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Gift-giving can be a daunting task. It can be challenging to find the right gift that is both thoughtful and appropriate for the recipient. Gift cards may be an easy option, but they can come across as impersonal and boring.
This is where gift baskets come in. They are beautifully arranged and full of a variety of items that are tailored to the occasion. Whether it's a child's birthday or a colleague's promotion, there's a gift basket for every occasion. Fine wine and cheese? Absolutely! Teethers and burp cloths for your friend's first baby? You got it! There's a gift basket to suit just about any budget, from popcorn tins under $25 to jaw-dropping arrangements priced at $400 and up.
Friday, September 29th
Zingerman's, a beloved business located in Ann Arbor, is known for its friendly and quirky atmosphere. It's rare to find someone who has a complaint about this company, which operates a network of shops offering a wide range of delicious treats such as brownies and bread. You'll find all of those goodies featured throughout the Gift Baskets and Boxes section of their website, "the online shop for food lovers" .
There are a lot, and we mean a LOT, of options with Zingerman's. You'll find more than 100 ready-made options priced from $40 to $350, so we recommend that you click on the filters to narrow them down a little. Need something for your favorite vegan or vegetarian? How about something gluten- or dairy-free? Zingerman's is one of the only stores in our review that makes it so easy to find something to meet those dietary preferences. Just keep in mind that some items are seasonal, but they're helpfully marked as "On Vacation" with an estimated return availability date when possible.
Lots of customization possibilities
As you browse, you'll notice that many gift boxes and baskets here are designated as "customizable" . For example, the $40 4-Pastry Gift Box lets you pick from among 20+ of Zingerman's baked goodies - like the caramel crisp treat, lemon scone, orange & almond bostock pastry, and Buenos Aires brownie, just to name a few - to create the perfect mini-sampler for your recipient. Beyond that, this store loves to start from scratch to put together a gift basket that lives up to your greatest expectations: just give them a call and they'll help you make it happen.
A taste of Michigan
How about a gift box with Michigan specialty items? One of Zingerman's best-sellers is the Michigan Breakfast, available in Classic or Deluxe configurations (serving 4-6 or 8-10 for one breakfast, or for several days to a week or more for 1-2 people). For $95, the Classic comes with a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, two scones (currant and lemon), cherry berry conserve, and a bag of whole-bean coffee. The Deluxe ($135) adds a tin of 10 cinnamon rolls and a bag of freshly-milled wheat porridge.
Substitutions won't catch you off-guard
Sometimes Zingerman's has to make substitutions, but they're clearly spelled out in the item description. For example, in the Deluxe Michigan Breakfast assortment, there was a swap of the coffee type (Holiday Blend instead of High Flyer) and of American Spoon biscuit mix instead of wheat porridge at the time of our evaluation. We appreciate that this store lets you know these things in advance.
Free shipping on most gift baskets
Zingerman's is a little more expensive than some of the gift basket retailers we evaluated, but free shipping makes your purchase here more affordable. As you look through the options, it's easy to see which ones come with complimentary two-day delivery or with "free relaxed shipping" . What does that last one mean? In our case, it meant a delivery timeframe of about a week after placing our order - which isn't bad, considering there was a federal holiday and a weekend within those seven days. You can always pay extra for faster arrival times if needed. And, Zingerman's gives you an interactive calendar during checkout if you need to plan a delivery in advance (interestingly, Saturday deliveries were always shown as free, while Monday arrivals came with a $14 surcharge).
Recipient can track the gift - or not?
During the checkout process, you'll enter the gift message of your choice. One feature we spotted - and love - is that you can indicate if you want your recipient to receive tracking information or not. Whether you want the gift basket to be a surprise or to let your person watch their treats make their way to their doorstep, it's up to you.
Unmatched customer satisfaction guarantee
By this point, it should be abundantly clear that Zingerman's has a sterling reputation. The company has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, without a single complaint filed there. That's probably because this business has an incredible satisfaction policy, doing anything it takes to make it right if you experience a problem with their products, customer service, or shipping - and you never have to return anything. Here's how they put it: "customer service is our passion, our charge, and our mission. Stuff happens. Things go wrong. We consider it an honor when you let us help fix a problem." Even your delivery is guaranteed to arrive on or before the scheduled date. We can definitely get behind that.
