* Prices may differ from that shown
As I think most of my regular readers know I am a huge supporter of the RNLI - the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - and I help to run the lifeboat shop here in Llandudno and I love it! There are shops all over the country, mostly attached to the lifeboat house of the town although ours is quite a big retail shop in the centre of Llandudno as there was no room for a shop at our boathouse and it is out of town anyway.
So, there are plenty of opportunities to shop at a lifeboat shop around the country but what if you can't get to one? Well that's where the online shop comes in. The address is http://www.rnlishop.org.uk/ .
The home page has all the usual stuff - shopping basket shown in the top right hand corner, chance to register or login and all the contact, website, customer services etc., links at the bottom.
The delivery charges are the same no matter how much or how little you order and they are £4.95 to the UK mainland, £8.95 to the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands, £23.45 to the rest of the EU and £33.45 to the rest of the world. There is also an extra charge for certain bulky and/or fragile items.
Right, that's the housekeeping out of the way, so what do they sell?
The home page has links to the following:
This includes ceramics, lighting, kitchen items, furnishings, things for the garden and more.
This one includes motoring, eco home, travel and general gadgets for the home.
Here we find clothes and accessories for men, women and children. There is also special clothing available for members of Shoreline, Offshore. Governors, Lifeguards and Lifeboats.
Gifts and Pastimes
This section includes all the toys, bears and games as well as stationery, hampers, books, models, mugs and more.
The lifesaving gifts are ideal for when you need to buy something for one of those difficult to buy for people. The idea is that you buy a gift for the RNLI from 10 litres of fuel for a lifeboat at £5 right up to a helmet at £166 with a good range of gifts at all prices in between. You then receive a thank you card which you can pass on to your friend to show what you have done on their behalf.
This one needs no explanation really - you can send e cards from this site andf the money goes to the RNLI.
This is where the sale items can be found.
This section does not show items for sale but rather gives some information about the work of the RNLI to show you where your money goes. It includes a story about one of our lady lifeboat crew members and also a section on beach safety.
The site works like any other shopping site in that you find the items you want to buy, add them to your basket, checkout and pay.
Each item has at least one clear picture and details of sizes, materials and price. You are told if the item is currently in stock and also given a link to the delivery information.
Where this site differs from others is in the tag line of the RNLI shops - Lifesaving Shopping - as this is exactly what it is. Every time you buy anything from any lifeboat shop off or online you are indirectly helping to save someone's life and it doesn't get better than that.
You would not normally find all the same things in the online shop as you would in the retails shops - there is some overlap but not every item can be found in both places. In our shop, however, we occasionally get ex catalogue and online shop items to sell at sale prices as we have more room than most of the RNLI shops.
The online shop stocks a wide range of gifts, clothes, Christmas cards, calendars and diaries and more and it is well worth a look if you can't get to one of our shops. Obviously, if you can get to a shop, you don't have to pay the postage!
You'd be amazed how many Christmas cards, calendars and diaries we have sold already and it is only the start of July!