Is La Bella Baskets a Scam?
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Today I want to introduce you to a home based business, La Bella Baskets. Please note I said this a home business, not a job! If you've read my articles about My #1 Free Recommendation, you already know that running a business isn't for everyone. It involves a lot more than just showing up to earn a check which we all know some of us can get away with in certain jobs. With a business, you're the boss, you determine how much money you make and when you work. That being said, there are cost involved to start a business and there is a strong likelihood that initially your ROI isn't great. But for the business minded people that are willing to stick through and work their business until they succeed, it can pay off many times over. Any of my loyal subscribers that have been following me long enough know I'm living proof of this (See how by clicking here). In any event now that we have that disclaimer out the way, let's get into how you can make money with this BUSINESS.
What Is La Bella Baskets?
La Bella Baskets is a company that does just what it sounds like they do, sell gift baskets. They have been around since 2009. They hire independent designers to come up with interesting and unique basket theme designs. There is a master warehouse in Texas where most of the baskets are put together, and shipped. All items are shipped within 24-48 hours, standard shipping.
La Bella Baskets prides themselves in providing over 200 unique themes, some your typical things like get well, birthdays, weddings and babies. Other baskets are more unique like the spa, care packages, pets, kosher, and gardening. Each theme will have an option for a cookies or flower based basket, but most baskets will have a variety of items relating to the specific theme. Their prices are comparable to what you find from a Google search, typically around the $29.99 range to the $79.99 range.
So what separates La Bella Baskets from the rest of the pack?
Okay if you're anything like me you're probably thinking to yourself okay and? What makes this company different and a viable business when you have some other well known players in the space that do this business? I just thought to myself how can someone compete against those established brands that have TV commercials and wide exposure? Honestly I didn't find much in the way of a unique selling proposition.
The one thing that may be something that differentiates them is their Basket of Hope Program. Each month they deliver to single moms a La Bella Basket of Hope that is filled with beautiful Spa and Bath essentials. La Bella Baskets has a deeply held belief that every single mom needs to be nurtured and to find a calm place in their lives to relax, melt away stress, rejuvenate, heal. This is a key element of their philosophy of supporting women. Consultants nominate people they know to receive a Basket of Hope. Look I think that's a great thing from a personal and karma stand point. But I still don't see anything about the company that makes it a game changer in their space. Please keep in mind I'm not infallible so maybe someone from the company can enlighten me. But on the surface, I don't see how the company is set up to help their independent contractors compete against bigger players or someone just going to their local flower shop.
How to do you make money selling baskets?
Allegedly La Bella Baskets cannot sell all these baskets alone, they would never make enough to cover costs, so they recruit Independent Contractors, “Professional Basket Consultants,” to sell the baskets for them. La Bella handles making, creating, packaging and shipping the baskets. What they need from their consultants are customers. You earn 20% commission on each basket sold through your site. As you build the business volume and build your team, you might be able to earn up to 35% . I'd focus on the 20% number for now if I were you. You also earn $15 for each referral you find for a new work at home consultant who wants to sell baskets.
To ensure that their consultants are always the ones making money. La Bella Baskets has a policy where no one can buy anything directly from the La Bella Basket Website or Facebook page. You must buy through one of their contractors. Now this part I really like! It shows me they are dedicated to their people's success and are not greedy. What's even better is that the company sends referrals to you via their website and through their consultants Facebook posts. So they're really about their independent sales force. I guess that definitely separates them from the well known companies out there.
How do I get paid?
You get paid every other week, through PayPal which can be a good or bad thing depending on your feelings on PayPal. Personally I like it because it gives me access to my money instantly once it's in the account. In any event, your commission is only on the price of the item, and not on any sales tax or shipping that they collect. There are no quotas to meet, you get your commission on what you sold, not matter how big or small. This is definitely a plus for those of you that hate the opportunities that require a minimum threshold amount to get your money. Like most home business and traditional work at home jobs, you are 100% responsible for paying income taxes to Uncle Sam yourself. As annoying and scary as this sounds it can actually be a good thing because you have a lot more things that can be written off as an expense that you can't do as an employee. But consult your tax professional as Eddy is not an expert in such matters which my lawyer has insisted I express. lol
How much can I expect to make?
Commission on one basket is $20. If you sold one basket a day it would be $600 a month or $7200 a year. You can do the math from there. If you add in two referrals a month, at $15 each or $30 a month more (an additional $360 a year). It honestly depends on how hard you work, and how much traffic you can get to your website. This is pretty much the spiel for most online businesses. So if you don't know how to get traffic to your website, this may be a barrier. That's one of the reasons I love My #1 Free Recommendation because they teach you how to get thousands of people coming to your website instead of the other way around.