#1 choice for gift baskets and boxes
Although you won't see any reviews on individual gift items at Zingerman's, you only need to look at overall customer feedback to see why this is our number one pick for gift baskets and boxes. From people located in the Ann Arbor area who happily make the trek to Zingerman's on the regular, to those who order special deliveries to recipients around the nation, everyone raves about this fun, friendly, and foodie-favorite company. We're pleased to give Zingerman's our most enthusiastic recommendation.
If you or your gift recipient are true foodies who appreciate the finest culinary experiences, then a surprise from Gourmet Gift Baskets is the perfect choice. This store offers an extensive selection of high-quality gourmet food items that are sure to impress even the most discerning palate.
Hassle-free online shopping
This site is really easy to shop. Our favorite way to get started is right under the "Gifting Made Simple" section of the main page: choose your occasion, price range, and recipient, then click on "find it" . You'll be taken to a list of results matching what you're looking for. Of course, it's just as easy to shop by occasion or browse the featured gift baskets too.
Who doesn't love comfort food?
We really like the Comfort category at Gourmet Gift Baskets. As they put it, "When there are no words, you can always count on food." From "Popcorn, Beer and Cider" to "The Grilled Cheese Experience" , you can make sure your lucky recipient gets just the right comfort food for finals, cold weather, or just because.
Plenty of gift options under $100
You can get gifts here for under $30 - just don't expect them to be a basket per se. For example, at $24.99 you can choose from among several popcorn gift buckets, usually seasonally-themed. Most gift baskets here are under $100, though, so it's not hard to find something that's both delightful and affordable.
Extravagant selections if you want them
But, if you're looking to go all-out on your gift basket, the highest-end selection at this store at the time of this review was the Ultimate Dom Perignon gift for $499.99. Inside the two-tiered vegan leather suitcase (also not a basket), recipients will discover a bottle of Dom and an array of gourmet treats like sweet soppressata and garlic cheese, cinnamon pecan straws and mudpuppies, and several other surprises. But, be aware that gift baskets with alcohol can't be shipped to certain states - so you may want to pivot to Gourmet Gift Baskets' Signature Series Fruit and Gourmet arrangement if the delivery would be going to one of those restricted areas.
Snag some savings
Watch for extra ways to save on your gift baskets here. When we were on the site during this evaluation, we got a spin-to-win discount opportunity with "prizes" ranging from free shipping to discounts of 10-15% or $10 off $50.
The Better Business Bureau thinks very highly of Gourmet Gift baskets, awarding an "A+" rating and accreditation, with only a dozen complaints registered there in the most recent three-year period. That's an impressive track record for a company that's been in business for over 20 years. Beyond the BBB, customer feedback is equally enthusiastic: shoppers say that these gift baskets are meticulously designed, often arrive earlier than promised, and are backed by a wonderful customer service team that stands at the ready to answer questions or help out if anything goes awry.
Could use a clear satisfaction guarantee
That amazing reputation is good to see, since Gourmet Gift Baskets doesn't have a clearly-stated satisfaction guarantee. The return policy lets you get a replacement if anything arrives damaged or with items missing, as long as you notify the store within 15 days - but we'd love to see something that says that they'll make it right unconditionally. Fortunately, their numerous compliments from customers make it clear that Gourmet Gift Baskets does that, even if they don't come right out and say it.
Terrific baskets for food-lovers
Overall, Gourmet Gift Baskets is a great choice if you want to surprise a food lover with a unique and delicious gift. The store's gift baskets are well-presented and include high-quality treats, delivered right on time. If you're looking for a gift that is sure to be a hit with any foodie, Gourmet Gift Baskets is worth considering.
Design It Yourself Gift Baskets offers a unique gift giving experience that allows you to customize your gift as much or as little as you like. Whether you want to take complete control over every aspect of the presentation or simply specify your budget and theme, this store has something for everyone.
The most customizable gift baskets on the market
If you want to create your own gift basket, you'll first select a theme. The store offers several to choose from, like Golf Enthusiasts, Tastes of Texas, or Chocolate Lovers. You'll then choose a container for your gift, which can range from a woven decorative basket to a collapsible gift box. You'll be able to see the total "completed gift basket" price next to each container, so you can easily see how much your gift will cost. Finally, you'll select each of the products that will go into your finished gift. The interface may be a little outdated-looking, but it allows you to choose even the smallest details, such as the color of a hand towel or the scent of a candle.
Let their experts do the work
If the thought of choosing every single aspect of your gift basket feels overwhelming, the store's Gift Express option may be perfect for you. With this option, you'll simply specify your budget, choose a theme, fill out the gift card, and select any add-ons you want to include. From there, the team at Design It Yourself will build a gift basket to match. You won't know exactly which products are going into your delivery, but that can be part of the fun.
