Where do you buy gift basket foods and gifts? Wholesalers are the main source, but if you shop elsewhere, consider these pros and cons of buying from retailers.

Every dollar counts

The number one reason that we designers buy our supplies, from baskets to biscotti, from wholesalers is to keep costs low so profits are high. This is the main objective as shared in Gift Basket Products, So Easy to Buy. Higher income won’t happen if you buy from retailers, a source that marks up their products so they make money.

But wait. Sometimes bargains can be found on retail store shelves. In the past I’ve mentioned the 99 cent soups and stews purchased from a popular retailer and how I bought them at a lower cost because I grabbed the entire lot.

Retail buying may not be your main way to purchase merchandise, but it can occasionally occur. Why?

  • Some manufacturers won’t sell to a business operating at home or in a commercial space
  • Some quantity or dollar minimums are too high for the amount you want to purchase
  • Well-known retailers don’t sell their branded products outside of their store locations

These and more reasons are why retail sometimes enters the buying picture. Supply options are changing. Some wholesale suppliers, possibly in your area, are closing their doors, leaving you to find and buy merchandise elsewhere. That change can be difficult.

Shattered expectations

A supplier in business for more than 50 years and located 10 miles away from my studio recently closed. It was a huge surprise, but then I learned why. The land is prime location for a college which plans to expand. They offered the supplier a substantial price to buy the building and land, and the deal was done.

After 30 minutes of online research, I found a supplier many more miles from my location and purchased items similar to what the closed supplier offered. Had that new supplier not been available, I may have shopped retail.

Keep these pros and cons of buying from retailers in mind.

Three pros

  1. Quick pick up of items you need or can sell fast
  2. Opportunity to try one item before buying wholesale
  3. No returns or adjustments of broken or defective items

Three cons

  1. Smaller profits due to expected markups
  2. They rarely have the large quantity you want to buy
  3. Foods and supplies are picked over by consumers

More details on the pros and cons of buying from retailers

The Gift Basket Business podcast episode 32, When It Makes Sense to Buy Retail, provides more insight about this topic.

What’s your take on buying retail? Is it part of your purchasing plan, or have you vowed never to buy from a retailer?