What’s missing from Ebay Argos drop-off in the UK

Ebaynorthsanjose

I recently sold something via eBay and had to deliver it to Glasgow. It was a rather large package so regular post would have costed me in the range of double digits. That’s why I chose the eBay drop-off service via Argos, which I though would ease the process and make it cheaper. How wrong I was, you’ll soon find out. There are three episodes to this, all proving that the drop-off system needs a lot more work – both on communications & on operations.

Sunday

As I said, it was a rather large package, so I spent the morning searching for something to use as packaging, as the eBay section did say that I have to do it on my own. Argos does not provide packaging, nor do they sell it, which is poor judgement, from my point of view. Anyway, I went out to ship it via the Old Street Argos, most convenient option for me, and, when I got there, the lady at the counter did not only charge me before checking if the package can be accepted, but then refused to offer me a solution other than a refund and instructions to go to the post office to get “proper packaging”. When I asked what that was and how should I have known what “proper packaging” is, she called the manager who simply said: The eBay pickup guy will not take it. She also quoted me, charged and refunded me for a “medium package”, a thing that would alter my decision making process.

Tried to get packaging at Ryman, but they only had it with the DHL delivery, which was quoted at £17, an amount I would regret to not have take later on.

Time wasted: 2 hours
Money wasted: £5 for getting there and back

Monday

On Monday, I went to the post office and got “proper packaging” for £4. Okay, over my budget, but that’s a learning point. Tried to deliver it directly via the post, but they would have charged me £16 on top of the £4 already paid. SO I decided to go to Argos at Old Street once again. Big mistake. This time the machine was not working and there was no one to fix it at the time I went to drop off the package, so I went home.

Time wasted: 30 minutes
Money wasted: £2.5 for the extra trip

Tuesday

Finally, on Tuesday morning, I decided to change the Argos and went for the one in Camden Town. Even though the other Argos had quoted and charged me for the “medium package”, this Argos rep decided that my package is actually large, so I had to pay £2 extra for the delivery. What’s more, even though the store opens at 9am, there were people standing outside of the store up to 15 past, since they were waiting for someone to open the door. And I’m not even going to mention how long it took me to wait for the package to be handled.

Time wasted: 30 minutes
Money wasted: £2.5 for the trip, £2 for the extra charge

All in all, eBay drop-off seemed like a good idea, but it’s so poorly designed and executed that it took me three days, more money and many hours wasted, whereas I could have just sent it via Ryman’s DHL, that included packaging with £17. It wasted me a total of £12 and 4 hours, plus the frustration. Good job Argos & eBay.

Image source: Wikipedia

An extra dish of lokshen kugel

e39f24718bd53bddf7383cbd5f7840b9I moved out of my home country this year and I had previously left home for college 7 years ago, so home cooking was something I used to get just on public holidays, when I would travel home and my mum would cook for me. But somehow, with all these years past, I still longed for a piece of lokshen kugel (sweet noodle pudding for those who don’t know what I’m talking about).

I couldn’t find it anywhere in Bucharest, where I had lived prior to coming to London, and even here you could only get it in certain Israeli restaurants, but never as good as my grandma used to make it. You know what I am talking about, we all have our lokshen kugel even if yours is called differently. It’s that dish that your elders used to cook for you with everything in the right place, perfectly cooked and with that extra sprinkle of home cooking to make it taste right. No restaurant or takeaway or convenience dish can match that. It’s just something you have to make in your own home.

The why

This September, myself and two great friends decided to work together towards something that we think could revolutionize the way we order take-out food. We call it The Extra Dish.Just a few months later and we are ready to tell the world about it; and this is where we need your help. We know you have a great community of passionate home cooks and we’re sure that some of them are based in London and would surely benefit from our project.

So what is The Extra Dish?

It’s a food sharing platform. But instead of connecting restaurants, professional chefs or takeaways, we connect hungry commuters with talented home cooks in their neighborhood. Imagine getting an amazing Brazilian stew from the woman that knows it best, or maybe that secret-recipe curry or proper Yorkshire roast dinner like you remember your mum making back home. That’s the food we will be sharing — The food restaurants just can’t do. Now, what if we had all of that and we promised that every meal bought on the platform also bought an emergency meal for someone, somewhere else in the world that needs it most?

Scouting for talented home-cooks

Right now we are on the scout for talented home cooks that would want to make a bit of extra income from home by doing what they love the most — cooking! All they would need to do is make the food and we would take care of the rest — even the delivery! Plus ordering, advertising and money transfer is all handled safely and securely online (soon enough, we’re still in pre-launch phase). So the cook earns the money and the food-lover gets fed a great home-cooked meal. This is why we would very much appreciate your thoughts on The Extra Dish and, if you really like it and want to empower talented home cooking, we’re recruiting in London, Zones 1 or 2 for our initial launch.