Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Bouqs - Product Review!

This post contains affiliate links and I was given a free bouquet of flowers in exchange for an honest review.

I always said that if I were really rich that I would always have fresh flowers in all the rooms of my home. I would change them seasonally, have themed flowers, flowers growing, cut flowers. I really love flowers. I'm definitely not one of those girls who complains about flowers being impermanent or that red roses are unoriginal. I love them all. Flowers are one of the ways to my heart. Another tip? Give me chocolate AND flowers and I'm pretty much putty in your hands. But anyway...

I also like to send flowers to other people. Unfortunately this is usually cost prohibitive and difficult. A long time ago I used Hallmark Flowers exclusively to send arrangements mostly to my grandmothers or for funerals, etc. They were reasonable, reliable and had consistent quality but then, unfortunately, Hallmark discontinued their flower department. I tried Martha Stewart with okay results, but she too discontinued her flower service. FTD and the like were left but I often found them to be expensive and really unreliable. You'd order one thing and get something totally different, which sucks and can be embarrassing so honestly, I stopped sending people flowers through the mail. I only deliver them in person now. That's kind of sad though because there are many occasions where I want someone far away to receive a bouquet.

Luckily, I think I may have found a solution.

A couple months ago (sorry guys) The Bouqs, a new floral delivery service, contacted me and offered to let me pick out a free bouquet of flowers from their web site in exchange for a review. Great, I thought, because as I said before, I LOVE flowers!

The first thing about The Bouqs that impressed me was their aggressive marketing skills, but we all know that without a great product your marketing skills amount to nothing but BS. For me to be really impressed, these guys needed to deliver. Umm, literally I guess since we're talking mail order flowers.

When I went on their website to choose my free review bouquet (okay not totally because I had to pay for shipping, but that's fine) I was really impressed. A lot of times I get frustrated when I try to order anything online. Sometimes site layouts can be confusing and annoying and I have a hard time finding what I'm looking for. Not here. These guys have their site organized beautifully and it's not too cluttered. You can easily see the products and prices and the ordering instructions are simple and pretty much hassle-free. Big plus to me because I kind of hate shopping and filling out online forms. If something is even remotely annoying to fill out I will usually say, screw it and give up. I'm kind of ADD like that.

The best part for me, and I honestly thought this was genius, was that when you look at each bouquet they offer, you can see customers' pictures of the same products. I LOVED this idea because look, we all know catalog style photos aren't totally realistic. I would rather see a real customer's actual photo of their actual bouquet and how they displayed it. I found this enormously helpful. Loved, loved, loved this idea. You can also go on Instagram and search the hashtags #bouqs and #bouqslove to see real photos of the flowers.

I chose the Confetti Bouquet and I picked this one because I thought for reviewing purposes I should pick something basic and yet colorful and probably roses since people most commonly send roses. They arrived in a big box via Fed Ex a couple days later. They were heavily packaged and the stems were coated in some kind of gel that keeps the flowers alive and fresh and even though I live in stinking hot Florida the flowers were cold when they arrived so I'm guessing they ship them refrigerated somehow? Anyway, the flowers were very sturdy and healthy but be careful unwrapping roses. These had a lot of very big thorns and I kept getting poked. I kind of wish they could clip some of those off before sending them, at least the giant ones, but that might be labor intensive.

Here is one word of caution. When you order flowers from The Bouqs you are not ordering from a traditional florist where the flowers come already prepared and arranged for you in a vase. You or your recipient need to find your own vases and the arranging is up to you once you get the flowers out of the box. I don't particularly mind this, especially if I'm saving money but for a more romantic occasion where you want the showy arrangement with the balloons and the crystal vase and the whole shebang you might want to go with a traditional florist instead. I'm just saying.

My flowers were very fresh. They really seemed like they were picked and immediately packed and sent and I was glad to see they weren't wilty and that they had thick, strong stems. These flowers arrived in very good shape. I cut their stems, divided them into a few different vases for different rooms and by the next day they had all fully opened. So pretty. I was really happy that I chose The Confetti because they were very colorful. I'm big on color and I got a good variety. My favorite were the lavender roses.

They lasted about a week. I probably should have tossed them after six or seven days but I got attached so at ten days, when they were truly a lost cause and getting stinky I threw them away. But I was sad to see them go. Some people have luck drying roses, but I didn't feel like doing that.

Now here are my criticisms. I pride myself on doing complete honest reviews. I think my readers deserve that and if I'm going to recommend something I'm going to tell you the truth. I think some of the arrangements are too pricy especially because you can run down to your nearest Trader Joe's or Whole Foods and get the same thing. For instance, check out my favorite arrangement from the current holiday themes. It's five sunflowers. For fifty dollars. Seriously?? You can get that at the grocery store for around $12.99 here and cheaper at Trader Joe's where I've seen comparable sunflower bouquets for as low as $5.99. A lot of the bouquets are prices competitively and reasonably, but some, like this one, are not. I think The Bouqs could do a little better there.

My other issue is not so much a criticism but more of a wish list. I wish The Bouqs offered a little more obvious theming. I like to send flowers that are obvious to the occasion or holiday. If you click on holiday themes now you are led to a page of orange bouquets gleaned from other collections. I think this is an area where The Bouqs needs improvement. If I could get a really nice, Thanksgiving arrangement I would totally order it but I want something that says Thanksgiving more than just the color orange, you know? Maybe some wheat, some berries of some sort, fall leaves? I am anxious to see what they will offer for Christmas. I'd like to see some poinsettias, holly and pine and something uniquely beautiful that cannot be found faster and cheaper at the grocery store.

Other than that, I had a positive experience with this company. Their strong points are the ease in ordering, the efficiency in delivery and most definitely the freshness and quality of the flowers. I wish them much success and thank them for letting me try and review their product!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having worked as a florist, I hate these big companies. I would much rather buy local. And that includes buying "local" where your friends and relatives live---call florists in that area and find out their style, selection, delivery services, etc. Call the florist directly because ordering through a service (FTD, Teleflora, etc.) is a crapshoot (half the time the florist doesn't actually have the required flowers in stock). Order what they have in stock and give the designers creative license and you'll generally get the best arrangements. --JG

Nana said...

Another good idea...ask for one or two colors (or shades of one color) in whatever is currently in stock. I've been happy with what shows up.

shop and send online said...

If you don't know what to give to your mom, Mother-in-Law or friend this holiday season, flowers is a great gift idea. Even if there's no occasion, sending flowers to your loved ones will make them feel special.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, have to disagree. Anything is "cheaper" if you take the time to get in your car, go to the store and get it yourself. Bouqs is a DELIVERY service and if you want DELIVERY service, you will have to pay for it. I think your review was unfair. I was expecting the company review of their delivery options, quality, prices, longevity, ease of ordering etc. as compared to other floral DELIVERY companies. I wanted to see your review of this, not how you compare it to Trader Joe's which by the way, has their flowers sitting in the water being manhandled by many customers for days.

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