Local Florist vs. Online Florists

I am trying to send a friend flowers, and finding it almost impossible to decide what method I want to use to buy them. I have two options: to call a local florist in her area and order the flowers over the phone, or use one of the major online florists (1-800 Flowers, ProFlowers, or Teleflora).  I have racked my brain to compare the pros and cons of each, and have yet to find a clear answer.

On the surface, the online florists have the upper hand in ease and convenience. I am able to quickly narrow down my flower type (roses), color preference (pink), and then browse different arrangements, and know exactly what the flowers will look like. Sometimes, they even offer the same arrangement in various sizes, so you can send the flowers that best fit you price range.

However, I find that the effort saved in ordering the flowers online is negated by the actual cost of sending the flowers.

I tested the cost of sending flowers on all three sites using a $39.99 (well, $39.95 on Teleflora) arrangement. I did not selected any rush deliveries, and picked Friday for my “flowers” to be delivered.

The only site that included a vase for my $39.99 arrangement was Teleflora. 1-800 Flowers wanted $10.00 extra, while ProFlowers only wanted $6.99.

Then, 1-800 Flowers and ProFlowers were shipping my flowers in a gift box, where the recipient needs to put the flowers in the vase, add water and the flower food. Teleflora used an actual florist to send the flowers, already arranged.

Shipping Costs? 1-800 Flowers: $13.99. ProFlower*: $9.99-$14.99 plus $2.99 care and handling fee. Teleflora: $14.99.

*Note: ProFlower will not give you a final total until after you enter in your credit card information.

Grand total for sending a $39.99 bouquet?

1-800 Flowers: $73.98
ProFlowers: $59.96-$64.96
Teleflora: $54.94

I called a local florist, using Google as my guide. I search for “florists in name of city, state” and used the first florist that came up.

To send a $40.00 arrangement would be $51.40. That includes a vase or basket, tax, and delivery. Plus, the woman was very kind and answered my questions about my order.

Granted, I needed to do a little bit more work, I was able to save up to $22 dollars, and even got more features for my flowers.

Therefore, I am left with the ultimate question: Would you rather spend more money for convenience, or do some homework, save, and add a more personal touch?