Jon’s best way to take people’s money


Cat Hamper – all your cat cravings satisfied and you get to keep the box

Demetri Martin says that he likes fruit baskets because it’s the only way to mail fruit to someone without appearing insane.

He’s right. Fruit is a wonderful gift, but you can’t just slip a lychee through a letter box. That’s called harassment. So fruit baskets play their part and the same goes for hampers. A hamper is a better present than a strange selection of loose foods.

But my point today is that you shouldn’t buy hampers because they are the best way to take money from people.

Last year, M&S and Waitrose both sold a hamper for £100. The cost of the ingredients inside was £43 and £47 respectively. Add a generous £10 for the basket or box and your still paying a £40 premium. This article is pretty mad about that profit margin.

The reality is though that people who buy £100 hampers probably aren’t poor. Hamper-makers are perhaps a bit like Robin Hood. They take from the rich (in exchange for some goods) and just haven’t quite got the give to the poor bit. But that’s close at least.

Maybe a modern day Robin Hood is sitting somewhere putting different things in boxes and selling them for double what they cost. He then gives his sneaky profits to homeless people or endangered penguins.

Well, if you’re out there, Robin, I’ve got some other hamper-based tips for you. Follow these and you will take more money from the rich and gullible.


1. Put a pen in it

If you’re struggling to create a multi-product gift set, just add a pen to it. Because when I put on aftershave I’m often thinking that this experience would be so much better with a pen in my hand. In fact a pen improves every gift.

Hey, I got you some flowers and a pen.

Here’s a trip to New Zealand… and a pen.

I bought you this goat, and also a pen.

2. Use loads of wiggly paper 


That way you can fill a giant basket on the cheap and make people think they have loads of stuff. Quality of life is best measured by the amount of stuff you think you have.

3. Put anything with anything else

Maybe you should just give up on the rules. Like the people who sell belts and wallets in the same box. ‘Quick, get me a belt and a wallet.’ Is something we never say or think. But still you might just buy that as a gift.

Really there are no rules – just put things together and double the price. Take this Origami and cake set as the perfect example. If you think your gift set is missing something – you probably haven’t added a pen yet.


That’s another best thing from me, folks. Have we changed your life yet?