The online shops that I tend to order from the most are Amazon or Play. Both are fairly equal in the way they package items (inappropriately) and deal with customer returns (very well).
Although Play has the edge over Amazon when it comes to packaging. Sometimes this is pure chance that the things I have ordered have come undamaged but when I order from Play they do make a little more effort to protect the shipment. And I have never had a book or any other item for that matter that has been damaged from them.
While Amazon usually have more products and are often better priced I feel safer ordering from Play. So I am willing to spend just a little more to go with them if they have what I am looking for. This means a lot because I do all my shopping online and I get really sick of sending things back because they simply aren't packaged properly for transit.
So if Play expand their range of products and match prices with Amazon I will favour Play. I really hope they take into consideration how they package products because they can improve vastly in this area as can Amazon and many other big online retailers.
As yet I have only complained about certain online retailers because my outrage dealing with them brought me to this site so this review is of a retailer that actually gets it. Drjays is a fine example of online retailing and how it should be. Firstly their website is exceptional with excellent presentation, clear photos of the products, easy navigation and the option to view products in order of them being added so you don't miss a thing.
There is one problem in that they don't give individual sizes of clothes which means as it is based in the USA I have learnt it is too risky and too expensive (for returns) to buy jeans. It is also pretty risky buying tops but since I regularly buy the same brands I have come to find what their typical sizes are and have mostly avoided disappointment. When I first started buying from Drjays a few years ago I ended up having to resell a lot of stuff on eBay because of this as it was too expensive to send back.
The customer service is second to none. I have ordered a considerable amount from Drjays and a couple of items have turned out to be damaged or faulty. However my emails were replied to within one day and replacements were sent out hassle free.
More recently Drjays have introduced an incredibly good value shipping method for overseas which determines any tax at the time of sale and is the cheapest shipping from the USA I have ever had to pay. My last order was bought with this method which is an economy post but arrived just a few days after my order. When I first started ordering from them shipping was with FedEx or a similar service which was grossly expensive. When it arrived in the UK it would often be taxed and I would be charged a ridiculous admin fee which would altogether almost double the price of what I had paid for the products. Thankfully those days are over and with the new shipping method and currency exchange rates plus the offers on the site you can get some great bargains.
Which brings me to my last point. The prices on Drjays for the products themselves are much better than any UK shop and there are often reductions and offers which make shopping with them a no brainer. I only wish that the fashion currently wasn't so loud and crass as I tend to prefer slightly more minimal and mature designs. They do have more minimal/ mature clothing from time to time and when they do I snap them up.
So all in all a great shopping experience with excellent customer service, huge selection of products with great photos, easy payment system and delivery... They just need to get more accurate fitting guidelines. If not for every article but for every brand. I hope Drjays continues to be successful and that other online shops follow suite.
Let me start with just saying that Paypal is potentially a great online service. The website and payment system is very good and it makes online payment very easy without the need to always fill in all your details.
However the thing that bothers me the most about Paypal is the amount of money they charge for seller transactions. It is phenomenal and i'm really confused as to how they can legally get away with it. Almost every time you receive money you are charged a massive fee for a minimal service. If you're sending money sometimes you get stung and if you don't the other person does. I sell on eBay regularly and by the time eBay has taken insertion fees + final value fees + Paypal fees you are left feeling like you've been robbed.
The security it claims to provide is only available if you buy on eBay not other sites and even with eBay I have had many a dispute unjustly favoured towards ruthless buyers or sellers. If you are one of the many people who find yourself in a desperate situation don't for the love of God phone the customer service hotline. You will be paying a premium rate to have someone basically tell you they couldn't care less.
It seems that all Paypal care about is making big profits. I suspect once more alternatives pop up Paypal will be forced to introduce more competitive pricing for transactions or it will fade into oblivion.
Jodine Rose found this review useful
As an example, just recently I bought an expensive RAID enclosure that has taken three attempts to complete the order and a period of almost a month in waiting time. The first time it came it was sent in a box which survived the deadly pitfalls of Royal Mail/ Parcel Force handling. Although once I opened it I found that the retail box was crushed and in tatters as if something hefty had driven over it. Some bright spark in the warehouse must have thought it was appropriate to send it in that state.
When I had to send the item back I arranged a specific date but Parcel Force arrived a day earlier. I had to drop everything I was doing and package it for them only for them to make out it was somehow my fault. Second time it arrived in the same packaging and on first inspection it looked fine albeit the seal was broken on the retail box. I then discovered the RAID enclosure itself had been badly handled by God knows who and had scratches all over it. I was hoping third time lucky but this time they thought it was suitable sending an expensive piece of hardware through the post in a plastic bag instead of a box so the retail packaging was crushed again. I inspected the hardware which finally was in reasonable shape so I just bit my tongue and moved on.
I just cannot believe that they are so completely careless about a product that cost over £200. Now if I decide to sell the item on it will be missing a box and therefore I lose money. This is simple stuff Ebuyer, get it right! In future I will avoid Ebuyer which is a great shame because they have great products at good prices. It just isn't worth the time and misery.
UPDATE: I ended up having to send the RAID enclosure back AGAIN because it was faulty and AGAIN they sent the item out simply wrapped in a thin bag even though I asked the customer service on the phone to please package it in a box as it kept getting damaged. Luckily this time the box is in slightly better condition and the RAID enclosure appears to be fine so now a good few months from my initial purchase I can finally put this dreadful experience behind me.
Helen Alderson found this review useful
Again another online retailer who couldn't care less how many products they damage through inappropriate packaging. The amount of times i've had to send books back, in particular, because they have carelessly thrown it in a box or unprotected envelope.
It's not just low cost items either, i've bought very expensive PC hardware and electronic goods that have been wrapped inadequately and arrived completely crushed and damaged. You'd think Amazon would be concerned about how much money they are losing due to this but it clearly doesn't seem to bother them at all. Very sloppy indeed and a terrible waste of everyone's time.
Obviously the good reason for shopping with Amazon is their prices and the option of a free delivery. I also shop with them because even though they rarely package items appropriately they tend to replace faulty or damaged items promptly and with no fuss. Their free returns system is actually quite effective and easy to use.
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