Lots of ready-made options too
For those who just want to click a button and have the perfect gift sent to their recipient, Design It Yourself also offers a selection of pre-made gift baskets. One of the store's popular options is the Ultimate Texas Meat & Cheese Gift Basket. This southwestern-styled galvanized tub is filled with treats like Dolcetto Rosemary Crostini Artesanal Crackers, two Gilmans Cheddar Cheese bars, Sweet Jalapeno Mustard, a bamboo Texas-themed charcuterie board, and much more, priced at $155.95.
Keep an eye out for sales and discount codes
The pricing at this gift basket store is comparable to other retailers on the market, and it's always a good idea to check the Specials & Best Sellers tab at the top of the page if you're looking for a deal. And, don't forget to look at the top of the site for any available discounts. At the time of this review, Design It Yourself was featuring some seasonal discounts of $20 off $150 or $30 off $200, as well as a generous 20% off orders of $2,000 or more (corporate-level purchases).
Add-ons can give your basket that extra something
All of the gift baskets offered by Design It Yourself, whether DIY or pre-made, have optional upgrades and add-ons available. These may not always match the theme of your gift, but they provide a nice way to add something extra, like balloons or stuffed animals. In the same section of the website, you'll also find the option to include a personalized message on a satin ribbon. You can choose the ribbon color and add a message of up to 45 characters (including spaces) for an additional $7.95.
Excellent track record for customer service
Not only is this company "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but also there had been zero complaints filed there at the time of this review. That's pretty remarkable. It's a good representation of Design It Yourself Gift Baskets' strong commitment to customer satisfaction, and all orders are now covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you're not happy with the quality or condition of any part of the gift basket, you can opt for a full refund, store credit, or replacement. The store asks that you contact them within three days of delivery if there's a problem, and they promise to make it right.
Glowing praise from repeat clients
While we would like to see more customer feedback on the Design It Yourself website, especially reviews of individual gift baskets, the store does seem to have a good reputation among its customers. Looking at shoppers' comments elsewhere, we found glowing praise from realtors who use this company to give closing gifts to clients, office managers who won't trust anyone else for their end-of-the-year gift-giving, and much more. All of them praise the attention to detail and the responsive customer service team at Design It Yourself Gift Baskets.
Ideal choice for customized gift baskets
If you can get past the somewhat clunky interface, you're sure to have a great experience ordering your gift baskets from this retailer. Put Design It Yourself at the top of your list if a customizable gift basket is your number one priority.
Since its establishment in 1997, Gift Tree has been dedicated to transforming ordinary gifting moments into extraordinary ones. Whether for business or personal occasions, this gift basket company emphasizes the use of high-quality products that are beautifully packaged in keepsake containers. This allows recipients to continue enjoying the gift even after it has been delivered.
Keep an eye out for savings
When we visited the Gift Tree site most recently, we got a pop-up discount offer of 15% if we provided our birthdate and email address. For extra savings, be sure to look at the top of the site for available sales: at the time of this review, it was labeled as "Holiday Deals" , but at other times of the year it might be shown as "Exclusive Offers" . We found several featured gifts there that were discounted by $10 or more. Also, when we added an item to our cart and then went to exit the site, we got another pop-up upping the ante to a 20^% discount - might be worth browsing a while and adding something to your cart too, to see if you can trigger that bonus savings.
Selection on the decline
The selection of gift baskets at Gift Tree seems to have diminished since our last evaluation: this time around, we only found about 30 options in the Gift Baskets category (though there were still many options on the site in other categories). Plus, some of the items included on that page weren't even gift baskets, like Wicked Jack's Rum Cake or Lobster Bites.
Get their most popular gift basket for under $90
But, you'll still find beautiful arrangements within Gift Tree's current selection. Their most popular gift basket is the California Classic Wine Basket. You'll pay $69.95-$89.95, depending on whether you choose to include a bottle of red, chardonnay, or one of each. It comes with an array of tasty snacks too, like Everything Bagel Cashews and Dark Chocolate Barrel-Aged Bourbon Caramels.
How about personalization and substitutions?
Every Gift Tree basket comes decorated with a solid color ribbon that can be personalized for an upgrade fee (usually $7.95-$9.95). You'll also be able to include a personal message at no extra charge. Also, keep in mind that Gift Tree may substitute items in your gift basket to make sure that it arrives on time - but it will always be with an item of equal or greater value.
