How Much Should You Spend on a Client Gift?

Research conducted with gift recipients reveals how much you should spend
In recent posts we’ve talked about the nuts and bolts of corporate giving: what to give, as well as how to differentiate yourself in the gift choices you make.  But we’ve not tackled one big question: what is the proper amount to spend on a gift?  Should you spend more on certain clients and less on others?  What about within the same company?
The latest Business Gift Satisfaction Report by Knack provides some guidance, based on a survey conducted with 1049 individuals who had received a business gift within the last year.

There is good news for gift givers: on the whole, recipients of business gifts don’t have high expectations on the cost of the gift itself. The survey showed that recipients don’t expect to receive gifts that cost over $150.

There are a few differences across demographic groups and regions of the U.S. that may be exceptions to this rule. C-Suite executives and people in the Northeast have a higher expectation of gift spend, while women, Midwesterners, and Baby Boomers generally have lower expectations. Still, the research provides a handy rule of thumb around spending ranges for gifts based on the occasion as well as the business seniority of the recipient.

For an important business milestone, for C-suite clients, or for your most valuable clients, consider spending between $140 and $160 on your gift. Only 10-12% of recipients surveyed suggested that partners or vendors should spend more than $200. In that case, if your gift is going to a senior executive in New York or Boston, you might consider spending a bit more.

To celebrate a promotion, or to give gifts to mid-level managers, or to thank loyal clients, research suggests spending in the $75 to $100 range. And for junior level clients, for holidays, or work anniversaries, the expectation is a spend between $50 and $65.



Most people who receive gifts indicated in the survey that they have a strong perception of their value. That’s not just a sense of what your gift cost, but also the time and thought that was put into it. It’s important to ensure your gift is personal, as opposed to quickly considered or random. Also, enhancing gifts with a beautiful gift wrapping or a thoughtful note, helps gift recipients to know that they are valued, no matter what the final spend may be.

Always, no matter what the value, be thoughtful in your gifts. The last response you want is a millennial mocking your gift on Instagram. Browse the site and rest assured you can make someone feel very special while staying within these price points.



As we have said in previous posts, the fact that you are giving a gift means you understand the value of giving in growing and maintaining business relationships.  Now you can feel confident that what you spend is appropriate, and remember: it’s the little things, such as the relevance of the gift, the “unboxing” experience, and the thoughtfulness of your note that should truly stand out for your recipients. Not necessarily the price tag.

Knackshops” “Business Gift Satisfaction” report