What kind of costs are there going to be to set up my home business?
As I said before, this is a business, not a work at home job, so you should expect some kind of start up cost but you will be surprised at how little you really need for this particular opportunity. The required cost is a $20/monthly fee to La Bella Baskets. They GIVE you a store website with the entire catalog of products and ordering portals etc, and they also give you a marketing website. They take care of all the money and shipping. In case you did not properly process that tidbit… you don't have to worry about collecting money, or becoming “BFFs” with the UPS or Postal workers. They take care of that entire end of things. All you need to worry about is educating people about the product so they hopefully purchase it.
It should be noted that they frequently run a 7 day trial for $1.97 where you would have access to everything they offer including all the training before you decide to join. I think this is great for you tire kickers out there. It gives you a taste of the business before you fully commit yourself. It also shows me they're confident enough in their business to give you a trial because they've probably figured out the math in which a good portion of people end up staying on board. So that's a plus in my book. My #1 Free Recommendation does something like this as well, but it's better. They will let you try their business for FREE and for as long as you want! So you're not pressured into making a decision because of clicking clock.
Will LaBella Baskets help me learn how to do all this stuff?
As a businessman, the biggest problem I see is how are you going to compete with the big players in the space? As a trained online business owner I already know how I would do this using long tailed keywords & SEO. Because the fact of the matter is that if your website isn't on Google's Page #1 for some type of basket or gift search word, you might as well forget it. Fortunately La Bella Baskets is aware of this and helps you out. Once you sign up you are assigned a mentor who is available 24/7. You get some basic Internet marketing training that explains the different marketing approaches you can take. As you grow the business, more detailed Internet Marketing Lessons and are geared to your specific marketing approach. All training materials, templates, brochures, monthly newsletters for online and offline marketing are available for download by paid members of La Bella Baskets. This is probably where some of your $20 per month goes. They obviously use some of it to invest in creating a training center for you. I think this is a great plus because without any training, you'll never be able to compete with experienced marketers like myself and the big corporations. It's the reason why I emphasize it so much on this site and why I cringe when I hear from people that they decided to start a website without training especially when it's free here. To me that's like saying I'm going to climb Mount Everest in a zebra print speedo and some flip flops. Oh you can try it if you want, but I guarantee it won't turn out well! So it's good to see that La Bella Baskets understands the importance of training it's business owners. It's not an option, it's a requirement for success!
Has anyone made money with this?
As far as I can tell, those folks who have been willing to put the work in using good, solid Internet marketing strategies are making money. The company is just over a year old, so you won't find what I really love to find, which is a history of people who have made money over time. Hopefully they are a company that lasts the test of time.
Here is a quick summary of the things they do I generally like a lot.
-You have a product that you know there is interest in, we see gift baskets all the time,
-They take care of the money and shipping, that is huge in my book.
-Even better, they take care of the actual baskets, you do not have to buy any products yourself, like some home party companies make you do.
-They give you the online store website, so you do not need to learn anything about making a website.
-You should be able to build a solid list of repeat customers which is what will sustain your business over time.
-You get paid on a regular basis, no quotas. I can't tell you how big of a thumbs up that is for me and most people.
-They provide training, right there on their site, which sadly, many companies do not do.
-They use Pay Pal for payments which is like instant gratification because there is no waiting for a check in the mail assuming you have a Paypal debit card like I do!
-The IM training, the marketing strategies they suggest are something you will be able to use in all your other projects and many future projects in affiliate marketing.
-For some they will say the $20 is a con so I will mention it here. Look if you don't have the $20, you don't have it. Then there are some people that are under the misguided impression that paying for anything related to working at home is a scam. But these folks don't understand the difference between a business and a job. In most cases you need money to start a business because of the cost of getting it started. Sometimes you get luck and find a company like my top recommendation, Wealthy Affiliate that will help you start your work at home business for free. But for most businesses you need to invest money. But if you can't afford the start up cost, then that's going to be a con for you.
-Even though it is not a requirement, you will probably have to get referrals to truly boost your income. I have nothing against referrals as they are legitimate part of most online businesses. I just know that some folks dislike doing this because they feel the only way they can get referrals is by harassing family and friends. If La Bella Baskets does a great job of teaching you internet marketing, that shouldn't be the case. After all I've made a living referring total strangers to legitimate opportunities that I've tried and recommended. So this optional part of the business may be a con for some of you. But keep in mind the operative word here is that it's optional.
