If you have ever paid for flowers through 1800flowers or any other online vendor that does not have an actual store, you are paying close to $15.00 over the cost of the flowers just for their fee. The worst part is, you rarely even get what you see in the picture, and they don't tell you that.
As a florist, I try to educate our customers all the time on how these online services work. The strange thing is that even though customers are "online" to place the order, they rarely look online for a local florist to fill the order personally, and these online companies like 1800flowers, FTD, Teleflora, WesleyBerry, Flowersallhours, ALL OF THEM, send the orders to the local florist anyway.
It is then up to the local florist to fill the order, and most always, if they don't have the same vase or flowers, they send something "similar", which based on costs of the flowers could be a lower value.
Now let's look at costs. Say you have a $40.00 arrangement you want to send someone. Add to that the $15 the online company charges you for delivery and handling, and you are paying out $55.00. The local florist will get $31.20 of the money you paid, as they also take 22% off the retail price as a commission. So, in effect, you are spending $55.00 but only getting an arrangement that is $31.20.
By using a local florist, you are insuring they get paid fairly for the work they do, saving yourself a minimum of $15.00 (more during holidays!) and taking out the middleman who has nothing whatsoever to do with the creation or delivery of your arrangement, other than forwarding it on to someone. Now, after all this, isn't it just more simple to go to the source?