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Monday, September 27th
Known as a San Francisco brand, Ghirardelli has been around for more than 100 years. Although their most recognizable chocolate is the traditional wrapped square, often filled with fruit or caramel, Ghirardelli carries a range of products on their website that you may not have seen in your local supermarket.
If you're looking for chocolate as a gift, you'll want to look in the Gifts & Baskets section of the site. You'll find arrangements ranging from less than $10 to over $200. Personalized gift-giving options with Ghirardelli are fairly basic. You can choose from gift cards in four amounts, all with the same brown Ghirardelli-brand design; we would have liked to see cards with different themes for birthdays, wedding gifts, and so forth. You can also make a custom mix, but again, your options are limited: five designs of small tins that hold 15 Ghirardelli squares.
One category you'll find at Ghirardelli that you probably won't get with other chocolate retailers online is a baking section. From unsweetened cocoa baking bars to brownie and cookie mixes, you may find a new favorite that you can't get at your local grocery store.
Shipping fees at Ghirardelli are high. Unless they're running a promotion like the one we saw at the time of our review - $5 standard shipping with the given coupon code - you'll be spending at least $9.95 to send your chocolates via standard shipping. If you need to upgrade to 2-day, it'll cost you at least $19.95. On the other hand, you don't have to worry about the weather affecting your delivery: Ghirardelli automatically sends their chocolates in insulated cartons with iced gel packs when shipping during warm-weather months, at no extra charge.
What about returns? That's a great question - one that we expected to find answered on the "Shipping & Returns" page. No such luck. We also didn't find any kind of satisfaction guarantee, unlike most of their competitors. This is surprising, given what a well-known brand Ghirardelli is.
Probably the most compelling reason to buy from the Ghirardelli website, as opposed to shopping in person, is the frequent promotional discounts. If you click on the Promotion FAQs link at the bottom of the page, you can see if there are any current offers at the time of your order as well as any discounts they've offered in the past few months. For example, we found discounts of 20% on all caramel-filled chocolates, expedited shipping for certain holidays, and discounts of up to 25% on orders over $150.
Although we love Ghirardelli chocolates, the company's online presence falls a little flat with high shipping rates, no return policy, and no guarantees of customer satisfaction. We'd like to see the business make some changes in that regard, making them more competitive with the other online chocolatiers in our review.
Traditionally, giving Chocolate as a gift can be a time consuming process. Driving to the local grocery or chocolate store, searching the limited selection, bringing it home, wrapping up the item, and then getting back in your car again to drive to the local Fed Ex or UPS Store to make the delivery actually happen - it can all be a time-consuming and frustrating challenge for anyone.
Thankfully, with the availability of online chocolate stores, purchasing a delicious and wonderful chocolate gift only requires about 5 minutes of your time. Buying chocolate on the internet provides a quick and efficient way to select from a long list of great options that fit your budget and gift giving needs. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Still, there are wide differences between online chocolate providers. Before you decide to purchase your next chocolate gift, you should consider several important factors. Some of these considerations include:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Chocolate stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best chocolate to meet your gift giving needs!
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