Hey lazyweb, hear my plea! What are my options for buying consumer electronics online, now that I’m back in Ireland?
I like online shopping. I dislike Argos, and I really hate Dixons, Currys and all the rest of the consumer-electronics high-street operations. Get me on the net and out of the nasty little shops and I’m happy. ;)
All in all, I’m a bit of an Amazon fan. However, now that I’m back in Ireland, I’ve been brought back to earth with a bang on that count; the prices are OK for items at both Amazon.com and .co.uk — but shipping is turning out to be a total disaster.
Basically, I’ve put in two orders, paid through the nose for basic shipping, and neither has turned up. For example — I ordered this phone a week and a half ago, on the 9th March, ponying up UKP 27 for the item — and a painful UKP 7 for shipping by International Mail.
Delivery estimate on ordering was for between 5 and 7 days — 14th to the 16th March. That was long enough — but it still hasn’t turned up, and Amazon.co.uk is still claiming that that is the current estimate, despite the 16th of March being 4 days ago ;)
On top of that, it appears they don’t offer any way to track the packages using that shipping method, so who knows what’s happening with the damn thing right now.
If I compare that with an order I made at Amazon.com last November, in which I nabbed a handy FM transmitter for my iPod — in that case, I got it shipped by plain old US Postal Service for $4.51, which was handily discounted as Super Saver Shipping. That — as with pretty much all my Amazon.com orders — arrived in 3-4 days, and for a hell of a lot cheaper too. If I’d had to pay for shipping (which I didn’t anyway), $4.51 vs UKP 7 works out as a third of the price, no less.
I’m guessing this is mainly down to Amazon.co.uk being shoddy in terms of how it deals with shipping to Ireland, and there are probably sites that use better-quality shipping partners.
Surely there must be better deals with vendors in Ireland, or even elsewhere in the Eurozone? Anyone know? Please drop us a line in the comments!
Update: the items arrived — 14 days after ordering. This is a moot point now, though, since Amazon.co.uk are no longer selling ‘PC & Video Games, Toys & Games, Gift items, Electronics & Photo and Home & Garden items’ to Ireland; I guess it was easier to give up on the Irish market for now. Very disappointing — but I’m waiting to see what happens next.