Beware Valentine's Day florist tricks

Don't Waste Your Money

Valentine's Day flowers look so lovely. But should you call a local florist, or in this smartphone age, just order online from a chain?

Unfortunately, ordering online from a place you don't know comes with a lot of risks.

Local Florist or Not?

For instance, one top Google search for "Cincinnati Flowers" is Cincinnati's One Stop Flower Shop. But it turns out upon closer inspection that it is really located in Vancouver, Washington.

You will find similar "trick" flower shops in every city. If Grandma lives in Boca Raton be extra careful Googling Boca flower shops.

Ava's Flowers also looks like a local Cincinnati florist, even listing neighborhoods, businesses like Kroger, and P&G, and naming local hospitals like Good Sam you might want to send flowers to. How nice.

How more local can you get? A lot more. 

It turns out  Ava misspells the word Cincinnati, with an extra "t" added, and an "n" missing ("Cincinatti").

Note to Ava's webmaster: Please spellcheck city names.

Beware Handling Fees

Meantime, the savings website DealNews. com says beware handling and other fees.

Deal news says Proflowers 2013 Valentine's Day price is $69 for for a dozen long stem roses.

But it says Proflowers ads a $21 shipping and handling fee, for a total of $90. It says FTD's dozen will run you $79, plus $19 for shipping and handling, for a total of $99.

Not a "trick," but a charge you may not catch until it's almost time to bill your credit card. 

Deal News says a local florist may be a better and more affordable bet. Their shipping fees are often under $10.

Beware Photos in Ads

Finally, Consumer Reports Magazine says beware the trick of flowers not matching the website photo.

It says get a full description of what flowers will be sent, down to the "baby's breath" or ferns, to make sure it really will be what you intended.

That way your loved one gets the right flowers, and you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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