Why you’re not getting enough gift baskets at the mall
How many of your family’s favorite foods can you eat with your hands?
The answer depends on your budget, and whether you’re a savvy shopper or a savvy mall shopper.
A good portion of your shopping is not done on the spot, and it can take a while to make a purchase, said Elizabeth G. Bowers, owner of The Garden Bag Company in New York City, who offers the Bowers Gift Basket Guide.
“Most of the time you’re sitting down, waiting, not having a lot of time to eat,” she said.
Bower has been selling gift baskets for years, but her customers tend to be more adventurous.
“They’re trying to figure out how to eat a lot,” she explained.
“I can see how they don’t have the time or the energy to go to the store.”
The best way to get the most out of your gifts is to get them for a specific date, she said, adding that she doesn’t usually sell them for weeks at a time.
If you plan on giving them away, you can use your gift basket to buy the same things for other people, like dinner.
Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when shopping for gift baskets.
Buy a lot, Bowers said.
She recommends buying a dozen to a dozen or more gift baskets from a company.
“You want to try to get your baskets to go for a couple of hundred dollars a bag, or a few thousand dollars,” she suggested.
“It’s not a bad idea to get a few dozen to one thousand.”
A good rule of thumb is that the basket should be priced between $2 and $4 for a large basket, and between $3 and $6 for a small basket.
For the best value, Bower said, use a discount coupon and use a small amount.
“If you want to save money, buy more than you expect,” she added.
You should be able to choose which baskets you buy, Biers said.
“One of the things that makes a basket so attractive is the variety,” she advised.
“People will pick up a basket and they’ll have a bunch of different things to eat.
So you have to be flexible.”
A lot of the items you’ll want to buy include seasonal items like cookies, cakes and fruits, and food items such as chicken, cheese, rice, and other foods that are sold year round.
If the basket is a few years old, you should avoid it, Bols said.
If it’s a few months old, the basket might be fine.
“Some of the basket makers make baskets for a long time, and you’ll be surprised at what they’re going to produce,” she noted.
Don’t be afraid to buy gifts that are more expensive than what you think is reasonable.
“Just because a basket is $3,000 doesn’t mean you can’t spend $2,000,” Bowers advised.
If your budget allows, you may be able for a few extra bucks if you buy a few different items.
Bets are only as good as the store that sells them, so make sure to find out what a good deal is and if you can save even more.
If that store isn’t the one you shop at, don’t be shy about asking for the coupons that come with the basket.
“That is the key to a good coupon,” Biers added.
“Be prepared to show the store what you want.”
Bowers also recommended that you shop in a store that has gift baskets as opposed to a store where you can pick up your own.
She said most of the stores that have gift baskets are not as active as the ones you might shop at.
“There are a lot more stores that do not have them,” she warned.
You may have to take out a loan to purchase a basket if you don’t live near a grocery store, but Bowers recommends that you buy one in advance.
If a store doesn’t have a basket, you will need to get it for yourself.
Buns can also be purchased online.
Biers also recommended going to a website such as Amazon and looking for gift-giving deals, which are typically on the lower end of the spectrum.
You can get discounts by using a coupon, but it can be tough to get an exact price, she explained, because many stores have no price guarantee.
When you’re ready to spend, look for a good gift for your birthday or your special occasion.
Banners that have a special message will likely work well.
“The message will help the customer recognize the product and the brand,” Bols suggested.
And a birthday or special holiday can be a good time to buy some more gifts.
“These are the people who are buying for the occasion,” she pointed out.
“Those are the ones who are getting the biggest bang for their buck.”