Order Gatherer vs Deceptive Order Gatherer....

Jul 09, 2015


There are degrees of order-gathering, and a lot of opinion on how far it can go. Deceptive order gathering is different and easy to distinguish.


In the flower business the term order gathering typically refers to the practice of one business taking flower orders that they cannot possibly fill. They take the order knowing that they will have to then have another florist actually prepare and deliver the order.

There are different reasons the shop taking the order might not be able to fill it. The business might be a real local flower shop, but one that does not cover the area the order is going to. It might also just be a call center and/or website that is not part of a real flower shop and has no ability ever prepare and deliver flowers.

That second kind of operation is always described as just an order-gatherer. Real florists that also take orders they can't fill might also be considered order gatherers depending on how aggressive they are about gathering orders.

Florists have had a very long (100+) years of providing relay services. In the days before the internet it was very hard for a person in say Chicago to send flowers to a loved one in Miami. Florists stepped in to help – they would take the order, and then "wire" (this started in the telegraph era) the details to a flower shop in Miami that would fill the order. The Miami florist would get most of the money, and the sending shop in Chicago would get a small percentage for generating the sale, getting the details, etc.

Minus the telegraph this is a valuable service that many consumers still expect retail florists to provide. A flower buyer that has a good relationship with a local shop likes the fact that they can call that shop and quickly arrange for florists to be delivered anywhere in the world. Few people if indeed anyone in the flower business has a problem with this approach, and wouldn't really consider this order gathering.

Sometimes shops start to get a little more aggressive, and really pursue orders that they can't possibly delivery themselves. This is where things start to get a little fuzzy. Some drivers think that anyone that goes slower that they do is too timid, and anyone that goes faster is too aggressive.

So too it is with order gathering. Some florists believe that any shop that is less aggressive in their order gathering efforts are too timing, and anyone more aggressive has moved over the line and become an order gatherer. An aggressive tactic would be to create "doorway" pages for every city and neighbourhood in North America, each designed to convey that the florist "services" (or words to that effect) the area.

But as long as the order gathering efforts (website, directory listings, advertisements, etc.) don't imply that the shop will actually prepare and deliver the flowers (as opposed to arranging for delivery) they should escape the "deceptive" part. They might get called an order gatherer, but they shouldn't be called a deceptive order gatherer.

The deceptive tag is reserved for operators that deliberately misrepresent their part in the process by suggesting that they will be the shop that prepares and delivers the flowers, misrepresents their physical location, etc. Once they attempt to deceive the consumer through this kind of misrepresentation the deceptive tag has been earned.

At the far end of the spectrum are deceptive order gathering operations that will even create doorways pages and telephone directory listings that use the names and addresses of established local floral shops to better masquerade as real local florists. For example – imagine Stewart Floral is a well known flower shop that has served the city of Beaconsfield for decades and has a great reputation. Deceptive order gatherers will create pages on their websites, and listings in telephone directories, that use the same name, and even address, but with a different telephone number and url.

The goal is to trick the consumer into thinking they are contacting the well-respected real local florist, then take their order and collect payment. They then send the order out to whatever florist will agree to deliver it, at a much reduced value.

Category: Buying Flowers

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