Buy Irish, Guaranteed Irish, Shop local is the cry from Government and the media. In the reality of a lockdown of retail unless you plan to give your mother a side of Ham for Christmas this translates into online shopping.
Buying Irish online should be easy. Simple do a Google search and look for a .ie or a website with Ireland in the name and Bob’s your auntie. If only it was that simple.
I plan to buy most of the presents and non-essential this Christmas online and my intention is to source them from Irish websites. All with a simple caveat - I will not be screwed. If the Irish website is too expensive it can go jump.
So with all this in mind I wanted to help anyone interested in how to find a real Irish website that you can trust. Remember just because it’s Irish doesn’t mean they are not bandits.
Also of course there are great Irish businesses that through necessity have launched websites in the last 4 months who will have a few holes here and there, but can you figure that out quick enough through a bit of investigation, these businesses need your support too.
Contact Us - Phone Number
If a website doesn’t have a phone number or it is foreign it should ring a few alarm bells. Check the About Us and Contact Us pages. No phone to me says it is either very new or very small or a bogey. Hard to imagine a reputable Irish business wouldn’t have a Irish landline.
It is important to check a company return policy before purchase but you should also check the return address is in Ireland. If it is foreign or worse no address is given this is seriously suspicious. Also ensure they have a real fair, preferably free returns policy. This is what a great returns policy should look like. Any website without one clearly stated you should avoid.
Check it is Legit
A couple of simple checks you can do here. Most legit Irish companies will have their VAT number and/or Company registration number on their website usually in the footer of the webpage. For instance ours are at the bottom of this page. The VAT number can also easily be checked on VatCheck.eu
Check Google Maps
Check that you can actually find the business on Google Maps to ensure it actually has a location in Ireland. Again you would imagine a real Irish business would have an Irish address.
Check Social Media
Real businesses will have at least a Facebook page and it should be active. A couple of posts 8 months ago would be a concern.
Check out independent reviews of the website on the likes of Trustpilot. This will give you an indication of size and reliability. Most of these are near impossible to fake. Here is our Trustpilot review page. Reviews on a website are easy to forge and make up, reviews on independent websites are much harder to fake and also show that they have been trading with real customers.
A little technical but bear with me. All websites have a web address. For instance ours is playblue.ie. You can check the ownership and how long the website has been registered of any web address by doing what is called a whois check. If it is hidden again be suspicious. Try to do a search on Whois.net.
Can’t Buy Irish? Buy from Irish!
We don’t have a huge manufacturing base in Ireland. If you need a pair of runners there are not too many (if any) Irish options. So the next best thing you can do is buy from an Irish retailer then at least the bulk of the benefit stays in the country and will help us get back on track.
Look I absolutely support buy Irish and shop local but you just need to ensure that the local you’re buying from is the real deal. Also don’t get screwed on price for doing the right thing. No excuse for an Irish website to gouge its customers.
At PlayBlue we have a price guarantee and are happy to compare our prices and service against anyone at home or abroad. Added to that Free local delivery, Free Returns, Local support staff you can talk to and Shops you can visit (when we’re not locked down!!) in Kilkenny, Tallaght and Cork we're about as Irish as Barry’s Tea!