BBB Tips for Successful Mother’s Day Shopping

May 02, 2013

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for custom jewelry, or arranging for a special spa day, be a smart consumer this Mother’s Day! BBB sees lots of scams that focus on holiday shopping, and is warning consumers to proceed with caution before falling victim to a Mother’s Day vender scam, especially when shopping online.

In 2012, BBB received more than 3,900 complaints against florists. Many of the complaints were a result of the flowers being late, wrong, or just never delivered. When looking to find a florist, whether online or in person, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable business.

BBB recommends the following tips when purchasing flowers or other items for Mother’s Day:

Ask about guarantees. Request a written receipt for the order and ask about the business's refund policy if the delivery is late, never arrives or is in bad condition.

Make sure the florist has information on where to reach you. Delivery instructions may need to be confirmed or a driver may need additional directions. Check to see that the flowers can still be delivered even if the recipient is not home. Try to plan the delivery around a time that she will be home to avoid damaged or stolen flowers.

Research florists. Check out a florist's BBB Business Review to see any history of complaints, and additional details about the company. Ask friends and family which florist they recommend.

Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the florist or website to be certain that you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order. If you order ahead of time, delivery and other charges will be less than last-minute or overnight shipping. Some florists offer discounts for deliveries a day or two before a major holiday, since that helps them deal with the rush.

Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store’s guarantee. Find out how customer complaints are handled and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is not satisfactory. It’s best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn’t come through.

For more tips you can trust, visit or call 1-800-388-2222.