I hadn't purchased anything from Letsbuyit in a year or so but recieved the latest newsletter which contained 2 really good deals. A Philips DVD (£399.99) and Teeth Whitening kit for £129.00. I had been looking for a teeth whitening kit but the type with trays, which I've been told are the best, seem to cost around over £300 which was not in my budget. I went to the website and it seemed to rather clean, worked well and overall was a nice site. It was easy to find the kit using search. The teeth whitener is what letsbutit calls calls it a cobuy product. That means 5 other people have to buy the product for the £129.00 price to take effect. Luckily for me this was the case. Otherwise, it would have been £199.00 which would have been out of my budget. I put the product in my basket and proceeded to checkout. All worked rather well except that there was no place to put my credit card. Because of this, the company that fulfills the product had to call me. An inconvenience but worth it for the price. My kit was delivered in the time stated during ordering and I can tell you my teeth are much whiter today after using the kit. I will definately check back on deals from the newsletter in the future
Like many people I was introduced to this site a year ago when those adverts with the little ants were on TV. I thought the collective buy ethos was a neat idea so I checked out the web site, expecting there to be a big catch. But there wasn't. The site is well designed and well explained. It's simple to start an account and your account manager pages are easy to access, and give you all the info you need. The co-buys also look very attractive. I would say on average the saving is approximately 25% on normal retail price. Of course the catch is that the co-buy needs enough people to join it for the price to come down. But you can aid this by emailing your friends through the site. So I thought I'd take the plunge and bought a pair of panasonic speakers for £20. (Reduced from £30) They notified me when the co-buy was complete, debited my account and approximately a week later the speakers arrived. I have had nothing but pleasure from these speakers. They are versatile, have good sound quality and still work well today. If that had been my only experience of letsbuyit then I would have to give them full marks. Unfortunately it was not. In October 2000 I was looking to buy a MD player. I shopped around using kelkoo and others and found the one I wanted, a Sony MZ R70B. Going back to letsbuyit I saw this at just £145, down from £200. I made the co-buy and was debited with the correct amount. But then the problems started. 1) The player didn't arrive within a week, as the speakers had. I was beginning to get a bit worried and phoned the customer service line. They assured me it would be delivered, but didn't seem to have any way of tracing it. When buying online I feel it is a necessity to feel secure that the people you are dealing with no what you are doing. In a sense you are handing over your money and hoping that they will fulfil their side of the bargain. This makes the customer service side of such a company vital. Un
fortunately letsbuyit fall down badly here. 2) The player arrived after about a month, with no explanation for the delay. The player itself was excellent and was constantly by my side for the next 6 months. Unfortunately, after 6 months it stopped working. Whether I had dropped it one too many times, or overused it I'm not sure. But it no longer worked, and I thought I would take advantage of the 12 month guarantee that all letsbuyit products come with. Having arranged the collection I boxed the item and it was collected promptly. Then I waited for payment, and waited, and waited. It's now October and still no cheque has landed on my doormat. Numerous Kafkaesque phone calls have led to nothing, no responsibility taken by individuals, just empty assurances and promises. So anyone from letsbuyit reading this pay attention. You have a great idea, but you have forgotten one of the basic requirement of any business, to make sure the customer is served well and that any queries are dealt with promptly. This is perhaps why they are in so much trouble now. Websites such as amazon have built up their reputation not just through their prices, but also through their service, with prompt delivery and collections. This is how trust between a company and its consumers happens. Take heed all shopping sites, word of mouth is the essence of the net.
