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Cut Shipping Cost When Gifting a Basket

Date Added: July 07, 2011 01:34:51 AM



Beware. The real expense of gift baskets for any occasion can be surprising, depending on how you go about gifting. The key to successful, stress-free, time sensitive, affordable gifting is simple—Plan Ahead. Planning will virtually assure your success in gifting a basket to anyone for any occasion at a reasonable cost to you.

It’s surprisingly easy to convey a lasting thought of kindness, appreciation or love simply if you answer two basic questions before you spring into action: (1) When must the gift basket reach its destination? And (2) How is it to be delivered—personally or by carrier service? If time is on your side and personal delivery necessary, then gifting a basket for any occasion will not be disruptive or time consuming and can be accomplished at a very reasonable cost.

Stop reading if money is no object for gifting and your relationship with the recipient is casual or professional. Little thought is needed—just go to gift baskets on the internet, go for the show, go for something splashy, something grand, go for something that says, “Look! This came from ME. Oh, and by-the-way, this gift basket is for you.” Self-serving, perhaps; effective, definitely. Just place you cursor on “Send” and click. It’s certainly quick, easy and most likely expensive.

The following is a personal example of what can happen by not planning ahead, even knowing that a basket is your gift of choice:

A month ago my wife and I volunteered to donate a basket to church’s annual-dinner. As typical of our style and spontaneous life, it was mid-day before the event when we realized that other priorities shoved this responsibility to the back of our minds. Hence: The gift basket had to be delivered the next day (question 1, above, answered) and as the dinner/dance location was nearby, we could easily deliver the basket ourselves (question 2, answered). We needed to quickly lay our hands on a suitable basket. Clearing, we needed to find a gift basket selections on the internet and order “next day” delivery.

A quick visit to the internet disclosed that an appropriate basket would be in the $50 range. Next day delivery minimum cost was an eye-bulging $34.95! In addition, there would be a $10 surcharge because we liked the idea of including a nice bottle of wine with the basket, which requires messenger service as a signature is required to verify the legal age of the recipient. The cost of the gift basket was $54.99 and included wine, a deluxe snack mix, crackers, cheese and dried meat. I looked at my wife who was nodding her approval and said, “Get the credit card. We’re ordering--$99.94, including shipping and delivery service!”

Lesson learned: Tackling this project a week earlier could have reduced our level of anxiety and reduced our cash outlay by 45%. With that extra time that is necessary for shipping and a few more clicks of the mouse we could find an impressive $60 gourmet basket on sale for $54 and flat rate shipping of $5.

Beware of shipping costs. Plan ahead when you consider a gift basket for any occasion. It’s worth it.

R. Marshall, owner of The Clearinghouse. It is a new e-commerce business that will begin to brand itself by marketing gift baskets offered by well-established drop shippers. Unlike many e-commerce, gift basket retailers, The Clearinghouse offers customers reduced or free shipping along with reduced prices on many of its gift baskets. Its web site is www.giftbaskets-selectionsbytheclearinghouse.com