March 11th, 2009
In the previous post, I wrote how yellowpages.com lists numerous bogus florists in their local listing. What about their main competitor, superpages.com by Verizon?
If you look for ‘florists’ in ‘Huntington NY’ in superpages.com, you will be presented with “only” 73 florists, which is a vast improvement compared to >1,400 “florists” listed in yellowpages.com.
But again, our town doesn’t have 73 florists. Not even close.
Most of these 73 florists are national floral-order brokers, such as FTD, JustFlowers, etc.
Let’s sort by ‘distance’ again, which is supposed to list only the local florists. Take a look (Click).
At the top, you will see a business called “Huntington Florists NY - All American Flowers.”
This is a bogus florist that doesn’t exist in Huntington. In fact they are located in 4201 Church St, suite 2, Mt Laurel, NJ. They aren’t even a florist.
This bogus “florist” in NJ does this all over the US and Canada. They are a well-known crook in our industry.
Verizon knows about them and does nothing. No surprise here.
March 11th, 2009
Do you think Yellowpages are reliable sources of local businesses? Well, think again.
If you look for ‘Florists’ in ‘Huntington NY’ in yellowpages.com (AT&T), you will be presented with a list of 1,435 florists. We can safely tell you that our town doesn’t have 1,435 florists. Who are they? They are various businesses in Long Island and elsewhere who claim to serve Huntington NY. OK, fair enough.
So let’s click on ‘distance’ tab, which is supposed to list only the florists physically located in Huntington. Take a look (click).
You will see our listing and a few of our local competitors, fine.
But who are ‘1StopFlorists’ ‘Floral Ftd Directory Information’ ‘Floral Teleflora Directory Information’ ‘Huntington Florist Concierge’ and so on?
They are bogus florists who don’t even exist in our town.
How did they manage to be listed in Huntington? They purchased either 800/888 numbers or even local number (631) with bogus local addresses (let’s say 1234 main street). These companies do this, not only in Huntington, but everywhere in the US and Canada.
Many florists complain to yellowpages.com. They ignored us. As long as they earn ad revenues from these bogus florists who hurt local businesses, AT&T doesn’t care.
So, I would not trust Yellowpages.com. If they allow this sort of practice for florists, I believe that there are many other similar bogus listings for other types of businesses.
“Local” listing? What a joke.
February 16th, 2009
This is a test…
February 16th, 2009
Our store hours have been changed. New store hours are:
- Mon: 9 AM - 4 PM
- Tue: 9 AM - 3 PM
- Wed: 9 AM - 3 PM
- Thu: 9 AM - 3 PM
- Fri: 9 AM - 5 PM
- Sat: 9 AM - 4 PM
Please make a note. Thank you!
December 12th, 2008
A well-known dot-com flower company (whose name begins with a number) has been busy promoting “Free shipping or No Service Charge” ad campaign.
A misleading word play. Here’s the truth…
Most consumers will not get what they might think they are getting: Free delivery of florists-delivered products. Delivery charge is hidden and consumers still pay these charges.
What consumers don’t pay this time is a middleman’s commission called “Service Charge” which, if they call a local florist directly, they don’t have to pay in the first place.
Please see the chart below.
In this example, a consumer is sending a $40 bouquet.
If she calls a local florist directly (right column), she would be told how much her delivery charge would be ($10 in this example). With sales tax, she would be paying a little over $54 in this example.
She would have to pay >$15 more if she went through .com flower companies.
Take a look at the left column.
First of all, her delivery charge would be “included” (meaning “hidden“) in the price listed in their web page. It doesn’t matter which .com flower companies she goes (FT*, 1800*, or whatever, all the same). Delivery charges are always hidden.
What does it mean? Well, what it means is that, to order a $40 bouquet, she would have to order a $50 bouquet on their web ($40 plus $10 hidden delivery charge).
If she ordered a $40 bouquet, thinking that she is sending $40-worth of flowers, she will be disappointed….
Or not. Because she won’t be seeing the flowers delivered, she won’t know how tiny her gorgeous “$40″ bouquet would look like, - the fact that these .com companies are fully taking advantage of.
Wait…. It actually gets even more interesting.
During checkput, they will charge her a “Service Change” (or “Handling Charge”), usually in the range of $12-15. She would think this is a delivery charge.
Sorry, but she is wrong.
This “Service Charge” is a middleman’s commission that this .com company keeps in their pocket. It has nothing to do with delivery fee.
All in all, she would end up paying $69.51 on their website, >$15 more than is necessary. Isn’t this a rip-off?
We believe it is, and can be completely avoided if consumers call a local florist direct. Virtually all of us have 1-800 numbers and many of us now have a website for you to place order online.
Maybe our site is a little more inconvenient than national .com flower websites. But you don’t pay the middleman’s commission here!
What this national .com company is saying in this ad campaign is that, because they are afraid of losing sales, they will remove this middleman’s rip-off fee for the time being.
Should you jump onto this opportunity to take advanatge of this “free” offer? We are not so sure about that.
