WE'VE LISTENED - WE'VE AGREED - WE'VE MADE SOME IMPROVEMENTS
We get lots of positive feedback from our customers about prices and service – it’s lovely to hear and it’s encouraging for everyone in the Cake Stuff team who work really hard to get hundreds of orders shipped every day. But one issue that concerns everyone who buys on-line has to be delivery charges.
We're an on-line company - virtually everything we do centres around delivering orders, so this is very important to us and we're determined to get it right. We've been listening to our customers and trying hard - very hard - to find ways of improving service and reducing charges without having to increase our famously low prices.
We've improved timescales - most Standard Shipping orders arrive in 3-4 working days and all Express Shipping orders placed before 2pm on a working day arrive next working day. For full details see our Delivery & Returns page.
NEW LOWER DELIVERY CHARGES FOR SMALL ORDERS
We discovered that some customers assumed we would charge £6.95 for delivery for all orders and didn't realise there were lower charges for small orders. So we've introduced an even lower delivery charge designed to help customers who need a small item quickly - perhaps something they forgot to add to their main order - delivery now starts from only £1.95 (Large letter) or £3.95 (Small Packet).
Royal Mail's new postage rates mean there is now an overlap where some orders between 1kg - 2kg (excludes outsized items unable to be posted) can be delivered by post or by courier at our discretion, so these also have a new lower delivery charge of only £4.95.
WHY CAKE STUFF DELIVERIES ARE DIFFERENT . . .
Apart from our lovely pink boxes, what really makes our deliveries different from most is that we don't charge for delivery per box - we charge delivery per entire order. This allows us to ship your order in as many boxes as we need to, to offer the best protection. Order heavy sugarpaste along with cake boards and some fragile cupcake cases or icing colouring and we can deliver in 2, 3 or even 10 different boxes to offer maximum protection without it costing you a penny extra . . . try getting Royal Mail to do that, all for £6.95!
It sounds simple but you'd be surprised how many of competitors charge for additional boxes or what they class as unusually large orders - sometimes even where they advertise free delivery.
EXCEPTIONAL VALUE DELIVERY FOR HEAVIER ORDERS
For heavier orders up to 20kg we can deliver to any UK mainland address for a flat rate of £6.95 – and FREE of charge on orders of £75 or more. The vast majority of Cake Stuff orders over 20kg are also worth over £75 so delivery is almost always free on larger orders.
So, is £6.95 good value for orders between 2kg and 20kg? Take a 5kg block of sugarpaste into your local Post Office from 1st April 2014 and it will cost you £23 to send (1st class Signed For). Even a lighter order up to 5kg costs £16.95 and this is for just one box. This surprises many customers who feel that £6.95 is already a lot to pay. You can check these prices using Royal Mail's price finder: http://www.royalmail.com/price-finder.
FREE DELIVERY OFFERS
We have always been totally open and honest about our delivery charges but we've noticed that when it comes to free delivery offers especially, there's quite a lot of smoke-and-mirrors out there. Now that distributors Culpitt have decided to sell certain products direct to retail customers with a great looking £25 free delivery offer, some of our competitors have felt under pressure to do something similar.
The average value of a Cake Stuff order means that £75 is the optimum level at which we can also offer free delivery - if we had to lower this we'd have to increase our prices, which would impact on customers placing larger orders so that's not going to work! Although this is probably over-simplifying things, it's not unfair to suggest that the lower the free delivery limit, the higher the prices - finding a balance between offering really low prices and also offering free delivery is the key.
WOULD YOU BE IMPRESSED BY A £25 FREE DELIVERY OFFER?
Everything that follows can be checked, tested and discussed in as much detail as you want - very shortly we will show detailed sample orders in a graphic format in order to meet Trading Standards regulations for actual Price Comparisons. In the meantime, if you're a Cake Stuff customer then we hope you know us well enough to trust us when we say we've done our homework so here's what we've discovered, in broad terms . . .
Imagine you are placing an order with Culpitt (or another competitor). You've put £25 of products in your basket and you've been given free delivery. Sounds good. Now put exactly the same products in your Cake Stuff basket and you'll find that, on average, they would cost only £20. With delivery costing between £3.95 and £6.95 you could, we admit, end up paying a couple of pounds more with Cake Stuff. There you go - honest and transparent - you could pay slightly more.
