Why Shop For Gift Baskets Online?
The top performers in our review are Harry & David, the Gold Award winner; GourmetGiftBaskets, the Silver Award winner; and GiftTree, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a company to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 gift basket providers.
Why Use a Gift Basket Website?
When you realize a birthday or other special occasion is right around the corner, it can be tough to come up with a creative gift on short notice. A gift basket service can provide the ideal solution. These services also come in handy if your recipient lives too far away to visit in person. From your computer or mobile device, you can select impressive, memorable baskets fit for a variety of occasions.
The best online gift basket websites can do the creating for you, making and delivering a heartfelt gift very quickly. Many gift basket services also allow you to customize and personalize their baskets so it’s perfect for each recipient regardless of the occasion.
How It Works
Gift basket services offer a selection of gift baskets for different occasions – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and many more. These sites also offer gift baskets for unique occasions such as thank you baskets. And they make the process of ordering incredibly simple.
These companies take care of the works – from shipping out a box of truffles for Mother's Day or a bottle of champagne for the bride and groom. They can also help a business owner show their appreciation for a client or commemorate the retirement of an employee, even if they are several time zones away.
Gift basket services nowadays offer many options that are elegant and refined and often do not include a basket at all. Creative companies assemble smaller gifts in tote bags, color-coordinated boxes, cans, briefcases, coolers and more. Items are carefully arranged and packaged to arrive in pristine condition. With so many available options to choose from, one of the most important things to know about gift basket sites is how easy they make it to find the right gift.
Gift Baskets: What We Evaluated, What We Found
Most of the companies we evaluated have gifts appropriate for just about any event, including significant life events – anniversaries, the birth of a new baby, a death in the family – but the best sites make it easy to find what you're looking for with clearly marked categories and quick, efficient search tools.
Most companies let you narrow down initial search results by price, customer reviews and other factors so you can find the perfect fit very quickly. Gift companies should offer a range of treats and gifts that appeal to the unique preferences and tastes of the recipient. For example, for Mother's Day, you can show your love by sending a box of gourmet, chocolate-dipped strawberries, or, if chocolate isn't your mother’s thing, perhaps she would like an elegantly wrapped spa gift caddy that includes soaps, moisturizer, a loofah and even a pair of slippers. The best sites also help you gift in a way that takes into account the recipient's preferences and beliefs, with kosher, organic, gluten-free and other options to choose from.
Besides the traditional milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day and Father's Day, gift companies should offer a range of gifts for other occasions and events that may call for a gift. How about letting a loved one serving in the military know you're thinking of them by sending a care package filled with popular snack items like popcorn and candy or a care package for a college student studying for finals? And for the pet lovers in your life, you can even send a basket filled with treats and toys for cats and dogs. Even if you do not have time to craft and hand-deliver a gift for a friend or family member, it's nice to show you care with personalized elements. Imagine your loved one's delight at receiving a gift that shows you care about them.
The best companies let you build on their already good ideas, offering the option to add items to existing gift basket designs. Many also let you custom design a gift basket for your loved one from scratch – you pick the basket and then click to select the items to go into the package.
Since there are many sources of gift baskets online, we looked for the ones that make the buying process as simple and pleasant as possible. You should be able to send baskets to multiple addresses on one order, for instance. You should also be able to hover over and zoom in on baskets so you know exactly what each package contains.
We prefer sites that use a third-party entity to verify transactions. This reduces the risk of having your credit card or other personal information inadvertently shared. The best gift basket sites also offer ways to pay that do not involve your credit card directly, like PayPal.
Sometimes the hardest people to buy gifts for are those who live far away. That's why we like the companies that can ship to virtually anywhere in the world. Free shipping for closer addresses also is a welcome convenience. We also looked for companies that allow you to choose when the gift arrives. You can place your order far in advance but have it delivered later when the actual occasion approaches.
Gift Baskets: Our Verdict and Recommendations
Harry & David, GourmetGiftBaskets and GiftTree are the top gift basket companies we reviewed. They all offer excellent products and have websites that are very user-friendly. They have a wide selection of high-quality gift baskets that are perfect for many special occasions, helping you share your sentiment and support, even if you're in another part of the world.
Harry & David offers many options for personalized gift baskets, including a large selection of gourmet gifts such as foods and wines. The company takes pride in having its employees carefully select the items and creating the gift baskets in-house rather than having pre-made gift baskets ready for you to order. Harry & David also offers a clean and simple-to-use website with search functions that make it easy to quickly find what you’re looking for.
GourmetGiftBaskets offers a wide variety of handmade gift baskets that will suit just about any special occasion. The company offers gift baskets with or without food, and its food gift baskets include both sweet and savory foods. Although GourmetGiftBaskets doesn’t let you customize a basket, it offers enough of a selection that the gift basket will feel personalized for the occasion.
GiftTree has a large selection of gift baskets for any occasion and even offers many unique gift baskets such as puzzles and plush animals. GiftTree also lets you personalize any of its gift baskets by adding additional items to make it more customized for the recipient.
Gift Basket services today go beyond the simple fruit-and-nut gift baskets of the past. While you can still send a traditional fruit basket, you can also send a package filled with gourmet popcorn, cake pops, clothing, plush toys, tea, snack food, cookies, cheesecake and much more to personalize the basket for your recipient. In short, you can give a gift long distance that is still specific to a special person on their big day rather than a generic gesture. Read our articles about gift baskets for even more information.