To make the reviews as fair as possible, we visit each merchant‘s website. This is the shop window and is the start of our journey. The first thing we always do is go to the “Contact us” page, because any reputable supplier wants to make it easy for you to contact them, either to ask questions, or to place an order.
We then sent each site owner a generic email asking several simple questions from an anonymous Googlemail account. The answers were scored for speed of response and completeness. Once the email had been answered, we placed an order for their most popular product, noted how long it took to arrive and whether we were advised of a likely date of delivery. Sites that failed to respond did not receive an order. During the period between ordering the product and receipt, we attempted to telephone the vendor if they displayed a contact phone number (many did not) and the quality of response is evaluated. At all times we remained anonymous by using a pseudonym.