December 5th, 2008
Finally, our Holiday Specials are ready to order. Here’s our lineup this year:
7) Boxwood tree
If you order these products online, you will receive a $5 discount. Please use the promo code that’s “one800sucks” (no space) during checkout. No offense intended. :)
November 24th, 2008
We just launched a new product series called “Huntington Village Gourmet Baskets.” I know, I should come up with a sexier name, but being trained as a scientist, I can’t quite get rid of my desire to be accurate and descriptive. :)
Anyway, the idea behind this “Huntington Village Gourmet Baskets” is simple. We want to make a gourmet basket with real meal prepared by local restaurants.
So, here’s our first of this series: Village Gourmet Basket with Soup.
This basket contains a 16-oz cup of soup prepared by a famous mom&pop soup restaurant in Huntington Village. They’ve been making delicious soup for over 40 years! Very good soup, trust me. It comes with a loaf of bread, cheese, and tropical fruits.
There’s a lot of gourmet basket Internet sites. But have you noticed that their baskets don’t really have anything healthy to eat? They just contain crackers, candies, chocolates, and so on. They are not “gourmet” food at all. They are basically a bunch of expensive junk food!
That’s because these companies have to use Fedex to send the basket. They can’t possibly include any real meal. All the ingredients in their baskets must be shippable by Fedex.
Because we hand-deliver each basket, we are not bound by such restriction. So now, first time ever (I’m sure this is the first at least in Long Island) that you have a gourmet basket containing real meal. See left for a picture of yummy Clam Chowder Soup. You see no fancy container here; just a plain old home-made style soup (with popover)!
We plan to expand this product line soon. We will be including home-made sausages, delicious sandwiches, and so on, all made right here in Huntington Village!
(<<– Google AdWord) There’s no way you can get one of those from 1-800-flowers, FTD, ProFlowers. :) This is our EXCLUSIVE.
November 21st, 2008
Economy is bad. People are being laid off left and right. Companies are disappearing. 401(k) is gone.
Remember the good old day when we all got together and celebrate Thanksgiving Day? Most of us don’t do that any more…
I think that now is the time to be thankful for what we still have: families and friends we love. Let’s celebrate Thankgiving Day together.
November 18th, 2008
I often find myself wishing that I could go back in time. Not because I want to be younger or have fewer wrinkles or aches and pains, but things were sooooo different then. People had morals and values, people were more polite, more caring, more considerate, much more friendly and they had manners. At least this is what I remember and most of the people I talk to that are about my age remember too.
Our shop is small and located in the heart of Huntington Village. Many of our customers have been here forever and remember when our shop was owned by Margie and Lynn. Yesterday, I was visited by three of these wonderful ladies. What a pleasure. They always enter with smiles, we don’t just discuss the items that they want to purchase but we talk about family and friends, things in the news and how the world has changed. We exchange ideas and I get to find out about all the happenings in town. One such event was the Holiday Fair at The Old First Presbyterian Church. This beautiful old building has been here for over 250 years and still serves the community as a place of worship. I stopped by the fair after work and was amazed at how everyone was working so hard together for this church, young and old alike. Everyone there volunteered their time and items for sale for the common good of this historic church. Everyone was busy and laughing and just having a great time. Everyone was greeted with a smile. I didn’t stay for long, but when I left I had such a wonderful feeling. It was nice to know that there are people who care about other things besides themselves. That people can work together for a common goal and that all those old fashioned ideas still are alive and well. Maybe this is what we need more of.
I found myself thinking how lucky I am to work with flowers and in such a charming place surrounded by such lovely people.
November 9th, 2008
In the last 20 years, an alarm clock in my house used to be a morning chirping noise of “Bibi”, our pet Canary-winged parakeet. Every morning, around 6-7 am, my wife and I used to hear his loud morning call. It’s “amazon-like” noise is so loud that you probably can hear it two blocks away!
We no longer have this alarm clock, because Bibi passed away three days ago. The morning is quiet now.
We bought Bibi in 1987 at a small pet shop in Maryland. He was probably a wild-caught bird (which was still legal in the US 20+ years ago), because he had a leg ring on him, indicating quarantine assurance (see picture, circa 1987, with two budgies). Even though it’s called “parakeet”, Canary-winged parakeet is actually a tiny parrot.
Like any other parrot, he chose one person to be attached to. That chosen person was me. He never really liked my wife, which is intersting because another parrot of ours likes her more than me.
One night before the seizure that eventually took his life away, I actually took him out of his cage because he was screeching so loud. I scratched his head for about 15 min to calm him down. I remember him closing his eyes and making a cooing noise. At that time, I didn’t know that would be the last time I see him healthy. But I think he “knew” his time was coming to end and just wanted to have one last good time.
Now he is gone, and I am overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt - about many things that I could have done for him but didn’t. Time to rectify my guilt was taken away from me forever. We always realize the time is precious only after we lose it.
Previously, I sometimes thought that I was the one who was “taking care of” him. Now I realize that it was actually him who has given me much more than I’ve given him.
I made a small casket for him with full of flowers. Yesterday, I buried him in our backyard with a few of his favorite toys, a plastic bath-tub he loved, and some food (sunflower seed, corns, and apples). I am hoping that he won’t get too bored in the heaven and will have something to eat over there.
I am deeply grateful that Bibi has brightened up my life. He never gave up on me, even though I’ve given him so little in return. He always wanted me to be with him, even though the reverse was not always the case. His love was unconditional.
May Bibi rest in peace. We will miss you, Bibi…
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