Shopping for bathroom products online – How not to throw money down the drain

Whether you’re shopping for a replacement tap or an entire bathroom suite, buying online is quick and convenient, and can save you money and hassle, but how do you make sure you get the products you want at a good price and a pleasant shopping experience that doesn’t disappoint? Here are a few tips to follow:

Shop around

With literally hundreds of websites selling bathroom products it’s not always easy to know which to choose. Searching the internet will yield a million results and you could easier spend hour upon hour going through every website until you find what you are looking for at the best price.

Google Shopping

Using Google Shopping is a quick and easy way to compare prices for the items you are looking for, and any bathroom retail website that is serious about its business will be on there. Search for the item in Google, click on ‘Shopping’ on the left, find the right product, and click on ‘Compare prices’ on the right. This will take you to a list of the retailers who have the item for sale and will tell you their ‘Seller rating’, ‘Delivery’ charge, and ‘Total price’. By clicking on ‘Total price’ you can arrange the list from cheapest to most expensive price with VAT included. Then you can click on the link to the shop and go straight to the product.

Delivery Charges

Google Shopping shows you the delivery charge, but many websites add the delivery charge as you check out. This is something to watch when adding up the total value of your items as your order may end up being a little more expensive than you first thought.

Choose the right website

You may have found the cheapest website but how do you know it belongs to a reputable company who will keep your credit card details safe, send your items quickly, and have excellent customer service in case anything does go wrong.

Check their reviews

If they have a lot of positive reviews from satisfied customers on a site like Trustpilot then it’s pretty safe to assume that buying from them is going to be a pleasant experience. If they have lots of bad reviews, or you can’t find any reviews at all, they are probably best avoided.

Check for PCI compliance

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and sets certain standards that reputable retailers will comply with, such as how they handle your credit card details. If the website doesn’t say that they are PCI compliant you can’t be sure that you credit card details will be safe.

Read the Terms and Conditions

All good companies will have comprehensive Terms and Conditions on their website, which should include their Returns Policy. You may not have time to read them in depth but it’s worth checking to see if they are there. If the website doesn’t display T’s and C’s they are almost saying that they don’t have any rules to play by.

Call them

Avoid any surprises by giving them a call to check the items you want are in stock and that they can deliver when you need it. Speaking to a person is also a good way to gauge how trustworthy and reliable the company is. If they answer the phone in a professional way, are polite and efficient, and demonstrate that they value you as a customer, then they are probably a good company to order from.

Placing your order

Once you are happy with the company, the website and the items, you’re ready to place your order. Take your time and get it right.

Online or on the phone

Some people are happy ordering over the internet. Some people like to speak to another person. Lots of companies will have sales staff who can take your order over the phone if you prefer.

Check you info

Double check your personal details, especially delivery address and post code. Getting this information right will reduce the number of problems that might occur later on. Most companies will send you a confirmation email with the details of your order. Read it and reply if there is anything wrong to give the company chance to change it before they send out your order.

Getting your order

You’ve done your research, selected a good company, and purchased the products you wanted. The hard bit is over. Just a few more things to think about.

Receiving your delivery

Are you going to be in on the day of the delivery, or can you arrange for a neighbour to take it in? Most deliveries will require a signature so someone needs to be there to receive your order. If no one is home the delivery driver will take your order away with him and re-arranging delivery could cause delays.

Check the items

Unfortunately, sometimes items get damaged in transit, or the wrong item gets sent out. As soon as you have your order, check it thoroughly and carefully. If there is anything wrong with it, contact the company immediately.

Booking the plumber

Once you have your items and you know they are right, now is the time to book the plumber to fit them. Don’t make the mistake of booking a plumber based on expected delivery dates because if there is a delay with your order or it arrives damaged you’ll end up paying for the plumber to do nothing.

Sharing your experience

Remember those reviews you read that helped you decide which company to purchase from? They were written by people like you. You can help others choose a good company by leaving a review of the company, their service, how they kept you informed, and whether you would buy from them again.

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