My friend Serena is one of those friends who gives excellent presents. Special occasions are important to her, and she thinks very carefully about gifts for many people.
When I ask her how she manages to get such great gifts, her response usually starts with ‘www’.
Like the rest of us, she’s very busy and knows that online shopping saves time on transport and parking, as well as being able to be done at odd hours.
And today, she shares some of her secrets with us. Lucky us 🙂 .
So when is online shopping actually useful? What can be purchased online these days?
Everything! I use it for groceries, alcohol, presents, books, clothes, shoes, baby items, bulk nappies, toys, jewellery, computer supplies, electrical items, costumes for birthday parties, party supplies and furniture.
I will always try and buy something online before I go to a shop to find it. And I always try and buy from an Australian website/Australian company. Pretty much the only exception to the online rule is jeans – you need to actually SEE how bad your ar*e looks in a pair of jeans.
With supermarkets, do you go for Woolies or Coles? Why?
I always used Woolies but they have recently changed their website which has resulted in a few functions that I am not happy with, so I have switched to Coles.
For online shopping, I have no brand loyalty to either company or even particularly pay attention to which items are on ‘extra-extra-extra special sale’ this week. It is all about functionality of the website and ability to be able to search for items easily and place an order very quickly.
Do you use an app?
Woolies has only just started to allow online shopping via an app. It is difficult to navigate but as it is only the first version, I am hoping that it will get better. I suspect Coles will be following shortly.
Do you ‘trust’ it with fruit and veg?
No, unfortunately not. I have had a couple of bad experiences. However, to combat this I have organised (online) for an organic fruit and veg box to be delivered from a farmers co-op, usually at the same time I organise for my shopping to be delivered so I only have to arrange for one period of time where I need to be home.
Nor do I trust it for any meat other than packaged organic chicken breasts or mince meat. But that just means the only shop I have to actually go to regularly is the butchers. I have found one in the back streets of a nearby suburb that always has parking out the front and often that is the only traditional shopping I do, generally on my way home from somewhere else.
Have you experienced any delivery/reliability problems?
No, never. If anything, I am the unreliable one because I can sometimes arrive home a bit late! I am lucky to live in an area with a high-level of regular deliveries but I have never once found the delivery times to be a problem.
Is it much more expensive than a ‘regular’ shop?
Absolutely not. It costs the same. Although I think it costs a lot less when I take into account the value of my time and lack of stress in trying to manage an uncooperative toddler in an uncooperative trolley. It also takes so much less time because you don’t miss items and have to go back through aisles you’ve already gone down trying to find the item. Just type in the word and the item appears!
How long does ‘your shop’ take each week?
It took a bit of time initially, but now that I menu plan and have all my lists of favourite items set up, I can do the entire shop, including payment, in 10 to 15 minutes every fortnight.
What do you look for in online shopping?
Free delivery is a big factor. I know all retailers have their overhead costs but given most of the places I shop with online don’t have an actual shopfront, I think that free delivery should be standard. Additionally, I like people to get back to me quickly when I ask a question about a product. Customer service is incredibly important, even on the internet.
Here’s the question we all need the answer to, what are your top sites for internet shopping?
Thanks Serena! Mums start your clicking!
Shopping for babies and children
The following six have impressive websites, fair delivery costs, lots of cool clothes and gifts and excellent customer service.
This company’s website is ugly and user-unfriendly but they have some great products I haven’t been able to find elsewhere: http://www.minimee.com.au
This website is changing online shopping in Australia. They have a great range of Australian designers, lots of products on sale, and they offer free overnight delivery in metro areas. Amazingly, they also offer three-hour delivery in Sydney for only $4.95: http://www.theiconic.com.au/
This shoe website offers free delivery: http://www.styletread.com.au/
For anyone who shops for products on sale, these sites are amazing: www.brandsexclusive.com.au and www.ladybub.com.au
It goes without saying that www.ebay.com.au has changed the way we shop forever. If you’re a Mum and you’re not shopping on ebay already, you are wasting valuable time and effort. Once you spend some time on ebay you will become a convert to second-hand goods too.
The best reason to shop on the internet is for those little products that you can’t find in shops but change your life. These are the sorts of products we should be sharing – the things that were never available to us previously because the big shops didn’t want to stock them. Some of these products (particularly baby-related) are:
http://prambles.com/ These have allowed me to keep using my umbrella stroller even when my toddler continually gets in and out. I was getting so annoyed with it falling over I didn’t want to use it anymore.
http://www.kozzzee.com.au/porta-snug.html I love the porta-snug. It has reduced my travel-cot related packing for trips by half and I was able to have it made in the colours and patterns of my choosing.
http://www.dashbaby.com.au has really cool baby wipes cases.
www.motherknowsbest.com.au/tvstrapsgifts.html are the best gadget I’ve found to keep your plasma TV strapped to your TV cabinet
http://www.jellystonedesigns.com fantastic baby-friendly jewellery
I do purchase from these websites and I really want to support big Australian retailers (if for no other reason than I can stop listening to Gerry Harvey’s constant whinging) but until they spend some serious time and money on their websites, they are fighting a losing battle. Every single one of the websites is limited in product range and is unnecessarily clunky.
Get clicking and save time!
What are your favourite shopping websites? Do you have any favourites you like to share?