So when a company called GourmetGiftBaskets.com contacted me to see if I wanted to do a review and possible giveaway, I thought, "Aha! This is my chance to unmask the trickery of the gift basket industry!"
No, seriously, that's exactly what I thought. I might have even twirled an imaginary mustache and wiggled an eyebrow while thinking it.
And then THIS showed up.
Pretty, isn't it?
Here it is without the plastic wrapping so you can see it a little clearer.
Still looks impressive There's a lot of fruit and some stuff in boxes. Let's unpack it, shall we? It looks full, but we don't know how much packing material is under there, right?
Here's everything that was packed into the basket.
That's a freakish lot of stuff. There were two pears, two oranges, three red apples, and two green apples. The other perishable item was some Cabot cheddar cheese (the red item in front of the fruit). The container to the left of the fruit is a caramel dip for fruit, but I'm more likely to use it for ice cream. And there were crackers, candy, popcorn, cookies and other snacky things.
And here's the basket, without packing materials and with all the items piled into the basket.
I didn't do a great job of re-packing in an attractive way. but you can see how full it still is. Yes, there were packing materials, but not a huge amount. I mean, you don't want fresh fruit bouncing all around, and there was some padding in the bottom to keep everything in place and looking good.
I don't think I could have packed it all so neatly and securely with less padding.
And the basket itself has uses after it's empty. It would make a nice picnic basket or a display basket. It might be a little big for a bread basket unless you're serving a huge crowd, but you could store magazines in it, or towels and goodies in a guest bathroom. Or ... I'm sure there are other uses.
Want to see another one?
This is a wine basket with a bottle each of red and white wine.
This one was packed pretty full, too. Check it out!
The wines are real wines by real wineries that sell in stores - not some weird-branded mysterious swill. And then there are other wine-related noshes and nibbles, including a small wheel of cheese and a chub of sausage.
I have no idea what wine wafers are (the large item in the back), but that's part of the fun of a basket like this. You get to try things that you might not be familiar with.
Instead of a wicker basket, this one was a metal-mesh basket with a cloth liner and metal handles with wooden grips. The cool thing about sending an actual basket to someone (rather than a box of stuff) is that after all the edibles are gone, the recipient has the basket to keep and use.
Just like the first basket, this one had just enough packaging to keep things neat and tight and safe and nicely arranged - particularly important since glass wine bottles are breakable.
So I guess I was fooled, eh? These are legit gift baskets that aren't overstuffed with Styrofoam. I have to say that I was pleased that I was wrong.
Anther great thing about ordering from this company is that there are no surprises when you're choosing a basket. Each description lists of all the basket items, including the brand names and the weight (or volume) of each item. You'll always know exactly what will be in the basket. Exactly.
Since I was pleased with these baskets, I've got a GIVEAWAY for you. One lucky winner will get the basket of their choice priced at $69.99 or less. If you want to splurge on a bigger basket, you can use the credit and pay the difference.
But trust me, there are plenty of gift baskets to chose from for $69.99 or less. Check out the Mother's Day Baskets! And, if you're not into baskets, there are cheesecakes, popcorn tins, cakes, chocolate-covered berries, and a whole lot more.
The giveaway will run past Mother's Day, but there are Father's Day baskets as well, or choose something for an upcoming birthday, or a treat for yourself. Many, many choices.
I received gift baskets from this company for myself, and they are providing the product for the contest winner as well.