"Online flower retailers mislead customers and gouge local partners"

The CEO of a major online flower ordering service says they’ve “lost their way” with their partnership with local florists and has committed to making it better. 

The disconnection between larger companies and smaller local vendors is a big reason for cutting ties for a florist in New Prague. “Ordering online is good,” said Janeil Dropik, owner of New Prague Floral and Such. “But you want to be doing it through a local company who has done their own website and it’s their website — not somebody who’s sitting in their living room in their pajamas and doesn’t know a thing about designing a flower arrangement. They’re just taking your order."

Dropik ended her partnership with what she and others in the floral industry call "order-gathering websites." Costing the local shop a fee, the order-gathering websites partner with them. From generating more business, helping with marketing, to improving delivery services, the partnership is aimed to benefit both sides. 

But from misleading verbiage on their websites, drowning in fees, to accusations from Dropik of companies pocketing more money than they should, she says the sites have done more harm than good. “I went online and they literally took words from me, that I had handwritten, that I had put on my website and used that same verbiage on their website and claiming to be me basically,” Dropik said.

As it stands now, New Prague has one local florist: That’s Dropik. She said not too long ago there were as many as four. By sharing her frustrations and educating her customers, Dropik hopes her town can open up more and it can be as bountiful as her Mother’s Day bouquets.

Read the complete article at www.kstp.com.


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