What is an order gatherer?

We have blogged about finding a local florist quite a few times, and have tried to find a way to see through the thick fog that has enveloped the online florist business.  We have never actually  explained what an Order Gatherer is, and what it means to you and your online floral order.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, below is the definition of order gathering, provided by The Florist Detective.

What is Order Gathering?

The term ‘order gatherer’ was coined several years ago to describe floral service marketers, both real and virtual, that aggressively promote the sale of flower arrangements and related gifts which they intend to broker to local florists for fulfillment, primarily via affiliations with national florist wire services.

And here is a list of some known order gatherers.

So what does this mean to you as a consumer?  It means a lot.  Your intention is to send $75 worth of flowers to your mother across the country, or maybe across the street.  Because these order gatherers tend to pose as local florists, you might be ordering from one of them and not know it.  The really sneaky ones will provide a local phone number and possibly even a local address, making it very difficult to discern the wheat from the chaff.  Your $75 worth of flowers is now much less, because the order gatherer, and the wire service are now taking a series of fees from your order, severely depreciating the value of your order.

Here is a case of a supposed Winnipeg, Manitoba florist that may shock you.

I blogged about these guys earlier in the case of the not so local, local florists.  But here is the proof.

Check out Rideau Florists – Fake Local Florist

Here is their home page header.

So, as I stated in the previous post, the local phone number is a redirect to their out of province flower shop.

Now we try clicking on the about us page.  Their actual contact information is as below.

And a little further down the page…

“Based in the heart of Winnipeg”?  I am a little confused.

We, and others are in the process of lobbying Government officials to weed out these fraudulent local florists.  There are several reasons that Government is listening to our pleas.

1.  Most of these order gatherers who are advertising as local florists are not charging Provincial Sales Tax.  Thereby breaking the law, which clearly states, that if you advertise in the Province of Manitoba, you must be a registered business and collect sales tax.

2.  They are obviously perpetrating fraudulent advertising campaigns, both through their sites and through their AdWords campaigns on Google.

3.  Some are potentially hurting the consumer by asking for a series of login information questions and then credit card information before providing a full total on the order, thereby making it harder for the consumer to refuse to purchase after taking the time to do it.

A mix of new legislation, and enforcement of old legislation of tax law and advertising will weed these guys out in the end.

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