MoneySaverSpain: Online-only supermarkets in Spain
Beyond the online shopping offered by Spain's larger supermarkets, there is a number of online-only supermarkets in Spain. Maxine sees if buying online offers any real savings.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of online-only supermarkets in Spain, but apart from the convenience of having everything delivered to your doorstep, can you really save money with these websites? We've checked out the biggest sites to see what they can offer.
Of course you can always shop online at your usual store (Carrefour, Alcampo, Mercadona, etc.) but if companies without bricks and mortar stores are investing money in online-only supermarkets, we reckon they must be offering something more than convenience in order to attract customers.
In December 2012 Alice closed, "in order to concentrate on their US site" (official version). This was the biggest online supermarket in Spain.
Tu Otro Super
There is an ongoing update of their stock with new brands and products, so if they currently don't offer the brands you buy, check again in a month or so, or send them an email. The home page on Tu Otro Super shows great discounts, but we suggest you compare first as these discounts may be on retailers recommended prices. Delivery is currently free but can take up to 72 hours – so not suitable for urgent orders.
Slightly smaller, HiperDirect.es also offers fresh produce (limited variety). Transport options are multiple and somewhat confusing with free delivery available for orders over EUR 99, but limited currently to five cities. Other delivery options charge per kilo for orders over 30 kilos making it hard to know what the final cost will be until you've finished ordering.
Money Saver Spain recently met with the Managing Director of Hiper Direct, who told us that they are working on the translation of their site into English (along with other languages) and will take into account our comments about their delivery pricing strategy.
Carritus / Tu Despensa
These are different to the previous sites as on both of these you can compare prices for existing online supermarkets. Carritus compares prices at Alcampo, Caprabo, Carrefour, Condis, Eroski, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor and Mercadona. However, if you do split your orders then you'd have to pay delivery on each which may mean that the overall cost is greater.
Tu Despensa also compares prices from some major supermarkets and surprisingly offers meats, fish, fruit and vegetables too. You can pay by Paypal, credit card or in cash when you receive your order. Currently if you register you'll get a EUR 50 credit to use on delivery charges.
Conclusions: Buying online is great for families who have a large consumption of items such as milk, soft drinks, detergent, etc. and, if you buy in bulk, you can probably save money and store at home. Single people or smaller households may find it harder to save, especially as they won't meet the threshold for free delivery. You can also try using the Supertruper app (available in English). Just scan the barcode of a product you have at home, and compare with online prices.
TIP: Registering on most sites (without making an order) generally means that you'll get an email with a special discount for your first order.
Photo credit: christmasstockimages.com (shopping cart)
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