You could get free shipping for weekday delivery
During our most recent visit to the Gift Tree store, shipping was free on all weekday deliveries. Saturday arrivals came with a surcharge (usually in the neighborhood of $45). You may also see extra fees during peak holiday times, but all of that is clearly displayed during the checkout process: no nasty surprises here.
Committed to your satisfaction
Gift Tree is committed to customer satisfaction and offers an exceptional guarantee. If you or the recipient of the gift basket are not completely satisfied, you can contact the company to request a replacement, credit, or refund. Some non-perishable items, such as toys and clothing, may need to be returned within 30 days of delivery in order to receive a replacement or refund. Fresh and perishable items, such as flowers, balloons, and fruit, are also covered by the satisfaction guarantee and do not need to be returned. Gift Tree's policy ensures that you can purchase with confidence knowing that you will receive a high-quality product that meets your expectations.
Long history of delighting customers
So, it should come as no surprise that the Better Business Bureau gives Gift Tree a perfect "A+" rating and accreditation, with only nine complaints filed there in the last three years. That's impressive. Even more impressive are the nearly 17,000 four- and five-star ratings left by happy Gift Tree customers over the last few years, praising the selection and service. Many of those compliments were offered by clients who have used this retailer to send gift baskets to family, friends, and customers for many years, returning to Gift Tree time and again.
A good choice
We've had to drop Gift Tree down slightly in our rankings among retailers of gift baskets. Although their reputation is still stellar, the selection isn't as wide as it used to be, and some shoppers may prefer the options at our higher-rated gift basket stores. However, if you find an arrangement you love here, you can rest assured that it will be well-received and backed by an excellent guarantee. Don't hesitate to use Gift Tree for any gift baskets that fit what you're looking for.
A Gift Inside is a California-based company that consists of three brands: Golden State Fruit, CY Chocolates, and Farmstead Gourmet. When you order a gift basket from A Gift Inside, you can expect to receive a combination of hand-picked premium pears or other fruit, small-batch handmade chocolate creations, and carefully-selected specialty cheeses and snacks. A Gift Inside has been in business for over 50 years.
Appealing selection of 30+ gift baskets
You'll find about 30 gift baskets in the Gourmet Gift Baskets category (but don't be afraid to branch out a little and click on the other links for Fruit Baskets or specific categories like Birthday or Sympathy). Depending on the time of year, you may find seasonal options within the list, like Happy Holidays or Valentine's Day too. Prices at A Gift Inside are reasonable, ranging from $39.95 to $179.95: nothing cheap or over-the-top here.
Get a taste of California
Our favorite gift basket from A Gift Inside is the California Farmstead. Weighing in at a deliciously hefty 12 pounds, it comes with sweet dessert pears from their orchards, artisan cheeses, seasonal fruits (red apples, navel oranges, mandarins), blueberry bourbon pecan jam, crackers, mixed dried fruit, Ghirardelli chocolates, and more. This arrangement is priced at $109.95.
Use the ribbon upgrade to convey a message
When you've chosen a gift basket to send, you can change the ribbon to suit the occasion: it typically comes with a standard red ribbon, but for a few dollars more it can read "Happy Birthday" , "With Sympathy" , "Thank You" , or "Congratulations" .
Save 10% by signing up
If you sign up for the newsletter and offers from A Gift Inside, you'll get a 10% discount code for your next offer. Just watch for the pop-up as you browse the site, or go directly to the link at the top of the page.
Schedule your gift's arrival for a future date
During the checkout, you'll enter your recipient's zip code to see all of the possible delivery dates. Shipping fees start at $10.95 for standard delivery, and Saturday arrival is available for an extra fee. We appreciate that A Gift Inside lets you schedule your gift basket deliveries well in advance.
Customers have plenty of positive feedback
Although we were unable to find a Better Business Bureau listing for A Gift Inside or its related brands, this is not necessarily a problem. Fortunately, we found plenty of positive feedback from shoppers in other places, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. The praise for A Gift Inside's products, particularly the fruit baskets and other snacks, as well as the customer service team's attention to detail, was widespread. Customers report that their recipients were delighted with their gifts, orders arrived on time, and that A Gift Inside is a reliable store for sending gift baskets and other treats.
Great choice for gift baskets with fresh fruit
While A Gift Inside doesn't have as much variety as you might find with a rival retailer of gift baskets, we highly recommend you give them a try if you want to send something that includes fresh fruit. That's their specialty, and this company does an excellent job of delivering it at the peak of perfection.
