Some level of customer service. We thought our standards were pretty basic: customer phone support, a human being instead of an automated message, and no more than three minutes of hold time. We also wanted to be offered a refund or credit if we had any issues. (As it turns out, this was shooting for the moon.)
Discounts: Many florists offer regular discounts, so certain bouquets may be on sale at different times. Holiday-themed vases and other gifts will likely be discounted close to the actual day. Consider subscribing to the company’s email list to receive promotional offers in your inbox. Also make sure to do an Internet search for promo codes before checking out.
JustFlowers puts together gift baskets and flower bouquets for nationwide delivery. They operate out of an L.A. headquarters, but deliver flowers throughout the United States, offering door-to door service and custom bouquets.
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There are smaller companies that offer only Fair Trade Certified flowers for delivery, like One World Flowers, but keep in mind that they might not have options like same-day delivery, satisfaction guarantees, and out-of-season blooms.
A flower auction is a place where beauty meets business. For example, The Aalsmeer Flower Auction is commonly called by its visitors as the biggest commercial building and it is no surprise with its busy traffic and auction halls which supply around 21 million flowers a day to the flower hungry markets all over the world. This auction concentrates around 50 % of the total Dutch flower and plant traffic and the rest is controlled by another five Holland’s auctioneers. I can’t describe this industry better than this video made by FloraHolland, see bellow.
Interestingly, FlowerPetal got poor ratings in Seattle: while lovely enough, the roses weren’t long-stemmed and the bouquet lacked the drama that was advertised online. Would the baby’s breath have helped?
Subsequently, after learning about our experience, ProFlowers wrote to us with this explanation: “In this particular instance, we believe the damage occurred somewhere in transit between the farms from where we source directly and your doorstep. We deliver millions of these beautiful, delicate perishable products to our customers delight every year but understand occasionally that even with the best, freshest product and planning, damage can occur.” The spokesperson added that if a customer is not satisfied with a purchase, ProFlowers hopes to be given the opportunity to make it right.*
Last but not the least the wholesales. If you are based in London there are several options you can chose from. You can go for an online wholesaler which can provide a great range of flowers at your fingertips, day or night. But it is not the same experience as picking flowers yourself.
We were not prepared for the beautiful arrangement from FlowerPetal. In fact, we were bracing ourselves when we received the order because Flowerpetal’s website is awful. It looks like a 1999 site for popular baby names, and many of the bouquets shown online are missing vital product details, such as how the flowers will arrive and whether they’ll have a vase. Imagine our surprise, then, when a truly beautiful bouquet showed up in Chicago, and equally lovely blossoms arrived in Wisconsin and North Carolina. (In Wisconsin, the order was actually fulfilled by the same company as our Wisconsin FTD order.)
A first-rate online flower delivery service makes it easy to order flowers online or by phone and can answer your questions quickly and courteously. Another useful service is the electronic reminders that you can sign up to receive. If you have ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, you will no doubt appreciate an electronic reminder so that disaster doesn’t happen again. In addition, some have customer loyalty programs that let you accumulate points for discounts and special offerings.
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Ava’s Flowers and ProFlowers. Both of these companies had the same problem as Flower.com — they were great in some cities and awful in others, gathering both very high and very low scores depending on location. In Chicago, both companies sent the worst, saddest bouquets our writer received — the roses were shedding leaves and petals like crazy; some blossoms were entirely broken off; and the stems hadn’t been dethorned. So why include them on our list of companies to consider? Because in Seattle, both Ava’s Flowers and ProFlowers got perfect scores.
If sustaining local florists is important to you, Teleflora only uses local florists across the country and still scored high in our freshness grade test. It’s our top pick for best local flower delivery, and it also specializes in Flowers in a Gift, which means the recipient gets a keepsake vase or other container along with the blossoms.
As one of the most recognizable flowers, roses can be a beautiful part of an arrangement of funeral flowers. White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Pink roses signify love, grace, appreciation and gentility. Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow. Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased to symbolize their strong ties. When you include a single rose in a bouquet it expresses enduring love for the deceased.
