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Very good site, Very good choice, Very poor service
Member Name: magenta23
Advantages: A good choice of items, good looking and easy to use site, something for all budgets
Disadvantages: Delivery service a shambles, orders seemingly not checked before dispatch
VERY: Who they are and what they do.
Very are advertising everywhere. You probably haven't been able to escape the fairly recently launched shopping website which is basically Littlewoods direct re-branded. They sell clothing for men, women and children, electrical, jewellery, toys... pretty much all you'd expect from an online department store. They heavily promote the site with their celebrity endorsed ranges, most famously Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby. The site is really aimed at the female shopper I'd say, with the bright pink logo being a bit of a give away. It's trying to reach a younger crowd to it's Littlewoods sister though. Also the sites offer pretty much the same products and it set out almost the same, Very has been given a much younger branding and in some cases, cheaper prices for the same items. So, what's the deal with with new website? Is it a very good idea or very pointless?
I first decided to visit Very when a discount code giving me £25 of a £60 shop landed in my email inbox, presumably my details bought from another shopping company as I'd not used them before. I was after a few new items of clothing and my partner needed a new jacket so I decided to have a browse and see if I could make use of the offer.
The site is very simply laid out and visually quite impressive with their signature black and pink theme running though all pages, bright clear pictures and a young, fashionable feel. It's easy to navigate with the main categories at the top of the home page - Women, Men, Child and Baby, Sport and Leisure, Home and Garden, Electrical, Entertainment, Gifts and Jewellery, Beauty, Toys and Offers. Once you choose the category you want to shop, you can then choose a sub category, such as in womens to shop just the jeans or dresses for example. Or if you are just having a browse you can shop by brand or categories such as celebrity style or holiday shop. Having chosen your area to shop you can then narrow further if you wish, by colour, size, brand, price and so on.
The pictures of the items are clear and you can zoom in and enlarge to full screen, the description of each item is comprehensive and I found that I had all the information I needed to choose which items I wanted to buy.
Checkout is also simple and you can pay the balance there and then or choose their credit account option.
I really can't fault the website, the only thing I will say is that there is a lot of products here. Great that there is a fantastic choice of items but it's hard work trawling through them all. It's a site for dedicated shoppers!
Products and prices
As I mentioned there is a lot to choose from and I can't fault the range on offer. Each item has budget options, mid range and designer options so really there's something for every budget. There always seems to be a sale section and you can find some real bargains, though I would make a point when shopping the sale to search by size if you are looking for clothes as many more popular sizes are sold out of a lot of styles and I found myself at first finding lots of items I liked only to be disappointed when they did not have my size. If you are tiny or plus size you will probably be in luck though! Also always check for voucher codes and cashback, there seems to be no end of promotion codes for this site.
Many of their items and ranges are exclusive to them, (or at least exclusive to the Littlewoods family) but they also stock many brand names. These are fairly competitively priced and again, you can pick up some bargains in the sale, however it's worth shopping around first as you may be able to pick up the branded items cheaper elsewhere. As I mentioned, Very, although the same people, are sometimes cheaper for identical products than Littlewoods.
I ended up using my voucher and purchasing a few womens wear items, jewellery and a jacket for my partner. The jacket was branded and the quality we expected, no problems there, and I was very pleased with the silver jewellery I bought which was packaged beautifully and excellent quality. The same can't be said for the womens wear, which I may add were 'exclusive' items. For example the dress I purchased came with detachable straps which I though was great, however the straps themselves are very flimsy and don't give any extra support and in addition to that they have a habit of detaching themselves. Having said that I do think the sizes were true and I had not problems with fitting.
Service and Delivery
Once you placed your order you are sent a confirmation email, and are also informed when your item is dispatched. You have a number of options to choose for delivery when you order, standard next day delivery to your home at £3.95, time slot delivery at £4.95, Saturday delivery at £4.95 and evening delivery at £6.95. You can also get free collect+ next day delivery if you have no large, bulky or heavy items.
If you've not used collect+ before it works like this, there are 100s of shops, usually newsagents, which offer the collect+ service. This means you place your order though the company, in this case Very and then choose from a list of collect+ stores to collect your parcel from. You simply enter you postcode and Very will show you a list of places to collect from near you and the distance from your house. Within a mile of my house I had five places to choose from. I went for this delivery option, simply because it was free and I could not guarantee when I would be at home. The place I chose was open 6am to 11pm meaning I could collect my parcel after work if I wanted.
For some items, next day is not always an option. I placed my order at the weekend and was told the earliest it would be at my collect+ point was the following Wednesday. I was in no rush so this didn't bother me. Bear in mid if I wanted it delivered to my house it was going to cost £4.95, no £3.95 next day option so it would cost £1 more. Work that out!
I was sent an email from Very saying my parcel has arrived at my collect+ point a day early so I went down with my reference collection number and a proof of address as stated in the email and had no problem collecting my parcel.
When I got home and opened it however, I found the item of jewellery was missing and they had sent the wrong size jacket. I received another email a few days later stating there was another parcel waiting at the delivery point and went along with the new reference and ID to collect that. This time I was told it could not be processed without my very account number and even though the parcel was there and matched my ID, they weren't going to give it to me. Even though I explained Very say just the parcel reference is enough and I had no problems collecting the previous parcel, the woman wasn't letting me have it, so I had to leave empty handed and return the following day with the account number. It was the missing item for the previous delivery.
So after all that, my free next day delivery I got in it's entirety a week later. Sent in two parts, one early one late and no mention from Very that my order would be sent in two lots. The collect+ thing is a great idea, though there is obviously a bit of a communication breakdown between Very, collect+ outlets and the customer that needs sorting out.
Very offer free returns for faulty and unsuitable items. My partner decided to keep the coat as it was a only a tad big and we didn't relish organising an exchange through the collect+ service given the hassle it was just to collect a parcel.
Very's site is excellent and they have a great range of items at prices to suit all budget. The quality of a few items leaves lot to be desired and their attention to detail and confusion with their deliveries really leaves me reluctant to use them again.
Summary: Shopping a doddle, getting your hands on your order a little more difficult