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As a dedicated DVD fan that buys more than my fair share of new releases and old gems I used to send all my friends to Blackstar – mainly for the reason they first used as an advertising campaign… that the price you saw was the price you paid. Not anymore it seems.
Blackstar have started applying delivery charges to any purchases made through their website. Now fair enough you think – most sites apply a delivery charge and it’s very rare these days to find somewhere that doesn’t. It does usually mean slapping about £3.00 onto any order you make but usually the price reductions on the items themselves balance the delivery charge out so that the item is still cheaper than the high street.
However, I have found that the prices of the DVDs themselves have not reduced greatly in price to reflect this and now Blackstar, whilst still an excellent source for quality DVDs, is now one of the more expensive suppliers.
They charge £1.70 for each DVD delivered, which is fair enough for a single item. But if you are buying more than one item it soon gets expensive. To buy three DVDs will set you back a whopping £4.80 in delivery charges.
I wrote to Blackstar to ask why they suddenly decided to implement this ‘service’. They replied: “I'm sorry to hear that you are annoyed by our new postage policy. The following is not intended to say it is in your best interests. I believe every customer has the right to shop wherever the best deal happens to be.
”We simply had to change our views on this issue. We have been able to reduce some of our headline prices and then add a postal & packing charge. We have tried, where possible, to keep our prices similar to what they were before.
“This has been because of comparison sites like shopsmart.com. Our prices (regardless of free shipping) always seemed more expensive on these sites. This was because other companies listed the price of the goods minus the shipping costs.
”We realise that some companies will have special offers from time to time. Especially the larger chain stores with their buying power. They can afford to get a better deal from the same suppliers we get our stock from. As an independent company (we are not backed by a large retail chain) we are not always offered the same deals.
”We try to be competitive on price where we can, but overall it's our service that we try and outshine the competition.”
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we all looking for the best price AND customer service?
I am disappointed that I can no longer afford to shop here. Their service is excellent and they offer their own reward system. Blackstar are very good at what they do, the site is easy to use, delivery is prompt and customer service is excellent. But at the end of the day it’s the price that matters.
Another valuable op - good info to know. Regards, Adam.
sparkydog 05.07.2001 13:46
Great op. I don't think the comparison site argument is valid- every one I've seen adds on the delivery cost for you. Besides, Blackstar hasn't reduced every video by £1.70- most seem to be the same price but now you pay postage on top, so it's just a way of increasing prices.
pakalang 08.06.2001 13:41
good op. i've been a blackstar member for as long i can remember but never did shop anything there since i can always find a better deal elsewhere.. wrote something on them a while back and i guess my opinion sticks. blackstar is still pretty expensive.. cheers :)