A reporter asked me if it’s possible to start a gift basket business with $500.

I said “yes,” and when the article was published, a firestorm of comments from current gift basket designers began.

Many chose the word disappointed to express their dissatisfaction in my agreement with the $500 investment cost. Yet, none of the designers shared their start-up cost amounts to counter my comment.

How much?

What is the real cost to start this business? The answer depends on many factors, so the cost can swing widely.

The expression low to high cannot be used to define the cost because low to one person may be high to another.

Investing in gift baskets is different for each of us.

  • If you open your business at home, that cost is different than renting a storefront or commercial space.
  • You’ll need a computer and printer that work properly. If you have it, there’s no cost. If not, you buy it.
  • Equipment is needed, such as a shrink wrap machine and storage containers, but you might decide not to buy one or both.
  • What about a toll-free number to boost your image as you start? You can install it or consider getting it later.
  • How much you pay for inventory is a personal decision that’s as individual as the business you’re starting.

The bottom line

Books - Gift Basket BusinessI wrote the book, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, and teach the Start Your Own Gift Basket Business course so every aspiring designer understands how to plan before the first empty basket is purchased.

This business is a huge undertaking even if gift baskets are a hobby. You must know how much you need ahead of time according to how small or large you want to start.

Entering this industry with eyes closed will put you out of business quickly, and selling leftovers online won’t be easy or profitable.

You can start a gift basket business with $500, and you can also start with a higher investment.

I began with $8,000 which allowed me to invest in print, television, and radio advertising. The time in which I began my business required a higher capital investment. Today, the investment cost is lower because buying options are better than what I experienced in the pre-Internet years.

Many of my online students review their budgets with me during the class. We consider every item and find the best places to purchase products and supplies before one dime is spent.

All of this in-depth analysis boosts confidence and the potential to be a true success. Pre-planning also lowers blood pressure because there is documented proof of how much it really takes to start a gift basket business.

I’d love to hear from anyone who currently makes gift baskets or is no longer in the business to dispute the $500 amount. Let’s talk!

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with retailers of all size and home-based entrepreneurs to successfully sell gift baskets to their chosen clients. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 800-640-8521 to schedule a consultation.

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