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Making the Best Decision When Giving a Fruit Basket

May 13, 2008
Before making a decision on whom to buy your fruit basket gift from, there are a few things that you'll want to check on first. And I'm talking about more than just the price. For example, what quality of gift basket are you getting for the price? Is it going to look like the basket in the picture, or is it going to be full of small, overripe fruit? Are you buying direct from the manufacturer, or a drop shipper?

First and foremost, you need to know that that out of all the websites selling fruit baskets, there are very few companies in the United States that actually manufacturer and ship them. Manufacturers are usually started by a handful of orchardists that grow the apples, pears, and oranges, prepare the basket, and then ship the gift baskets from the orchard to your relative, employee, or friend.

Fruit also has different quality grades and sizes. Orchardists "cherry pick" the largest and highest quality fruit for their gift baskets and sell the smaller and lower quality fruit to the grocery stores. To get gift baskets with the best fruit at the best prices, you want to buy your gifts directly from these manufacturers.

Online Gifting Websites and Drop Shipping

Secondly, many online gifting companies will offer fruit baskets on their websites, but they will have a manufacturer ship it out directly to your recipient. This practice is called drop shipping. Online gifting companies like this model because they can offer products to their clientele without having to make or keep on hand the products themselves. Manufacturers like the drop shipping model because they are able to sell more products without having to incur marketing costs to acquire these sales.

In exchange for these sales, manufacturers will give these gifting companies a significant discount off the baskets they purchase on behalf of their customers. The size of the discount given to these online gifting companies is based on the volume they are purchasing on a monthly basis. These discounts usually range from 25%-50% off the retail price.

What is unfortunate, but a common practice, is that these online gifting companies will then markup the price over the manufacturer's retail price. Gifting companies will sell a fruit basket for double their cost, a practice in the gifting industry called "keystone pricing." Purchasing directly from a manufacturer will help you avoid overpaying and manufacturers will often provide you with valuable coupon codes so you can save even more money.

Florist Delivered Fruit Baskets

Lastly, I've seen a third model in the industry when fruit baskets are delivered through the florist network. In this model, gift basket companies put pictures of the product on their website, and when a basket is purchased, they send that order to the closest florist of the recipient for same-day delivery.

The florist, who receives the order, is given a picture of the fruit basket that was sold online and told how much they are going to receive for preparing and delivering the order. The florist is incented to prepare your gift as cheaply as possible. Preparation usually includes a trip to the grocery store and selecting from the available grocery store quality fruit, the smallest and lowest quality fruit available.

The extra items, like the gift basket, candies, cheeses, and crackers, are also picked out by the florist. These items will never match the picture or the configuration of items on which you originally based your purchasing decision.
About the Author
FruitBasketReview.com (http://www.fruitbasketreview.com) is founded by a former insider of the fruit baskets industry. Through his network of connections, he reveals who the best companies to buy from are, and is able to negotiate special discounts in some cases. Art Gib is a freelance writer.
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