Do not use this company! Here's why: Last Christmas I wanted to get my fiance a nice digital camera as a present. I saved up my hard earned cash and then went looking for a good deal. There was one on letsbuyit.com which was very cheap and seemed good. I have worked in the e-business market for several years and shop online on a regular basis. The only rules I use for deciding whether to order or not from a company are: A. Make sure it's a secure site B. Only order from reputable companies Letsbuyit.com passed both tests so 3 weeks before Christmas I placed my order. It guaranteed me delivery before Christmas, so I didn't think I had anything to worry about, just sit back and wait for it to arrive. Then, the worst thing possible happened. 3 shopping days before Christmas, I got an email stating that they could not get the camera's and we were all to recieve a refund, along with a £10 cinema voucher. That would have been bad, but not too bad as I still had 3 days to get another present, or so I thought. I then read the rest of the email and to my horror discovered that it said "you can expect to receive a refund sometime in mid-January"!!!!!!!! It had taken me two months to save the money to buy that present, they had charged my credit card, not sent me the goods and were going to keep my money for a month, so I could not buy a replacement present! I was furious. I immediately phoned their customer service helpline. At other retail e-commerce sites I had worked at, if a charge had been made to a customer, crediting them back was simply a case of phoning a number and performing a simple task using the keypad. Their customer service manager told me that the funds had gone to a clearing house in Sweden or some other European country, and there was no way I was getting my money back for weeks. It actually turns out I did not get my money back until March/April. My fi
ance got no present from me that Christmas, which made me feel so bad. All in all they are the biggest bunch of crooks out there with terrible business practices. NEVER BUY FROM THEM!!!!
Although this website originally went bust, it has got new backers and is now fully functional. The concept of the site is that the more people who want to buy one particular product, the more discount they can negotiate with the supplier. This is a great idea and I am not sure why they lost money in the first place, but it is up the us, the consumers to keep it running by letting other people know how good it is. The products that they sell range from big appliances such as fridges, washing machines and televisions to little items such as radios, scarves and toasters. The discounts that you can save from normal high street prices range from £500 (for something such as a TV or large appliance) to £30 (for something cheaper such as a cashmere scarf). The site is split up into sections, for example special offers, large and small appliances, sports equipment, TV and Audio...you get the idea. It is very easy to navigate and there are no hidden costs or extensive forms to fill in. You can choose either to buy the product only if it reaches the cheapest price on offer (with the maximum amount of buyers) or you can choose to buy at the price given at close of sale (may not be the cheapest price). More often than not the products tend to go down to the lowest price on offer anyway, but if you choose the first option then letsbuyit.com will email you with the price on closing, giving you the option to buy at that price. As with most internet shopping sites, once you have committed to buying the product you cannot back out (obviously, otherwise this could affect the price for other buyers). My experiences of this site have been nothing other than excellent. I have bought a couple of items from them, the most recent being a Dualit toaster for my Dad's birthday which I managed to save about £50.00 off of the recommended retail price. The site has a guarantee that they will deliver the item once the co-buy has closed within ten days. T
his has always been the case apart from this toaster with was delivered in 14 days. Because of the 'inconvienience' , letsbuyit.com arranged for two free cinema tickets to be sent to me which arrived in the post the next day. I could use these in any Odeon cinema and for the four days that I was kept waiting (the present still arrived in good time for my Dad's birthday as I like to buy presents early!) this was a really nice gesture, and something that will encourage me to use the site again. Everything that I have ordered has come extremely well packaged and secure, and the delivery company that they use (which usually I rant and rave about the poor service) is actually one of the best I have encountered - they do their job i.e. things arrive when they say they will and you can actually contact them on the phone and get through! Letsbuyit.com email you as soon as you have agreed to buy something to confirm the purchase. This is your receipt so it is best to keep it saved on your email in case of any problems (I haven't encountered any). If you join up to the site (which is free) they will email you details of special offers or things you might be interested in buying, which is worth doing as they don't constantly pester you - I have only got a couple of emails from them in the last few months. At the moment (as of 10.05.01) they are currently sending out free cinema tickets for every purchase you make - even if it is sent on time so don't wait to take a look at the site. As I said, it is up to us to support sites like these because that is how they keep afloat, even if you don't see anything you like today on there, tell your friends and you might just save them a few hundred pounds!
Let me be the first to report my experience of Letsbuyit.com since they reopened shop again. I never bought anything from them before but a few weeks ago, I bought a camera from them after finding their price much lower than elsewhere on the web (and did a search through kelkoo to make sure). I received it less than 2 weeks from the time that the co-buy closed. The camera works fine and was a great value. I know people who had a bad experience the first time around will be apprehensive about trying Letsbuyit.com again but based on my experience, the service has had none of the flaws that some people have claimed- perhaps this is due to a rededication to customer service and delivery since they reopened. (Certainly they must have learned a few useful lessons in the whole process) For one thing, they have instituted a delivery charge on purchases over a certain amount (I can't remember if it's 25 pounds or 50 pounds...) but it seems to be a good way of ensuring that packages are dispatched when they should. I had a good experience anyway and would use them again- therefore I would assume things have changed. I know people might have had a bad time with them in the past but before anyone passes judgement or tells me to shut up, they should try the service now that the site is back and then tell me how it was.
