With over 25 years in the gift basket industry, I’ve seen businesses come and go, but in recent months, during these tough economic times, I’ve seen an undeniable increase in businesses that are for sale or closing. Consumers still demand baskets for a variety of reasons. How do you continue to survive and convince consumers to spend their coveted dollars with you during this recession?

The gift industry is in a category of its own. Many do not realize the amount of inventory required to offer the variety of gift baskets consumers want, as well as the numerous extra items such as wrappers, ribbons, packaging, boxes, etc. which all go into designing and shipping a gift basket. It is easy to overdo the purchase of these items. We must resist over-buying to keep our expenses in check. Things to keep in mind when buying inventory:

Remember, when buying a food item you will want to closely monitor your inventory. Don’t carry more than you can realistically sell in a short period of time. You want to be able to offer the freshest product possible to your customer. Old and outdated stocks can be the end of your business, and having to discard purchases regularly can put you in the red very quickly.

– Keep track of where your suppliers are. Are they within a one day shipping time? In that case, it is not necessary to stock these items. If you know you will be able to replenish scarce inventory within a day, you don’t need to incur large overheads. While it may seem responsible to order in larger quantities to save on shipping, it’s more important to have a sustainable inventory level rather than saving a few dollars on shipping costs.

– Are the items you stock available from different suppliers? Ask them to match the price.

-Keep a detailed and categorized inventory list so that when it’s time to reorder, you can order all the stock you need from a specific supplier without forgetting anything, thus avoiding unnecessary additional shipping charges.

As a professional gift basket responsible, it is important to monitor our profits so that we can provide beautiful gift baskets at a fair price. If a customer knows they can rely on us to consistently deliver fresh gift baskets, you will be able to retain these customers regardless of economic conditions. They will come to trust our reliability and will be happy to pass on the responsibility of receiving an eye-catching gift basket delivered to their family, friends and colleagues in a timely and convenient manner.

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