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Aug 29, 2006 04:07 PM

On-Line Grocery Shopping Question

I just placed my first on-line grocery order due to being injured and unable to get out of the house. Didn't bother with anything which I would want to make judgement calls on such as fresh produce or meats, but for stocking up on staples it was very useful (I'm sending my husband out for the small amount we need of those other items since there is only 2 of us at home).

Anyway, the delivery charge was close to $15. Do I need to now tip on top of that when they deliver? While it seems at first glance a hefty price to pay for the luxury of having it brought to my doorstep, it was necessary since my husband's schedule didn't allow for him to make a huge shopping trip and we were running very low on just about everything.

I don't mind tipping if it is appropriate - but what would be? 5-10% of the actual bill, before the delivery charge? Or is on a per bag basis?


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  1. When I used to use Fresh Direct (moved to the suburbs recently), the delivery charge was only about $5... I then tipped $1 per bag plus a few extra on top to the delivery guy who was always very nice and also prompt. The charge, I believe, goes to the store not the delivery guy. It is a S & H fee for processing.

    Who did you use to pay such a high delivery fee?

    FYI: I always liked Fresh Direct, even bought cold cuts (turkey breast), cheeses, fruit, chicken and once day boat scallops (off a tip from a CH'er) that were phenomenal.

    You should give them a shot while you are unable to do the shopping for yourself... They have good pricing on household items, canned goods, juices, milk, pasta, etc. and have a wide variety including organic lines. Just to give you choices of vendors, see who you like.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Michele4466

      We don't have Fresh Direct where I live. I used Shop Rite, which is where I normally shop. Well, actually I prefer Kings but they don't do online yet. Peapod not here either.

      I'll see how this goes. I thought the delivery was a bit steep - we have another store a bit closer but they don't do delivery yet so I guess that is why the charge was a bit high. Thanks for clueing me in about the tipping. I called the store but they were hestitant to make a suggestion about it.

      1. re: sivyaleah

        It is too bad you do not have FD yet... You should check out their website... and perhaps write in to customer service about potential locations/areas. I have always found them to be right on... As a matter of fact, I got a call to see what was wrong when I stopped ordering. Whether they were trying to incite me to start ordering again with a gentle reminder or not, they asked questions about their service and quality to determine if that was the reason for the hiatus in my ordering. I was a bi-weekly customer. I assured them that the reason was purely a move to the suburbs, I thought that was pretty on top of things.

        BTW: I meant $1 per box, not bag (thanks valerie).

        Perhaps you should also talk to Shop Rite about the outrageous delivery charge. Though they might be the only game in your town, this is not the case elsewhere and it certainly won't be for long.

        Feel better!

    2. I use Fresh Direct in Manhattan all the time and I usually tip $1.00 per box. An average delivery for me is about 3-4 boxes. If it's horrible weather, I give them a little more.

      $15 for delivery, wow that's high.

      1. Hi Laurie! Once again, you and I think alike...I was just thinking of using Shop Rite's delivery service. Technically, I think the charge is $5 or $6 for the let-us-shop-for-you service and $10 for delivery. Not that it makes a difference.

        The one time I used their shopping service, I wasn't very happy with it. They're supposed to come out to your car and load the bags for you, but I waited and waited and finally had to go in and ask them for my order. That totally defeated the purpose of not having to get out of the car with two young children.

        The one upside I can see of paying the delivery/shopping charge is that I probably save almost that much by avoiding impulse purchases in the store.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maryelizabeth

          That is SO funny! I also thought that paying that extra was like that "avoidance" factor too! I always have so much impulse buying.

          I was pretty pleased with the process for the most part. They called me in advance to tell me they did not have the Pluga butter I wanted, so I told them to leave it off the order (I had enough butter in the house, plus I'd ordered Smart Balance too). They also didn't have the Ecce Panis semolina bread I prefer (yes, Shop Rite gets some of their bread from EP) - but wanted to know if they could substitute another semolina? I said fine. I didn't mind but what I did mind was that I had asked for it to be sliced because the EP bread is more like a loaf, not a batard for lack of a better description. The one they sent was more like a batard, so when sliced it is pretty much useless as sandwich bread - too tiny, you know? But ok, no biggie, I'd ordered sandwich rolls too.

          I did get a bit nervous because the order form said it had substituted a chocolate pudding cake for the semoline bread! Both my husband and I were not happy about that - but it was just a typo (we don't eat stuff like that).

          Other than that, everything else was exactly as requested, and the frozen items were still frozen.

          The brought all the bags to my front door, although my husband lugged them in the house, again no big deal. I wasn't exactly dressed (I'm the one that posted about being incapacitated and having the husband that can't cook on the Home Cooking Board) so I didn't need some delivery guy walking through my house anyway.

          I'd use them again in a pinch. It saved me a ton of aggravation by not having to send my wonderful, albeit grocery shopping ineffective husband out to get everything. There would have been at least 10 cell phone calls to me, asking me for explanations, substitutions, etc. Definately worth the extra $15.

          Plus, like you said, I would have spent that on a container of expensive sea salt in no time flat :-)

        2. Supermarkets that provide this service in Southern California do not permit their delivery drivers to accept tips. I overcome this with my regular driver by giving him a food gift at holiday time. Also where I shop the standard delivery charge is $10, but they discount it if you select certain broad delivery windows, and they discount it to $5 if your order is worth over $150.00

          1. We used to use Peapod all the time when our children were little and we were desperate for time. It was generally very good. I think we used to tip the driver, and then they got bought out and made a bunch of changes, and said not to tip the drivers. But the drivers were quite unhappy, and not being well paid or well treated, and eventually that was part of the reason we stopped using Peapod. Like I said, it was several years ago. I would want to know how well the drivers are paid before I decided not to tip.

            I've been thinking of using Peapod again this fall because our weekends are going to be very busy. There used to be no service charge if you ordered a certain amount, which we always did. I rarely had trouble with meat and produce not up to standards, and they always took it back if I did. (Once my husband ordered 22 jars of spaghetti sauce instead of 2 jars, and luckily, they called and asked before they delivered it.) I definitely think that I spend less -- no impulse purchases, plus I see the total before I buy -- when I buy online.