Mother’s Day savings

You can get your mom a beautiful gift this Mother’s Day without breaking the bank. Lots of online florists are offering 50% off deals including ProFlowers and FTD. That’s just the start of saving.

ProFlowers is offering a LivingSocial coupon for $15 off a $30 purchase. FTD is offering a Groupon for $20 off a $40 purchase.

In previous years, there were issues with the FTD deal.  In February of 2011, users who bought the deal were directed to a special website to buy the flowers. Shoppers complained the prices were higher so the offer really wasn’t a deal. Plus, you couldn’t take advantage of other discounts or promotions which are common with these online flower sites just for visiting the website. Sometimes you don’t even have to enter a special promo code to get a free vase or a percentage off your oder. To deal with the issues, customers were allowed refunds if they complained.

That previous issue made me leery to take advantage of the ProFlowers deal, even though it’s a different company and I’ve had great luck with ProFlowers delivering a high quality product. A few times they’ve missed on the flowers. Call it a bad batch or whatever, and the company made it right.

I read the fine print on this year’s deal, and found ProFlowers setup a special website to deal with this coupon. That was the issue that got FTD in trouble because the prices were different. I perused the prices on the special site. They appeared the same, and reluctantly I clicked “Buy.”

I’ll note this year’s FTD deal does not use a different site for purchase. You simply go to if you use the Groupon deal.

While there is a special website setup, I bought the flowers with the deal without going to the special site. I did that just to make sure I wasn’t paying any additional fees. The promotional code was accepted.

Deals are really the only way to buy flowers from these online sites because the handling charges and shipping charges add up fast. If you buy a $30 arrangement, expect to pay close to $45 with all the fees. Consider the promotion you bought as a way to cover all the excess fees you’ll be charged online. Also, you don’t see all these fees until after you enter all your information on ProFlowers. At that point, you’ve already invested a lot of time. Are you really going to shop elsewhere if you don’t like the price?

If you can, I’d skip online and head over to Costco or your local florist. You’ll get a nice looking arrangement for $15-20 at Costco. Your local florist won’t charge you excess fees either because you’ll be delivering the bouquet.

If you have to order online, take advantage of multiple deals. Use Ebates. It’s a great way to get paid for shopping. I earned an additional 16% back on my order. Plus, if you click through from Ebates, you’ll get a free vase.

Also, look for promotional codes. You might be able to save up to 20% more.

You don’t have to spend a lot to save a lot this Mother’s Day. You just have to know where to look for the savings.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why balloons might break the bank this Mother’s Day and a trick to keep the cost down.

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