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The Real Truth

PayPal released a report this week which claimed Irish customers are the biggest overseas online consumers in the world. The two biggest concerns about using an Irish website are Shipping Cost and Return Fees supposedly.

So at PlayBlue as always we wanted to see is there anything we can do to improve and this report from PayPal is a great opportunity to asses.

It is important to really try to by critical of everything we do at PlayBlue, we never accept the “way we always have done it”. Looking for, and acting on little ways to improve is what makes us better than the rest.

Shipping Costs

Simple you’d think, get the cheapest firm and ship, done. No this is where many Irish online firms go wrong. First you need to pack the orders discreetly and professionally to protect and this takes time and costs but is vital to protect your customers and your reputation. Then we need to ensure we have a fast reliable next day delivery options and also pickup options to cater to all customers. Finally we need to make it as near to Free for the customer as possible.

We want the best delivery firms in Ireland, then we want to get it at the lowest price. We absorb nearly all the delivery cost as a price of doing business, at PlayBlue all orders over €20 are FREE delivery in Ireland (including Northern Ireland). You can also always order and collect for FREE at either our Kilkenny or Tallaght stores no matter the order value.

If your order is under €20 we ask for a €4 shipping contribution. We’d love to get rid of this charge but no matter the order size we still have to pay the courier delivery fee, even when the courier fails to deliver so making it 100% free for all orders even €4 orders would be unsustainable.

The PlayBlue delivery setup we believe is the best available in Ireland. We use the best couriers and offer the best packing and delivery service. To address PayPal’s concern we are much cheaper and quicker then our overseas competitors and done right shipping for Irish retailers to Irish customers should be an advantage.

Return Fees

The other major concern is supposedly return fees. Most Irish online retailers fall down badly here. Well ordering off an Irish retailer with a real returns policy, like PlayBlue, has a couple of advantages.

First off if anything goes wrong with your product we have a totally FREE returns option in conjunction with Parcel Motel. You can just package it up write us a little note to let us know the story then ship it back to us through the Parcel Motel network and we’ll cover the cost.

We believe in fairs fair, we know Ireland is a small market so we need to take care of everyone of our customers.

No company gets it right 100% of the time but having a clear, honest and FREE returns policy published on the website which we work to hopefully helps our customers in their buying decision.

If you just change your mind about a purchase and it hasn’t shipped we're happy to refund straight away. If the order has shipped you just need to ship it back to us (not FREE I’m afraid) unused and unopened and we’ll either refund or replace.

The final big advantage we might have is we are here in Tallaght and Kilkenny and on the phone, call in or phone about your order and we promise to try to help.

The Bottom Line

There is every reason shipping costs and returns should be competitive advantages for Irish online stores to Irish customers. We can delivery quicker and cheaper than foreign stores. We can accept returns cheaper and we are local so customers can call in or talk to someone local.

The only reason many Irish online stores do shipping and returns badly is pure laziness and a mistaken long held belief from their bricks and mortar days that you can taking Irish customers for granted.

It is these dinosaur Irish online stores that have seeded the perception in Irish consumers that all Irish online stores are expensive and slow.

At PlayBlue we will never take our customers for granted and we believe the shipping and returns we offer are real competitive advantages.