Inspiration and Education

Comparison Shopping for Baskets

The world of the internet has made price comparison shopping much easier for us all. No more driving around from store to store. You don’t even have to go to trade shows anymore. You can do all of your comparison shopping from the comfort of your desk chair. But online shopping can be a very dangerous thing for a gift basket designer if you are not aware of the pitfalls. Yesterday I went on one of my competitor’s websites and instantly panicked. It seemed that they were much less expensive than us on a basic basket, until I looked more closely. The basket they were selling was 3″ smaller than mine. But it LOOKED like the same basket. A 7″ basket is a very different basket than a 10″ basket!  Below I am listing some things to watch for when price comparison shopping for baskets.

1) Size

Are they really the same size? Don’t just check length and width or diameter - remember to check depth too!

2) Material

Are they both the same kind of willow? There is a difference between split willow and full willow. Split willow is a half of piece of willow. It is not as attractive or as strong as full willow. Full willow is more attractive, sturdy and desirable than split willow. There are other materials, such as coco midrib, that are even less strong than split willow.

3) Finish

A stained basket is naturally going to be more expensive than a natural (peeled) willow, a natural willow basket is going to be more expensive than a rustic (unpeeled) willow. Be sure you are comparing equal finishes.

4) Handles

If there are handles, are they as sturdy? Some companies use rope handles instead of woven willow handles. The rope handles are less attractive and less sturdy than woven willow handles.

5) Shipping costs

Pioneer Wholesale Co. has negotiated with UPS and FedEx to get tremendous shipping rates. One customer recently found that our shipping cost was 1/4 of her shipping cost because we have such great discounts. Be sure to get exact shipping quotes from all companies and figure that into the cost of each basket.

6) Don’t forget the benefits of one stop shopping

Can this wholesaler you are looking at provide you with everything that you need at once, such as shrink, shred, ribbon and bows as well as the basket? Often times you will save greatly on shipping by being able to ship everything together, instead of getting separate shipments from different sources. Even if the product cost is a little higher on some of the items, it may still save you money to be able to get everything from the same source.

7) Is this company truly wholesale?

Many companies claim to be wholesalers, but in reality, they are “wholesale to the public.” That means you are paying retail! Be careful, generally they are more expensive if they are selling retail. Your best bet is to work with a wholesaler who requires you to provide your tax resale number at the time of purchase. This protects both you and the wholesaler.

Remember readers, objects in mirror are not always as they appear! Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges. In today’s economy, you have to watch every angle and every penny. Pioneer Wholesale Co. is your one stop shop for gift baskets, shred, shrink, ribbon and bows.