But here's what we mean about smoke-and-mirrors . . . this comparison only applies at this specific £25 order value. We've run the numbers over and over (and over again) and almost without exception have found that for any order over £35 Cake Stuff will always work out better value, regardless of any free delivery offer. In fact, by the time the order value reaches £50 we are saving customers at least 10% and by the time you reach £75+ we are consistently saving customers 20% or more.
And it's not just all about bigger orders . . . for orders under £25 Cake Stuff also work out better value, simply because our delivery charges start from £1.95 whereas many competitors (including those advertising free delivery over £25) have higher minimum delivery charges. In the case of Culpitt minimum delivery is £4.99, so even the smallest order from Culpitt would cost £4.99 for delivery.
Cake Stuff never charge our customers the retail price for anything - our average savings are 20-25% on RRP across a range of over 4,500 products with savings of 30-35% and more commonplace. Being conservative about these figures, we're confident that 20% should be the average minimum saving we can offer on any order.
The "average" Cake Stuff order is larger than most companies. The reason is simple - our prices are extremely competitive so we attract customers who are often busier cake makers - customers whose orders tend to be that little bit bigger. Obviously we highly value customers placing smaller orders too but we're not daft - we realise that there will be occasions where it's cheaper for a customer to nip into Asda for a couple of packs of sugarpaste than have us post them to her.
What we're really saying is that apart from a tiny, tiny percentage of orders right on that £25 value, Cake Stuff will consistently offer better value - whether your order is larger or smaller. And even on those £25-£30 orders where we're about equal with our competitors, we are trying to find ways of offering you even better value - that's why our delivery charges on smaller orders have already been reduced!
REMOTE MAINLAND DELIVERIES
Cake Stuff do not charge a penny more to deliver to remote mainland addresses but ask customers in these areas to allow an extra couple of days for delivery. This generally applies to Scottish highlands anywhere North / North West of Inverness, the tip of Cornwall, a few areas in Wales and the other odd remote address - we're guessing you'll know who and where you are! :o)
For customers in Northern Ireland, on Shetland, Orkney and other Scottish islands, the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Channel islands or any other UK offshore islands we normally deliver by Royal Mail. Please note that we do not penalise any non-mainland customers. Compared to our mainland courier rates we admit these can appear high but we are not charging anyone anything extra - just the correct Royal Mail rates.
We completely understand why people who do not live on the mainland get annoyed by excessive delivery charges so please be assured that Cake Stuff are working hard to secure even better delivery rates. In the meantime we make an open offer to all our non-mainland customers . . . if you use / have used / know of a courier company who can deliver to your address for a competitive rate then please let us know - we'd love to speak to them!
EXAMPLE - this is just one example of what we can do to help, with a little "local input" . . . Streamline Shipping in Aberdeen specialise in delivering to Orkney and Shetland at rates well below national carriers. So you can have your Cake Stuff order delivered to them in Aberdeen for the same cost as any mainland customer and FREE over £75 - you only have to arrange the much less expensive onward delivery with Streamline Shipping. We're convinced similar solutions must already be available for other islands so, with your local knowledge, please let us know!
For customers with a BFPO address please remember that under MoD rules we can only deliver via Royal Mail. Only Royal Mail are permitted to deliver to the BFPO depot at RAF Northolt as only Royal Mail parcels include any payment for forward delivery. This severely restricts what we can charge as there are no viable delivery alternatives at the present time.
This may sound new but it's not - we've had a Price Promise for over 25 years. With everyone falling over themselves to offer customers cheaper deliveries and lower free delivery limits, Cake Stuff make an open offer to all our customers . . .
If you find that ordering exactly the same products from another supplier works out better value, including any delivery costs, then let us know.
We've crunched the numbers but we realise there could be a certain combination of order value / weight / size which we haven't checked so let us know where we could be doing better. We are committed to offering our customers a level of service that our competitors can only dream of and we will do everything possible to ensure you always enjoy best value from us.
We will continue to update this page with the latest improvements to delivery charges.