FTD Review 2021: Same Day Flower Delivery
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Sometimes you really need to send flowers fast – moments of sympathy or apologies, last-minute gifts, or when an unexpected celebration is called for.
While many popular online flower delivery services like Bouqs and UrbanStems offer next-day delivery options, they either stop short of same-day delivery, or they only offer it in certain urban areas.
For same-day flowers, your options are usually: pick up something from the store, find a florist, or use a floral wire service like 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora, or Florists’ Transworld Delivery Service (FTD). Although I always prefer to support small businesses when I can, floral wire services are a great option when your recipient lives far away and you don’t know a local florist.
I’ve used both 1-800-Flowers and FTD in the past to send flowers in a snap, but never saw the end result. Recently I had the opportunity to try both as part of our guide to the best flower delivery service, and I was much more impressed with the selection, prices, quality and experience of FTD delivery. Here’s why FTD is now my go-to for same-day flowers.
How it works
FTD has been in the flower delivery business for over 100 years and offers delivery to all 50 states and over 150 countries. In most cases, as long as you place your order before 2 p.m. your recipient’s local time, you’ll have the option of same-day delivery. To make this happen, FTD often partners with local florists to fulfill and deliver orders (although some products, like plants, may be shipped via UPS from FTD).
Once you have entered your delivery address and chosen a delivery time, you will be presented with a range of floral design options in different styles and at different price points. Shipping starts at $17.99, but you may have to pay more for weekend delivery or expedited delivery to Hawaii and Alaska. Expect to pay at least $5 more for “same day” charges on top of shipping.
FTD’s product selection includes flowers, plants, gift baskets, edible arrangements, chocolate and other gifts. Although there are many options, the site is surprisingly easy to navigate. I put in my address and a few different delivery dates to see how that impacted what was available.
According to the website, 114 bouquets are typically available in my area with ample lead time, but with same-day delivery my options were limited to around 37 (although that’s still a wide range of styles and prices). The arrangements available mainly include flowers like roses, lilies, carnations and sunflowers, in bright colors like yellow, red and pink. While that makes sense since these are quite hearty flowers that are popular and almost always in stock at florists, the overall vibe of the arrangements is more traditional than modern.
I placed an order for delivery to myself and another to a colleague in Seattle. We ordered the Charm and Comfort Bouquet for same-day delivery and a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant for delivery later in the week to assess the experience of receiving an arrangement delivered by a partner florist and a plant from FTD via UPS.
Your delivery experience will vary depending on which florist fulfills your order, but our Seattle tester and I received fuller, fresher flowers and plants from FTD than other similar same-day services like 1-800 -Flowers. The colors in my bouquet were more muted and the vase I received was different than the picture on the FTD website, but I ended up liking the colors I received better and some variation is expected with all the flowers depending on what is fresh and available. My bouquet was in excellent condition and lasted just over two weeks.
The delivery experience was a bit strange; I received a message saying that my flowers had been delivered when they clearly had not. A few hours later, my doorbell rang and my flowers did indeed appear. While still within estimated delivery times, the fake delivery message threw me for a loop.
I also, of course, included an encouraging note to myself to be delivered with the flowers. The florist who delivered the arrangement wrote the note by hand, but did so on a “get well” card. I had a good laugh about it, but maybe it wasn’t so funny if I was delivering to a loved one. One big caveat to all of this, however, is that all of these delivery quirks were a product of the florist who delivered my arrangement and not FTD. So remember that your mileage may vary.
Disadvantages to consider
For me, the fact that your experience can vary wildly depending on who fulfills your order is the biggest downside to using a floral wire service. While FTD vets all of its flower suppliers, there’s still no way to tell who might end up fulfilling your order.
The arrangements also lean more towards traditional colors and florals, which may not be everyone’s style. Traditional arrangements are not particularly my cup of tea, although I was able to find something I really liked after looking through the options.
The service was also quite expensive. The price of the bouquet itself was reasonable, but once you add in taxes, shipping, and “same day fees,” my bouquet ended up costing around $140. It was a bit sneaky, as the upfront cost of the bouquet made it cheaper than other options like UrbanStems or Farmer’s flowersbut the extra fees actually made FTD more expensive overall.
What are your alternatives?
If you have more than one day to send flowers to your recipient, you have many more options that may better suit their tastes or preferences. We particularly like UrbanStems, which we named the best flower delivery service in our guide. It offers next day delivery in most of the United States and same day delivery in New York and Washington, DC.
If you’re pressed for time, need to send flowers overseas, or to harder-to-reach areas in the United States, a floral wire service like FTD is your best bet. There are other similar services like 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora, but we were less impressed with the bouquets we received from them.
The bottom line
If you need flowers on the fly, FTD is the best same-day delivery service we’ve found. It’s also a great option if you need to send flowers overseas or to Alaska or Hawaii, where many other services don’t deliver.
Benefits: Orders fulfilled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants and gifts
The inconvenients: The experience may vary depending on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modern