I’ve heard a lot about the online store Zavvi since last year as they offered some great deals on new LEGO sets. I compared the price on Zavvi with online retailers in the US like Amazon, Walmart, or the official LEGO store and was very surprised with the deep discounts. For instance, I was interested in the LEGO Land Rover Defender set which has the price tag of $199 in the US; Somehow Zavvi discounted the price regularly and it even dropped to $134 later last year. The website has received mixed reviews over the years but I decided to try it out and bought this set for $144.
Zavvi is not a scam website like many other on the Internet. The brand was well-known as an entertainment retail chain in the United Kingdom; After the bankruptcy and store closures in early 2009, The Hut Group purchased the Zavvi.co.uk and Zavvi.com domain names in an online auction and launched Zavvi as an online retailer. Since October 2009, they used the Zavvi.com domain only for buyers all over the world.
Their US store offers a wide range of products including LEGO, toys, collectibles, steelbooks, and other merchandises. The website is clean and easy to navigate. They have a $4.99 flat rate shipping but when I placed an order for the LEGO set, the shipping was free; So I just had to pay the $144 plus tax. However, when I checked my credit card statement later, I figured out there was a hidden fee. Since the transaction is processed outside of the United States, I had to pay a foreign transaction fee to my bank. Many credit card issuers charge this fee ranging from 2-3% but some have no fee at all, so make sure to pick the right credit card to avoid this fee. Specifically, I had to pay a $4.62 fee for this purchase.
Otherwise, the ordering experience was great. Zavvi processed my order and sent me the tracking number 2 days later. They shipped it with FedEx Cross Border – Express Priority and the LEGO set was delivered quickly just 6 days after I placed the order. The delivery speed is really amazing considering the fact that it came from the UK. It is even faster than US standard shipping on Amazon or eBay.
The item was covered in some layers of black plastic wrap. This is good enough to hide the box inside but obviously, it can’t protect the box really well. When I received the LEGO set, a part of the wrap was torn apart revealing the LEGO logo inside. Besides, there were some minor damages all over the box. This is not a problem if you eventually assemble the set later. However, it could affect the set’s value if you plan to resell it in the future.
Overall, I have no complaint with my first purchase on Zavvi and probably I will buy from them again if they continue offering good deals. The shipping speed seems to be improved significantly this year and you won’t have to wait months for delivery. Again, if you buy from Zavvi, make sure to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee and probably use PayPal to add another layer of purchase protection. In case your item is lost or not delivered, you can always file a chargeback with PayPal or your bank.
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