Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Even though Americans are expected to spend less than last year on Valentine's Day gifts, the "day of love" is expected to generate over 14 billion dollars in gift sales. Estimates from the National Retail Federation show Americans will spend an average of $102.50 per person as compared to $122.98 last year, with flowers being the most common purchase. "During tough economic times, consumers need to be sure they are spending their money wisely," said Barb Grieman, Interim President of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB). "Use common sense when purchasing flowers-especially online."
With Valentine's Day approaching, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota suggests ways to avoid disappointment when buying flowers for loved ones: Use caution when ordering online. Read the fine print before ordering from pop-up ads or Web sites offering same day delivery. These offers may have restrictions. Research online companies and contact the BBB to get a report on the company before you use them. Have complete delivery information when ordering. Make sure you have the correct address and phone number for the planned recipient. To avoid any complications, most floral shops will not deliver without this information. And remember, most women prefer to receive flowers at work-not home. Be open-minded. You can provide the same impact as a dozen red roses with a mixed arrangement. Because of their high demand, the price of roses increases during the week of Valentine's Day. If saving money is your priority, go with an arrangement made from a variety of flowers. Don't be fooled by online pictures. The pictures shown for online floral shops may vary from the actual arrangements. Carefully read the arrangement description or call to ask about the dimensions of the arrangement. Ask if the arrangement comes in a vase. Ask about refund policies. Before ordering flowers, ask the florist to explain their refund policy. Also ask about flowers that open too soon or wilt within the first couple of days. Take care of your flowers! After receiving flowers, taking a few simple precautions can dramatically extend the life of your flowers. Remember to keep your arrangement properly hydrated and to change the water regularly. Every few days, cut the ends of the flowers to ensure they are drinking to their full potential. If possible, display the arrangement in a cool place around 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range works best for fresh cut flowers.