The online lingerie market is highly competitive and with so many businesses trying to get you to spend with them, it is hardly surprising that some may use tactics that are less than up front. From sites that say they offer the "best price" when they don't to others that hide their high shipping charges until you are in the check out, it can be a minefield for the customer and we have discovered that it is not easy to hunt down the best offer.
Take the example of a well known auction site that started life many years ago as somewhere for ordinary people to sell their unwanted items and has morphed over the years into a giant shopping mall with many professional sellers on board. To the uninformed buyer this auction site means low cost and bargain deals but this is not always the reality. We did a price check on one of our items today which proves this point. We regularly price check our products and today it was the turn of Lola Luna Valentine, an open g string, which is for sale on Every-so-Sexy for £27.00 with free UK shipping and loyalty points. We found two offers on that famous auction site for this product, one was offering Valentine for £27.55 with a massive £5.54 postage and yet another seller was offering the same product at £30.99 with a shipping charge of £2.60. At least they were up front about their pricing but if you are one of those that believe things are always cheaper on the auction site and don't search around you will be paying a lot more than you need to.
Taking this a step further we decided to see if an exact product search on Google might bring up a good deal if not the best. The results were not great, especially for a UK shopper, as most of the results on page one were from outside of the UK and certainly did not represent the best offer. There was only one UK site on page one and that did not have Lola Luna Valentine. We moved on to page 2 where we found our own product page with one other UK site. We checked out the other site and just for a moment we thought we had found a better offer than our own as the product page price for the Valentine was £24.95 but as the free delivery option with this site only kicks in at an order value of £40.00 we thought we would check how much they charge for delivery. Buried in the links at the bottom of the page was their delivery information and there we found that they would charge £2.95 so making the total cost of their Valentine g string £27.90. It made us wonder how many customers have been hooked on that product page price and paid an extra .90p for the Valentine. Wondering if it might be better to use Google.co.uk instead of the .com we tried again with depressingly similar results.
Next we tried Bing. In one respect they seemed to have better results. Our product page was at number 2 under the Bing images but from the customer's perspective it was only a little better than the Google results as they too had a mix of international sites and outdated or irrelevant pages and so it was not possible to compare the Valentine g string on other sites.
Finally we decided to try price comparison sites, but that was no help either. Using the search phrase "compare lola luna valentine open g string" Google returned a whole page of entries from the same site... an Australian comparison site! We think that the average shopper would have lost the will to live at this stage if not before and to be honest we were also running out of motivation, so we gave up.
Our conclusion - its a lottery and the lingerie shopper needs to be Sherlock Holmes in order to find the best deal, at least if they want to buy Lola Luna.
When we started this post we did not realise how difficult it is for the lingerie shopper to find the best offer. Now we do know, we think it is time to do something about it. We don't have the resources to set up a lingerie price comparison site and neither can we set up a search engine that will serve relevant results - let's face it, if the biggest of the big can't do it, we certainly can't.... but we can do spot checks. So keep an eye on our blog posts for the "best offer" posts. We check competition pricing regularly and from now on we will post the results in our blog, and to be absolutely fair and prove we are not just doing it to highlight how good we are, we will review products we don't sell as well as our own.
Products Mentioned in this post: Lola Luna Valentine.
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