In a perfect world, our top picks would be Fair Trade Certified, sustainably harvested and organically grown — but we found that these standards often mean florists are unable to offer more typical guarantees, like same-day delivery or 100% customer satisfaction. We didn’t make sustainability a requirement, but if this consideration is important to you, check out our tips on how to find responsibly grown and harvested flowers, and consider ordering from The Bouqs Co.
In-season blooms: Out-of-season flowers must often be shipped long distances, which means they aren’t as fresh. Do an Internet search for in-season flowers and then select a bouquet that uses those types.
Dealing with a death can be hard and often times we’re unsure of what to do or say. However, there are a variety of ways to comfort a loved one, friend, or associate who is grieving. You should always send a card with a message at the very least or pair your card with a sympathy gift.
The Chicago bouquet was delivered in a clear glass vase, dropped off by hand with no box or wrapping — the delivery person just handed us the vase of flowers and that was it. The arrangement was kissed with tiny daisies we didn’t know would be there, and dramatic, trailing greenery trickled down the sides of the vase. It didn’t look like its picture online (which actually makes the bouquet look sparse); it was better. It was also bigger by a third than most of the other bouquets we received, and carefully arranged to set off the red roses, which were fresh and at the height of their beginning-to-open beauty. They smelled wonderful. We were stunned.
BloomNation connects local florists and consumers. Customers can order bouquets online, which are then arranged and delivered by a local florist. They serve approximately 3,000 cities. The company was started in 2011.
So where do florists buy their flowers? The answer is a bit complicated as there is a range of options a florist can have: Grow the flowers themselves, buy them directly from growers, get them via one of the large auctions or from wholesalers. This may seem obvious, but when you consider that the flower trade is an ancient business and that flowers are better traveled nowadays then people who buy them, it starts to look like this topic needs a bit of explanation.
FTD has been in the floral industry since 1910. Consumers can order fresh flowers and other gifts on the company’s website. Fresh flowers may either be delivered by a florist or by a shipping company like UPS.
In Chicago, the roses in the 1-800 Flowers bouquet were seriously glorious — big, luscious, bold blooms dotted with sprays of baby’s breath, and the vase was nice and heavy. This was the most traditional bouquet we saw: Close your eyes and picture a dozen red roses; that’s what these were. These roses got good scores in all four cities, although you can see that even between Seattle and Chicago, the arrangements were very different. Seattle’s felt sweeter and less dramatic, although it got extra points for being delivered within hours of placing the order.
In some cases, placing an order late Sunday evening might require a Tuesday delivery instead of Monday. Many flower delivery companies offer same-day service, which is great if you forgot an important birthday or anniversary. Short-notice flower deliveries typically depend on the time you place the order and cost more for the expedited efforts and the shipping. You might also have a somewhat more limited selection of bouquets if you are ordering flowers to be delivered very quickly.
While lovely, the FTD bouquet was not actually the most stunning arrangement we saw. Where FTD won us over was with its consistency in all four of our test cities — the company’s bouquets got top scores in Chicago, Seattle, and our two rural communities, which we discovered is hard to do. In Seattle, tiny purple buds accented the roses, and this delivery was the only one that included a little red ribbon around the vase. In our two rural cities, the quality of the roses was striking, although our Wisconsin-based recipient pointed out that each FTD bouquet had a lot more greenery than the pictures on the website suggested — which is good or bad depending on how you feel about greenery.
Unlike concrete sidewalks and gravel paths, the trail calls for hardened and supportive footwear to combat dirt, mud, jagged rocks and streams. The answer is hiking boots and hiking shoes, and these are the best available.
Gladioli have a tall flower stem composed of multiple flowers that can measure up to 4 feet tall. They are typically used in fan sprays, which are classic and elegant arrangements for traditional funeral services. The gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. They are available in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, salmon, and green.
We picked firms that offer you a wide variety of products, services and community-related features. As a customer, you deserve services that deliver a first-class experience for all your floral and gift needs, as well as other factors that contribute to a good online flower delivery service.
Ordering flowers online also makes it easy to see a wide variety of bouquet choices. The photos on these sites are lovely: Lush arrangements of fresh flowers in full bloom, expertly styled. The only thing you can’t do is take a deep sniff. But how can you know how the photo compares with the arrangement that actually shows up at mom’s door?
