September 28, 2008

Why Shop Online?

Shopping online used to be scary. You never knew when, or if, you would get your order. Who were these people you were giving your private information to? Who else was getting the information? In 1996 when we applied for our first merchant account and told them we were selling "online" they looked at us like we were speaking another language. We had to walk the guy through what we did and how we kept the information safe, encrypted and that we were not going to sell it to the highest bidder. Let's just say the bank monitored us pretty closely during the first few years.

These days online stores are the norm. Nearly every retailer, large and small, has a presence online. There are many reasons to shop online. Here are just a few:
  • Anything you want you can find online.
  • Shop in London, Sydney, Canada or Los Angeles without leaving your kitchen.
  • Find unique items made by independent designers you can't find anywhere else.
  • Buy your Christmas presents without changing out of your pajamas.
  • Buy a gift today and have it delivered across the country, gift wrapped, tomorrow!
  • Save gas, time, money, aggravation and energy.
To ensure a pleasant experience there are a few things you should do prior to whipping out your credit card. Make sure the business you are buying from is legit. They should have contact information, including a phone number and address. If you've never purchased from them before and have any questions, call them. Shopping cart systems are extremely safe in general. Your information is transferred in an encrypted format to a secure database and is regularly purged for safety against hackers.

For your part you should read the shipping and return policies just in case. We offer a no questions asked return policy for 15 days after retail purchase. Every company has different rules so make sure you know what they are before you give them your money. If you're shopping on Paypal, Ebay, Etsy, or one of the many online shopping malls read their policies as well. Make sure to check the shipping policies as they may differ during the holiday rush time of year. You want to give yourself time to receive the merchandise in time. Doing your homework in advance will save you aggravation later.

Still not convinced? Check out these scenarios:

You need to buy a last minute Christmas gift for your niece in Florida. You get dressed, hop in your car and discover you need gas. So you whip around the corner to the local gas station and find a line around the corner! You sit in line for 30 minutes (or more!) wasting yet more gas, money and time, to pay $4.25 a gallon. You make your way to the local mall and find you have to park in Timbuktu. As you get about half way across the parking lot it starts to rain and you forgot your umbrella in another country. You run to the doors and squeeze your way into the crowded mall of harried shoppers.

Since you have no idea what you want you have to push from store to store all carrying pretty much the same things. You finally settle for something and stand in line to pay a harried cashier. When you finally make your way home you have to wrap the gift, box it up and then go back out to the even more crowded post office to send the thing out! Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Alternatively you pull on your cozy bathrobe and make yourself a cup of tea. While it's steeping your flick on your computer, go to Google and start a search for that gift you need. You sit down in your warm house, listening the the pleasant patter of rain on your windows while perusing the limitless options available to you online. You find the perfect unique gift, maybe even a one-of-a-kind, at a great price to boot. You enter your credit card or Paypal information, choose over night delivery to your niece with gift wrapping and hit "submit".

You have just purchased the perfect gift and will receive glowing praise for a job well done while saving gas, money, the environment and your sanity. I ask you, can it get any easier?

September 21, 2008

September Savings!

Fall Savings at Bidwell Botanicals
We've got Fall Fever at Bidwell Botanicals! It's time to stock up on new and traditional Bidwell Botanicals Fall and Holiday product selections. Get a jump on holiday shopping and take 20% off all online purchases during our Member's Only Fall Savings Days. Use discount code: FALL08 at checkout.

As always, all orders over $50.00 receive a complimentary gift and over $75.00 enjoy free shipping within the USA.

Fall '08 sale prices in effect through September 30, 2008 on all regularly priced merchandise. For more information, call 1.888.360.3398 or email at

Offer valid at Bidwell Botanicals Online store only through 11:59 p.m. EST September 30, 2008. Offer not valid at Bidwell Botanicals wholesale partner locations. Offer may not be combined with any other offers, coupons or discounts. Offer not redeemable for cash, gift certificates, gift cards, nor is it valid toward previous purchases. Gift cards, gift wrap services and taxes are not applicable toward purchase requirements. We reserve the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized, altered or ineligible use of discount and to modify or cancel this promotion due to system error or unforeseen problems.

September 4, 2008

Cancer is the Devil!

Cancer and I have a hate/hate relationship. Obviously no one likes cancer, but I really, really hate this disease in all of its ugly forms. A little personal history: I lost my mother (breast cancer), my father (Adenocarcinoma) and my 3 year old daughter (Rhabdomyosarcoma) just to name a few. To say that cancer scares me to death is an understatement. I know many people survive the disease and ensuing treatment, and research is providing more answers every year. Unfortunately those closest to me were not so lucky.

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer I was completely devastated. I still had her twin sister and my younger daughter at home to care for while she was spending 90% of her time in the hospital for surgery, treatment and complications of the two. I was exhausted and an emotional wreck. She was diagnosed in late September and died one month later. I felt like I couldn't breathe for at least a year. If not for my other children and my family rallying around me I doubt I would be here today. I lived in fear for years that her identical twin would get the disease too. Her doctors did not have enough information to assure me that would not happen. This was many years ago but the emotional wounds are still deep and painful.

I have tried over the years to help where I can both financially and by donating my time to the cause. Each year we promote our Think Pink Spa Pack and donate 50% of the profits to the Susan G. Komen Organization. We support the Relay for Life program and donate regularly to the Children's Cancer Foundation. I would do anything in my power to help find the cure and make sure no one has to go through the pain I and countless others have experienced. There are many worthy organizations working hard to develop tolerable treatment and ultimately a cure. Please make time and dig deep to help them meet their goals.