My bunnies are two creatures of habit. So am I. They have eaten the same pellet food for the last few years, and I have always purchased it from my local Pets At Home. I go once a month or so to buy Burgess Excel pellets, hay, and of course a few treats.
I am well aware that there are a number of online pet shops which offer the products I normally buy but will deliver to my door. I was asked to try out Pet Shop Bowl for Splodz Blogz, so naturally I (and my bunnies) obliged. To help me give the site a good try they gave me a voucher to spend, but I actually spent double that – the bunnies are spoilt!
The site is designed with all the product categories down the left hand side – for rabbits I had to scroll down below dog and cat to “small animal”. I guess bunnies don’t need their own category at that level, but once you’ve clicked on “food” (for example) you are then given a list of species to choose from, including rabbit.
It’s very easy to navigate through, you can drill down by product type or brand. As I was ordering products I’m used to purchasing I used the search box at the top, which I found very useful – saved me clicking through pages for most things. I also had a browse though, and was impressed with the range of products and brands on offer in the one place.
One thing I thought was odd was the option within the product details page to enlarge/zoom the picture of the product – which I like to use on the web as it means you can see the packaging properly and know for sure if it’s the right thing. But I found that just opened a picture exactly the same size, and so it is pretty pointless. Not on every product I have to say (some of the hutches did have a proper zoom function), but it did seem the majority of the ones I was looking to buy had this issue.
Adding something to your basket is naturally very easy, and when you do so you get suggestions of other things you might want to look at (can’t beat a bit of cross selling!).
Once your total is more than £19.99 it’s free shipping, which is excellent (it’s very easy to spend that amount on pet food!). As this doesn’t include vouchers it became the main reason I chose to double up on what I spent; I don’t like paying for delivery – it was better for me to order additional products (that I knew I would use) and get the delivery free.
One thing that caught my attention was their “bottomless bowl” scheme – a reordering service where you choose what you want and how often, and Pet Shop Bowl send it to you. So if I wanted to receive two bags of food and a couple of treat items every month for a year, I could set a recurring order up and I’d not have to think about it again. This is a great idea, and while I didn’t try this out I can see why it would be very useful.
I was also interested to see that if you buy in bulk you pay less per item – for example one 10kg bag of Burgess Excel Adult Rabbit currently costs £18.74, buying two is £34.98, and three £51.22, giving a saving of up to a fiver. Other kinds of product are available to bulk buy too – like water bottles (in case you have a lot of hutches!).
This is not a review of courier companies. But it would be unfair of me to tell you it took a couple of weeks to get my order without explaining why, as it was not the fault of Pet Shop Bowl. I got an email from the company a couple of days before May bank holiday to tell me my parcel was on the way and to remind me that due to the bank holiday it would be a day extra on delivery. I received a small parcel in the post which contained two items, but there was no sign of the large box that should contain the food and hay elements of the order.
I contacted Pet Shop Bowl and they confirmed it should have been delivered by then, and contacted the courier – Yodel – who said it had been delivered and signed for by someone with the surname Holmes. Well it hadn’t. I know that because the parcel was due to be delivered to work, where we have a post room where no-one with that name works. Unfortunately I suspect the driver is suggesting that I signed for the parcel myself, but as I work in a different building (and would have spelt my surname correctly), I can be certain I did not. And as far as I am aware, they have not yet been able to produce the signature.
It is such a shame that courier companies feel it is ok to not do the job they have been paid for. Yodel must have my parcel somewhere. They’re not the only ones to do this, it’s quite common I fear – I have parcels left out in the rain at home, and even Royal Mail didn’t bother to put a red card through my letterbox when a neighbour took in a parcel for me so I didn’t know until they knocked on my door a week later.
But anyway, like I said, this is not a review of courier companies. Pet Shop Bowl came to the same conclusion as me with regards to the delivery and immediately dispatched my order again, this time upgrading me to 24 hour delivery. A large box of rabbit food and treats arrived promptly and all was well. Thanks for resending the parcel, I’m sorry that you had to.
I chose to order things I knew my bunnies would like because they’ve either had them or had very similar before. The box of goodies was very well packed and everything arrived in great condition.
Of the treats I ordered it’s fair to say the Burgess dried apple is Chocolate and Ginger’s favourite – and yes we tried a bit and it really is just dried apple like you get from Julian Graves with a few herbs sprinkled on. Yum. Really!
Splodz Blogz Verdict
Pet Shop Bowl is an easy to use online pet shop where everything I’d need for my bunnies seems to be available. If you buy pet food and are fed up of carrying stuff from a store then definitely give the delivery service a try, it’s certainly more convenient. Oh and if you have tried the Bottomless Bowl service please let me know how it is!
You can find Pet Shop Bowl online – let me know what you think.