I write this as someone who has had their fingers badly burned by Letsbuyit. Hopefully this review will prevent others from making the same mistakes I made. Letsbuyit.com first came to my attention last year, when their adverts featuring a horde of little ants were splashed all over the national press. At this time, a large number of companies were just getting into web selling, and it was thought that the companies with the largest marketing budgets would be the ones who would prosper. It turned out to be the exact opposite – those companies spending the most on their advertising were actually overspending, burning money faster than they could make it. The unique selling point of Letsbuyit was their co-buying model. Their website offers a large range of different products, which, when ordered by a large number of customers drop in price. This group buying method was supposedly the way ahead, and it certainly looked impressive, with some significant savings available if enough people signed up. I ordered my DVD player, a Samsung 709, from Letsbuyit last September, as the price was cheaper than anywhere else on the web or high street. I duly signed up, confirmed I wanted to buy the item, then had to wait until the cobuy closed. The price of the item drops in increments depending on how many people sign up for it, so you may be unsure of the exact price until the last price threshold is reached. You can of course specify that you only wish to buy at the lowest price, but if this is not reached, then you will have waited the time it takes for the cobuy to finish before you can be sure you will not be getting the item. After the cobuy closes, you have to wait up to 15 days for the product to be delivered. With my DVD player, it only took a week, but not knowing when it was due to arrive was annoying to say the least. You don’t even get an email to confirm the item has been shipped. Fast forward to Decemb
er last year. I decided to buy a Samsung widescreen TV from Letsbuyit, for a very reasonable £280. I was assured the TV would be delivered by December 23rd at the latest. The money was taken from my account when the cobuy closed (Dec 10th), and all I had to do was wait for the TV to arrive. By Friday the 22nd, the TV had still not arrived, so I contacted Letsbuyit to see what was happening. I was told that “due to delays”, the TV would not now be delivered before Christmas, and offered the chance to cancel the order. I was also promised 2 free cinema tickets as an apology. I decided to cancel the order, and expected the refund to be made almost immediately. Over 3 months later, I am still waiting for that refund. About a week after cancelling the order, I was phoned by someone wanting to arrange delivery details. I told them that I had already cancelled, and wanted the refund made as soon as possible. In early January, rumours started to emerge that all was not well with Letsbuyit. Financially the company was struggling, and looked likely to be the next casualty of the internet depression. I contacted Letsbuyit again, only to be told that “my” TV had been sent to the courier, and that they had no way of refunding me until they had the item back. This was in no way my fault, and I told them as much, but they said there was nothing they could do. Customer service? Don’t make me laugh…. All of a sudden, Letsbuyit appeared to be terminal. It became impossible to contact anyone at the company as a “moratorium” was placed on the company. This meant that they had ceased trading, and were trying to find ways of raising the cash necessary for them to continue. Still waiting for my refund, I became very concerned that the money I had paid was lost completely. Midway through February, it became clear that the company would soon be back in business. It was still impossible to c
ontact them though, as their customer service phoneline continued to go unanswered, and any emails I sent seemed to be ignored. When the website did reopen for service, it is notable that the customer service phone number is nowhere to be found on the site – hardly inspiring when you need to contact them. I finally managed to speak to someone last week, who confirmed that my refund should be made within the next week. That’s over 3 months they have had my money, even though I cancelled the order way back in December. This company will never get any more custom from me, nor any of my family or friends. The shoddy way in which I have been treated (and I am not the only one, not by a long way) is absolutely appalling for any company aiming to boost their customer base. I would strongly recommend everyone to give Letsbuyit a miss, and don’t let them do to you what they have done to me. The biggest mistake I made (apart from using Letsbuyit in the first place) was to pay by switch card. Had I paid by credit card (I don’t have one), I would have been much more secure, as the credit card company would have dealt with getting my money back. As it is, I am left to wait and hope that I will get to see my money again. Although Letsbuyit’s prices may appear tempting, just because something is cheap does not make it a bargain. You are far better advised to find somewhere with a good reputation for service than these amateurs. This whole experience has been a complete nightmare, and has certainly highlighted the dangers of buying over the web. Up until then, I had never had a problem with any company. As it is, I am now far more wary about ordering over the net.
