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National flower retailers, local shops put to the test ahead of Mother's Day

10TV ordered flowers from three different national retailers, which were designed by local florists.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Mother’s Day just around the corner, folks everywhere are flocking to the flower shops or ordering online, so we put our local florists and national retailers to the test by ordering flowers from three different flower delivery services, designed and delivered by three local florists.

"Mother's day is probably the biggest holiday in a flower shop, for the whole year, this is it. This is our biggest week,” says Christy Boggs, the owner of Villager’s Flowers in West Columbus. She says her sales triple every year.

“It's nice to deliver them to people and just the surprise on their faces and how excited they are that someone sent flowers. It's something you don't do for yourself,” says Boggs.

Here's what we found:

First, we ordered the "Floral Embrace" from 1-800-Flowers, delivered by Hillard’s Exotica Floral Shoppe. 

The flowers cost $69.85 after a service charge and tax.

These flowers looked similar to the online display, but not exactly like the photo.

In a statement, 1-800-flowers says:

“1-800-Flowers.com works with thousands of professional florists across the country to deliver floral arrangements.

Sometimes, due to limited availability of certain floral stems in certain local markets, floral substitutions may be made. 

At 1-800-Flowers.com, our mission is to deliver smiles. If there is ever an instance where a customer has an unsatisfactory experience, we guarantee to make it right."

A representative from Exotica said they encourage customers to order directly from the local florist if they have any problems with the online systems.

The second test was online retailer Teleflora. These flowers looked similar to the online display, the only visible difference was a swap of yellow flowers instead of orange. Bogg’s shop is the one that designed and delivered these flowers.

“So we didn't have the orange lily that it has in the picture so we used the yellow. It also has viking palms which we didn't have so we used yellow daisies instead, and I think everything else is the same!” Boggs said.

This set of flowers cost $79.52.

She said if you want top customer care and the most bang for your buck, order from the florist directly.

“So they're charging you probably 14-15-20, 25 dollars just to take your order. So they're not even florists, they know nothing about the industry,” Boggs said of what she calls “online flower gatherers.”

“A lot of times, roses will come in really tight, and they'll open as they sit out in the air, but they never show you that, they only show you fully opened flowers” Boggs explains the national sites can sometimes be misleading.

The third test was flowers from FTD, designed and delivered by T. Bears Flowers & Chocolatier. The flowers looked more sparse compared to the other orders. T Bears declined to comment, but FTD sent us an additional display that looked much more like the online display.

FTD’s note read "After further researching the arrangement you received, we have made your arrangement per FTD & T Bears standards. Please enjoy.”

The flowers from FTD cost $80.83 after shipping and tax.

All of the flowers from each shop arrived at 10TV's station on time.

Lastly, Boggs says whether you order in-person or online, be sure to get in your Mother’s Day orders by Friday.

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