Ten Things to NOT Put in Your Gift Baskets

Ten Things to NOT Put in Your Gift Baskets

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Of course all of these items that you shouldn’t put in gift baskets come with the caveat that some people do in fact need these things. That said, many times, people already have a lot of these things on hand.  In fact, people usually have nicer versions of these things already, too.

So what shouldn’t I put in my gift baskets?

When going to give a gift basket, think to yourself, “would I want to have this thing?

Also ask yourself, “would this person want to have this thing?” The needs of a fresh university graduate are a lot different than the needs of a 40-something minimalist!

Do you know what to avoid putting in gift baskets? Things that people don't actually want or need? This list has changed the way I think about making gift baskets for gift giving and for fundraisers. Pin it to keep it in mind!

And now, on to the list:

Ten Things to NOT Put in your Gift Baskets

1 – Plastic Measuring Scoop Sets

Most already have measuring cups so this is a great thing to not put into gift baskets.


Unless they are good ones that would be considered an upgrade, most people have a set already.

Here are some good quality versions to check out, instead:



2 – Cheap Bowls

The same as above.  Bowls are large.  Does the person have a place to store this?  Will it be a welcome addition to their home?

3 – Body Wash

Lots of ladies are “awash” in body wash already.  Ditto for lotion.  Many people already have their favourites, have sensitive skin, or are particular about which scents they like to have.

Skip this item.


4 – Baking Pans

Are they likely to already have this type of pan?  Are you planning to give just one of these pans? Muffin tins that don’t stack drive me nuts.  Shaped ones, like perhaps a Thomas the Tank Cake Pan,  however, are different!


5 – 800 Spatulas or Wooden Spoons

A new spoon or a new heat resistant spatula is nice.  Ten more for your drawer is too many!

6 – Ice Cream Scoops & Pizza Cutters

Again, most people already have these items. If you are going to give one, make sure it is a very good quality one that represents an upgrade, not something that needs to finds its way to the thrift store quickly.


7 – Single Mugs or Glasses

Unless the person has a wide variety of coffee mugs, many people prefer their matching sets. Single wine glasses? Awesome when you’re a student, after that, not unless you’re Jules Cobb. That being said, you could take a different approach. Consider a more practical gift like this Giant Wine Bottle Wine Glass which is perfect for a party of one. 

8 – Colander

Colanders, like bowls, take up a lot of space and you only need so many in the house.  If you plan to use one, opt for a collapsing one, to be an upgrade for the recipient.


9 – Summer Sausage & Non-Refridgerable Cheese

As per Kathleen, this one usually applies at a time where people are receiving lots of gift baskets, like the passing of a loved one. The contents of the multitude of gift baskets tend to all be the same!


10 – Loofah


Like with the body wash, many people already have a collection, and a great number of people do not use a loofah at all.


What else do you recommend to NOT put in your gift baskets?

Do you know what to avoid putting in gift baskets? Things that people don't actually want or need? This list has changed the way I think about making gift baskets for gift giving and for fundraisers. Pin it to keep it in mind! #gifts #giftbasket Bad gift ideas | Fundraising tips | How to give good gifts

19 thoughts on “Ten Things to NOT Put in Your Gift Baskets”

  1. One thing I do recommend putting is a wine bottle stopper. We received one and it's great for the half empty bottle of wine you likely have at the end of the night! great idea!

  2. Perfume! Lots of people have bought me perfume that I hate the scent of, or that I've never used.

  3. I wouldn't mind a loofa if it was a good quality one. It's always nice to have a new one because even the nice ones get old.

    1. Anne - Unique Gifter

      Fair point… you are welcome to the collection I donate to the thrift store every year… to sit next to more that they already have!

  4. I disagree about the body wash and lotions. I've made many baskets for fundraisers/auctions and gifts for my assistants, and one of the ones I get requests for its the Bath/Body Basket. Bath and Body Works has such a wonderful array of things, that it's quite simple to put in some scrubs, a lotion, a pedicure stone, lip balm and (sorry) a pouf!

    During holidays, there are great seasonal products, and the added bonus of something sweet that goes along with your basket theme is always a treat! I've made so many of those, I've lost track.

    I make another requested one, esp at Christmas, is a gingerbread one. In a beautiful seasonal mixing bowl, add some matching dishcloths, a gourmet gingerbread mix, a Mercury ornament, and I've included some wooden spoons that have gingerbread men on them (I found them at World Market) — there's a auction I make things for often, and that one goes quickly with loads of bids.

    1. Anne - Unique Gifter

      If you have an audience that is keen for them, then by all means!
      Most folks I know get inundated with body wash products every Christmas season and end up regifting them or donating them to charity.
      That gingerbread bowl sounds adorable :-)

      1. I find that if you want to give a body wash or scented candle, it is best to go with a natural scent rather than a floral or a blended scent. Vanilla works well for a lot of people.

  5. People are supposed to replace loofahs every couple of months. I think they're always necessary! I agree with the body wash and lotion though… I'm picky with scents…

  6. One of my sisters gives gift baskets of lotions, body wash, hand wash from bath and body works/ Victoria secrets I love them.
    I leave lotions out in my bathrooms and in guest bedrooms when visitors come over.
    They are always used.

  7. So basically you are saying: "don't put things in the basket the receiver already has, doesn't need or doesn't like". Does that really need to be said?
    Sorry, but I came here expecting some noteworthy suggestions from someone who's been there and done that and is sharing the experience for the betterment of her fellow human beings' lives… in stead this list sounds like your personal list of yet another this or that you are tired to tears to find in a gift basket.
    Most gift baskets I've seen are very impersonal, and pretty cheap, created to be given to people one doesn't have a very intimate relationship with. Knowing that there will ALWAYS be someone who is allergic to this or have a strong opinion about that, which makes it impossible to create a gift basket that is great to everyone. Also, most adult people already have everything they need, and if they don't, they are quite capable of going and getting it exactly the shape, size and color they prefer.
    Even though I agree with you in that if you give a gift, it could just as well something worth giving and you should put some thought into it, I also think that the receiver of a gift has a responsibility of appreciating the gift, WHAT EVER IT IS, just because it is a gift. You really don't want to be that person who sent some of her wedding guests a very bitchy note because the gift they gave her wasn't valuable enough…

    1. Anne - Unique Gifter

      Yes, it does need to be said, because these items are very, very frequently included in gift baskets and taking a moment to pause and exclude them reduces the amount of guilt around disposal or regifting and reduces the amount of unnecessary stuff in the world. The list was put together having consulted with several people, who have been there and done that.
      Yes, a recipient does have a responsibliity to appreciate the gift, there is nothing here that would suggest otherwise! Being gracious is important.

      1. Your list is great. I have found the information rather helpful. Yes, a lot of people already know this, but your reasoning is helpful.

  8. How about a list of the 10 most popular things to put in a fundraiser basket? I would love to see that.

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