How Proflowers (and other online flower sellers) charge $40 for their $20 bouquets.

I wasn’t surprised that the “$20 bouquet” offers online were bogus but I’m hoping others might find this post before they go through the painful upselling process at Proflowers and many other online flower places.

Note that $20 for a bouquet is too cheap – you’d expect to pay more than that at almost any florist shop, but I wish that Proflowers and others would simply state all their extra charges up front so you can buy informed rather than uninformed – having to wait until checkout to see the extra fees.     Next time I’ll probably just call a local flower shop directly – that’s what I’ve done in the past but I wanted to see how these online “$20 bouquets” worked.    In fact a project I’ll finalized some day helps people find local florists.   Google does this pretty well, but will have a database of all florists with easy free access to their information.    Contacting florists directly helps cut out the FTD or other middlemen, and in theory gets you a better bouquet for the same price.

In the case of Proflowers the specials offer what look like great bouquets  (I’ll report back on that when I have a report on the one I just sent), but then add a delivery charge of about 10 and ‘fees’ of about another $5.    Add to that a basic glass vase or “morning delivery” and you  can be over $50 quickly.   In my particular case I took the upsell that included chocolates and a vase but then discounted my “order” by 15% – though they did not discount delivery so again they are being misleading.

None of these charges are unreasonable, I just don’t like that they obscure them until checkout.    The right online approach is to do what vendors like Kayak and Orbitz do – display the FINAL pricing so you can make an informed decision.

In my case I had to spend about a half hour on the Proflowers site and enter my order twice because changing a  discount coupons seemed to require me to re-enter.    There was probably a way to avoid that by me, but the site does the common and frustrating online trick of presenting you with different pages depending on your entry point – ie the same items can cost different amounts depending on how you enter and navigate the website and use coupons.

I guess there’s nothing really wrong with that, but I prefer more transparency so I know what I’m getting and paying *during the choosing process* rather than at checkout.

… More to come when I hear how and when the flowers arrived  …