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article imageOp-Ed: The thorny issue of Valentine’s Day rose pricing

By Scott Sawitz     Feb 10, 2014 in Business
Valentine’s Day is the day you give your love a handful of red roses that speak louder than words; and, every year, when we put down our cash we get sticker shock knowing that same set of flowers cost almost half just two months prior.
We often wonder why it costs so much to buy a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year. The answer “stems” from multiple sources.
Flower experts say that the increased prices arise from several factors:
• Valentine’s Day presents the highest demand for long-stemmed roses in a single day, more than any other day of the year. Rosebuds that fall short of expectations are sacrificed to create a sellable collection, increasing growers’ costs.
• Once the Christmas season demand for red roses is complete, growers have just 50-70 days to ramp up production and fill demand before February 14, amid shorter days providing less growing time.
• Inclement weather can throw growers for a loop.
• Servicing the masses for Valentine’s Day, whether it be one month or one week before D-Day, means hiring more help, more hours and ultimately, more overhead.
• Long-stemmed roses cost more that short-stemmed.
• Bouquets with more embellishments, like baby’s breath, cost more.
• Transportation costs have increased year after year.
So, what are some tips to find a bouquet that is just right for giving while also fitting your budget? This involves knowing what you want to give, what your budget is and some careful planning.
Many people, for example, will use Valentine's Day as an excuse to plan a romantic getaway, but will struggle to find a cheap hotel and flight during this time of year.
A dozen roses you get off the streets may cost only $15, but they will be short, less fragrant and may not stand tall for long. Travel to the other end of the spending spectrum and you could dish out up to $100 from a high-end florist. However, those blooms will most likely last you a good week and will look their part, adorned with finery and embellishments no street vendor could supply.
Travel down the middle of the road and you could venture online, if you plan well in advance, and send a fine set of stems arranged beautifully in a keepsake vase. Online florists entice with pricing that is low, but hidden shipping and delivery fees tell all when you checkout. Expect to pay from $50 to $80 for a dozen after you click “confirm”.
All is not lost in this quest, however. Yes, roses are expensive this time of year, but with some forethought you can find a beautiful bouquet of ravishing red roses that will melt hearts and set the stage for a happy Valentine’s Day. After all, Halloween costumes from places like Kostumer also shoot up in price come late October.
The key is to shop around and buy what’s right for the recipient. Then, package it up with a romantic dinner, a memorable evening and undivided attention that puts the evening, not the roses, in the limelight.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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