Friday, December 3, 2010

Choosing The Perfect Hamper

There’s something quite magical about receiving a beautifully presented hamper at Christmas or indeed at any time. It’s like a lucky dip full of quality, unusual treats to whet your appetite. Whether choosing a traditional hamper, bulging with the usual seasonal favourites, or something more unusual, there is a massive choice and a hamper will always be gratefully received.

A well-chosen hamper makes the perfect gift for anyone - for the family member who ‘has everything’ and the friends with ‘unusual’ tastes. Hampers are an impressive way of saying thank you to your valued clients and staff. It’s a time-efficient way of doing your Christmas shopping and can be great value for money.

So how can you be sure you will be happy with your hamper supplier and that your recipients will be "wowed" by their Christmas or special hamper?

Top 10 tips for getting it right

1. If you’re searching for hampers on the Internet use specific search terms - i.e. "luxury hampers", "cheese & wine hamper" or "fair-trade hampers". Type in just the word "hamper" and you will be overwhelmed with choice.

2. If you still don’t see what you are looking for, then maybe you should consider a bespoke hamper. Some suppliers will be happy to oblige, so just ask.

3. Check the credentials of the supplier - i.e. how long have they been in business? Are they members of any professional bodies? What is the size of their organisation? Have they got a secure website?

4. If possible, order early - you may receive an early bird discount

5. Check the hamper contents list - if you want "store cupboard" items then your choice is vast, but if you want quality artisan foods - i.e. a gift with a real difference, then spend time looking at the products.

6. For large corporate orders ask to see a sample to ensure you are happy with what your clients/staff will receive. You want to give right impression (it is usual to be charged for the sample and then have the amount credited against your final order)

7. Shortlist your potential hamper suppliers and then scrutinise "like for like" hampers for value for money, presentation and delivery costs.

8. Messages - check that names and personalised messages have been spelt correctly.

9. For bulk drops to offices ensure that a lorry can park outside the building. If you want your delivery to, say, the 25th floor of a tower block, ensure that your hamper supplier knows about this!

10. If your hamper gift is to be a surprise delivery, make it VERY CLEAR to your supplier and let them know who to contact with any queries and how!

A hamper is not just for Christmas!

A hamper can make an ideal gift for any occasion throughout the year. For example, instead of the obligatory socks or golf balls, why not surprise Dad with a Father’s Day hamper, rather than send flowers again to Mum send her a Mothers Day hamper. There is a whole range of hampers available - fine wines, cheeses, chocolates, fair trade goods, organic products - the list goes on. And all come with a personalised message, making them the perfect surprise and suitable for any occasion.

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