Gee wiz, I wonder why this company nearly went belly up a few weeks ago. Is it perhaps that they suck. This has to be the worse run company on the internet, and I can’t wait for them to go bankrupt again, and they will. This company does not have a clue about Customer Service…..its non-existent. They rip people off, and take forever to send out goods. If you send your item back for a refund for some reason chances are you won’t see your money again. I ordered a Microsoft Intellieye mouse from them (damn good mouse to have, check out my review on it). After they finally send it off to me, they send it to the wrong address. And get this, they won’t refund me the money until the people they sent the mouse to return it. How the hell is that? I’m going to pay for there mistake? I contacted Trading Standards about this and they said I would have to take them to the small claims court to get my money back, but I really don’t have time for the sake of £26. Well, I’m just going to sit back, and wait for them to go belly up again, and trust me its going to happen……..crash and burn baby, crash and burn.
My first dealings with the company last May were very good. Both items were well priced and delivery was within a few days of the sale closing, the only apparent drawback with the concept being the wait for the sale to end, but if you want cheap prices you have to expect giving up something. However in June I made a third purchase, which the couriers failed to deliver. At first Customer services seemed helpful, checking that the address was correct and that we still wanted the item. The last e-mail I received was on the 28th of September and the goods still have not arrived. All e-mails that I have sent since asking for a refund have received no replies. Now the company has new funding and is promising better customer service they maybe worth dealing with, but until I receive a refund I shall be avoiding them. Update! March 18 I have recieved no less than four e-mails confirming that a refund has been made to my credit card, so lets hope Letsbuyit can fulfil the early promise they showed.
Last year (November time) I saw a great deal for 100 CD-R for £26. It was the cheapest I had ever seen CDs so I thought I might give this company a test. One month after the closing date of the co-buy, the max time for delivery, I phoned up and asked why i hadnt had my order yet. They kept me on hold for 1 hour before I thought myself to the top manager who politely informed me that the supplier for the CDs has gone out of business and I would not get the CDs. I forced them to send a full refund after they had charged my debit card which they did. However, the most annoying thing was that they never contacted me to tell me that I would not be getting what I had paid for, the cheek!! Ahh well, that's the last time I buy from them.
You know! wait and wait then 2 arrive at once. I knew it was going to happen. HOW IT WORKS You join a group buy, where if say, 10 people commit to buying a bike then they claim they can source it cheaper because of the combined buying power. Load of Rubbish I bought a DVD player from them, infact the site was running so slow at the time I clicked refresh on the confirmation screen and bought two. I mailed customer services and was told they could do nothing until the group buy closed the next week. A week later I embarked on some bizzar conversations over e:mail and phone which concluded in being told that ,again there was nothing they could do until the DVD players had arrived but my card would not be charged. I checked my credit card and sure enough, I had been charged for both. I call again and they say they cannot refund until the DVD player has been returned. 2 weeks later it had not arrived. Anyway it dragged and a month later the DVD players arrived, I sent 1 back got a refund. On a visit to an electrical store a few days later the same DVD was on sale for £50 less than I bought it. Thats Buy It Together Power For You
What a waste of time !. I would not recommend them to any one. I placed an order on 7th November. They took money from my credit card on 9th November. It is now 11 January and my order has still not arrived. I have emailed numerous times without a reply. When you telephone you get a recorded message giving an email address. I have taken this up with my credit card company who say that they have had many complaints from customers in the same position as me.
I recently made a purchase on letsbuyit.com - actually no I didn't because when you pay for something you generally expect to get the product in exchange (this being the simple basis of a purchase.) But no, letsbuyit.com seem to have forgotten the vital second part. The co-buy closed at the start of December, and delivery was guaranteed for the 22nd December, nicely in time for Christmas. On the 15th they emailed to say all was going well. Then on the day it was due, along came an email to saying actually all wasn't going well and it wouldn't be coming by the guaranteed date. And that's been it. They've sent no more emails saying what's going on. I phoned up the helpline - no help. Now the helpline is closed and they haven't replied to my email. I didn't want to have to write a review like this. I like the idea of letsbuyit.com, when you shop there you get the feeling that you can unite with fellow shoppers, drive down the price of your goods and feel happy in the knowledge that you haven't been robbed out of so much cash. It's real consumer power. And to be fair, I know other people who have bought from them and they have got what they wanted. However during the current problems at letsbuyit.com, you would expect that they would be keen to keep all the customers they can. It's not just the fact that I haven't got what I paid for, you can understand that slightly in a time of difficulty, but they haven't once told me what's going on. Even a general email to anyone waiting for delivery would have been good to show that they are not just pretending that we never bought anything. It's a shame because I thought that letsbuyit.com was a great idea and that it used the internet to its best potential. But I guess it's hard to reach perfection in one attempt.
