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Normally we walk over the Hill to B&Q, which is fine if you want something small, but not suitable for big purchases. It is an even less helpful solution if they don't happen to have the one thing you really need. It was therefore out of necessity rather than enthusiasm that I hoped online to investigate the B&Q website.
I would imagine that if you are wise in the ways of DIY the site will make a lot of sense - with products arrayed under their general areas of use. If you are one of those people who spends a long time wandering hopelessly from aisle to aisle, you may find the online expereince is comparable. The search facilities are good, but the more you know about what you want to buy, the better chance you have of finding it.
EG- we want to buy a waterproof paint. We search through paint, through masonry stuff, we eventually end up with a bituminous paint sold as 'for roofing' it takes a while.
We want loft insulation. We search for loft insulation and make a choice in about two minutes.
The site offers you avery small image of the product - which will tell you if you are totally off the mark, and it specifications, which should confirm or deny said impression. There is a huge range of products and a good deal of information - they have hints and tips dotted about as you go.
Buying online - I've done a bit of this on other sites, B&Q compares well - easy to load a shopping basket (or unload it) easy to pay (credit card required) secure, comprehensible. They email you a receipt, in case anything goes awry and will email you to say when they mean to deliver your goods. If you mean to be out, you can tell them what they should do "Leave it on the drive" 'take it to number 42 opposite' etc. Delivery will normally be within a couple of days.
The catch - a delivery charge. This starts quite small if you want just a tin of paint, but can go up to over twenty pounds for a big item (fifteen for a large ladder)However, the charge is a one off, and you pay for the biggest item in your order. therefore it makes sense to bulk buy, stock up on a load of stuff in one go rather than keep paying for delivery.
The Delivery - they turned up when they said they would, with what we ordered. You can't really do better than that.
On the whole I am very pleased with shopping online from B&Q and certainly mean to use this facility again in the future - it was a lot quicker than dragging arond the shop, (which is always crowded at weekends) and while there is an additional charge for delivery, if you don't have a car and need somethnig sizeable, its a good solution. Everything went like clockwork - again, I can't complain. Certainly well worth a try. (OK, so yes for the last few weeks the spare room has been full of loft insulation, and being spherical, I can't get it into the loft, but never mind, hey?)