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Guide to become Personalized Gift Basket Maker to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Create customized gifts for friends and family of your clients.
• Work with corporate marketing departments to produce and deliver customized
gifts and promotional items for their customers.
The Need
We give gifts for many reasons—out of love, appreciation, thanks, and selfpromotion,
and just as no two people are exactly the same, it is extremely difficult
to find the perfect gift on the shelf of a store.
Personal gift baskets can be assembled for many occasions:
• Holiday greetings
• Birthday, wedding, anniversary, childbirth
• Thanks for a favor
• Welcome, housewarming
• Congratulations on graduation, engagement, promotion
Businesses, too, may want gift baskets for a variety of reasons:
• To promote a new product or service
• To congratulate an employee on a business accomplishment
• To congratulate an employee on a personal event
The professional gift basket maker sells knowledge of the market, expertise
in assembling a customized collection of items, and packaging and delivery
skills.
Challenges
The keys to success in this job are a combination of creativity, detective work,
and knowledge of the market.
Most basket makers start by developing a set of generic baskets that can be
customized, then move on from there to totally custom jobs that involve extra
time and expense.
You’ll need to find a reliable source of products to include in the basket and
establish a wholesale or discount relationship with the supplier. This will allow
you to resell your baskets for a price that includes a markup to retail prices.
Know the Territory
For generic baskets, spend the time to think about local products, local traditions,
and local sensibilities. In New England, most people are infatuated with the
Boston Red Sox, and a baseball-themed basket is sure to be a hit. In the South, a
NASCAR basket would likely have more appeal.
Other common offerings include chocoholic collections, barbecue fixings,
coffee or tea, packaged cheeses, desktop doodads and toys, stuffed animals, and
holiday-themed assemblages. Dog lovers may be thrilled with a basket of toys
and treats for their best friend; puzzle fans will be happy to receive crossword
books, logic games, and the like.
Clients are generally invited to request small adjustments to the contents of
generic baskets—substituting dark chocolate for milk chocolate, for example, or
picking a particular sports team.
Most gift basket makers also offer customized consultation at a higher price.
Here you will meet with the client or consult on the telephone to find out details
about the interests of the recipient and the reasons for the gift.
Is the recipient a sports fan? A lover of opera or rock and roll? Is the person
deeply involved in community affairs or historical projects? Any details should
lead a creative mind to the proper collection of gifts.
For corporate gifts, make sure you are aware of any company guidelines that
might steer you away from baskets with religious, political, or overly personal
themes. If you are being asked to assemble baskets to support a new product or
service, learn as much as you can about the introduction and see if it is possible to
include a sample of the product or a clever gift that ties into the new offering. (For
example, we received a gift basket from a theme park announcing a new water
ride. Included was a beach towel, a tube of sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses . . . and
a media kit.)
Make certain you know the client’s budget for gifts and the deadline for
delivery.
How to Get Started
Place flyers in community centers; advertise in shopping guides and newspapers.
Establish a relationship with gift shops, gourmet food stores, and other locations
where you might shop for supplies, and ask them to post your flyer or business
card; in return you could promise to buy some of their products when appropriate.
Ask friends and relatives to spread the word.
This sort of business does not necessarily have to be limited to your local
area. It would work well in conjunction with a web site. Visitors could send you
e-mails or call you to discuss jobs, or you could request that they send you a
phone number where you could call them. For web site sales, you would probably
need to establish a credit card merchant account.
Up-front Expenses
The principal up-front expenses are (1) researching stores and web sites for available
products and (2) the cost of advertising. If you choose to set up a web site,
you’ll need to arrange for hosting and a credit card merchant account.
Very little in the way of inventory would be needed, although you may want
to set up some sample baskets and photograph them to display on your web site
or in an album you show to customers.
How Much to Charge
Generic baskets would be sold at a fixed price plus the cost of shipping or delivery.
You should make arrangements to purchase products at wholesale or discounted
prices whenever possible, marking them up to retail price as part of your profit.
If you are called on to custom-design a basket for an individual or a corporate
client, you can charge on a cost-plus basis (the cost of the elements in the basket
plus an agreed-on fee or percentage), or you can bill at an hourly rate.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: Shipping alcohol, including beer, wine, and hard liquor, can be
very complex and may require state licenses and observance of federal laws. For
simplicity’s sake, we’d recommend starting with other products. If you feel it
necessary to offer alcohol, consult an attorney for advice.

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