I’ve bought a few things off the Internet in the UK this week and I’ve had a few experiences to share.

Maplin has the monopoly for certain little electronic items, so I really had no choice to go there to buy a 6V 10A battery. Unfortunately their Website is horrific. Absolutely dreadful. I found the battery one day. The next day I couldn’t. I emailed them for a link to the product without reply. I was thinking of buying more stuff with them to save on delivery, in the end I just ordered the battery and got out. Thank god they have express checkout. God knows why they required a password for this process. Good thing was they quickly picked and the item came the next day. I ordered it about 6pm the day before!

Dabs is where I usually buy components for years. Their prices are average though I’ve found them quite reliable. Sadly I was a little pissed recently that they refuse to return products once you’ve bought them. We accidentally bought some headphones that we didn’t need, as we opted for the cordless Linksys phone. They refused the return.
A couple of months ago I bought a Canon PIXMA MP130 from them and I know this hard to believe… I looked through the instructions and even searched on the Web and I can’t find the order code for the black ink cartridge. In the end I emailed dabs asking what is the right ink cartridge for the printer. After 2 days they replied saying they don’t offer presales or technical support over email! My request was more to improve their Website. Their Website should really help me reorder things like extra ink cartridges for the printer I bought from them.
To conclude their Website could be much better, even more so their email communication. After ordering the night before it arrived well packaged the next day, so on delivery they are great.

Amazon is probably the best eCommerce Web site, great returns policy, though their delivery charges are quite confusing. Mistakenly I bought products via Amazon and it would come from other companies and hence it would cost more P&P.
These extra P&P costs from ordering from other Amazon affliated companies were often bigger than the price difference of just getting it from Amazon.

When they “split the order” for delivery it can be really confusing on how they do it. For example they decided to send a huge box with a tiny ink cartridge today, though other products didn’t arrive which they initially claimed they had in stock. Why?

With their “super saver delivery” they say it takes 2–3 days. Perhaps I am lucky, but once they dispatch I usually get the product the next day. So I am not so concerned about rates of delivery, I’m more concerned how quickly they can actually pick and pack the product for dispatch. So with Amazon they have a great Website, but the P&P and delivery could be better!

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