There are many ways to sell gift baskets, including two you may not know exist. Will you sell on consignment or for wholesale is one question you’ll answer after reading about these options.

Broadcast media delivers new opportunities

“That’s too expensive. That won’t sell here.”

Those words was said to me by the owner of a popular gift store in the town next to my studio’s location. The owner called me after watching a Food Network segment where I showed numerous gift baskets for Mother’s Day.

Even though I knew the samples I brought to the meeting were not for him, I showed them anyway. What a rocky way to start a business relationship! It’s not a method recommended in the main gift basket marketing article. Still, things turned out well. I not only filled his store with some of my smaller designs, I also became an occasional gift designer at his shop.

My own items sold on consignment at that shop. I later learned, through business with a florist, how to sell my gift baskets outright, selling each at wholesale cost. Both options made money in a way that I never thought about as I built my business. Perhaps one or both of these sales options are for you, too.

Selling gift baskets on consignment

In our industry, the word consignment means that you create gift baskets to display in a retail store you don’t own. When the gifts sell, you receive a percentage of the sale. For example, if one gift sells for $100, you might receive 80% of the sale which is $80. The store keeps $20. The agreed-upon percentage depends on the agreement between you and the store owner.

There are many places to offer your gift baskets for consignment sales. Floral shops, convenience stores, and pharmacies are three potential places, and there are more depending on your location.

Designers who sell on consignment can share a laundry list of pros and cons. Some pros are:

  • Having access to new customers
  • Informing the media about the collaboration
  • Developing more business with owners who operate multiple stores

Cons are there, too.

  • Your merchandise may be damaged or stolen
  • Not getting paid according to your agreement
  • Relationships end because owners copy your designs

As with all opportunities, you balance the good with the not so great. Consignment selling has potential as long as you approach it with knowledge.

Selling wholesale gift baskets to retailers

Wholesale selling is similar to consignment sales with one big difference: you don’t return to the store to collect gift baskets that did not sell. The store keeps what you design. Meanwhile, you were paid and hopefully can return with new gift baskets because the first ones sold.

It sounds good to sell outright, doesn’t it? No travel to retrieve your gifts which may be in disarray because customers poked at it, mangling the cellophane or shrink wrap and dislodging the products from its original position. However, when selling outright, your calculations must show that you are making money.

When selling wholesale, you won’t collect the retail price. The retailer wants to make money, too, so the price you offer must cover all of your costs and provide the retailer with a satisfying retail price.

Some points you can share with retailers when offering wholesale goods are:

  • No extra inventory to store
  • No need to train staff
  • Quick selling grab-and-go gifts

Will you sell on consignment or for wholesale?

When I entered the gift basket world,, there were lots of discussions about selling on consignment. Then the conversations turned to selling wholesale. Both options appeared when designers began sharing these revenue streams on online gift basket discussion boards and in print.

Such conversations rarely appear now, but the possibilities still exist.

More on this topic is revealed in the episode 42 podcast, Consignment and Wholesale Selling Tips.

If you were to choose consignment or wholesale, which would be your preference?