Do You Ask for Taste-Testing Samples?

by Shirley George Frazier

It makes sense to buy gift basket products from retailers and specialty stores when you begin designing, especially before you approach a wholesaler to buy a case of the product.

That’s what I did.

When customers began asking me for the same products again and again, that’s when I purchased the items from wholesalers. This allowed me to:

  • Save more money because I was buying at the wholesale cost, not retail
  • Start building the credit worthiness of my business
  • Request samples so customers were encouraged to buy through tasting

You, too, can request samples when you buy directly from manufacturers and wholesalers. Did you know that?

The company that makes the product and some companies that distribute it (acting as the manufacturer’s representative) will provide you with samples free of charge so you can impress customers and sell more.

I talk about this in Chapter 4, Selecting Your Inventory, of the gift basket book.

Here’s a list of the samples I’ve received:

  • Popcorn
  • Lemon straws
  • Chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Sparking water
  • Caramels
  • Shortbread
  • Champagne crackers
  • Smoked cheeses

Remember to request samples when you order gift basket snacks and foods at wholesale prices. Sometimes it’s available, and sometimes it’s not. You won’t know unless you ask.

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{ 2 comments }

Flora M Brown, Ph.D. July 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Shirley,

It is very important to ask for samples and to try products before you make a big investment. It’s great to take samples when you do corporate presentations so customers learn first hand what they will be ordering.

In addition to having samples of food, it’s very useful to have samples of filler/shred colors handy before you order filler or shred. Since color names vary so much, it’s important to know exactly what you’re ordering. What one company calls “navy blue” may be more like what you think is “royal blue.”

Shirley George Frazier July 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

Hi Flora,

What you share are all excellent points that new and long-time designers overlook, especially if these details aren’t documented along the way.

The color tutorial is especially helpful. It’s one of those elements that help each of us make the best impression the first time.

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