Roses are red, violets are blue, beware the costs of ‘I love you’

Roses are red, violets are blue, but beware the costs of ‘I love you’.

The price of love on Valentine’s Day

Once upon a time, on Valentine’s Day, I tied dozens of balloons to my boyfriend’s car – it was in a prominent position in the office car park – and scrawled a heart with lipstick on the windscreen.

I thought it was hilarious. I think he did too. Later. Lipstick is hard to remove from glass. We married, so he forgave me.

That was 30-something years ago. Valentine’s Day was more an opportunity to play a joke on someone, send flowers anonymously and watch them squirm. Now it’s big business – up there with Halloween, which has developed a life of its own around Australia.

But unlike Halloween, which might require an inexpensive costume and a few bags of lollies, Valentine’s Day can stress the bank balance when you may just have got it under control after Christmas.

Last year, comparison website Finder.com.au surveyed 1000 couples who had been married in the past five years and found most respondents planned to spend at least $100 on their partner. While $200 per couple was typical, some big spenders lifted the average to $315 per person.

Personal finance app Pocketbook crunched through the transactions of 135,000 Australians, looking at how much people had spent on likely Valentine’s Day items in the fortnight leading up to February 14. They concluded that men had spent an average of $123 and women $91. Obviously an expensive business for those who care – or have to care.

In crunching the numbers and looking at the most popular gifts in past years – roses – the question arises: are the blooms local?

The answer is that most aren’t, which translates to higher prices.

In the month leading up to Valentine’s Day last year, the Federal Department of Agriculture recorded that Australia imported more than nine million rose stems, with the majority sourced from Kenya, according to an ABC report.

Kenya supplied 5.22 million rose stems, up by nearly 850,000 roses on the same period in 2016. So for anyone buying roses this Valentine’s Day and aiming to buy local, you will need to ask the question.

Meanwhile, Woolworths was preparing for similar buying patterns to 2017.

“We predict there will be an influx of last-minute purchases,” a spokesperson said. “We’re gearing up to sell more than 90,000 single stems.”

Woolworths also expected to sell 900,000 chocolate boxes by Valentine’s Day, with a third of sales, 300,000, taking place on the 13th and 14th.. 

Do you think Valentine’s Day is just another gimmick? 

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    COMMENTS

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    Tib
    14th Feb 2018
    12:13pm
    Valentine's Day , like weddings and engagement rings get more expensive every year. The expectation and demands from women just get more ridiculous all the time. The greed is never ending. Well I think red roses are a perfect gift for Valentine's Day. Theyre ridiculously overpriced, have no real value and are completely useless ..... She'll love them.
    Anonymous
    14th Feb 2018
    3:07pm
    Worse, there's no guarantee of any nookie once a bloke has jumped through all of the hoops anyway. ("I've got a head-ache. Go away.")
    FrankC
    14th Feb 2018
    1:08pm
    What idiotic moronic government official agreed to the importation of roses from another bloody country. Our growers are going to be hit hard by this (Interview on ABC radio this morning ) Why doesn't his government look after the businesses in this country. I recall the government advertising "We must support our own small businesses" Yeah good idea, lets bring in Amazon; what a bunch of dickheads running this country, but then we know that.
    Anonymous
    14th Feb 2018
    3:09pm
    The Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition only give a damn about the rich and businesses. They're so incompetent they can't even get that right. ALP for government!
    Sundays
    14th Feb 2018
    1:14pm
    A nice card is enough
    Tib
    14th Feb 2018
    2:38pm
    Once it may have been a kind word or gesture between partners or a bouquet of flowers from the garden would have been enough. Few women would be happy with that now.
    Anonymous
    14th Feb 2018
    3:12pm
    Any bloke who gets married nowadays is mad. A lot of men in the U.S. are fed up with women and won't have anything to do with them. They have started a movement called MGTOW: "Men Going Their Own Way". Who can blame them? This is the fruits of that oppressive and idiotic ideology known as feminism.
    johnp
    14th Feb 2018
    2:11pm
    agree with the comments here. Buying lots of stuff ends up being a hoarders situation like seen on TV. Anyway most of the junk, bricabrac etc comes from china and similar countries which doesnt benefit Australia.
    There is an old saying which is still often relevant today.
    Definition of a successful man is one who can earn more than his wife can spend
    Definition of a successful woman is one who can find such a man ;-) ;-)
    Tib
    14th Feb 2018
    2:40pm
    Seriously John no man can earn more than a woman can spend.

    14th Feb 2018
    3:06pm
    Valentine's Day is a scam; this is just one of the rip-offs associated with that scam. My advice? Don't bother with Valentine's Day. Romance is overrated anyway.
    MjP
    14th Feb 2018
    3:16pm
    I'd happily pay for roses if my late wife was still here.
    Tib
    14th Feb 2018
    5:17pm
    I'm sure she was a good woman if you miss her.Which means she would be happy with just your company as you were happy with hers.
    MjP
    15th Feb 2018
    4:37pm
    Thank you Tib
    Eddy
    14th Feb 2018
    11:23pm
    My pet peeve is the Americanization of our culture. Like Halloween, St Valentines day is an import from the good ole USA solely to sell useless rubbish to gullible people. Like those recent 'Black Friday' sales which flooded into my inbox, I wondered what BF was and Google tells me it is the day after the US Thanksgiving day holiday. Another lot of USA BS inflicted on us by stupid marketing people.