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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 15:54 GMT
How much do love's labours cost?
red roses
Red roses can cost a third more than their pink equivalent
The price of love remains difficult to quantify, according to a series of surveys ahead of Valentine's Day.

While one suggests the average spend on a loved one on 14 February is 71.25, another says the amount is 50 lower.

Even so, men seem to be digging deeper into the heart of their wallets, especially those aged 25-34.

Valentine's Day has become a multi-million pound industry, with consumers blitzed with deals to tug on the purse-strings and heartstrings.

Love don't cost a thing

The average shopper can expect to be bombarded with more consumer surveys than Valentine's Day cards on February 14.

But they offer widely fluctuating accounts of how much the typical person spends on the subject of their affections.

Romance may be in for a rocky ride
Ann Robinson, uSwitch.com

A poll for online payment provider PayPal claims that Britons will spend an average of 71.25 each on gifts, some 15% of their weekly salary.

Yet, a survey for price comparison website uSwitch.com suggested lovers are looking for a genuinely priceless present.

It claimed one in three could not afford to celebrate Valentine's Day and the average amount spent on a partner would be 22.69.

"Valentine's Day is traditionally a time to splash some cash, but with consumers tightening their belts this year romance may be in for a rocky ride," said director of consumer policy at uSwitch, Ann Robinson.

War of the roses

Laura Taylor, owner of independent florists Green Earth Flowers, of Poynton in Cheshire, said that "men being men" meant most orders would come in on Wednesday, or on the day itself.

"I am not so sure they worry about how much they spend. If they want a dozen red roses, they'll get a dozen red roses," she said.

She charges 90 for 12 red roses, but 60 for a dozen pink roses.

Wholesale prices leap at this time of year, she said, and growers have faced added costs owing to rising energy bills.

Flowers and chocolates top the chart of Valentine's Day gifts, but many potential recipients are set up for disappointment, according to research by Alpharooms.com.

Some women expect to receive tacky underwear, cheap perfume and "flowers from the garden", while men predict "the usual meal at an overpriced restaurant, which they'll be expected to pay for".



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