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If you love giving hampers as presents then this guide will give you some hamper ideas on what to sell or give.
Big stores like Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and M&S do a roaring trade in hampers for men and hampers for women, and when you add up the cost of the items in them, you can see they’re making a good profit. Have a look at their hamper gifts to give yourself an idea of what to put in yours and then sell them at your price.
Actually making hampers can cost very little and the goodies inside can be bought in bulk or made at home to bring down costs. However, the selling price can be as high as you like, so this is an amazing potential earner if you get it right.
If you have creative juices flowing through you, this could be something you do to occupy yourself in the evening – or make to order.
Read through our step by step guide to making hampers (and selling them) to find out more.
Step one: research
Think about who you’re going to sell your hampers to.
- It’s likely that you will be selling locally to start off with, maybe even to family and friends, so you need to think about what the people in your area might like to see in a hamper.
- If you live in a country village, then homemade products like jams and cakes are likely to sell better than a hamper packed with novelty Christmas gifts.
- Ask your friends and family what kind of items they’d like to receive in a hamper, and take a look at any delicatessens in your area that might sell them to see what they have on offer. Also look online and in stores to see what they put in their hampers.
- Maybe you could have specific themed hampers (all chocolate, or hampers for gardeners or “tea for two” hampers, for example), or create hampers only from (nicely wrapped) homemade foods you’ve made yourself.
If you plan to sell homemade foods that you’ve cooked in your own home then you may have to get your kitchen registered.
Before you bake and package goods to sell, speak to your local authority to check regulations in your area.
You can search for contact details of your local council alphabetically by clicking here. Our article on making and selling cakes and jams has more information on food hygiene regulations.
Before you rush off to buy as many items in bulk as you can, stop to think about what you really want to put into your hampers.
Make a list of about ten items you definitely want to put in them. You might not necessarily put all those items into one hamper but this way you can mix and match to create a variety of designs.
Some great ideas include:
- Stationary Sets
- Personalised Gifts
Step two: buy in bulk
Once you have a reasonable idea of what hamper gifts you want to put into the mix, it’s time to find the cheapest versions of the products and the containers and decorations to maximise your profits.
By buying items in bulk you save a lot of money so register with your local cash and carry to benefit from their cheaper prices.
- If you decide to do hampers seriously then look online for wholesalers of the items you are interested in (perhaps you’re going for bath products or tins and jars of food).
- Lots of wholesalers ask for proof that you are self-employed, so to benefit from most wholesale deals you’ll need to get yourself registered as a small business/self-employed person with HMRC.
Here are a few sites we recommend when you’re making hampers to buy your ingredients in bulk.
- eBay – obviously there’s a lot you can get here for cheap but be careful as not everything is cheaper than you could get in a pound shop, for example.
- Candi Gifts – this site sells baskets from 25p, and has great deals on cellophane and coloured shredding which you’ll be using to pack up and wrap your hamper.
- Amazon – boxes and baskets for under a tenner.
- Scribbler – perfect for personalised gift hampers. Scribbler offer great designs, edgy humour and even personalisation, all of which can be bought and put into a quirky little hamper.
- Sunday Times Wine Club – this is the place to go if you want cheap, quality wine. You can find full bottles for under a fiver here, and bottles of wine will always go down well in a hamper. Full bottles might not fit however, so it might be worth getting half bottles where prices are as low as £3.08. Cheers.
- Chocolate Buttons – if you want to include any chocolate or sweet in your hamper design then Chocolate Buttons has a massive range of wholesale products for you to choose from.
- CraftStash – ideal for quirky, ‘out-there’ craft hampers, CraftStash is perfect for any arts related hamper you make. They also offer a very generous 20% off your first order. Lovely!
- Elements – for a toiletry hamper you should pay a visit to the Elements website to find some great deals on bath products. They have low minimum orders too which is handy if you’re only making a few hampers.
- Wilkos – If you’re looking to add a personalised touch, why not create your own gift to add to your hamper pack. Wilkos offer a hamper accessory pack for £2 as well as a load of other things all catered around creating your own hamper. You could add a personalised touch to each hamper for just a few quid.
If we haven’t listed what you want then simply type into Google: wholesale [name of product] and it should come up with a list of wholesale websites that have what you need. Be sure to shop around as the first deal you come across might look tempting but it’s likely you’ll be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.
Step three: presentation – making hampers saleable
When you’re coming up with hamper gifts ideas it’s really important to remember that people will be buying these hampers for their family and friends, so they will want them to look presentable. If a customer is wowed by the first hamper you supply, they are far more likely to buy from you again.
Take a look at the hampers in our article about the best Christmas hampers under £60 for some seasonal ideas.
As you can see, many of them are not in baskets or even in wicker trays. They are in boxes, bags and all sorts of things. There’s a lot that you can use as the basis of a hamper. Take a look around your home for empty plant pots, old ‘distressed’ (i.e. a bit rusty) watering cans and other receptacles that could be turned into cool hampers.
Don’t go over the top with decoration. Some shredding to fill up the empty spaces, cellophane wrapping and a bow is perfect. By the way, if you have a shredder at home, use that to make the packing – just shred old wrapping paper, tissue paper or magazines to make it.
If you want to add a little more luxury you could tie a ribbon right around the hamper (this is also a good trick to hide the bunching of the cellophane) or you could drop a few foiled chocolates to cover empty space. Simplicity is the key for decoration of hampers.
