Work and family obligations keep people busy. Sometimes, there just isn't enough time to shop for things you need. Fortunately, modern conveniences make ordering products and services and requesting home delivery easier than ever.
But just because home delivery is available doesn't mean you should have everything shipped to your house. Here is a look at 10 of the best and worst things to have delivered to your home.
5 Best Things to Have Delivered to Your Home
Long retail lines can waste your time and test your patience. And sometimes, you have to drive from store to store to find the items you need.
Using a retailer's delivery service lets you compare and purchase online from the comfort of your home or office. You also can potentially save money. If you want home delivery, here are five of the best items to purchase.
Diapers can burn a hole in your budget. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, "diapers can cost $70-$80 per month and babies need between six and 10 diapers per day."
So you can expect to pay an average of between $840 and $960 on diapers per year. Buying disposable diapers from a nearby grocery store or discount club can be faster, but you might save more buying online and having diapers delivered to your home.
Kyle James, owner and founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com, has raised three kids and describes himself as a "total money-saving coupon nerd." He said having diapers delivered saved him a lot of money.
"The first thing I would do is find coupons," said James. "I typically ended up at Diapers.com because I could find a money-saving coupon — typically $10 off a case — and combine it with a site-wide sale and get free shipping right to my door step."
He said he always ended up with a lower price than what he would have gotten shopping at Costco or Walmart. "Plus, the convenience of having them show up at your doorstep was a huge plus for our busy family," he said.
If you are purchasing new appliances for your home, such as a refrigerator, stove or washer and dryer, you can avoid a delivery fee by picking up the item from the store yourself. But if the retailer doesn't charge much for delivery, have the appliance delivered and let someone else worry about the heavy lifting.
Freelance writer and columnist Anna Renault said she had a new refrigerator delivered to her house in August. "For an additional $50, the delivery men also removed the old, broken 27-year-old fridge," she said.
Some retailers do not charge a fee at all. For example, Best Buy offers free standard delivery on major appliance purchases of $399 and up, plus free haul-away of your old appliance.
3. Meal Delivery Services
Having ingredients or meals delivered to your home is an option if you don't have time to grocery shop. Sign up for a service, make your selection and choose your delivery time. If you prefer to cook your own food, order and have the ingredients for a meal delivered to your home. Companies that offer this service include Blue Apron, Plated and HelloFresh.
You can also get entire precooked frozen meals delivered from services such as MagicKitchen, Family Chef and Home Bistro.
If you prefer to have groceries delivered, check with your local supermarket. Or, use a service such as AmazonFresh, Instacart or Google Express.
Whether you are buying a couch, dining room table, desk or bed, lugging heavy furniture from the store to your home can be a literal pain in the neck. Your car might not be large enough for all the pieces, plus you risk damaging the merchandise on the ride home.
Some furniture stores deliver for a fee. Paying the fee might be a small price for getting your furniture to the house in one piece. As a bonus, the retailer might include free setup with your delivery.
It is easy to forget a birthday, anniversary or other special event in someone's life. Rather than run around town looking for the perfect last-minute gift, order a floral arrangement from a florist and receive same-day delivery.
To get same-day delivery, you typically have to place your order before a certain time. Cutoff times vary by florist.
5 Worst Things to Have Delivered to Your Home
Although home delivery saves time, it might be better to purchase and pick up certain items yourself. Think twice before you have these five items delivered to your home.
Just about every clothing retailer has a website that gives customers the option to shop online. This is convenient, but items might not meet your expectations. When it comes to shoes and apparel, James discouraged delivery of any item you haven't tried on.
"If you're shopping online with a brand that has sizing you're unfamiliar with, you could end up with costly return costs, as sizing these days really varies from brand to brand," James says. "Avoid if you can."
Home delivery for apparel and shoes typically involves shipping fees, which inflate the cost of the item. The upside is that some retailers allow customers to order online and have items delivered to a local store at no charge, or they offer free returns for items that don't fit properly.
2. Time-Sensitive Items
Home delivery can work for many items you do not need right away. Delivery, however, can be risky for time-sensitive items. For example, if you're buying tickets to an event, there is always a chance that the tickets will not arrive in time.
"It's probably safer to get them by email or pick them up at the box office," said Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor withDealNews.
3. Fragile Items
No matter how much packaging a retailer puts inside a box before shipment, there is a chance that fragile items will break before arriving at your home. Examples can include dishes, vases and picture frames.
The retailer might offer free replacement, but there is still the hassle of shipping the item back and waiting for the new one to arrive. "If you can get glassware at a store and carry it home, it could decrease the chances of receiving a broken item," said Glaser.
If you want to discover new wines, consider joining a wine club or ordering from a winery. Wine delivery laws vary from state to state, which can make it harder for selections to reach your front door.
In certain states it's illegal to receive wine deliveries. Your state might allow home deliveries, but no matter where you live, your shipment can only be left with someone over the age of 21, according MarketWatch.
5. Prescription Medication
Even if you are able to find cheap prescription medications online, it might not be wise to have these items delivered to your home. The Food and Drug Administration warns against home delivery of medications from questionable sites.
MarketWatch says you should be aware that these medications can be outdated, shipped improperly or fake. If you want medications shipped to your home, make sure you get a prescription from a doctor and order from a reputable online pharmacy in the U.S.
Home delivery can be simple, convenient and fast, but only if you choose the right items for shipment. Sometimes, going to a retailer and picking up the item yourself can ensure proper delivery and actually save you money.
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