By Jim Donovan


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Valentine’s Day just one week away, have you given any thought to gifts yet? Nationwide, it’s expected that $2 billion dollars will be spent on Valentine’s flowers alone. Tonight is Top 3 Tuesday, and 3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan has advice on getting the best blooms for your buck.

The closer you get to Valentine’s Day, florists are busier than ever. It’s all hands on deck! But choosing a good florist can sometimes be a thorny task. “I mean there’s a lot going on there, a lot that can go wrong, and the best florists can pull it off without a hitch,” say Kevin Brasler, Executive Editor for Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook.

So Tip #1: Know who you’re dealing with.

In the latest edition of Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook 42 flower shops in our region were rated based on customer surveys and secret price shopping. Brasler says that while Valentine’s Day prices can run the gamut, there is some good news. “We found a lot of florists that charge low prices, deliver high quality products and deliver them on time.”

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Marcus Hook Florist was among the shops receiving Checkbooks top rating for price and quality. The third generation floral shop, once run by Joseph Walker, is now operated by his children and grand kids. Among them, his daughter Andrea Karpovich. She says, “We’re on our 3rd generation and it’s we love what we do. We love who we do it with, and most importantly we’re passionate about who we do it for, our customers.”

Tip #2 When ordering flowers for out-of-town, avoid using a national service or an order taking company.

According to Brasler, “A lot of companies that arrange these deals are pretty shady.” He says, “Your best thing is to find a local florist here, or a local florist there that you can trust to handle the whole thing.” And if you need a suggestion, Brasler says, “A good place to call are funeral homes, they have a lot of experience dealing with florists, sometimes hospitals often know yeah, this place, they deliver on time, they deliver great arrangements.”

Finally, Tip #3 If you’re on a tight budget, supermarkets have super prices.

Brasler says, “The really big advantage supermarkets have predominantly is price. Their prices are on average far lower than what you’d pay at a traditional retail florist. You know about 50-60 percent lower in some cases.” The same goes for warehouse clubs.

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To find a highly rated florist in your area, you can access Checkbook.org’s ratings until 2/15 for FREE. Here is the link:  https://www.checkbook.org/cbs3/florists