Flower markets offer fresh-cut flowers, floral accessories and plants at wholesale prices to florists and business operators. The markets usually have hours for the general public where, even if you don't get wholesale prices, you'll get big discounts. Flower markets are especially useful if you need to buy flowers in bulk for a wedding or party.
Look in the Yellow Pages under "Florists--Wholesale" or search the Internet to find a wholesale flower market in your area.
Check your network of friends to see if they have access to wholesale prices (with a reseller's badge) and if they're willing to act as your buyer. If not, visit the market during public hours.
Go to bed early and set your alarm. Flower markets open as early as 2 a.m., and the best flowers disappear quickly.
Survey the entire market for prices and selection before you make a purchase. Vendors closest to the entrance often charge the highest prices.
Check that the stems are freshly cut and the leaves and buds are firm. Don't buy from a vendor who has brown or withered flowers in the mix.
Make your selection. The more you purchase from a single vendor, the more likely he or she will be open to negotiating price.
Expect to pay sales tax unless you have a resellers badge.
Fill a sink or bathtub with several inches of cold water when you return from the flower market. Remove the newspaper wrappings and stand the flower bunches in the water until you make the arrangements. Make fresh cuts on all stems before arranging, and make your rose cuts underwater. See How to Buy a Bouquet of Roses.
Flowers sold in the market are intended for resale, so many buds are closed. If you are buying flowers for a special event, allow a day or two for the buds to open. Farmer's markets are another excellent source for affordable fresh flowers, especially if you buy directly from the grower. Flower markets are a good source for vases, ribbons, floral wire, boutonniere pins and other flower-arranging equipment.