Find out about the delivery process before you buy – some stores use the post, some utilises couriers. Try and figure out if you will be onhand to receive the delivery, and be aware that some sites will ship multiple items seperately rather than together.
Several new services offer handy solutions in this arena – Parcelmotel has a number of locations all around Ireland, a service which stores your package for you until you’re ready to collect. When your package arrives, you get a text notification, and all you need is your phone and pin. Don’t forget to take weight and size into account, however – Parcelmotel only accepts packages sized between 41 x 38 x 64 cm, with a maximum weight of 10kg. Packages exceeding this cost more than the standard Ђ3.50 charge (which comes on top of the delivery charge).
Under the Distance Selling Regulations, online vendors are obliged to offer a return on goods, even if you’ve just changed your mind on that luminous lime green teapot. While this is handy in theory, in practice this can be a little more difficult, not to mention pricey. While some stores such as Dunnes Stores allow you drop back the goods in person, others, particularly out of state, necessitate you returning goods by posts, which will incur some costs. If you used Paypal to purchase your items, a lot of retailers won’t let you return them to the store. Check store terms and conditions regarding return timelines, and reship promptly to avoid any headaches.
Some carriers like DHL and UPS will have a charge for bringing products through customs – UPS for example charge Ђ14.50 no matter the value of your goods. Customs duty and VAT charges may also apply – use the handy tool at dutycalculator.com to calculate these charges.