Tesco and John Lewis have both made changes to their collection charges this month. But there are ways to get around the extra fees.
I’m a big fan of click and collect.
I’ve always avoided online delivery charges, either through discount codes or using click and collect. But since my local post office depot closed, it’s not easy to pick up deliveries I miss because I’m at work. But click and collect lets me grab the goods when it suits me – and return them if they’re not quite what I want.
I’ve no doubt it’s made me more likely to buy something on a whim, knowing I don’t have to tackle the horror of Westfield (I *hate* Westfield) or pay for delivery on something I might not want.
So what’s changed?
Tesco and John Lewis change their policies
John Lewis used to let you collect items for free from any of their departments stores and most Waitrose. I picked up a new iron this way just a few weeks ago. From the end of July, it’s now going to add a £2 charge for any order under £30.
Tesco’s extra charge for both deliveries and click & collect grocery orders under £25 is £4. But from 23rd July, the minimum order to avoid this fee will be £40. That’s not too different to other supermarkets, but along with John Lewis’s announcement it’s a sign that other shops could soon follow.
The supermarket, along with Sainsbury’s, also axed a click and collect at tube stations scheme in June.
The end of free click and collect?
It could be.
Apparently the cost of providing the service is quite high and offering it free was losing the companies money. The problem is, people have come to expect the service. With these two big companies starting to charge, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more doing the same.
However, Marks & Spencer announced the opposite this week, and it’s actually expanding it’s free click and collect to more Simply Food stores.
How to get around the charges
Just because companies start charging you for smaller orders, it doesn’t mean you can’t still collect your orders for free.
When Amazon upped their minimum delivery charges a few months back, I discovered a hack to still get items under £20 delivered for free (you can read more about how to do it in this blogpost “How to get free Amazon delivery”).
A similar principle applies with both John Lewis and Tesco.
How to get a free John Lewis click and collect order
You need to spend £30 to use John Lewis click and collect for free, but importantly you can also return unwanted items for free.
So the simple trick is to order something you don’t want to bring the order above £30. Then when you collect your order, simply return the extra item. You can do this at Waitrose too, though they don’t process your refund until it reaches the return centre.
How to get a free Tesco click and collect (or cheaper delivery)
With Tesco groceries, it’s not as simple, but still easy enough.
You can return items, but anything fresh has to be on the day you receive or collect the order. However you have 28 days if something isn’t perishable.
I’d recommend topping up your basket with something like a bottle of spirits such as whiskey or gin. These work for me as they’re easy to carry with you to return without damaging the packing. You’ll easily find something to bring you over £40 barrier to avoid the £4 surcharge.
Remember, it’s only free for click and collect. Home delivery still has a fee.