Create these festive treats and you could be quids in this Christmas.

Step 1: research

  • Ask your friends and family what kind of items they’d like to receive in a hamper. Then take a look at any delicatessens in your area that sell them to see what they offer—big stores like Harrods and M&S do a roaring trade in hampers, so look at theirs for ideas.

Step 2: get best-value containers and contents

  • This will maximise your profits. Buying in bulk saves a lot of money, so register with your local cash-and-carry to benefit from its low prices.
  • Also think about products you could make that look and taste good—jams and chutneys, shortbread, cupcakes, chocolate truffles and flavoured oils in attractive bottles would work well. (But if you plan to sell homemade produce you might have to get your kitchen registered. Speak to your local authority to check the regulations in your area.)

Step 3: presentation

  • Don’t go over the top. Some shredding to fill up the empty spaces, Cellophane wrapping and a bow will be perfect. If you want to add more luxury you could tie a ribbon right around the hamper (this is also a good way to hide the bunching of the Cellophane), or drop in some foiled chocolates.
  • If you’re given a gift, keep any ribbons or bows that are on it—they might come in handy for your hampers.

Step 4: costings

  • To work out how to price your hamper, you need first to consider how much it cost to make—include the items inside, the basket itself, the decorations, advertising and delivery costs.
  • Second, your time: how long does it take to make a hamper? Consider how much you’d like to pay yourself an hour and incorporate this into the costs.
  • Once you’ve a good idea of how much each hamper costs to make and distribute, you can decide how much you’re going to mark the price up depending on the quality of your hamper, and also compared to the price of similar hampers in the shops.

Step 5: selling

  • Try your local car-boot sale first, particularly the cheaper ones—you’ll get a chance to see what the response is. Also advertise locally in newspapers and shops, or on the web (as long as you can deliver nationwide).

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