Purchasing at Flower Shops

Those who frequent online shopping sites are often somewhat put off by brick and mortar flower stores. There is no easy way to compare prices. You cannot instantly see reviews for the business. There is the pressure to seem at least slightly knowledgeable in front of the florist's staff. By following these tips, you can find the ideal bouquet for your gift recipient.

1. Relax. The staff is here to help.

Believe it or not, you are not the only person the florists have ever encountered who could not tell an azalea from a zinnia. You are also not the only person who needed guidance on the right bouquet to give to a specific person or for a specific occasion. Ask for help if you are lost or unsure; a good store will give you good advice, and gladly. After all, in the age of e-florists, excellent customer service is what keeps small florists in business.

2. Come prepared.

Do some research online before heading to the store. Look at the big online florists' bouquets for your occasion or person and see what flowers they recommend as well as what they charge for the bouquets. If you know what type of flower your gift recipient likes, run a search for bouquets containing that flower. Make a note of what other types and colors of flower the e-florist paired with your preferred bloom as well as the price. Once you have a basic understanding of what you are looking for and, on average, what you will pay, head to the florist.

3. Have a budget and stick to your plan.

There will be a lot of very big, very showy, very beautiful, and very expensive bouquets. Remember that you are not looking for the most over the top arrangement on the planet; you are looking for a bouquet that will make your recipient happy. Keep an eye on the prices of the bouquets. Since these are professionally arranged, they may be more expensive than their online counterparts. (However, remember that you do not pay for shipping when buying in-store.)

If you are getting help from a clerk, ask to see a range of recommended bouquets. This will give you a diverse selection of both flowers and prices to choose from.

4. Commission a bouquet if you do not see what you want.

Florists build bouquets for a living. If you know what you want in a bouquet and do not see it, ask if they can make one for you. You can either describe exactly what you want, down to the last fern, or you can give the florist one or two dominant flowers to build the bouquet around. The florist will be able to work with you to create a bouquet you like. (However, keep tabs on the price per stem and whether the store charges extra for custom work.)

5. Remember a card.

Many florists offer complimentary gift tags. If you are sending a simple message, such as "thanks for your help," these tags may suffice. Otherwise, be sure to include a card. After all, you spent the time and effort to get the bouquet right -- why not spend the extra two minutes and show the recipient how much you truly care?