Harry & David has been a leading provider of high-quality gifts in the United States since 1934. It's hard to believe that the company was founded when its owner exchanged a hotel for 240 acres of pear orchards in Oregon. It's no surprise, then, that pears are featured prominently in many of the gift baskets sold by Harry & David, although there are also plenty of other goodies available. The company is now part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands.
A whopping 400+ gift baskets and boxes to consider
Harry & David has over 400 gift boxes and baskets to select from, so we strongly recommend using the filters to make your search quicker. You can narrow it down by price range, container (basket, box, tower, or crate), occasion, recipient (her, him, family, friend), contents, or diet restrictions (only organic or kosher).
You don't have to spend a lot
On the budget-friendly end of the spectrum, Harry & David has several choices under $30. These include Bakery Sweets, Snack Box, Celebration Gift Box, and a handful of additional options. We were intrigued by the Deluxe Mystery Box, priced at $29.99 and containing "at least four of the delectable treats" found in their typical gift baskets, boxes, and towers. However, be prepared that your mystery box could include items from holidays long past. Reading through the reviews, we found more than one person who got Easter treats in September or Christmas sweets from the year before. You may want to skip the surprise if you're sending a gift basket and look at other ways to stick to your budget. For example, as we browsed the Harry & David website, we got a 10% discount offer in a pop-up if we were willing to enter our email address.
High-end gift baskets are available
If money is no object and you're aiming to impress, there are a few gift baskets here that are priced at $250+. At the time of this review, the Ultimate Hearthside Gift Basket was on sale for $299.99 (originally $499.99): it comes with over 30 pounds of food (!), including twelve pears, six apples, several varieties of Moose Munch popcorn, and four kinds of cheese (white cheddar, gouda, blue, TouVelle).
A best-seller for less than $70
At over 1,100 reviews, Harry & David's Classic Favorites Gift Basket is this company's best-seller. For just under $70, your recipient will get six pears, Moose Munch popcorn, white cheddar cheese and crackers, pepper and onion relish, and several types of chocolate treats. There's also an option for adding wine, sparkling juice, or other upgrades; just look right above the "Add to Cart" button if you want to make your gift basket even more special. But, this gift basket is so popular that it might not be available for quick delivery: when we last visited the Harry & David online store, the Classic Favorites' first available shipping date was two weeks away.
No address? Use SmartGift
If you're unsure of what to send or don't have a delivery address, Harry & David has you covered with their "Send with SmartGift" feature, displayed on every item's product page. Simply send the gift notification via email, Facebook, or SMS, and the recipient will be able to enter their preferred delivery address and date. And if they don't care for the gift basket you chose, they can exchange it for a lower-priced gift and you'll receive a payment link with the corresponding final price. It's easy and hassle-free.
Some mixed reviews
Harry & David has a long history, with over 17,000 customer reviews available online. While many customers gave the company a high rating of five stars, around 20% gave Harry & David just one or two stars. Some of these negative reviews mentioned issues specifically with the quality of fruit included in baskets, such as hard or sour pears or rotten produce, or issues with the presentation of the gift. There were also some complaints about orders arriving after the intended special occasion. Despite these negative reviews, Harry & David offers a guarantee of customer satisfaction, promising to provide an appropriate replacement or refund if the recipient is not delighted. The Better Business Bureau rates the company with a decent "A-", but that's still a little lower than Harry & David's higher-ranked rivals in the industry.
A good all-around choice for gift baskets
Synonymous with gift-giving, Harry & David won't disappoint when it comes to their selection of baskets and boxes. We recommend looking at the reviews on any specific gift basket you like, just to make sure that it's been well-received and not likely to be a dud (like the Deluxe Surprise arrangement). You can count on Harry & David to satisfy your gift-giving needs for just about any occasion.
The Pemberton Farms Marketplace was established in 1930 as a family-owned fruit and vegetable shop in Massachusetts. Today, the business has evolved as a specialty grocery store, garden center, and supplier of premium gifts.
We like the site upgrades
Pemberton Farms has made some improvements to their online store since our last review. For starters, you can now jump right to the Fruit & Gourmet Baskets page, instead of having to sift through all of their gift options in the hopes of discovering where the baskets are "hiding" . It's also easy to see exactly what kinds of gift baskets are on offer:
Fun options, especially for New England-themed gift baskets
Prices here range from $29.95 to just over $450, though most fall in the neighborhood of $60 to $150. We really enjoy the options in the New England category, a great choice if you're looking to delight someone with some regional classics. For example, the Bay State Abundance gift basket ($239.95) comes with Boston salt water taffy, Myron's dipping dressing and teriyaki sauce, several cranberry-based items, and many other Massachusetts specialty foods.
