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Finding a good coffee gift shop isn’t so much confusing as overwhelming! There are so many of them nowadays, both online and off, that it may be hard to know which ones are the best.
So how do you go about choosing the best coffee gift store? This article offers nine tips on choosing the gifts yourself:
- Do you buy coffee online or offline?
- Should you buy REAL Coffee Beans?
- What about subscriptions?
- Range of goods & quality
- Pricing & Payment
- Online Assistance
- Feedback from Customers
- Delivery Options
- Wrapping Options
Online or offline?
If you are the kind of person who likes to touch, feel and see real things, then you will prefer going to a real coffee gift shop where you can smell the delicious aromas, feel the coffee mugs or cups, and perhaps even taste a little of the excitement that coffee drinkers share. Of course, this helps a great deal when you are choosing gifts for the people in your life.
But these days, buying coffee gifts can be done so easily from online retailers, too. With fast shipping, quick service, and competitive pricing, it’s difficult to fault online coffee shops for their service. I would suggest looking for online retailers that have better returns policies as well.
Buy Real Coffee Beans
If you prefer to buy coffee beans locally, there are a number of roasters scattered in cities and towns throughout the country. Some have pre-made baskets like a conventional coffee gift shop while others just sell what you need to make your own.
Shops, such as Hemisphere Coffee Roasters in Ohio, often give back a little to local charities and humanitarian organizations. So, when you shop at these establishments, you may feel that it is a great way to help give back to your community while finding a delicious gift for a friend or loved one.
You can also patronize your local Starbucks or other coffee shop. These establishments often offer the same arrangements as an online coffee gift shop but you save the cost of shipping and avoid the damage that sometimes occurs during delivery.
Buy a subscription, instead!
One very convenient way to buy a coffee gift is to choose a subscription from an online retailer. It’s the gift that keeps on perking! Many subscription type services all you to give a gift subscription of a different coffee each month, so that you don’t have to worry about choosing which coffee to suit.
And it’s a good way for your friend to try some roasts that don’t make it into the larger chains or supermarkets! Many coffee retailers offer subscriptions along with their other hand-wrapped gifts, special finds and tools. Each month your friend will get a bag of beans from an independent roaster to try out!
Range of goods vs. Quality of goods
While it’s tempting to purchase coffee from retailers with large stocks of products, you may find better quality products at the smaller coffee shops around town.
Perfect Coffees is another online coffee gift shop you will enjoy. They give good value, particularly if you’re trying to convert someone from supermarket coffee to finer tasting beans or grinds.
Perfect Coffees carries conventional brands such as Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Gevalia and Boston’s Best coffees. Not exactly exotic but a “safe” way to introduce a better coffee experience without overwhelming your friend or relative!
For instance, you can get a basket with four types of coffee and cocoa, cappuccino filled candy, several types of cookies and a tin of biscuits for a very affordable price. Just before the Christmas season, many retailers will offer such coffee gift baskets, even Starbucks.
You may be watching your shopping budget at Christmas, so it’s important to get good clear pricing to help you complete your shopping. Whether online or offline, check prices carefully so that there are no nasty surprises when you purchase coffee making equipment.
A typical example might be buying a French Press, when you forgot to put in a decent coffee spoon; or a gold filter, if the model of drip coffee maker you bought didn’t have one already.
Comparing prices between stores will also help you to control your budget. But sometimes it’s difficult to compare brands of coffee beans exactly, since recently coffee prices have been fluctuating quite a lot. But let me emphasize: cheap coffee beans are cheap – for a good reason!
Online assistance at a coffee gift shop can be for all manner of issues: payment issues, delivery problems, technical assistance for your coffee maker, etc…
Look for customer service departments that are reported to be very cooperative and efficient, too. Often this will be noted in coffee blogs, related pages, and in customer reviews and feedback.
Often websites will have phone numbers to contact, email addresses, contact forms, and chat enabled features. You may also see forums, faqs and knowledge based wikis that can provide assistance, but in reality a quick response from service personnel can save hours of frustrating trolling of wikis, faqs and forums.
Feedback from Customers
While it’s not possible to guarantee your success in shopping for coffee gifts, that each and every product will be perfect; it’s wise to check feedback from customers on different products.
Some web retailers, especially the largest ones are good at aggregating feedback from their own customers, to give other customers a little more help when purchasing.
With a pressing deadline as many occasions are, you need to be sure that you can get your coffee gifts in the recipient’s hands (or yours) in plenty of time. At a major holiday, such as Christmas, this can be extra difficult.
So check that there is enough delivery time for your chosen method of delivery, and don’t try to order items that are already out of stock. You may find that restocking takes place too late to fulfill your order!
I’m liable to choose the fastest method of delivery (which varies from site to site) if I must have the present by a certain date. Otherwise, I’ll generally choose the more economical method where delivery isn’t so prompt.
Do you like to wrap your coffee gifts yourself? Or are you all fingers and thumbs, like me? If so, a wrapping service may be a useful way to avoid hours of fighting with tape, paper and scissors the night before Christmas!
If it’s affordable, then why not do it. If you’d like to assemble and present your own basket in person rather than order from a coffee gift shop, they may help you to pack your own outsize present.
Aside from the variety of offerings, the most important things in choosing a coffee gift shop is knowledge of their product and their customer service policies. Good luck on buying your coffee gifts, let’s hear from you how things went this coming shopping season, especially if you had a wonderful or terrible shopping experience!
For more useful tips about coffee gifts just subscribe to our newsletter to get our 2015 Gift Buying Guide.