Avoid being scammed by an Order Gatherer

Published: Thursday 23 March 2023

Avoid being scammed by an Order Gatherer

Order Gatherers in Action …

Last Monday I received a phone call asking for an arrangement of flowers to be delivered to Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Alstonville.

The caller was very specific about the flowers, wanted to pay less than our price for the floral design, and their language and tone sounded insincere.  I asked if the caller worked for an “Order Gatherer” and she replied  “Yes”. 

I told her we did not work with order gatherers and she became pushy and said the order was for Mr X's funeral and was very important. 

The call came in at 10.30 and the funeral had started at 10 o'clock that morning.   I knew because I had delivered flowers to the church at 9 am.

I feel for the person who ordered the flowers, and hope they actually receive a refund.

 

So, what's an Order Gatherer?

When you google ‘Alstonville Florist’ you will see a number of listings, and after the Google paid ads you will find Alstonville Florist at the top of the organic (or non-paid) listings. 

There are likely to be numerous websites listed such as Bloomex, Easy Flowers, Lvly, Flowers for Everyone, Bloomeroo, Lily’s Florist, Sarah’s Flowers and others displayed in your search results and in the image section headed Shop Alstonville Florist. 

These businesses have used Alstonville Florist, Alstonville Flowers, or delivery to Alstonville as location specific information on their web page.

They are not located in Alstonville, and some are not even located in Australia.

Order gatherers are e-commerce businesses that falsely suggest they are a local florist to attract customers wanting a flower delivery in a specific geographic area. 

In reality they have a series of web pages for multiple locations but NO STORE.  They rely on people assuming it is a real bricks and mortar florist, or being complacent, or being confused …

 

Lilys Florist Example

When an order is received, an order gatherer on-sells the order to a local florist or has the order made up at a central distribution centre, which is likely to be in a capital city hundreds of kilometres away from Alstonville.

Order gatherers usually take a substantial commission, anywhere between 20% and 50% of the total purchase price. It's money that never gets to the local florist who actually makes and delivers the order, and it's money that the person ordering the flowers is paying to a middleman!

 A local florist can’t recreate a $100 bouquet with the $60 paid by the order gatherer for the flowers and delivery.  So, a $100 bouquet ordered online through an order gather may turn into a $45 bunch by the time it reaches the recipient.

1800 Flowers

 

And there are lots of dissatisfied order gatherer customers.

In November 2022 Choice conferred the Shonky Award for … "flowers that don’t deliver" to Bloomex, a very active online order gatherer.


For more information head to Bloomex Earns Choice Shonky Award and find out how many orders Choice placed, how many were actually delivered, how many were actually delivered on the correct day, and how many were below value or had old decaying flowers.

In February 2022, the ACCC warned consumers who were buying flowers for Valentine’s Day to make sure they were not being misled into thinking order gatherers were locally based florists.

ACCC Article

More information about the ACCC review into the deceptive activities of order gatherers can be found at Find out where your flowers are really coming from this Valentine's Day.  Alstonville Florist contributed to this review.

 

So, how can you be sure you are ordering from a local florist?

It may take a little time but you will be saving yourself money, getting better value for your money, and supporting a real florist who supports the local community.

  • Check the business' address on the webpage, is it a local address? If it does not have an address it’s already time to leave.
  • Check Google Maps for verification of the address.
  • Check the phone number, is it a local phone number?
  • Browse their social media for references to local community activities.
  • Check for reviews on Facebook and Google.
  • Check if there is a Google Business Profile for the florist.
  • If you’re still uncertain, phone the florist and ask for their business address. If they are a local florist, they will be only too happy to share this information with you.

 

Follow the steps above, and if it sounds suspicious when you speak to the florist, you can always phone Alstonville Florist for help.  If we cannot recommend a florist in the area, we can assist you in sending your order through Interflora for you for delivery to the town in question.

Alstonville Florist is a member of Interflora Australia, a floral relay service that has been in existence in Australia since 1954, long before web pages and order gatherers. 

Interflora is not an order gatherer.  Interflora is 100% owned by florists and you need to own a floristry business to be a member.

Interflora is the world’s largest flower and gift relay company – servicing nearly 150 countries through 50,000 member florists with over 600 of them in Australia.  Interflora is the world’s longest serving flower delivery network!

Interflora provides a flower relay service.  Florists pay a membership fee to be part of the Interflora network and Interflora assesses and qualifies florists to ensure they meet their stringent quality standards.  

Interflora charges a standard flat fee for every order placed and this fee covers administrative costs.   Company profits and investments are retained by Interflor Shareholders who are practicing florists who own their floristry businesses. 

Interflora Guarantees your order will end up in the hands of an accredited Interflora Florist and you will be sending flowers knowing you have the security of a reputable organisation, a quality guarantee, and that your order will be delivered on the requested date.

We look forward to helping you with your future flower orders for delivery in the Northern Rivers of NSW, throughout Australia, and the world.

 

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