How to buy fair trade Christmas presents

I’m certainty no expert at gift shopping…in fact…my mum used to exchange all the Christmas presents that I gave her…but…since I started Oz Fair Trade (formerly known as Global Handmade), I have improved my gift purchase skills a lot…at least that’s what I believe ūüôā

Now I want to share with you some tips about buying fair trade Christmas presents. Why fair trade presents? Because by buying fair trade presents, you are not only showing your love towards someone you care, but also you are also showing that person that you care for a better world and people who you have never met but who desperately needed your help.

By buying fair trade presents, you are giving twice.

There are some misconception that fair trade means higher prices. This is totally untrue. Most products sourced conventionally go through a number of middlemen, and the end price is often similar or even higher than fair trade products. The way fair trade market works is that the retailer deals directly with the artisans and/or the representatives of the artisan groups. This means that we as retailers are helping to cut down the middlemen cost and that we have better control over the quality of the products and the fair work practices of the artisan groups that we work with.

The end result is a fair price for the producers and a competitive price for the consumers. 

So…this Christmas, will you buying fair trade?

How to buy for mothers and grandmothers?

If you have a mother like mine…good luck…just kidding ūüėõ

I have found that hand made cushions and table runners seem to be popular with middle age female customers. They appreciate the details, the traditional methods and the uniqueness of each product. We have a few such beautiful cushions. All cushions come with Innergreen inserts which are made in Australia from recycled plastic water bottles. Now that’s eco-friendly all the way!

Our mothers and grandmothers will also appreciate Christmas tree decorations. We have very cute handmade angle and animal decorations.

How to buy for fathers and grandfathers?

I share your pain…it can be very difficult…but not this year! How about a recycled bombshell bottle opener? The coolest bottle opener ever! Check out other items in Gifts For Him.

How to buy for husband?

We offer you something more budget friendly and long lasting than PS4, latest phone etc. How about a bomb necklace for a cool gen or a beautiful travel photography calendar that supports over 40 Australian not-for-profits? Check out other items in Gifts For Him.

How to buy for wife? 

Again, we offer you more budget friendly options that make equally wonderful presents. How about a hand woven luxury silk scarf?¬†I have created a category¬†Gifts For Her¬†to make your shopping easier. Personally I think a woman will always want more¬†jewellery…you can easily find something cute, beautiful or outstanding to suit your wife’s style. Even if fashion jewellery is not her thing, I’m sure she’ll be intrigued by our special¬†recycled bombshell¬†jewellery range.

How to buy for siblings / friends / colleagues?

My tip is buy what interests them. We have categories for special interests such as vegan, eco-friendly, hand weaving, natural dye, embroidery and knitting. At each category level you can also shop by price. We hope to make your shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible!

How to buy for children?

It’s so hard to buy for little ones…their interests are constantly changing…

Our most popular children’s products are finger puppets hand knitted by Bolivian women. An eco-cushion is also a great choice to decorate a kid’s room.

How to buy for someone who has everything?

…try our Most Unique category. Good luck!

Greeting Cards

This Christmas, why not send a unique handmade greeting card along with your presents? We have greeting cards made with printed silk and jute paper. Check them out!

All purchases can be upgraded for individual¬†gift wrapping¬†for just $1 extra. This option can be added in the shopping cart. I will be personally doing all the wrapping, and I’m not kidding when I say I take gift wrapping seriously! ūüôā

Why not check out Oz Fair Trade’s full range of beautiful fair trade products online? I have sorted presents by¬†recipients¬†and interests so hopefully your Christmas shopping this year will be super easy! You can also find Oz Fair Trade products in some retail stores.¬†

p.s. we have just applied to the Fair Trader of Australia for their endorsement so please stay tuned. ūüôā

Free postage: is it really free?

free delivery

I still remember the shock of paying for postage when I first shopped online. At the time, not many e-commerce offered free postage, and often it was hidden until the last moment.

Today things are a lot better, and stores have learned that it is good practice to show postage cost up front. However, the postal cost in Australia is still one of the most expensive in the world. Especially when you try to send a small package which fits in a padded envelope, as soon as its depth is more than 2cm, it is considered a package and therefore, the postage cost starts from $6.95. The cost of sending overseas is even more shocking. It is almost always cheaper to send stuff home from overseas than the other way around.

For those of us who really want to offer the best customer service and offer free postage, we have elected to absorb the full postage cost. At Global Handmade, I initially offered free postage on all orders, but soon realised that it’s not feasible. The current policy is to offer free Express postage on all domestic orders above $50 and on all international orders above $150.

Now you might ask, is¬†the postage¬†really free, or is it built into the price? Since I started the business, I’ve gradually learned that the price of a product has little to do with¬†its cost and a lot to do with the demand and competition. In other words, I needed to guess whether a cheaper price or free postage was more attractive to consumers. I asked my customers what they preferred, and free postage stood out as a clear favourite. I believed this¬†was because the prices¬†Global Handmade¬†charged were already very competitive.

Then I did something crazy again. I decided to offer free return postage and allow 365 days for customers to change their mind. I took a risk. I saw it as a necessary risk, because I had full confidence in the quality of our products, and I wanted more people to give us a go. By providing a risk free trial, I’m essentially saying, “I bet you’ll love it”.