Gift Baskets

Here’s Where You Lose the Most Money

Here's Where You Lose the Most Money, by Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.

Less than 24 hours — that’s all the time I had to create four gift baskets for a close friend.

She is part of an organization that recently celebrated an event, and the baskets were to be transported by car before delivery to and presentation at the organization’s conference.

My friends get premium service from me, and I’m sure the same is true for you. I made time in my schedule to ensure that all was done right. After all, how long could it take to make four gift baskets? Here’s the answer:

It takes much longer than you think.

A different vision

The containers and gifts to make the four designs arrived in my studio on Thursday afternoon. One of the gifts needed a customized insertion, and that item arrived on Friday morning, the same day the gift baskets had to be completed. That late arrival gave me just three hours to finish everything.

I didn’t choose any of the products, which meant that I had to mirror my friend’s vision for each gift, and that’s not always easy.

When someone else purchases all of the products, one item may be too large or too small or difficult in other ways. You have to keep this in mind when a customer asks you to make the arrangement look good. However, that wasn’t my biggest concern.

The amount of customization required to fulfill this order made me gasp.

  • Small bow ties were needed on most products
  • Photo frames had to be wrapped neatly
  • Two-ribbon bows had to be made ahead of time
  • Ornaments needed stabilization with glue and ribbons

There was more, too.

If I had not completed the prep work on Thursday evening, there’s no way the four gift baskets would have been ready by Friday at noon.

The Gift Basket Design Book

Charge for your valuable time

Customization is where the most time is spent creating designs. Unfortunately, it’s the most under-recognized part of gift basket making.

This is where you lose a tremendous amount of money if you don’t account for how long it takes to complete this design phase. My online gift basket class students get a healthy dose of this education.

Many customers act as if they don’t understand why you charge what you do, but let me tell you, they do understand. That’s why they come to you hoping you do all of the work for a small charge or no charge at all.

Preparation is a substantial part of designing. You must not be afraid to charge for it, or you will be furious with yourself for all the work and little pay.

Do not be afraid to let the customer know about the intricacy of detail, time required, and price to create a work of art. It’s okay to lose an order because a customer doesn’t agree. You’re the expert.

I guarantee that when the customer leaves and tries to do all of the work on their own, she’ll either not do any of it or scale back on her original vision. That’s her decision while you focus on customers who recognize and respect your talent.

Customizing gift basket designs is meticulous work. Be proud of how you accomplish it while charging a fair price. If not, you’ll find yourself underpaid and aggravated.

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 manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. 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 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

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