Many years ago, it was difficult for me to find quality baskets for my initial in-person gift basket classes. That resulted in a not-so-pleasant experience for my students.

The baskets I chose were dollar store quality even though they were purchased at a wholesale supplier. The other baskets I wanted to buy were simply too expensive. I had a certain budget for all of the supplies I needed to buy. If I went over that budget, I’d end up paying for the course instead of making money.

The decisions I made were not easy, and the problem escalated in class when a student complained to me that she wasn’t happy with what I’d chosen. Our conversation went something like this.

“I’m going to tell administration that this class is a waste.”

“I understand, and you have every right to share with administration exactly how you feel.”

The student looked at me as though she expected an argument. I learned a long time ago to diffuse arguments by agreeing, but that didn’t make the expectation better. The student walked out, and I was left to manage the rest of the group as best as I could. I vowed to never, ever treat students that way again. If I could not find products and supplies that were correct for training, I simply could not teach more classes.

Thankfully, I did find better supplies and taught in-person gift basket classes for many years after that first experience. Now that I’m teaching the Start Your Own Gift Basket Business course online, I can better guide students to not only find products and supplies, I also provide complete feedback about the gift baskets each student makes and shows me by photograph within the course. It truly is a great experience.

How big sales happen

If you’re looking for big gift basket sales, you have to buy quality products. That means dollar stores and similar discounters cannot be the only place to buy your inventory. It’s also wise to look for and purchase foods that aren’t on every supermarket shelf.

When you are showing gift baskets filled with Hershey bars and Wise potato chips, you’ll experience two types of feedback which goes something like this:

“I can make that myself.”

“That’s $30? I’ll give you $10.”

Here’s what changes these scenarios:

  • Buy wholesale products that resemble exclusivity, which means it can’t be found at most retailers
  • Focus on selling to people who are out of your comfort zone because they pay top dollar for designs

Books - Gift Basket Business

I was great at making quality designs (not at first, but it happened over time). After a while, I got to the point where I began selling to entertainers, politicians, and similar people with more money than time.

Selling to my neighbors wasn’t in the cards, because I knew that my neighbors were not only on tight budgets, they were also the type to make their own gift baskets. In other words, neighbors were not within my target market.

When you own a business, you have to commit to finding quality buyers just as you commit to finding quality products. That’s how you make money in this industry.

Learn from mistakes

Once I expanded from buying inferior baskets to locating and buying quality vessels, the waiting line to get into my in-person classes was enormous. I had to book a second session of design classes every season, and each student was more than pleased with the results.

That’s how you want your clients to feel when they see your gift baskets. They want to gaze upon designs that say:

“It’s a no-brainer to buy this for (the recipient), because you can’t make this. It’s too beautiful to pass up.”

Want big gift basket sales? Trade your discount store shopping for finding quality goods in places where consumers don’t shop.

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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