Ordering Flowers

Avoid the relay service run-around

More and more we receive orders from customers who are wary about buying flowers through a relay network. They are relieved to know we are real florists who are actually based here in the Southern Highlands, not a call centre in another state.

That’s not say there are no good relay services or that they don’t provide a valuable service in some instances (think sending flowers overseas to a non-English speaking country). But for many people, ordering flowers directly through a good local florist is a better way to go.

No ‘middle man’ means you’ll save some money. Most relay services charge a service fee to coordinate your order, e.g. $10, even if you place it online (this is on top of a delivery charge).

Better business for us means a better product, and better value, for you. Here’s how it works – relay service companies are not themselves florists so, to fulfill your order, they farm it out to a florist in the local area (or one who will deliver there). However, the florist who receives your order is not paid the full “flower value” price that you originally paid. They can receive as little as 65% of the value but are expected to deliver a similar finished product.

What this means for the customer is that the florist who eventually does the order must be careful to deliver just enough to meet the expectation of the relay service but not too much that they lose money. Buying directly from the florist cuts out all of this overhead, ensures the florist is working for you first and gives them flexibility to create something special.

More accountability. Dealing directly with the florist doing the work means that, if something does go wrong, you’re in touch with the people who will fix it for you. Local florists are small business owners who are usually a key part of their local community. As such they are strongly motivated to make sure both the customer ordering the flowers and the person receiving them are pleased.

How to find a real local florist

Google “florist” and the name of pretty much any destination in Australia and you’ll be served with a host of options, many who imply they are in the area you’re looking for. Try it with “Bowral florist” and you’ll see what I mean!

Unfortunately, with today’s technology, it’s easy for far away relay services to give the impression that they’re locally based by inserting the name of the place you’re looking for into their website and matching it with your search. Here are three simple tips for finding a truly local florist and avoiding the relay service run-around:

  1. Call and ask them: where do you go when you call the number on the website? Are you speaking with a florist or a call centre rep?
  2. Local street address: does the website show a real local street address for the business or just the town you’ve searched for? If you Google the address
  3. Facebook & Instagram: finding the business here will quickly separate a local florist from a relay service. It will also help you choose the local florist that best suits your style as they often show recent photos of actual orders they’ve done for customers, not just generic catalogue photos.

These steps truly only take a few minutes and will help you get the best value possible.