Shipping costs are extra, and you can't set the delivery date
Just don't forget to factor in shipping costs as you're deciding what to send here. Because this is a smaller, family-owned business shipping directly from their Massachusetts location, your delivery fees will depend on how far the recipient is from their store. For example, on that Bay State Abundance basket we described, sending it to Florida came with a $15.95 "outside New England" shipping rate: not an exorbitant amount, but not the free shipping you might see with a rival store offering a gift basket at that same price point. There are also options for second-day air and three-day select shipping, but Pemberton Farms only lets you select your requested ship date, not the delivery date.
Lacking in personalization
You also won't find much here in the way of personalization or gifting upgrades. During checkout, you can include a message for your recipient and any comments or special instructions, but that's about it.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed
All gift baskets at Pemberton Farms are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You'll get a full refund or appropriate replacement if you're unhappy for any reason. That's probably a big part of why this company earns an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Most of the reviews for Pemberton Farms are related to their brick-and-mortar grocery store, not necessarily their gift baskets and other shippable items. Most people have glowing praise for this retailer, in-person or delivery, with lots of appreciation for the family-owned feel behind everything sold here. We'd love to see reviews on individual gift baskets - there's a place for it on the site, but the majority of the baskets we browsed had none - but we're confident that there's nothing to worry about if you find an arrangement that gets your attention.
A good gift basket retailer showing solid progress
The company has made some noticeable improvements to the online storefront, and the store's reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction is genuine. This is an excellent choice if you'd really like to send a New England-themed gift basket, or if you just like the idea of supporting a family-owned business that's been around for nearly a century.
Canterberry Gifts is a small, family-owned business that got its start in 2018. Based in New York, this retailer offers an impressive selection of about 200 gift baskets that range from traditional selections like cheese and nuts to more unique options for gardeners, new parents, and beyond.
Lots of food and non-food gift baskets
It's really easy to find a great gift basket here, whether you shop by occasion or by the categories in the Gift Baskets dropdown, like Special Diets or Housewarming. You're not limited to just food baskets, either - though those are certainly available if it's what you've got in mind. One of Canterberry Gifts' most popular gift baskets is the Refreshing Spa Cucumber & Melon Gift Chest, which gives your recipient the best of both worlds: spa treatments like bath gel and body lotion, plus salted caramels, chocolate-covered biscotti, and green tea packets, among other items. This gift basket is surprisingly affordable at just $69.95. Generally speaking, prices here range from just under $40 to about $250, and shipping starts at $9.95 for UPS Ground.
Many baskets "currently not available"
On the other hand, despite having such a broad overall selection, Canterberry Gifts may not have your preferred gift basket in stock. As we browsed everything on offer, about a third of the inventory was marked as "currently not available" . That would make sense if it were a basket for a holiday well in the future - like, say, Halloween-themed gift baskets in February - but many of them were general themes like Hollywood Movie or Coffee Break. There's still plenty to choose from with what's in stock at any given moment, but it was disappointing that so many weren't available.
You may or may not spot a discount
As we browsed the Canterberry Gifts website, we were offered a 10% discount for entering our first name and email address. You may also spot a seasonal sale or a limited-time offer of free shipping, but none of those were in place at the time of this evaluation.
Still no satisfaction guarantee
One reason we still haven't moved this gift basket store higher in our rankings is its continued lack of a satisfaction guarantee. While we'd like to think that Canterberry Gifts will make it right if your recipient's delivery is damaged or there's another problem, they don't say anything specific about how they handle those issues. The return policy is only valid for unopened items, and it only gives you store credit, not a refund.
Customers almost always like what they get here
However, positive feedback from customers since our last review is a mark in Canterberry Gifts' favor, even without a solid refund policy or satisfaction guarantee. The company is very responsive to reviews, and many shoppers have left comments describing attentive customer service, on-time deliveries, and above-and-beyond help when trying to customize for a special occasion or for corporate orders. The BBB agrees, giving this store its highest "A+" rating.