THE CURSE OF DOROTHY (aka DOT) COMME STRIKES AGAIN!! "Amsterdam, 17 January 2001 - The administrators of Letsbuyit.com NV today filed a request with the Amsterdam District Court for the conversion of the suspension of payments into bankruptcy." From Investor Relations page of Letsbuyit.com site. March 2001 - As a one-time user of Letsbuyit.com, they have e-mailed me to say that they are back in action, having secured funding to continue and hopefully turn in a profit, although God knows when. Therefore, I am re-including my first opinion below, for anyone who may be thinking of using their service. Letsbuyit is a co-buying site, ideal for those not adventurous enough to go to an auction, but still with a newer angle on retail purchasing. Goods are offered at a starting price and a projected lowest price. The more people that state their intent to buy the item lowers the price until the final date is reached. You also have the option of only buying at the lowest price, but if this is never reached, you don't get to buy anything, and up to 3 weeks may have passed before you know this for sure. This is not an ideal way to be buying to a schedule, e.g. for a birthday or Christmas. Here is my only experience so far. I joined in the co-buy to purchase a Yamaha RX-V596RDS Home Cinema Tuner/Amp in early December. The price was a very fair £259 (I opted only to buy at the best price). I received an e-mail confirming that the goods would be delivered within 15 working days of the closing date for the co-buy. I waited three weeks, after which I received a further e-mail informing me of "trouble with suppliers", but in fairness, offering me the option to cancel in case it was to be a Christmas present, so I followed the link to e-mail my cancellation through. I thought no more about it, except to find that Richer Sounds also had the same kit at the same price! This
too was out of stock, so fortunately, I did not push ahead with a purchase from them. Then my "cancelled" goods turned up on 8/01/00. I wonder if their new backers will be insisting that they get their arses in gear?
By this time, I am sure that you all know the concept of 'www.letsbuyit.com'. If not I will briefly summarise it: 'Letsbuyit.com' is a website where you can purchase items. You choose from a limited selection. The more people who buy a product, the cheaper it gets (until a limit). In my case I went for a Palm Pilot M100 for £85, instead of the regular £130 (although you can get it for £113 from amazon.co.uk). The only snag is that it takes 15 working days for your delivery to be delivered. Now I am not sure why this is, as many websites can deliver almost 'next day'. But I have come up with this theory: 'Letsbuyit.com' takes people's orders for products, then charges their credit cards. THEN orders the desired number of products from their suppliers (knowing exactly how many they need as they have already sold them). Then when they get the delivery, they go on to deliver to their customers. This way 'Letsbuyit.com' are never actually out of pocket as they have your money, before they even have ordered your purchase! It is a clever scheme, but not one without it's flaws... You see, my Palm M100 that I was assured would arrive within 15 working days of the 4th December (thats in time for Christmas to you and me). This Palm M100, it is still not at my house and today's date is the 30th December! This was supposed to be my Christmas present and everything... :( I rang them up yesterday, and I was assured that the item would be delivered to my door the same day, between 4pm and 9pm, by 'special' courier. Guess what? It didn't come. This may seem like endless rantings against 'letsbuyit.com' but I am just here to warn you. What seems like a good idea in theory.. Is actually not very good... not very good at all.
Letsbuyit.com is a good idea in practise - lots of people banding together to get cheaper prices on what the want to buy. The problem is that it takes a long long time to get what you order, and the prices aren`t always that great. There are occasionally some excellent offers, like 2 Domino`s pizzas delivered for a couple of pounds, 2 pounds for 2 Burger King whopper meals and similar deals, but they tend to come up far too infrequently for my liking. Basically if you get a chance for the cheap food then go for it, otherwise I`d be tempted to leave it well alone. You can get the same stuff for the same pice on other websites.