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We have recently loaned a pony for my daughter and as she had a show coming up we started shopping for all the bits and bobs she would need for grooming etc so she would have the best chance of winning. We were told about Robinsons and advised to give them a try.
Shopping With Robinsons
There are several ways of shopping with Robinsons. If you are lucky enough to live close to either Ahton-in-Makerfield, Wigan or Bridgtown, Cannock (store opening Autumn 2008) then you can go directly to the store to pick up the bits you need. Go to http://www.robinsons-uk.com/content/content.asp?id=61 for details. You can also order by mail order and can request a catalogue online. Go to https://www.robinsons-uk.com/requestcatalogue/requestcatalogue.asp to do this. But by far the best way, for me at least, is by shopping directly online. I don't live close to either of the stores and there is a much better selection online than in the mail order catalogue.
The Robinsons Website
When entering the website you will see the different sections that the products are listed under. You will realise at this point that Robinsons do not only cater for horses and riders, but dogs as well! The different sections are as follows:
* For You - In this section you will find 4 different subsections which are: riding, leisure, footwear and headwear.
* Your Home - Again 4 subsections which are: kids' stuff, homewear, gifts and multimedia.
* Your Horse - A large selection of items for your horse divided into: tack, rugs, horsewear and boots.
* Your Stable - You will find items here for: your yard, tack room, feed room and field.
* Your Dog - Clothing, beds, grooming and toys. Although I have a dog, I am yet to shop from this section although items seem fairly priced.
There is a wide range of items under each subsection which can then be filtered by brand, price, or by specifying a minimum and a maximum price. The only problem that I find with this is that if you're not searching for anything in particular but just browsing, there can be page after page of items to search through. Alternatively you can use the search bar at the top of the page and enter what you are after, for example "childs jodhpurs". Again this isn't any good if you are just browsing but that would be a problem with most online shops.
Across the top of the page, you will also see an option to shop by brand. Very useful if you like a particular range of products as this way it will bring up all items in all categories.
You will also see a tab that says "bargains". I love this section of the store, but the items are end of line so grab them when you see them as when they've gone they've gone! The individual items do show how many are left in stock. You can filter products in this section into the different sections stated above to make it easier to find what you are after. It's always worth a look here when ever you're placing an order.
Placing an order
While browsing the site, you can click on individual products to see more information, including sizes and colours available. You choose the quantity that you want to purchase and click "add to basket". You then get to choose whether to continue shopping or go to your basket to complete your order. You can then edit you order if need be before going to the checkout.
If you are already a Robinsons web customer, you just need to log in. If you are a previous customer but have never ordered online, you click on "existing customer applying for a web account" and enter your existing customer number and a few simple details including your email address. If you have never ordered from Robinsons before, you click on "new customer". The details that you need to enter are simple and just include your name, address and a password as well as a few optional questions.
After either logging in or registering, you can then proceed to the checkout which is a very easy process. You can choose to have the order delivered to either your home address or to create another address for delivery. You can then choose delivery options. Delivery is priced at £4.95 for standard delivery (3-4 days) or £9.95 for next day for anywhere in the UK mainland. Larger items, such as jump wings, incur a £12 delivery charge, but this includes your whole order and not just the individual item. I find this to be quite expensive for delivery but when you think that you can order as much as you want for this delivery price, it is worthwhile waiting until you need a good amount of stuff, or even sharing the delivery price with someone else. For example, a woman at our stables noticed I had bought some Robinsons own brand grooming items and said "why didn't you tell me you where placing an order? I'd have given you a list!". It's worth asking around to make sure no one else needs to order anything, especially as in my case I had paid for next day delivery to make sure the stuff was here in time for the show!
You can pay with most cards and the processing is quick, after which you will receive a confirmation email. You can log back in at any time to check if your order has been dispatched.
Receiving your order
I placed my order qite late at night, so obviously it was processed the next day. The day after that I received a large box from Robinsons with all my items inside. Everything was so well wrapped it was like Christmas!! All the bottles wrapped in bubble wrap then fastened securely and placed inside a Robinsons bag and then placed into the box. A couple of bottles had leaked slightly but it didn't cause a problem as it was so slight and the leakage had no chance of going on any of the other items in the box. The order was complete and no items where missing or wrong.
Robinsons supply well known brands but also do their own brand, called Requisite. I had ordered a number of the own brand items as they were quite a bit cheaper. I found the quality of all the items to be good, including the rugs and grooming products.
I would highly recommend anyone who has horses, rides or even dog owners give Robinsons a go. The only downside that I found was the delivery charge but if you place a large order it doesn't seem so bad. If I needed an individual item I would go to my local tack shop and pay that little bit more so I don't have to pay the delivery charge but on the other hand if I needed a lot of stuff, or someone at the yard was wanting to place an order, I wouldn't hesitate to use Robinsons again. Recommended.
Just in case you wondered, my daughter placed 3rd in her Most Appealing Pony Class, which was quite a large class and only her 2nd show. Thank you Robinsons!!
Pictures of robinsons-uk.com
My daughter and (shiney & clean) Chester after coming 3rd in the Most Appealing Pony Class