Getting stuff delivered to your boat can be problematical for Continuous Cruisers. Post is Ok, we just use the Poste Restante system operated by Royal Mail but even then, some Post Offices have a problem with it. Usually lack of training – the staff just don’t know what you are talking about. we have found that the smaller POs are better but I usually go and ask first that they are happy to accept my post.
It is the larger stuff that brings the difficulties. we have had deliveries when moored at some prominent place, such as the Black Country Museum, by telling the staff in advance, asking them to direct the driver to where we’re moored. If we are moored in a marina for more than a few days then a delivery can usually be arranged to the marina office. Recently, however, I have discovered that Amazon have a network of small shops across the country who subscribe to a system called Collect Plus. This is fantastic for us CCers. I just request a delivery to an alternative address, look up the nearest store and wait for an e-mail telling me it has been delivered. Armed with this e-mail and my driving licence, I can walk to the store pick it up. There is a similar system called MyBuyBox which appears to operate through mainly Sainsburys stores. Here you need to sign up with either an annual subscription or on a PAYG basis. I have not used this yet but it looks like an easy way to get stuff from Ebay.
I know many boaters have their groceries delivered via the major supermarkets. We have not used these as Jeannette prefers to pick out her own foodstuffs. She can check the use-by dates, country of origin and the quality. However, we have used them extensively to buy wine. Being heavy stuff, unless you can moor next door to the supermarket, your arms are hanging from their sockets by the time you get back. Tescos offer two services for wine, either next day providing the total amount is over £150 or a timed delivery some 4 or 5 days ahead. We have found the next day delivery to be a disaster. The service is contracted out, and sometime further sub-contracted with drivers who have no desire to waste time trying to find you. They never seem able to read the address label or to phone you and ask. By contrast, the timed delivery has always been fantastic. In Boston we expected to have to meet the driver near the lock as he couldn’t drive to the moorings, some 600 yards away so it was a surprise to find him knocking on the side of the boat, with the wine. Their website is easy to navigate around and you can use your Clubcard vouchers, and the wine specific ones they send out every month.
By way of contrast, I find Sainsburys website difficult and frustrating to use. Why do they wait until you are checking out to tell you something is out of stock and if I ask for them not to send an alternative, why do they persist in doing it. Having said that, deliveries are always on time.
Obviously you need to provide a postcode for these. Easy to find but there are some postcodes that Tescos won’t deliver to. One of these was the visitor moorings at Brownhills, despite there being a huge Tesco store opposite (before you ask, the selection was very poor) so we then tried Ocado. What a fantastic service. Next day delivery is charged for but a 2 day service is free. Even though you choose a delivery slot, they text you the evening before giving you a tighter time slot, the registration number of the van and its driver.
It is a great pity that the likes of DHL, Yodel, Parcel Force, etc. are unable to deliver to a canalside location. Perhaps, in time as technology advances, they will be able to.
Living retirement in the slow lane.
20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!
Very useful, Pete. Many thanks.
Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther
Days without name and hours without number
I work as an Asda home delivery driver and we regularly deliver to boaters in nmarina’s around the Rugby area throughout the year, during the summer we often deliver to boaters that are cruising, this generaly happens at bridges, they request a phone call when we are on the way and are waiting for us when we get there.
Great stuff Pete, and nice to know that we all now have two chances of meeting Martyn, either on Pendragon or by his shiny ASDA delivery van
Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin
We did a shop in Sainsburys the other day as it was the easiest one within walking distance of the boat, although it was still thirty minutes away . Not really our first choice supermarket, although this is just down to personal preference rather than any complaint or problem.
Every cloud and all that though as at the checkout we were given a voucher to get £12 off their online delivery service (over £60) for first time customers. Well £12 being £12 pound we gave it a bash and no problem at all. Turned up within five minutes into the hour slot they’d given us and the chap even brought his trolley down the grassy bank to us.
Not much use if you’re already a customer, but if not, might be worth seeing if they do it at a Sainsbury near you.
Enjoying the Dream ( Keith & Nicky http://narrowboatboysontour.bl…..gspot.com/ )
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