If it’s a Christmas hamper, add a bauble to the insides and maybe one on the ribbon. Use tinsel, plastic Father Christmas’s and other Christmas decorations you might have around the house to give it a festive look.
Be sure to practise your designs a few times before you pack up your hampers and ship them off. Making hampers perfect is an art, and it’ll take you a little time to get it right so don’t panic if when the first time you try it, it looks like a big mess! Just keep rearranging items until they fit.
Wilkinsons sells rolls of cellophane for a pound and you can get all kinds of small decorations and bows from pound shops and markets. You could also get friendly with your local florist and get them to sell you a whole roll of cellophane at a little more than wholesale price.
Step four: costings
To work out how to price your hamper, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
- The first and most obvious is how much it costs to make – this includes the items inside the hamper, the basket itself, the decorations and all the costs for the delivery (if you are offering this service rather than just selling at a local market).
- The second cost is your time: how long does it take to make a hamper? Consider how much you would like to pay yourself an hour and incorporate this into the costs. The next cost is delivery. Are you going to deliver them yourself or are you going to hire a courier? Even if you deliver them yourself you have to consider the petrol costs.
- Then how much is the competition selling their hampers for? – Take a look at similar hampers in the shops and, if there are any, at local markets. How much are they selling for? Can you undercut them? It could be worth taking a picture of a similar hamper with the price and displaying that next to your better-priced version! Remember that if the price is too high then customers will use one of your rivals so make a note of their prices and try to stay under those if possible.
Step five: advertising
Where you advertise your hampers will depend on who your market is. It’s best to start small and sell locally rather than expecting your business to boom in a short space of time.
Just setting up a stall at your local market, farmers’ market or car boot sale could be enough to start off with – you will just pick up passing trade. But you could also advertise locally in shops or nationally on the web if you want to do more regular trade.
- Put an ad in the local paper close to Christmas or Easter, or post one on Gumtree or on Facebook.
- Think about the kind of people that will be buying your hampers and then think about where they’re most likely to go.
- If you’re specialising in golf hampers, for example, then stick an advert up on your local golf club’s notice board.
- Hampers for gardeners could be advertised in your local garden centre. It’s all about using your common sense to work out which advertising medium best fits your market.
step six: lovely items to make for your hamper
If you’re handy in the kitchen or a crafty type, you could make some lovely items to put in your hamper. Here are a few ideas:
If you have some nice empty jars (with lids) or, better still, some empty oil and vinegar bottles, you can use these to make flavoured oils.
Get some olive oil (ideally buy in bulk to get it cheaper – maybe at the market) and 12 cup of whatever you want to infuse it with such as chilli, garlic cloves, rosemary or thyme.
Heat the oil in a pan and then add the infusion so that the warm oil absorbs the flavour. Pour this mixture once it’s cool into your glass bottles (if you’re using rosemary, garlic or chilli, leave them in so that the oil can continue to season).
Decorate the bottles in a Christmassy way.
Roasted Cinnamon Almonds
Beat an egg white and water together before adding whole, blanched almonds. Stir them until they are well coated.
Mix up icing sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts. Spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for an hour until golden. See the recipe here.
Allow to cool then package them up in pretty bags with bows.
The only ingredients you need for this are condensed milk, white chocolate chips, butter and vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
There’s a great recipe here that you can follow. It’s pretty easy to do.
Set your fudge in Christmas cookie cutters or just cut them into squares, then wrap them in a clear bag with red and green ribbon.
SEA SALT WATER BISCUITS
A bit of butter, some baking soda, plain flour and sea salt are all you need for this one.
Heat the oven, place the flour, baking soda and butter into a food processor and let it whizz. Get it out, and make it into a dough. Roll out the dough onto a kitchen surface.
You can prick the dough with a fork to create shapes which you can do in whatever you like. See the recipe here.
SALTED PEANUT AND CARAMEL PRETZEL
This is pretty easy to make, all you need is: 20g of peanuts, 50g of plain pretzels, 150g of caster sugar, 150g of golden syrup and 100g of butter.
Make sure before you start that the oven is heated. Firstly, you need to place the nuts in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes. After, add the pretzels on a baking sheet of paper. There’s a good recipe you can follow here.
If you want to go eco-friendly, you could make your own small Christmassy paper bag to place the pretzels in. Get the right wrapping paper, then follow this guide.
WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
Start by heating half a cup of cream over a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Put the contents in a bowl and leave for 2 hours or overnight.
There’s a simple guide here, but be warned, this probably isn’t as easy as the others. But, the end product will be just as nice, or maybe even better!
This will be a nice touch to any Christmas hamper, so well worth the time and effort if you want to make something nice.
Fragranced body butter
To make body butter, heat coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter together until they melt, then take off the heat and mix with fragrances like sweet almond, vitamin E and peppermint essential oil.
Chill in the fridge for an hour, take it out and mix until the consistency is whipped. There are various recipes for making body butter here so take a look at these instructions.
Place in a clean, decorated jar for a perfect festive present.
These are really fun to make and you can get the kids involved too. See here for a full recipe for great bath bombs.
You need citric acid, baking soda, shea butter, essential oils and shaped muffin tins.
Melt the shea butter and then mix in with the other ingredients before adding the essential oils.
Add bit of water to make them hold together, before moulding them into the muffin tins.
Leave to set for around six hours and there you are.
tell us about it
Go onto our Facebook page and let everyone know what you are doing and how it’s all going. Our readers are trying to make money too and it really helps to hear other people’s experiences.
Also, tell us in the comments below about your hampers – if you have a website selling them then tell us about that too!
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