Zazzle don't dazzle: £12.99 for 1st class recorded delivery
A good friend of mine is celebrating the big dreaded 3-0 in a week's time. So I decided to plan ahead and order them a custom greeting card.
I still have a week to go, so when I discovered an online company by the name of Zazzle, I was intrigued. Zazzle is a custom design service that is community driven. Users create their own items, ranging from greeting cards to mugs to t-shirts. Buyers can then customize them by adding images/text with some flexibility. Zazzle commissions creators for designing their own products, so it could even be a useful home based revenue stream for some. They also start at very reasonable prices for greeting cards, from just around £2.
I decided to give it a try, and I started designing my card. I spent about an hour on it (I'm a perfectionist). The interface is great and easy to use, but the connection freezes at times (maybe on my end). But all you have to do is refresh and it caches your work so you're unlikely to lose it.
So far, so good... right?
Yep. But not for long.
When I got to the checkout, satisfied that I have the 'perfect card', I got the following:
(the white box with red borders was not courtesy of Zazzle. It's just to cover up my personal details :))
Notice under 'Shipping Method', there are 2 options: standard or express.
Standard shipping with no tracking is a pretty reasonable price, at £2.49, but will take "7-12 business days" AFTER manufacturing.
In other words, even if you ordered a card one week ahead of time, you're probably too late. Leaving you with the expressed delivery option.
But wait. "Express 2-3 day delivery" costs £12.99.
£12.99? How do they justify charging £12.99 for shipping a greeting card? Are they sending a netbook with that via special delivery? Hmm.
Maybe it's just me, but the phrasing "2-3 day delivery with tracking after manufacturing" sounds more like 1st class recorded delivery.
The reason I am sharing this is not to moan (okay, maybe a little!), but I am sure plenty of consumers get to the checkout, only to find out that they would not get their orders on time, but will most likely go ahead anyway, having to go with the cheaper option and buy another card from ASDA while keep your fingers crossed that this one would arrive. That's exactly what I'm doing right now.
And considering most people order this kind of stuff at the very last minute, this means this marketing upsell tactic could force your hand to purchase after your initial time/emotional investment. Especially for those who are willing to fork out £15 for a greeting card. If it wasn't for this, I would have probably recommended the service.
If you have any experiences with Zazzle, or with any other companies utilizing similar tactics to make more money (we can start with ebay sellers), please share them with us!