Ways To Purchase

There are two categories of sales – Auction and Non-Auction.

Auction sales are subject to seat fees. Non-Auction sales are not.

Auction Sales

All auction sales require a ‘seat number’. For more on seat numbers see the FAQ section.

Auction sales refer to all sales that are bought off the clock; “Virtual auction”, “Pre-bids”, “Pre-Auction Purchases” are all auction sales. Here is a break-down of each:

Auction Gallery – where it all began

Classic auction sales are still our biggest means of purchase. It’s where OFG started. This is when a buyer sits in the gallery and stops the clock to win auction bids. Generations of families and businesses have been doing this since 1972.

The ‘clock’ is modelled after European Floral auctions – the price starts high and spins down towards a minimum price (sometimes called the Buy-Back Price). The first buyer to stop the clock wins the bid. The lots you win are labeled with your seat number and are dispersed accordingly so that when you are done purchasing you can pay for your product and leave with it immediately.

Auctions are held Monday to Friday every morning at 6:00 am, except Wednesday which starts at 10:00 am.

It may look intimidating to new buyers, but it’s surprisingly easy to master.

Training is available by appointment, whereby an OFG staff member will sit with you in the training booth and explain all there is to know about auction sales. We will help you stop the clock for your fist few sales and gradually ease you into being self-sufficient.

Pre-Auction Purchasing (PAPs)

This is the fastest growing method of purchase. It allows buyers to purchase auction product before the auction starts. It is a guaranteed sale. It lets the buyer purchase the product without having to compete against other auction buyers. PAPs can be made on regular Gallery, and Virtual auction product.

It is done on-line using either the website (www.ontarioflowers.com) or the Remote Buyer program. PAPs can only be made on product for the next auction and are available from approximately 3:00 pm the day before, until 3:00 am the day of the auction. Product becomes available as soon as the grower lists it, which can vary throughout the day, but generally the listings are complete by 7 or 8 pm.

Currently we offer up to half of all lots to be available for PAP. So if there are 10 lots of a specific product, 5 will be available for PAP, the rest are for gallery auction. Typically there is a 10% – 20% markup from the auction minimum price. This is due to the fact that the buyer does not have to compete with others for a guaranteed purchase.

Pre-Bids

Pre-bidding offers the buyer the ability to submit an auction bid before (or during) the auction on a specific product line. The buyer submits the number of lots they want and a bid amount into the computer. The bid is then placed on their behalf when the product is on auction. It is NOT a guaranteed sale as the buyer can always be out-bid. Pre-bids can only be made on product that will be on the next auction

Unlike PAPs:

  • Pre-bids can be cancelled up to a few minutes before they go on auction.
  • All lots are available for pre-bidding, not just half the total amount

Virtual Auction

A relatively new way to purchase. Virtual Auctions involve product that is bought on the clock but are picked-up on a future day. OFG has 4 clocks, 2 of them (Clock ‘A’ and ‘D’) are used only for virtual auction sales. This offers buyers the freshest possible product as the flowers are purchased while they are literally still in the ground and delivered at a later date.

Virtual Auctions are held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday alongside the usual gallery auction. Local product (flowers from Ontario growers) are sold on Clock A and import product is sold on Clock D.

Here is the current Virtual auction schedule:

Clock ‘A’ - Local Ontario Product:
Purchases made on:
  • Monday are for pick up on Tuesday (the very next day)
  • Tuesday are for pick up on Thursday (2 days later)
  • Wednesday are for pickup on Thursday (the very next day)
Clock ‘D’ - Import Product:
Purchases made on:
  • Tuesday are for pickup next Tuesday (one week later)

** Note: Occasionally we offer special pre-book auctions that allow buyers to buy Christmas greens or Mother’s Day product weeks in advance. These virtual auctions are held a few minutes after the usually scheduled virtual auction. The pick-up dates are listed on the website, or sent as a message to buyers using the Remote Buyer program.

Non-Auction Sales

Non-Auction sales do not require a seat number, only a buyer number is necessary

Warehouse Sales

Also referred to as Buy-back sales. These are sales of product that did not sell during the auction. They are available as soon as the product is off auction. They can be made on-site, or online via the website or Remote Buyer program. The cost is 10% above the minimum (buy-back) price.

Warehouse sales are recommended for new buyers who would like “get their feet wet “and experience purchasing from OFG in the simplest of ways. No auction bidding or speculation is needed. There are no seat fees.

On-line, simply browse the product listings and purchase, then come in a pick up your product. On-site, walk around the warehouse and cooler and choose lots marked with the “-X-“ labels. A staff member will scan and sell them to you.

Shop the Clock

Simply put, these are on-line sales. This is floral product that is not on auction and is made available by our growers. If you’ve ever bought anything on-line, the process is similar. You’ll go to www.ontarioflowers.com and login with your account number (assigned by us when you become a registered buyer). From here you will choose the menu option “Shop the Clock”. There are currently 4 pickup days to shop on – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Browse the product listings, add to your basket, checkout and print off your order. Arrive at OFG on the pick-up day and your product will be waiting for you by 6:00 am

Pre-Sales

Sales made in person with sales staff on-site at OFG. The sales office is located on the warehouse floor across from the service desk.

Pre-Sales are for buyers who would like very specific product and do not want to ‘take a chance’ on auction availability or being out-bid. Event planners who need certain product for such things as weddings or other celebrations will find that the Pre-Sales staff can locate product and quote pricing in advance.

Greenhouse Direct

Occasionally we have buyers that want to buy directly from the Grower. As OFG is a centrally located distributor of multiple floral products, it makes sense for a Buyer an OFG Coop Grower member to agree on OFG as a delivery and pick up place. Billing and invoicing is done through OFG. The buyer receives their product on the agreed upon date and time.

Methods of Purchasing

Auction Gallery Website Remote Buyer Program Cust. Service Desk / Sales Office
Gallery Auction
Virtual Auction
PAPs
Pre-Bids
Warehouse Sales
(Buy-Back Sales)
Shop The Clock
(Web Sales)
Pre-Sales