PROS / The website makes ordering easy, with good customer service and lots of payment and delivery options.
CONS / Few of the baskets contain anything but food items.
VERDICT / With delicious foods, great service and beautiful baskets, Harry & David is the best gift basket service, especially for traditional gift baskets.
Long the standard when it comes to gourmet food gifts, Harry & David is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for the best online gift baskets. Although its selection is small compared to some of the other top gift basket companies – Harry & David offers mostly food and not many other items – it does have a strong selection of truly gourmet gifts, and its convenience features, customer service and shipping options make it stand out from the rest. This company creates its baskets in-house, meaning all the items that go into it are chosen and placed by Harry & David employees rather than pre-arranged baskets being ordered and shipped from a central warehouse that might service multiple companies. There is a commitment to carefulness with this company that is uncommon.
Website Convenience Features
The website itself is clean and easy to use. In addition to the menus, you can use the search bar to find what you're looking for: romance gifts, graduation baskets or wine gift baskets, for example. When the website pulls up a list, you can further sort by the price, customer ratings or featured products.
The customer reviews, along with image zoom, help provide a realistic view of what your recipients will open, so these are great tools for helping you decide which basket to choose. If, however, you simply can't decide, this company offers gift certificates. These can make nice prizes for a contest or other event.
The products themselves are high quality. Everything in the baskets – cookies, breads and so on – is individually wrapped with nutrition information on the wrapping. The pears, Harry & David's signature item, come crisp, sweet and carefully packed so they do not bruise during shipping. You also have the option with many of the baskets to upgrade with more or different products, a nice feature for when you see something that is close to what you want but not quite enough for the occasion.
Payment & Delivery
As with nearly all the best online gift basket sites we reviewed, this company has third-party verification that ensures its website is secure for transactions, easing the concern about putting in your credit card information. This service also takes PayPal.
The shipping options are good and clearly explained. If you have multiple people to send gifts to, you'll especially appreciate the option to ship to multiple addresses. You'll input the address for each item separately but can pay for all of them at once. You can specify delivery dates and track orders as well. This service does not ship to other countries, but it does deliver to APO/FPO addresses, so you can buy gifts for your military member stationed overseas.
This gift basket service doesn’t quite have as broad a variety of products as some of its competitors, and you'll find few non-food items included. However, it has a terrific selection of bakery goods, chocolates, fruits and meats for its gift baskets. In addition, you'll find all the standard occasions and sentiments offered by most gift basket services, plus a few extras including kosher and host-specific gifts. The website also has a section for sale items for those times when you aren't sure what to get and don’t mind bargain shopping.
If you are looking for gift baskets for your corporation, whether for an event or to impress a client, this company can help you. In addition to personalizing the basket with cards or ribbons bearing your logo, it can also add product samples or flyers from your company.
If you don’t think your friend or family member would be interested in gift baskets, you can get gift towers (which are stacked boxes of decreasing size, each containing goodies), vases, even some unique items like teakettles. Another fun gift idea your recipient can enjoy throughout the year is membership in a basket-of-the month club. You will also find an array of holiday gift baskets and those that fit occasions like weddings, graduations and birthdays.
Help & Support
Harry & David's website offers a comprehensive customer service section that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. A left-hand sidebar lists various customer service topics, and you can peruse the frequently asked questions for specific answers. Not only does the company provide customer support via telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week – the website also has online chat.
If you or your recipient is not fully satisfied with some or all of the products in the basket, you can find the return and exchange policy on the website. It is a generous standard that offers an "appropriate replacement or refund," and highlights the attention to detail that goes into Harry & David gifts, down to the curl of the ribbons.
While it may not have as wide a variety of products as some of the other gift basket websites we reviewed, Harry & David is our favorite gift basket service because of its strong selection of delicious foods, good quality and excellent features that make shopping and shipping easy. It's a great site to check out when looking for a special, if somewhat traditional, gift basket for a family member, friend or client.