Flora Morris Brown

Article Summary:

Guidelines to help you choose the right company to send your corporate gift baskets.

How to Choose a Corporate Gift Basket Company and Order Like a Pro

Gift baskets are popular as business and personal gifts. How do you find the right gift basket company to create this unique gift? During the holidays this is an easy task. Most general merchandise, office supply and warehouse stores offer an array of ready-to-go and affordable gift baskets during the fourth quarter of the year. Throughout the rest of the year, however, you need know-how to find a gift basket company that can best serve your needs.

Gift basket websites crowd the Internet. Navigating your way through them is time-consuming and frustrating. Before you even start your search, however, be sure you know the purpose of your gift, your budget, and as much as possible about your recipient. Also, do you want it delivered or will you hand deliver it yourself.? Got the answers to these, then try these suggestions

1. Go to www.yellowpages.com where you can enter the destination city and state as well as "gift baskets" in the business category. Hopefully you'll see gift baskets companies in the area and can place your order directly on the website or by phone with a live person. I've received orders from England, Australia and other distant shores for gift baskets that I delivered in my local area.

2. Visit an online gift basket directory where a number of companies are listed by state and country. This will narrow your search considerably. Each company will indicate the extent of their service, delivery area and method of payment. Almost all companies can accept international orders that are being delivered in the USA, but not all will ship to international destinations.

Some of these directories are:

- allows you to search by city or country

- lists US and international companies

- lists companies from USA and outside.

3. Choose a company near the gift's destination if you want it hand-delivered. Give instructions about what should be done with the basket if the recipient is not at home or in the office (leave it at the door, leave it with a receptionist, attempt delivery later in the day and so on.)

4. The location of the company doesn't matter as much if you've allowed plenty of time and are willing to have it shipped via UPS, FedEX, or some other delivery system. Shipments going from California to New York, for example, take at least seven business days, except during the busy holiday season when the delivery time will be even longer.

5. Be sure the company has a secure site for accepting credit cards online so you can complete the ordering process in one sitting.

6. Once you've chosen your company, click the design of your choice to verify its contents and size. The perfect gift reflects the recipient's interests and expresses your sentiments for the occasion.

7. If the recipient is a pet owner, consider including a toy for the pet or a book about pets for the owner. Avoid food since pet owners are pretty picky about what they feed these special members of the family.

8. If you want your gift basket customized you may be able to do this on the Internet, but most senders feel safer if they place a special order with a live person. Even if you place your entire order on line, print the physical address and phone number.

9. Check and double check the address before you hit the submit button. Delivery companies charge a fee for correcting addresses, or worse, your gift could be returned as undeliverable.

10. Don't forget to indicate what you want on the gift card. Write your greeting before you begin your search. It'll help you focus and it'll be ready when you get to this step.

Follow these steps to choose a gift basket company and confidently place your order.

Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. has created custom gift basket designs for such prominent companies as Century 21, Borders Bookstore, UCI, Disney and Kodak. Known throughout the gift world for her dazzling designs, dynamic speaking and motivational writing, Flora helps gift basket designers, florists and retailers capture corporate accounts, find suppliers, improve design techniques, and run successful small businesses. From her website, www.giftbaskets byflora.com she offers unique designs to the consumer. From her website, www.GiftBasket BusinessWorld.com, she produces a bi-monthly newsletter for the trade that provides sales-generating ideas, marketing tips, design ideas and business strategies. Flora has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Southern California, and teaches Critical Thinking at Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA.

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