The online flower delivery industry is huge, accounting for more than $3 billion in sales in 2017. But it doesn’t have a great reputation. It’s easy to find customer horror stories that range from wilted, pitiful bouquets to deliveries that simply never showed up. The best online flower delivery service should be different: It should reliably deliver beautiful blooms anywhere in the continental US. Our quest to find the best took us past company websites straight from the year 2000, through some seriously underwhelming customer service calls, and led — eventually — to a handful of stunning bouquets. Our winner was Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD), one of only a few companies that managed to meet all our criteria. FTD delivered bouquets of consistent quality across our four test cities, and we had no trouble getting a real, live customer service rep on the phone to address our questions. If this company doesn’t have the flowers that you want, you can also try FlowerPetal, 1-800 Flowers, or The Bouqs Co., but we found their quality less consistent.
We ordered online flowers from 10 vendors and compared the services on how they were delivered, the appearance of the flowers and which flowers stayed fresh the longest. We also judged flower delivery services by the range of products that they offer and by each company’s delivery options. Our top pick, 1-800-Flowers.com, has an extensive and beautiful selection of flowers and gifts, making it the best flower delivery website for most people. It provides a generous selection of sympathy and funeral floral arrangements, as well as an exceptionally sensitive service – there is a sympathy adviser who can guide you if you’re unsure about particular religious or cultural traditions before you place your floral order.
KaBloom is a floral delivery company based in Massachusetts, with franchise store locations throughout the United States. and an online store, KaBloom.com. Established in 1998, KaBloom offers contemporary and traditional floral arrangements, bouquets and gifts. KaBloom partners with floral farmers around the world to provide freshly cut, seasonal varieties with a week-long freshness guarantee.
The roses from 1-800-Flowers arrived in fine shape, but our survey panelists were less wowed by them than the FTD roses. When judging how similar our delivery (on the right) was to the flowers online photo (on the left), 37 percent of our staffers gave them a good rating (3); 37 percent rated them fair (2). Only three of the 77 people who looked them over in person thought they represented the best quality among our rose bouquets. Only two said they were the lowest quality.
Exclusively for our readers, this Multicolor Peruvian Lily Bouquet drops from $34.99 to $32.99 at Florists.com. Plus it ships for free, which saves $14.99 in fees. It features 50 blooms of multicolor Peruvian lilies (alstroemeria) in a clear vase. You can choose delivery dates through 7/31 with select blackout dates. Check the calendar for all available dates. Please note that some dates will incur an additional fee. You can also choose 100 blooms for $5 more. Florists.com guarantees their products, and will offer a replacement or refund for any issues. Sales tax is charged in most states.
Increasingly, flower delivery companies are either being acquired by other corporations or are building partner relationships with other firms to expand the kinds of gifts they can offer you. For example, 1-800-Flowers.com has acquired Harry & David, and FTD has acquired ProFlowers, although ProFlowers and Harry & David still operate as independent entities. FromYouFlowers.com, which is not included in our comparison, is part of the Teleflora network of national and international floral vendors that use local florists to fill orders.Flowerbud.com, has developed a partnership with Stargazer Barn, which offers you a selection of wine, candies, jewelry, perfume and more.
Unlike companies that work with a network of local florists, ordering from Bouqs means you get the exact arrangement that you view on the website — in our case, one dozen gorgeous red roses. The downside? The flowers aren’t arranged ahead of time, and they arrive with none of the additional greenery and fillers that florists add to plump up an arrangement. Our instruction card told us to trim a couple of inches from the stems of our roses, and to remove outer petals and any damaged leaves. Once we did this, the flowers were gorgeous, with deep red petals and vibrant green stems. But this DIY experience may not appeal to everyone.
ProFlowers was founded in 1998 to connect flower buyers directly with growers. The company is now a part of a larger family of brands, including ProPlants, gifts.com and Sheri’s Berries. It offers a wide variety bouquets, delivered by florists and by shipping companies.