Good but not great
We're happy to bump Canterberry Gifts' rating by a half-star since our last review, now that there are more shopper comments and they're mostly compliments, not complaints. The variety here makes it fun to shop for gift baskets, but the high number of options that were unavailable for purchase keeps this retailer from competing with the higher-ranked stores we evaluated. Canterberry Gifts is a great option if you're looking for a novel arrangement not sold elsewhere, but keep in mind that your favorites might be out of stock.
Hickory Farms has been in business since 1951 and is well-known for its meats and cheeses. After acquiring California Delicious, the company's gift basket options expanded to a total of almost 175: not just meats, cheeses and desserts but also spa arrangements and other non-food gifts.
Get a gift box for less than $30
Trying to give a gift while sticking to a budget? Hickory Farms has several choices under $30, like the Favorite Flavors Gift Box (on sale for $19.99 at the time of this review) and the A+ Teacher Thank You Gift Box ($29.99 on sale). Many of Hickory Farms' gift baskets and boxes come with free shipping, and you'll see that clearly labeled on each thumbnail image as you browse.
Save a lot with limited-time offers
Hickory Farms often has sales that can make your gift-giving even more affordable. For instance, during our most recent visit, the Ultimate Gathering Wine Gift Basket was discounted from its everyday price of $275 to just $165. It's an impressive collection of sweet and savory treats, like three kinds of sausage and salami to brownie bites and caramel corn, plus five bottles of wine and a cheese knife/board set. Not everything ships for free at Hickory Farms, but this gift basket does. Just remember that any gifts with alcohol, no matter where you buy them, may not ship to your recipient's state; you'll see which states are eligible in the dropdown list on the product page.
Gifting features are lacking
When you get to the checkout stage, you can enter a gift message - but that's the only feature you'll see. There's no ability to add extra treats, personalize the packaging, or even set a desired delivery date: your recipient will get the gift whenever it's available for shipping. That's a downside compared with many other gift basket retailers that let you choose a date for delivery.
Shockingly high number of complaints
Unfortunately, despite having an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, Hickory Farms seems to fall down on the job with respect to customer satisfaction. Time after time, we found complaints about the service received (or lack of it). Deliveries gone missing, waiting on hold for an hour to speak to a representative, items shipped in separate orders (with no advance notice that it would be delivered that way), and problems getting the website to work are just a few of the rants we found about Hickory Farms.
Not recommended for gift baskets
Having a great selection and a well-known brand aren't enough to compensate for a poor customer experience. As much as we wanted to like Hickory Farms for buying gift baskets, shopper feedback puts this retailer near the bottom of our rankings. You'll probably get more for your money - and happier results for your recipient - if you shop with one of the higher-rated gift basket retailers in our review.
The Best Gift Baskets sounds pretty confident that they'll deliver a top-notch experience when sending their arrangements. After all, they call themselves "the best" . But, across multiple evaluations of this retailer over the years, we're still not convinced that this is much more than a one-man-show run by a guy named Bill (he even provides his personal email in the About Us Section).
Not too much on either extreme of the price spectrum
You won't find much here that's bargain priced, although The Best Gift Baskets has a few items under $40. These include the Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in a Gift Tin for $29.95 and the California Classic White Wine and Cheese Gift Box for $39.95. On the other end of the price spectrum, this retailer's most expensive option - Only For The Best Dom Perignon Champagne Gift Basket, $399.99 - was out of stock at the time of this review.
About 50 affordable gift baskets to choose from
Most of the options at The Best Gift Baskets fall in the $75-$150 range. We were happy to see that there are non-food arrangements on offer, like the Fields of Lavender Spa Gift Basket and the Welcome Home Baby Gift Basket. Of course, if you're looking for a traditional selection of treats like fruit, chocolates, or cheese, you'll find those too. Overall, this retailer sells just over 50 different gift baskets, though at least a quarter of them were marked as "unavailable" during our most recent visit to their online store.
Shipping is spendy and delivery may take a while
Shipping is expensive here. You'll pay $19.95 for ground shipping on gifts under $150 and 16% of your total for orders over that amount. West Coast deliveries will take around two business days, five business days for East Coast addresses, and three to five business days for anywhere in between - but The Best Gift Baskets says you should assume five business days no matter where your recipient lives "to be safe" .
Almost no customer feedback - still
At the time of this review, the Better Business Bureau didn't have enough information to issue a rating for The Best Gift Baskets. That tracks with our own experience trying to find any customer testimonials beyond the handful featured on the store's website. Even jumping to the social media links provided by The Best Gift Baskets, those accounts seem to have gone radio silent after 2021 - despite having more up-to-date blog posts on the website itself.
