Virtual Florist Companies
When shopping for flowers online or over the phone, it may be wise to look into the background of your florist to make certain that they are who they seem to be. It has recently been discovered that a “virtual florist” phenomenon has erupted, and it has potential to be damaging for both florists and customers themselves.
A virtual florist is technically a middleman who falsely advertises themselves as a real florist, takes your order, and then has it filled out by an actual florist. The harm is that they will charge a certain rate for their orders which has been engineered to be above the rates of the florist they order from. This extra money is pure profit in the pockets of the virtual florist, and means you aren’t getting what you’ve paid for.
Report on the Virtual Florist
A local US news station recently uncovered the virtual florist system and ran a report on it. We’ve included some excerpts from their report to give you a good idea of what they ran into:
“Our investigation begins with a government warning about ‘unscrupulous telemarketing firms posing as florists.’ How do the fake florists get away with it? Customers rarely see the flowers they send. So you ‘…don’t realize you’ve been scammed.’”
What this means is that virtual florist call centers are masquerading as real florists in an attempt to earn a profit by taking orders and having them filled out by other companies. By skimming money off the top of your order you end up getting a smaller or lower quality bouquet as a result. The problem is that, when you’re sending flowers as gifts to someone, you’ll likely not get a chance to see them.
Unless the person you’re buying for is very straightforward or happens to be a jerk, chances are you won’t be told if an arrangement you sent them is of poor quality. In this manner you’ll never know that you’ve been ripped off by a virtual florist.
“Think of the telemarketer as a middle man. They take your order and phone it in to a real florist, without telling you a thing. They take a nice chunk of your money. That means the bouquet you just paid good money for immediately gets smaller.”
As you can see, the potential for damage that a virtual florist can cause is fairly high. You’ll pay money for top-dollar baskets, bouquets and arrangements of fresh plants and end up sending out something much less significant – all without being aware of what the virtual florist has done.
The Advantages of a Real Florist
Naturally, it’s safe to assume that a real florist is much superior to the virtual florist counterparts. You’re getting exactly what you’re paying for and won’t have any information withheld for the purpose of making extra profit. The additional advantage is that a real florist is passionate about what they do. A virtual florist is only trying to make money, and won’t go out of their way to provide quality service.
Brant Florist has the virtual florist beat because of the high quality items provided for sale in both the shop and online through the website. When you come into the shop physically, you’ll see exactly what you’re getting. No middle man will be stealing your money and phoning your order out to someone else, meaning that each cent of your investment goes directly into the creation of your order.
Online you can view the same inventory while resting assured that what you see is what you get. With a virtual florist, this is almost universally untrue. If they even provide an image of what they are selling at all, there is no chance you’ll be getting that as an end product. It’s likely to be a stock image used by the virtual florist for the purpose of convincing people like you to go with them.
A real florist is superior to a virtual florist in that you are getting more for your money. When you pay fifty dollars for an arrangement through a virtual florist, your recipient gets a forty dollar bouquet. When you pay fifty dollars at a real florist, they get a fifty dollar bouquet. No skimming or other shady practices are employed, meaning a real florist has the virtual one beat in every aspect of the business.
Delivery Benefits Beat the Virtual Florist
A real florist company like Brant Florist offers same-day local and domestic delivery guarantees. With a virtual florist, you’re lucky to get same-week in many situations. When you are placing an order for flowers you want your order to arrive on time. Late gifts for birthdays and anniversaries are definitely not friendly situations. By avoiding a virtual florist you can avoid this pitfall while enjoying a great gift.
Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist
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