Avoid These Gifting Mistakes

If you've been following our series of guides then you'll have learnt about the benefits of selling hampers and how to build a great hamper. In this article we've put together our tips for avoiding some common gifting mistakes so that they don't catch you out.

1. Laws on selling gift baskets

To avoid unknowingly breaking the law, you should consider three things before selling hampers.

  • Resale T&Cs - You should always ask a company about their resale terms if you are unsure what they are. You can often find their terms and conditions on the company's website.
  • Selling Alcohol - If you intend to include wine or other alcoholic drinks in your gift baskets, you must obtain an alcoholic beverage license first. Visit gov.uk for more information and guidance on how to apply.
  • Multipacks - While splitting multipacks for resale is legal, remember that most are marked as not for individual resale and will need relabelling and pricing correctly.

2. Don't compromise on quality & build a range

On first look, it may seem like a no-brainer to go for the cheapest gift packaging you can find, but you need to think about the bigger picture. It's fine to have 'economy' options at one end of your range (items like cardboard gift trays work well), but you need to cater to all client types and budgets to help sales. This rule applies to both the packaging and the components.

  • Brand Reputation - The products you choose to represent your brand will have a huge impact on customer loyalty. If you fail to impress customers with poor quality products then they're unlikely buy from you again or recommend you others.
  • Added Value - Opting for a higher quality gift packaging option which has a secondary use, such as an empty hamper basket, will add value to your gifts. The perceived value of your products will increase and in turn so will your profit margin.
  • First Impressions - You can pack a gift hamper full of wonderful gifts, but if the packaging lacks appeal then customers are not going to take a closer to look and discover the great gifts inside. A high quality, well-made gift hamper will grab attention as soon as customers see it. Do this and you've won half the battle of securing a purchase.
Avoid Common Gifting Pitfalls

3. Don't overfill your hampers

We regularly get asked 'how many bales of shredded paper will I need to fill X hampers?'. This can be a tricky one to answer as this will depend on whether you're filling 12-inch wicker hamper baskets or small gift boxes and the size of the items you are putting inside.

We recommend filling hampers, gift boxes and gift trays halfway to the top with shredded paper . This allows space for your products to be beautifully arranged without compromising on presentation. If you are sending hampers in the post, then it's important that the lid of the hamper closes clear of the product to avoid any damages to the products or hamper whilst in transit.

If you are planning on selling your hampers in-store then you have a little more height to play with; hampers can be displayed with their lid open, using cellophane wrap to secure the gifts inside. Of course, it's also key not to add too many components to the gift, you need to strike a balance between presentation, value and margin. Stuffing a hamper full of 30 components, 25 of which the customer can't even see, may be counterintuitive. Remember that opening a hamper is a gift experience for the recipient, it doesn't need to be overfilled.

A great tip that helps our customers choose the right sized hamper is to arrange the products on a table as you would in your hamper and measure the surface area, this will give you indication of the size of hamper you'll need.

4. Don't rush your product photography

Taking good photos that capture the key selling points of your gifts are pivotal to your online sales. Customers expect the same shopping experience online as in-store and to help recreate it good photography is imperative. Don't worry, if you don't have the budget for a professional photographer, these simple product photography pointers will set you on the right course.

  • Shoot from a tripod for consistency - There is no harm in holding the camera yourself, however it's more difficult to maintain camera angles and heights that can end up looking messy.
  • Use good lighting to highlight key details - An online shopper wants to be able to see that same level of detail that they would in-store to help them make an informed decision.
  • Photograph on a white background - Use a curved piece of card under your product that curves up the wall behind. This will produce a smooth white background that will focus the eye on the product in the photo.
  • Take a variety of photos - Your photos should simulate the experience of shopping in-store for your customer who would naturally pick up the product to take a close look at the overall product.
Avoid Common Gifting Pitfalls

5. Don't make this pricing mistake

Don't undercharge for your products. When pricing gift hampers, consider what all the individual components add up to including all your costs, a sweeping guess can result in a low margin or a profit loss. It's fine to price hampers more attractively than the sum of the individual components, and this is a useful sales tactic, but don't be fooled into underselling your gifts. Remember that the value of the packaging (the wicker hamper, card tray etc) is 'hidden' in the price of your overall gift, and customers will place high perceived value on this element of the overall price.

Product bundling is a proven method for increasing basket value, customers are encouraged to buy more in return for a discount on multiples items. Read (or re-read) our article on Why Should You Sell Hampers to learn more about the advantages of selling in this way.

6. Don't forget to protect your hampers in transit

If you're planning on selling gift hampers online then you'll want to ensure that customers receive their parcel undamaged and in the condition it left your store. For this you'll need hamper transit packaging.

Be sure to use enough shredded paper to support the contents of the hamper, too little and all your hard work presenting the hamper would have gone to waste. You'll also need cardboard outer boxes the correct size for your hamper.

Most importantly, a good courier is worth its weight in gold. Use a delivery service that is reliable and takes care with your parcels to avoid unwanted damages and returns.

Looking for an alternative to Wicker? Read our next article - Using Card Gift Boxes to Build On-Trend Hampers or browse the other guides in our Hamper & Gifting E-Learning Hub.