-Even though you can cancel your membership at anytime, it must be in writing and there is a 30 day wait to fully close down you account, which means another $20 goes to them. My guess is the 30 days is to let any pending orders fully process which I guess makes some sense. But It still seems a bit funny style to me to make people jump through hoops to cancel. It really should just be a matter of clicking a button and that's it.
-As I've implied or flat out stated many times in this article, competition is a major concern for me here. You're competing against established brands with deep pockets for advertising on multiple mediums such as TV, the web, etc. Because I've been trained very well, competition means nothing to me. I'm in one of the most competitive industries and I do pretty well because I have that free training I received and people seem to enjoy my babbling on (Well I hope you do.). But if you're a newbie, this may seem very daunting to you. Since I'm not actually a member of La Bella Baskets, I can't really speak about their training material. Hopefully they are up to snuff and do teach you some great internet marketing because your success will be dependent on it to compete against the bigger boys. If it is decent, then you're in a great place and don't need to worry about competition. But I can definitely seeing that competition may be an area of concern for people.
Conclusion, Is La Bella Baskets a scam?
At the end of the day, despite some of the minor cons this company looks to me like a solid, honest way to get started in a home business. All you need to do is get customers, they take care of all the rest. When it comes to multiple streams of income, this sort of thing could possibly fit right into your portfolio of money making opportunities. I like it because the cash output is minimal, and if you put in the work, you have the chance to bring in extra dollars to you pocket. So, no this does not scream scam to me.
I also appreciate the fact that the gift basket industry has been rated as one of the top 20 successful home business by Small Business Magazine. This is obviously a good sign. But just keep in mind you won't be successful by just joining the company. Contrary to the movie “Field of Dreams”, people won't come just because you build it. The same goes for those folks that build websites with slapped up affiliate links that lack the training to bring visitors in. Success is all about what you put into it and the training you have! If you were to do a Google Search with the phrase “gift baskets” you will get over 10 million results, so it is safe to say this is a popular and highly competitive business. The good news is that at the time of this article, a whole bunch of the first and second page results are independent companies, so the big guys (Amazon, FTD 1800 ) do not have a tight grip on the market. It shows me that some of these smaller companies really know their internet marketing stuff which is great for you provided that La Bella Basket is giving you some great training. If you learn your stuff, you can get any page ranked high in Google.
That being said, I would be totally off base if I made it seem like the only way to succeed with this business is using the web. It's probably the way I would do it but it doesn't mean it has to be your way. I think if you live in an area where there are not readily accessible florist/gift basket businesses, the fliers and promo material they provide, you could build your business the old fashioned way. You can even have ads in the local newspapers, business cards and even home parties. Local businesses often use these sorts of places for employee thanks, so there is another avenue. For me in NYC, that would not work so well, but small communities it could be an option for you. So there are definitely different ways to succeed with this business. I'm just a web guy so sometimes I get all narrow minded. So forgive me. lol
In any event, although I think the company is legit, the fact the company is so young is something to keep an eye on. You just have to do what I preach all the time and watch for red flags. Are the payments sent on time? Are they accurate? Is the website keeping track of your sales correctly? All the things you should be doing no matter what kind of work at home income you are involved in. If you know me, you know “Due diligence” & “Read, don't skim” are my favorite words!
So should you join La Bella Baskets?
What do I look like you dad? I am not going to tell you what you should do here. You guys are grown and intelligent folks. I've done my job by laying out what my research team has discovered about this company. You have to take all I've told you and mix it up in your head and come out with a decision that is right for you. You already know I'm about empowering you guys to make your own decisions. Yes, I think that highly of you.
So take everything I've written here with a grain of salt. Then take the feedback of the reps that will probably chime in below and work from that. Just keep in mind any opportunity is going to have sore points for people. I don't know of one work at home company that everyone loves. There is always a con for somebody. Be extremely wary of people that make it seem like their opportunity is perfect because they're full of it and may try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge while they're also stealing your wallet.
Well that's enough of my jibber jabbing. If you've worked for this company or ever considered it, we would love to hear from you below. If this company doesn't appeal to you and you're looking for another alternative, be sure to check out My #1 Free Recommendation here! I've been able to work at home full time because of it and I'm confident in time you will be able too as well!
For those of you that have no interest in being the boss and want a traditional work at home job, just visit our work at home jobs page. If you want to figure out if something is a scam and need to know right away, then visit my work at home scams page and watch the video listed there. That's how I research many companies. And finally if you like what you've read be sure to share it with anyone you might think it will help. We make it easy with the items listed below this article. Feel free to subscribe as well if you like my babbling. Thanks for taking time to read this. Hopefully it entertained and educated you.
Until next time,
Eddy with a Y!