My first experiences with the QVC home shopping channel, was a few years ago. I would occasionally watch the shows running on QVC, on our On-Digital box. I never actually purchased anything, though. The demise of On-Digital meant that it was a while before I watched QVC again.
Once we bought our first Freeview digital box, access to about 30 channels was available for free. One of these channels was QVC.
QVC began in America, where it has been up and running for many years. It stocks over 15,000 products and is very successful. It is the largest electronic retailer in the UK, currently.
QVC is supposed to stand for Quality, Value and Convenience, but is this what QVC actually provide?
QVC Home Shopping, UK style.
QVC is found on channel 16 of the Freeview service. It is shown on channel 630, on Sky, and on cable, it is channel 740.
Now that I have ordered a few items, from QVC, I can actually say that I am one of their satisfied customers.
You can watch the QVC shows on TV, or live on their website at : www.qvcuk.com.
Internet browsing means that you can buy from previous shows. The stock for sale online is divided so that you can search, for example, for shoes in general, or a particular item. Pricing is the same as the TV shows. Without watching the live shows on the internet, you can still search for stock. They also have a clearance section, so really there is much more choice online.
This review though is really about the TV shows.
Each show runs for around one hour.
The presenters are all very amiable and professional, which makes for easy viewing. You may know some of their faces, from past appearances on mainstream UK TV.
One of the disadvantages qith QVC is that, it is so easy to be persuaded to spend. Each show usually has one presenter, and a representative from goods being shown. Sometimes it is the head of a company, as in "Kim and Co", where it is usually Kim Mendlesonn herself.
If the scheduling was for" Winterwear" there would be a range of winter clothes from all different retailers. However, if, for example, it was for "Winterwear by Centigrade " it would only be Centigrade's stock.
As you watch a "Diamonds" show, or what you will, each product has a thorough review with plenty of time on the screen. Too much time in some cases, as you are waiting for the show to move on. On screen you will see the order code, any relevant colours and sizes, the price and contact telephone number.
Unlike some of the other UK shopping channels, the telephone number is a freephone, 0800, or you can order via the web.
The interactive red Button on your TV remote, is active. On Freeview this brings up a choice of Today's Special value, Hot picks, a 24 hour review, a QVC TV guide and Help menu.You can look back at products from earlier in the day, which enables you to order late.
If the " today's special value" sells out quickly, usually QVC show a "one to watch" offer. This product will represent good value and the price will only last a limited time.
Sometimes a price is reduced just for a particular show, but you have no way of knowing how honest this statement is. Prices are sometimes broken down into 2, 3, or 4 easy, monthly, payments. If you use this option, you are told when ordering, when the payments will begin. The bonus is that you do not pay any charges, for doing this. If you are not careful though, you may feel encouraged to overspend.
First time ordering.
For your first purchase, you need to ring the ordinary free phone number, 0800 50 40 30. The person at the end of the line will take some details, such as the product details, your name and your address. You will be allocated a QVC personal number and select a pin number. Choose this pin as you would for a credit card.
You will be asked for your payment details and you will need some sort of debit, switch or credit card in order to pay. Buyers must be aged 18 or over to shop at QVC.
There is no hard selling, or pressure, to buy other goods.
They will confirm the amount payable , including any postage , and when they think delivery will be made. Items are usually delivered within 5 to 7 working days.
The amount of postage and packaging is usually between Â£2.95 and Â£7.95. Occasionally free or reduced postage is on offer. Usually, if you order two items which are exactly the same, there is only one postage and packing charge.
You may be asked if you want be put through to the studio, to talk to the presenters live on air. They must be mad.
Once you have ordered, for the first time, you will receive membership confirmation in the post, along with a plastic swipe card and your membership number. When you come to order again you can either, ring the aforementioned free phone, or use the Qcut, in first number, line on 0800 52 42 32. This service is automated so you will need your membership numbers. This is a useful service, for example, when QVC have a Sale and phone lines are busy.
The Goods bought.
Your parcel will arrive promptly, within the 5 to 7 days, stipulated, in a grey plastic bag. Along with the goods there is a QVC TV guide for the next month. There is also your receipt. One side has the return labels, which you may need, and the other your order and goods details, plus your guarantee and information on returning any items.
QVC do offer a no quibble, money back, guarantee for 30 days. However, you do have to pay for the return yourself, unless there is an error on their part or the goods are faulty.
At Christmas-time the 30 day guarantee is extended, so presents are still covered post Christmas.
I have ordered, and received, a variety of products from QVC. As I work and don't drive, I do find QVC convenient at times. The elderly, or people with mobility issues, may find it extremely useful.
Returns are picked up from your home.
The prices are fairly competitive, but you do find that some of the clothes can be expensive. The quality has, however, always been good.You do have to bear in mind, also, that the presenters are salespeople, probably on commission, and pitch their opinions accordingly.
I did think that it would be quite hard to judge the quality of items on the screen, and sometimes I have found it easier with the sound turned down. This gives me the opportunity to look without listening to the sales pitch. Buying this way is still better than just looking in a catalogue, although clothes obviously drape better on the slender models at QVC. Once you have ordered a few times, you know which manufacturers offer the best buys.
Crafting shows are mainly for items used to make Birthday or Christmas cards, and they seem expensive.
QVC shows vary from clothes > crafting > bed linen > cameras > TV's > DIY > Gardening >food and to much more.
Well known brands, such as Molten Brown and Butler and Wilson, appear regularly, with good prices. Shows such as Indigo Moon and Quacker Factory, are only available on QVC in the UK. There really must be something for everyone and, if you prefer, the on-line shopping is just as varied and easy.
The main problem is that QVC may be a bit too convenient, especially if you are a shopaholic.