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Play.com is a great web site for buying entertainment goods! They have a huge range on offer including DVD, Music, Games, Books, Electronics, Gadgets and Ringtones. I've used play.com a couple of times and I have written about my experience here. I have also looked at the web site itself and how well it works.
My Experience with Play.com ***********************************
-- First Contact --
I saw Play.com advertised on TV (must be pretty good to be advertised on TV, and my experience proves it it!), and never really took much notice of it. When I got bored I typed the address in my browser and thought I'd just see what was on offer. I never used it the first time I visited by I noticed the free delivery on all items, so I thought this might be handy in future and it did, please read on.
-- What did I buy, how much did I pay and why? --
I've done a lot of Christmas shopping online this year and I was looking to buy my girlfriend Muriel's Wedding after she saw it on television. So I went to a price comparison web site and it brought up the cheapest price at play.com. It was £5.99 with no delivery costs, so I added it to my shopping cart and decided to go through with the deal.
My second purchase for The Simpsons at Christmas DVD and this was on a separate occasion. I didn't want to go somewhere else where you had to pay to make up an order for free delivery (cough, cough amazon.co.uk). I also didn't want to buy an item that had a low price tag but the delivery costs made the item go up over the price of what the DVD sells for in the shops. The overall cost of my item was £11.99, which was the cheapest I could find!
You are given a customer account with the web site and I have explained more about it below.
-- Postage and Packaging --
Postage and Packaging is free on all items at play.com and DVD's are sent first class within 24 hours. It is great that P&P are free, as the price isn't bumped up with high delivery rates, unlike some web sites.
When I received each of my items they were packed card, that folded out and the DVD's where held in place, so they reached me in perfect condition.
--Delivery Times --
I was very surprised with how fast I received my item, I placed both order on a Sunday evening (Sunday evenings, I must be self medicating with retail therapy before getting back to a new week of work!) and I received the item on the Wednesday of the same week. I am very impressed. Both of these items were in stock, so despatch is suppose to be within 24 hours which it was according to the notifications that they sent me.
Delivery times have been stated to take between three and five days, both my purchases have made this deadline. So I am very pleased with the service.
If an item is not in stock, it is sent as soon as it is available. I haven't experienced an out of stock item with play.com so I cannot comment on how quick these types of items are processed. If an item is out of stock, the help files at play.com explain that if a title is out of stock it will take between four and twenty one days for despatch.
The Web Site, Play.com ****************************
Here is the part of my review that covers play.com's web site as a web site, for example the navigation, design and ease of use.
-- Design --
Play.com has a blue, orange and white design that is nice to look at and very easy to see where everything is. It is laid out nicely into three columns, navigation and features to the sides with the main content in the middle.
-- Navigation --
To navigate the site you can start by clicking the tabs of the different items at the top of the page, once clicking on the tabs, a mini menu appears underneath as well as a new content page. You can view items by clicking on their link. There are other features around the page, which are accessed by clicking on them
-- Browsing --
You can browse through the items alphabetically or most popular etc. DVD's can be looked at alphabetically or genre. It is really easy to use. Look at the different items by clicking on the title of the product.
-- Searching --
Nice and easy to use search box, you enter your search terms and it finds all the items based on your search and then lists them by relevance. You can search just certain sections i.e. games or music, or you can search the whole web site. Enter your terms and click go...easy!
-- Help Files --
The help files are very clear and understandable and you have your usual FAQ's and contact pages if you have a question that isn't answered on the help page. All my questions have been answered in the frequently asked question page.
-- Using the Shopping Cart --
When you see an item you are interest in buying, there is a link that you click called 'add to cart' and clicking this will put the item in the inventory at the left hand side of the page. So you can keep a track of what you have and how much it will cost.
-- Placing You First Order --
When you place your first order you have to register your details with the web site, it is very quick and easy and it's a high priority to play.com that your details are safe. The web site is plastered with trustwise graphics, you can click on them for extra information. The sign up process asks for the normal details for example delivery address, name etc. You then have your account
-- Placing Another Order --
When you are a returning customer you can shop around and add things to your cart before you want to check out. This time when you go to pay, you don't have to sign up, but you do log in with your e-mail address and password that you created when you made your first purchase.
Your credit card details are stored, and you just follow the on screen instructions to complete the transaction. Some might not like this, it makes for quick and easy shopping, but you never know who might get hold of the details.
-- Confirmation E-mails and Messages --
Confirmation e-mails are sent during you transaction and this is a really good feature. You have one to say that your order has been placed and you receive one when you order has been despatched. It's nice to know have communication a long the way because it helps put your mind at rest!
--Once have your account --
The features of your account includes account info, personal info and stock status. The first page you have when you enter your account is all orders that are currently being processed, but if you haven't placed any orders you are faced with a no outstanding order page. You have the option to look at your order history, which can be helpful.
You can edit your credit / debit card details, delivery address or mobile phone number in the personal info section and you can change your password, e-mail address and newsletter option (I am subscribed to the newsletter so I don't miss out on any deals!) in the account info section.
The stock status information column shows all the terms that play.com use in letting you know how your order is coming along. The terms available are in stock, pre-ordered, a waiting stock, processing, packing and card declined.
-- Other Features, worth a mention --
Play.com run competitions and the link is on the home page and stays with you throughout your visit until you go into your account page. It's worth entering just in case you win and it only takes a few seconds. There is a countdown box that shows a daily countdown until a new product is released. Play.com offers secure shopping, and like I said above it is a site plastered with graphics backing this up. Sales ranking is another way of seeing how popular a product is, and your browsing of items can be listed this way. There is an option to pay in Pounds or Euro, so it's also good for European shoppers. A hot pick box is also on the home page, that shows a must have item!
Conclusion ************** Play.com is always my first choice for DVD's and it will continue that way until a price of theirs is beaten. Free delivery is excellent and I am very pleased that my overall prices weren't bumped up at the final hurdle of placing an order. The price you see, is the price you pay!
The delivery times are great and both of my items reached me well in time of the stated delivery times. Your order is confirmed all the way and this is another great feature. The order process is quick and who can argue with that!
Play.com offer a great range of products and in future I will want to buy bigger items, and see what my overall opinion is then. I will use Play.com again and I wouldn't have any problems recommending it to anyone. I'm person that loves buying online, and the experience is a lot better when you know that the companies you are buying with are very efficient and have you in mind at all times.
The web site is designed for easy use and I found it very easy, and I'm sure you will too. So to sum everything up, a nice smooth transaction through and through, couldn't ask for anything more!
just like you i use this web site i find the service very helpful and the delivery is very fast i order my boyfriend 4 dvds for christmas off it and i thought it would take ages to get deliveried because it was christmas but it never it took three days which i was really pleased with. The review you wrote was very helpful and i would recommend that anyone that hasnt used play.com before should read your review as it tells you everything that you would need to know it would also put there minds at ease about entering payment details. its good that you tell them about every stage that you go through to looking at the web site up to placing a order right up to recieving it thanks and well done on the review you must have really throught about it before writing love stepho222 : )