The Bouqs Co. does offer subscription services, at a discount of about 25%. You can schedule a regularly delivery of bouquets on a monthly or weekly basis, or schedule out event-specific gifting. For example, in one subscription order, you can book flower deliveries for someone’s anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and birthday — a great way to avoid last-minute scrambles.
Send a flower bouquet for a funeral. You can follow tradition and send a flower bouquet for the funeral of the deceased with a nice card. Choose flowers that last a long time or a small plant that doesn’t require much care when considering your options.
Send comfort food. Most individuals who are grieving cook less during this time so sending along a hot meal to help alleviate their stress of cooking is a thoughtful idea. If an entire family is grieving, you can let your loved one know that you’ll be stopping by to drop off enough food for the entire household in advance.
FTD was also the hands-down total dominator in customer service. When we called to file a (fake) claim about a missing bouquet, someone answered in under 20 seconds at 12:30 AM on a Sunday night. She was apologetic, kind, and offered us a refund or a store credit immediately upon hearing the problem. Why is this worth noting?
Long lasting and fragrant, carnations are a popular choice for sympathy arrangements. The red carnation evokes admiration while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence.
These companies left us feeling thoroughly lukewarm. Their bouquets weren’t the worst we’ve seen, but generally lacked the show-stopping effect of our top picks. If you’re unable to get the bouquet you want on the date that you want from one of our top picks, these services are worth checking as a backup, but we wouldn’t recommend them as our first choice:
Orchids say “I will always love you”. When giving an orchid plant as a gesture of sympathy, it is important to give consideration to color. Pink and white are traditional colors of sympathy. Varieties such as the phalaenopsis orchid and dendrobium orchid are suggested by florists as appropriate plants to denote sympathy.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
In London the best place to get flowers in great amounts is the New Covent Garden Flower Market. Which is simply the biggest and best wholesale flower market in the UK. Though beware the fact that is place caters to the need of florists and operates at night time, so if you plan a visit be ready to wake up early. If you want to know more about New Covent Garden Flower Market check out my post about it or enjoy the video below.
We were left with 16 online flower delivery companies to test. But hold up! Some of these companies, such as Flower.com and JustFlowers.com, are actually the same, with identical checkout systems, mailing addresses, About Us pages, and customer service phone numbers. (JustFlowers owns Flower.com, but we decided to order from Flower.com since its website was way cleaner than JustFlowers’.)
Offer assistance or help around the house. If you’re a close family member or friend, you can offer to babysit or straighten up around the grieving person’s house. This is a sweet gesture and very useful during such a delicate time.
Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are the busiest days of the year for florists, which can strain resources and limit what’s available for same-day delivery. To avoid the frustration of seeing “not available” next to the bouquet you’ve picked out, we recommend placing your order as far in advance as possible. This ensures you get what you want and can help avoid rush delivery fees.
The high scores were a surprise. 1-800-Flowers isn’t exactly beloved, and we experienced a few of its biggest complaints first hand. When you place your order, shipping costs are hidden until the very last second — a shock if you’re not braced for it. Our bouquet of 12 long-stemmed red roses jumped in price from $60.00 to $96.44. This jump was especially painful after we’d experienced the transparent checkout process of The Bouqs Co., which folds shipping into its advertised price (a cheaper price, at that). 1-800-Flowers is also the company whose robo phone center hung up on us. We assume these factors have a lot to do with the company’s numerous 1-star reviews, and they are definitely the reasons 1-800-Flowers came in third. But would we be thrilled to have their bouquets on our desk at work? You better believe it.
If you can’t go to work in the morning, realize it’s your mom’s birthday, order flowers, and then have them there that very afternoon, what’s the point? Many online flower delivery companies charge extra (sometimes 25-50 percent extra) for same-day delivery service, but we wanted this feature to be an option in case you needed it.
Since there are so many reviews of flowers never arriving, or flowers arriving dead or days late, we only wanted to deal with companies willing to offer refunds, exchanges, or satisfaction guarantees. Sending flowers can be an expensive endeavor (a standard order of a dozen red roses can range from $42-$96), and we wanted our investment to come with a promise that we’d be satisfied. This was where we parted ways with H. Bloom, a luxury flower company with modern arrangements and an otherwise impressive website.