Blaine, WA, October 27, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Anne Garber, Managing Director of evalu8.org Media Inc, offers the following
12 tips that could save consumers time, money and disappointment when they are are considering purchasing a gift basket from anywhere in the world. Ms. Garber is a world renowned consumer support expert.
Garber says: "Gift baskets can solve a multitude of gift-buying problems, but there are things to watch out for.
"For one thing, I discovered that -- online at least -- a picture is not worth a thousand words."
1) Many basket companies feature their best, idealized photo and offer a basket in different price ranges with no specific photo or list of contents that looks like the one you may be receiving or sending. For example, the photo may be a $150 basket and when you order on-line requesting a $59.95 basket, you will not be getting the one featured in the photo unless indicated. Buyer beware.
2) Always ask if the gift basket company will be sending the basket/container exactly as shown in the photograph (many retailers present the best basket/container in their photos, yet do not carry them in stock). Studies have shown that recipients are most grateful for quality baskets/containers, and if the consumer is not ordering what they think you are, they might never know -- and they also run the risk of disappointing their recipient.
3) Only order from companies that actually feature a list of all the products (and package sizes) contained in each basket. (Avoid ordering from companies that are not specific about the actual contents; brand and sometimes size of each product. Avoid ordering if the vendor is using words like “etc." or "and much more.”) Consumers are entitled to know exactly what they are ordering -- and one can’t always tell from looking at a photograph.
4) Photos can be deceptive. There are many baskets that look amazing in the photograph, but the contents, in many cases, are instead small ‘sampler’ packages of products (they look much larger than actually provided).
5) Avoid 1-800 numbers (third party order takers) and some franchise operations, as they do not offer what they feature on their websites. With the internet anyone can easily source out a ‘hands-on operation’ in any location in the world. Third party order takers use ‘hands-on operators’ or local gift basket companies to provide the products and services, but mark up the products anywhere from 20 – 50 per cent. Use local gift basket services. They exist in most cities in the world.
6) Do not order any baskets featured on a website that does not list the exact products featured in each basket.
7) Always try to work with a company that has a ‘human voice’ and can offer personalized service.
8) Before ordering, go online and look up the company's name -- with the word "problem" or "complaint" in the search -- and see if others have been ripped off by iffy suppliers.
9) Work with an established gift basket business wherever possible. Credibility is important and there are a lot of companies that have given retailers a ‘bad reputation’ due to inadequate service or by providing poor quality products. Real Testimonials are important, too.
10) Make sure the products offered are real ‘grocery’ size products ... and not samplers. For example, a consumer may see “Truffles” in a photo. The box looks large, yet it may only contain three little truffles inside. The same could apply to cookies, candies and other confectionery products.
11) You can feel confident with gift basket companies that are members of the Better Business Bureau -- especially if they have an A + rating.
12) There are wholesale companies that specialize in creating small sampler packaging specially designed for the gift basket industry. The majority of their products are ‘sampler sizes’ and contain minimal pieces inside each box/bag. One could end up paying $100 for 10 “sampler size” contents that are valued at only $1 each.
Says Garber: "If you follow these painless pointers, we guarantee you will get your money's worth when buying gift baskets online!"