowers to one friend from another even though they don’t know each other….yet (undercover cupid work). I think only that person’s therapist knows more about their personal life. I absolutely love this sharing of deepest secrets – mostly because I’m nosy, but also because it really does shed light on the intimacy flower purchases can hold. I’ve been squirreling away particular stories that have amused me so far and will probably end up creating some sort of art piece to illustrate my favorites…names changed to protect the hopelessly romantic, of course.


Cartoon from CartoonStock


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