Rafi Mohammed

Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus…Guys, I’m Going to Save You a Bundle on Valentines Day!

Posted on February 5th, 2007 (0 Comments)

A friend of mine truly resents Valentines Day. While he loves his wife dearly, he’s deeply scarred from paying an “outrageous” price for a dozen roses…over a decade ago. “Rafi, I stood in line with a bunch of other suckers and paid $100 – I didn’t even get any special service for the high price I paid” he recently lamented to me as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

With my friend’s sentiments in mind, I decided to do a little research on rose prices for Valentines Day. By doing a Value Decoder analysis, we all know that consumers value roses more on Valentines Day, then say, Ground Hogs Day. I wanted to see how retailers are reacting to this annual day of increased value.

To start my research, I called the top ten florists in Boston (as ranked by Citysearch) and enquired how much it would cost to send a dozen roses for delivery today versus delivery on Valentines Day. As you would expect, most florists (9 out of 10) had higher prices for Valentines Day delivery. And they were very open about this price differential, one florist and I spoke like close confidantes, “Oh y-e-a-h m-o-n, prices are going to go crazy next week” she said. Other florists, like Winston Flowers, clearly reveal higher Valentines Day prices on their web sites ($80 vs. $100 in Winston’s case). I was surprised with the results, the average premium for Valentines Day was $20 – not as much as I would have guessed. I found that in Boston, the average price of a dozen roses (arranged in a vase) delivered is normally around $75 and about $95 on Valentines Day.

Next, I googled “Valentines Day Roses Florists” and over 1.3 million hits were returned…a very competitive market. Internet rose prices were significantly lower relative to those of local florists. I must admit to being blown away by the floral prices at Costco.com. The site has a $59.99 deal for 3 dozen long stem roses and a vase – overnight delivery included. Want to make a bigger splash with even more roses? Costco offers 50 premium roses (no vase, but delivery included) for $69.99 or 125 premium roses for $139.99. Just to be clear, I have absolutely no connection to Costco…I just love their prices.

Finally, local grocery stores typically offer Valentines Day specials. From past experience (oh…I mean research), a dozen roses with a vase range in price between $20 - $30.

Here’s where my “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” moment occurred. I’ve always assumed that women prefer arranged roses delivered from a florist over roses from the Internet or grocery stores. Pondering the significant price differences between florists, internet florists, and grocery stores, I wanted to better understand the value that local florists provided. So, I called some of my women friends seeking their insight.

Much to my surprise, the first few women I spoke with all preferred the option of a dozen roses (knowing they were purchased from the Internet) arranged by their boyfriend/husband. I mean the shock of this insight is akin to someone saying to me “I always pay retail.” I would have never thought women would prefer this option (…it should becoming very clear why I’m single). Intrigued, I enquired “doesn’t it look cheap?” The typical response is that while they knew Internet roses were cheaper, the real VALUE for women comes from their significant other taking the time to arrange the flowers themselves.

Curious, I expanded my survey and found that about 90% of women respondents preferred a dozen roses arranged by their boyfriend/husband over an arrangement delivered by a local florist. Of the remaining 10% that preferred a local florist arrangement, about half would change their mind if their boyfriend/husband brought them two dozen (instead of one dozen) self-arranged roses.

A note to my male readers: I sent a similar survey to my male friends asking what they thought their girlfriend/wife would prefer – several thought their significant others would prefer flowers overnighted in a box directly to them (so their girlfriend/wife would have to arrange the flowers and put in a vase). In my survey, women uniformly ranked this option last.

Here’s my advice to my male friends…it’s all about value (even on Valentines Day): buy two dozen roses for good measure (it’s usually not much more to buy an extra dozen) over the Internet and start learning how to arrange roses! Have a great Valentines Day!

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