Monday, May 27, 2024

Best and worst shops for delivery fees revealed as we investigate charges

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ONLINE shoppers face a dizzying array of delivery fees, with retailers charging up to £45 per order.

Here, Ellie Smitherman investigates the complex and confusing prices.

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Retailers are charging excessive amounts in delivery fees adding to the costly prices for consumersCredit: Getty
How retailers compare with delivery charges and the minimum spend they demand to qualify for 'free' delivery

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How retailers compare with delivery charges and the minimum spend they demand to qualify for ‘free’ delivery

ONLINE SHOPPING BOOM

INTERNET sales have increased by £11.1billion to £122.9billion since 2019, according to the British Retail Consortium.

In turn, this has fuelled a rise in delivery fees.

Richard Hyman, retail analyst at Thought Provoking Consulting, said: “Retailers have come to realise just how difficult it is to make money from ecomm, especially with the massive cost of returns.

“For years free delivery was commonplace but as economic reality has kicked in, a rapidly growing number are charging.

“The profit margins online are so thin, very few retailers can afford to bear the delivery costs.”

A MAZE OF CHARGES

WE compared delivery charges across 20 of our readers’ favourite brands.

The investigation looked at standard delivery, next-day delivery and bulky item fees.

We also compared the minimum spend for delivery and how much shoppers had to spend to get free postage.

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Our research revealed the priciest for standard delivery was Wickes, charging £7, followed by Homebase and B&Q, both £6.

The cheapest was £3.95 at Home Bargains, Wilko, Argos, The Range, Dunelm and Boots.

Shoppers can pay up to £14 for next-day delivery at Ikea, which was the most expensive in that category.

Retailers also have different fees for larger items, making it harder for shoppers to compare total costs for purchases.

Ikea charges between £25 and £45 depending on the weight of the item, while at The Range it costs between £4.95 and £19.95 for fragile and large items.

The amount shoppers have to spend to get free delivery varies wildly, too.

The cheapest is Amazon, at £10 for books and £25 for other purchases. At Poundland and Home Bargains, shoppers must spend £100.

Cheapest options

  • Cheapest standard: New Look – £2.99
  • Cheapest next day: Argos – £3.95
  • Lowest free delivery spend: Boots – £25

Retailers say they want to give shoppers a wide range of options and customers can often use click and collect to dodge fees.

But consumer expert Martyn James says many delivery charges don’t “bear much comparison to reality” and it’s almost “impossible” to know what it actually costs to send goods.

He added: “Buying online has become so easy. But the speed at which retailers move us through the checkout means we often miss vital costs, like how much it will be to post an item and how much it will cost to return it.

“The differences between prices can be huge, from a few quid to £40 to £50 or more.”

OUT OF ORDER

YOUR contract is with the retailer and it should sort out any delivery mishaps.

If you pay extra for a premium delivery service and it doesn’t show up in time, you can get the extra cash back under the ­Consumer Rights Act 2015. It’s important to cite “breach of ­contract” under the Act and press hard on it, says consumer disputes expert Scott Dixon.

He said: “If you are stonewalled, say you will raise a chargeback with your bank/credit card provider to dispute the payment at their expense.”

If your package goes missing, it is up to the retailer to replace it or refund you.

If you are not happy with the retailer’s response, you can take it to RetailADR, formerly called the Retail Ombudsman.

If you think a seller has broken the law, you can report them to Trading Standards.

Amazon falls short on Prime promise for snapper Jaye

Jaye Cole, with her husband Matt, ordered £40 worth of goods on Amazon on Prime, told it was delivered but wasn't

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Jaye Cole, with her husband Matt, ordered £40 worth of goods on Amazon on Prime, told it was delivered but wasn’tCredit: supplied

PHOTOGRAPHER Jaye Cole was left short-changed after printer ink she ordered for next-day delivery on Amazon Prime failed to show up.

The 47-year-old, from York, spent more than £40 on the goods on April 11, and the next day she got a notification that her item had been delivered.

However, the package was nowhere to be seen and Jaye’s security cameras revealed no one had even attempted to deliver it.

She paid an extra £26 to buy the item that day from Currys.

After we contacted Amazon, it gave Jaye, (pictured with husband Matt) a refund and £26 as a goodwill gesture.

Failed drop-off cost Kamilah special discount

Kamilah Hale ordered products from Asos which failed to arrive at all

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Kamilah Hale ordered products from Asos which failed to arrive at allCredit: supplied

ENTREPRENEUR Kamilah Hale missed out on an Asos discount after a delivery mishap.

The 34-year-old, from Bromley, South East London, ordered two bottles of hair products for £63, paying an extra £4.50 for standard delivery – but courier Evri never got it to her.

Kamilah said: “It wasn’t possible to contact Evri so I had to wait a week to be able to file a complaint with Asos.”

Kamilah was issued a refund and told she could re-order without the discount.

The Sun contacted Asos and it offered Kamilah a 25 per cent discount on her next order.

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