Best Buys: Purchasing roses online

(Columbia) Feb. 11, 2005 - Flower shops do a big business in roses, especially around Valentine's Day. But, with the convenience of the Internet, more and more people are buying their flowers online.

Consumer Reports compared the price of roses at five of the leading web sites:,,, and

Consumer Reports testers ordered three $30 bouquets from each of the web sites and found quite a variety both in how many roses $30 buys and what the flowers looked like when they were delivered.

The magazine's Mari McQueen says, "In one instance we didn't receive as many flowers as we were promised. We ordered a dozen roses and received 11. In another instance at least one flower came broken, and some looked a bit old, like they wouldn't last that long."

And, it turns out what you see on the web site is not necessarily what you get. Teleflora's web site showed four pale pink roses in a vase. But, the three bouquets that came didn't match the web site or one another. The bouquets from Hallmark, on the other hand, all looked the same.

Many web sites work with local florists, so what you get depends on which florist they use. If you know a dependable florist, you're probably better off calling the shop directly.

You also might want to compare grocery store flowers to a florist's. There may not be as much selection, but you might just save some money.

If a dozen roses are your sweetheart's desire this Valentine's Day, the Society of American Florists says the average price for an arrangement of 12 long-stem roses should be about $70, about the same as it was last year.

Rose Prices - ON Valentine's Day
Store Location         Price
+' = delivery charge         w/Vase      w/o Vase
Bi-Lo Augusta Rd, W. Cola 44.99 19.99
Bi-Lo Broad River Rd. 39.99 12.99
Bi-Lo Charleston Hwy, Cayce 39.99 19.99
Bi-Lo Decker Blvd 19.99
Bi-Lo Devine St. 39.99 19.99
Food Lion Decker Village 19.99
Food Lion St. Andrews Rd. 19.99
Food Lion Airport Blvd. 27.99 19.99
Food Lion Leesburg Rd. 19.99
Piggly Wiggly Forest Park 39.99 24.99
Kroger St. Andrews Rd. 49.99 26.99
Kroger Forest Dr. 49.99 26.99
Publix Harbison 34.99 24.99
Publix Two Notch Rd. 34.99 24.99
Winn Dixie Knox Abbott Dr. 19.99
American Floral                                               79.95+
Blossom Shop Devine St. 80.00
Flower Cart St. Andrews Rd.            75.00+
Pineview Florist            79.95+
Rish Flower Shop 70.00
Rose's Flower & Gift            79.95+
Rosewood Florist 74.95

posted 2:19pm by Chris Rees

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