Satisfaction guaranteed... theoretically
While we appreciate this retailer's 100% satisfaction guarantee that gives customers 30 days from delivery to reach out if there's a problem, that's not enough to convince us that Bill and his supposed team (with "a combined experience of over 10 years in the gift space" ) are on the ball enough to handle any issues that may arise. And, despite offering to customize gifts for corporate giving, The Best Gift Baskets doesn't have the kind of presence that we'd want to see for any kind of bulk ordering that a large business might need at the holidays or for a big event.
Go with a more popular gift basket retailer
With so many well-established gift basket stores out there, The Best Gift Baskets just can't compete. We were hoping that, in the years since our previous evaluation, this retailer would have more evidence of doing a robust business within the industry - but that just hasn't happened. Until The Best Gift Baskets has more to show for itself, particularly with customer reviews and feedback, it will remain at the bottom of our list. Try one of the more popular gift basket stores in our evaluation instead.
Gift baskets hit all the right notes no matter the occasion: expertly packaged, beautifully arranged, and full of an assortment of the perfect snacks, toys, or other items designed to match the moment. The sky is truly the limit, with budget-friendly gift baskets that might have a small toy and a candy bar for a child's birthday, all the way up to the most decadent, luxurious array of fine wine and gourmet cheese to commemorate a long-anticipated promotion.
However, not all gift basket companies are created equal. Some offer a wide variety of options, including customization down to the color of the ribbon, while others may provide only a few overused basket designs.
Consider these criteria to help you narrow down the possibilities and find the perfect gift basket for your recipient:
To help you find the best baskets for your gift-giving occasion, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the most popular companies on the market. So, the next time you're struggling to find the right gift, consider a gift basket. It's sure to impress and delight the recipient!
The giving of gift baskets can be traced to ancient Greece. In 19th-century England, gift hampers were routinely delivered by hand to denizens of the country by visitors from London. These English offerings were meant to denote a degree of sophistication on the part of the giver, offering as they did products and wares country dwellers were hard pressed to find. They might even have included novelties and delicacies from the reaches of the British Empire.
Today, gift baskets are enjoying a healthy resurgence stateside. Why are gift baskets so popular? Their variety, versatility, and visual appeal render them a welcome offering to friends, family and acquaintances on most any occasion.
Variety and Number
Since a gift offering is nearly always appreciated, as an offering of multiple gifts -- neatly packaged in a single container - it is a can't-lose proposition. Offering more than one gift at a time can result in a sharing of the gift with friends of the recipient -- a move that cannot fail to boost your reputation. This strategy can be very effective with gifts of food, flowers, and even non-food themed gifts. A small business owner's sharing an office gift basket is de rigueur, almost cliche.
But think of how the baby goods gift basket you offer to a friend might be shared with other new moms. A themed gift basket to a knitting or crafting hobbyist, for example, might be shared with an entire crafting circle. Similarly, a bowling-themed basket might end up benefiting an entire league team. Of course, the more thought you put into the content of the basket, the more suitable the design and conception, the better.
In an age where business and personal friendships are formed via various types of media -- where your best friend forever might be an Internet acquaintance you have never met -- gift baskets make an ideal choice. For one thing, they can be as personal or as impersonal as you like. For a new business client, a basket of wines that are generally judged to be of good quality is perfectly suitable. For your spouse or significant other, a basket filled with items that suit her tastes - right down to brand, flavor and color -- strikes just the right note of intimacy, indicating a high degree of interest and attachment on your part. Indeed, gift baskets come in such variety and are formulated with such creativity that they can make ideal gifts for everyone from newborns to centegenarians, from new neighbors to the dearest of friends.
Even the English gift hampers of yore were generally decorative standouts. Gift basket packaging has only gained in visual elegance since then. Many purveyors continue to offer basket-like containers adorned with colorful shrink wrap. But more originally designed offerings are truly on the rise. For example, some specialty retailers package gifts in reusable containers -- perfectly in line with the eco-consciousness of the moment. Other companies have been known to employ containers of stoneware or earthenware for a rustic feel. Glassware and clear polycarbonate material offer the recipient an easy view of what's inside. Decorative materials may include anything from burlap and jute to satin, silk, and crystal.
Gift baskets are projected to grow in popularity through the next decade. Whether you are shopping for intimate friend or brand new acquaintance, there's sure to be a selection that is perfectly appropriate.
Select any 2 Gift Basket Companies to compare them head to head
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Thu, 28 Sep 2023