The internet allows customers to buy flowers and greenery in bulk for large events such as weddings. You have to shop carefully, however - not all websites claiming to be wholesale actually sell at wholesale pricing.
True wholesale means that businesses buy the product (without paying sales tax) and resell for a profit. For the discounted price they generally have to buy in bulk lots. They then break down those large lots into smaller quantities and resell at a profit to the general public.
While most of these websites require you buy in large quantities, the prices they quote are generally much higher than a retailer would pay. Many of these websites seem focused on selling just roses or calla lilies. Although they offer fresh greenery, the pricing and quantities seem to discourage sales to the average DIY bride.
Let's compare some greenery prices and I'll show you what I mean . . .
Galax leaves are a charming heart-shaped leaf that is popular for distinctive wedding work. They can be used as a lovely collar surrounding a bridal bouquet or as an interesting wrap for a corsage or boutonniere.
They may be priced a little higher that normal greenery, but I was shocked at the prices asked by "wholesale" sites on the web!
Here is a screenshot from a reputable website that shows up in a search for "wholesale flowers". This is their sales page for galax leaves.
I was stunned to see that ONE BUNCH was priced at $109.99!! They even helpfully break that down to the cost of $4.40 per leaf. WHAT????
Ok . . this popular bulk flower website is a little more reasonable - they are only asking $16.99 per bunch. But wait . . . you have to buy TEN BUNCHES!!
If you read their description carefully, those leaves are packed TEN to a bunch - not 25 like the above site. Plus you have to buy a minimum of 10 bunches. Breaking that down, it's a minimum of 100 leaves for $1.69 each leaf. Much better than the first site - but still kind of pricey in my mind.
They advertise "free shipping". Wow!! I certainly hope so at those prices!
Here's a screenshot from my own online store. I don't claim to sell my products at wholesale price - I couldn't do that for long and remain in business. But this is my RETAIL cost to my customers:
Brides can buy single bunches for $7.99. For 20 - 25 leaves - that's about 30 cents a leaf. Hmmmm . . . big difference, huh?
I try to charge reasonable shipping fees. Face it - I can't sell a single bunch of galax leaves for $7.99 - make a few bucks- and then ship it at the cost of $30 or more that FedEx charges me for an overnight delivery.
That's why I price my flowers reasonably, let the bride buy in smaller quantities, offer professional floral products in smaller quantities (florists have to buy in cases or in large containers) and then charge realistic shipping fees.
Understand that fresh flowers have to be shipped overnight. FedEx charges higher for this type of shipping. Customers will pay the cost of freight whether it is calculated ("padded") into the flower price or whether it shows in the "shipping" column at the bottom of the invoice. Online customers do get a break in that they don't have to pay sales tax (unless they live in the state where the business originates).
I separate fresh flowers (overnight shipping) and hard goods (ground shipping) into separate shipments so to keep your shipping costs as low as possible.
My goal is for my brides to actually save money by providing the labor themselves. Wedding labor through a flower shop is often marked at 50% to 100% of the product cost (the RETAIL product cost). You can save money if you do the work yourself.
This is why I stress the importance of comparison shopping before buying flowers online. Look past the hype, look past the "free shipping" claims and actually break down the cost of what you are paying for the product.
I also carry the fresh florist supplies that professionals use when processing their flowers. Re-hydrators and flower food isn't that expensive, but it goes a long way to keeping your flowers fresh throughout your wedding day.
I provide these products in smaller quantities so the customer buys only what they really need.
Hard goods such as bouquet holders, flower foam, bouquet jewelry and more is also available. It is a "one stop shop" where you can get everything you need to create flower designs at home.
When I started this website, I knew I couldn't provide free flower tutorials to brides without giving them a resource to buy the floral products they need.
In order to do this, I had to find a floral wholesaler that I trusted to ship products and flowers to my customers.
I found an excellent wholesaler in Florida that has been in business over 60 years. They are family owned and I have been working with them for several years. I have gotten to know them well and been to their wholesale warehouse many times.
I work closely with them on a daily business. Not only do they provided excellent service to each of my customers, but they stand behind the products they sell.
So shop carefully before you buy. I may not have the lowest price on every item, but I try to set reasonable prices and provide access to everything you need to make your wedding beautiful.
BUY WHAT YOU NEED . . . not in ridiculous minimum quantities that waste greenery or flowers.