Buying flowers this Valentine’s Day? Here’s help

Valentine’s Day is getting close. Behind Mother’s Day, Feb. 14 is the second busiest day of the year for florists. If you are one of the millions shopping for flowers for your sweetheart, your Better Business Bureau offers tips to find a trustworthy florist.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), almost $19 billion dollars was spent on Valentine’s Day related items last year. About 58 million pounds of chocolate, more than 130 million Valentine’s Day cards and more than $52 million was spent on flowers alone.

Last year, your BBB recorded more than 114,000 inquiries and almost 4,000 complaints throughout North America about florists. Locally, about 700 inquiries were recorded about this industry.

When searching for a reliable florist, your BBB suggests these tips:

• Shop around and compare several florists.

• Get recommendations from friends and family. If they’re pleased with their florists, most likely you’ll be too.

Consider reputation, years of service, as well as cost.

• Consider customer service. If the customer is being treated poorly, your flower arrangements may be too. Also, a great florist will offer helpful suggestions and advice to match any special occasion.

• Make sure florist has a physical address and phone number in area you’re sending flowers to when shopping online.

• Ask about guarantees. Get a written receipt and ask about the florist’s policies regarding late delivery, damaged flowers or failure for flowers to arrive at all.

• Make sure florist has your information. In the case of a delivery, it’s important for a florist to have several phone numbers, address and delivery information for drivers.

• Find out if the florist is a member of an association like the Society of American Florists (SAF). Companies belonging to an association are likely current on the latest floral trends and are committed to top quality work and products.

• Check selection and variety of product. In addition to having quality flowers, a reputable florist will also have other products, such as decorative vases, floral food and other gifts, such as teddy bears, balloons, cards, etc.

• Look for creative flair in the florist’s arrangements, design and presentation. Creativity should be part of every good florist’s credentials.

You can always contact your BBB for a list of BBB Accredited florists and Business Reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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