Saturday 1 August 2015

Review: Chemist Direct

Like most people with a family of 4 we go through a LOT of toiletries and medicines in a year, this can really add up.  I'm not a 'brander' - I will happily buy a pack of Ibuprofen for 16p then splash out £1.80 for the same thing by Nurofen (except their cold and flu tablets, that's a different story).  When I was asked to try out Chemist Direct for a review I was a little excited.

But the toughest decision was what to choose!!  My head told me to be sensible and buy the bits I know we would use and the things we always buy and stock up, the little devil on my shoulder reminded me to add a couple of treats to the basket.

Product Range

The product range is HUGE and there's plenty of choice.  Whether you are after paracetamol (16 options) or Suncream (54 options), toothpaste (156 options) or handwash (32 choices) it really is all there.

As they have a team of pharmacists on hand you are able to order pharmacy only medicine, such as the morning after pill, thrush treatment and Skinoren cream.  You can also send them your prescription to be fulfilled should you wish (normal charges apply).

There's even a range for pets!

Ease of use

The website is really easy to use.  You can select the product type you wish to search through from the drop down menus or use the search bar.  The search bar works in 3 ways, you can find your product by typing in the type, brand or the condition you want to treat.

There are also special offers from the home page.

Its then a simple click to add the item to your basket, you can use the plus and minus buttons to add more or less items.  At the top of the page there is a running cost so you can see how much you are spending.  By clicking the trolley icon you can see the items you have ordered, for a full screen view select "view basket".

So what did I order on a £51 spend?
I went with getting lots of things I needed, but was very cautious of price.  Whilst some items (as you will see) offer great value for money, others can be purchased cheaper on the high street).

Non-prescription medicines
Ibuprofen Tablets 200mg - 24 tablets - 95p
Paracetamol Capsule 500mg - 32 Capsules - 95p
Clotrimazole 1% Cream 20g - £2.19
Thrush Oral Capsule Containing Fluconazole - 1 Capsule - £1.99  As someone who has had to buy Fluconazole capsules in the past I had to get one of these to keep in stock at 1.99 as they can cost upwards of £8.99 in the high street pharmacies and there is nothing worse then being desperate for it at 8am on a Sunday morning when no where is open until 10!

If you suffer from Hayfever it is worth noting you can pick up 3 x 30 One A Day Cetirizine tablets for £3.36 (one pack alone would be upwards of £2.99 on the high street).

Aquafresh Fresh & Minty Toothpaste 50ml + 50% Extra Free - £1 - not a bad price with the extra free but can get just as cheap on the high street.
Colgate Fluoride Toothpaste 4-6 Years 50ml - £1.25
Plaqsearch Plaque Disclosing Tablets 20 Tablets - £2.40 I remembered these from when I was little and with a 6 year old who is going through a tricky time with brushing teeth thought they might help.  He loves them and I have to persuade him to to use them every day (review to follow).  Noah, 4, really wanted to try but I'm a little sceptical that he may swallow them.
Oral-B Classic 123 Twin Toothbrushes - £1  I found the toothbrushes to be very pricey compared to Poundland etc.

Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Razor 1 Razor + 2 Cartridges - A treat for the hubby, he does like his Wilkinson Sword quattro so thought we'd see if one more blade made much difference.
Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women Razor 1 Razor -  - This was my 'treat'.  I don't buy expensive razors, I buy the cheapest disposables I can without lowering myself to the cut your leg to shreds ones.  I thought with the money off I would splash out and see if they are any better.  (review to follow)
Wilkinson Sword Quattro Ladies 3 Blade Pack - £5.79

Right Guard Xtreme Invisible 72h APD 150ml - £1.29 - Hubby not convinced!
Right Guard Xtreme Dry 96h APD 150ml - £1.29 - Again Hubby is not convinced!!  After 24h he had to reapply.  
Dove Beauty Finish APD Roll-On 50ml - £1.57 - I love Dove roll on.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Tan Maintainer 200ml - £3.20 - I wouldn't normally buy this as I think it's very expensive, as I did for all their Suncare, but thought I'd see what it was like ...... guess what ..... no sun since .... sorry!
Schwarzkopf Pro Styling Power Invisible Gel 150ml - £1.99
Johnsons 24hr Moisturising Lotion Travel Size 50ml - 79p - I don't 'do' travel size items normally but thought it would be handy for holiday, except the order arrived when we got home so will have to save for next time.
Johnson's Baby Oil 300ml - £1.60 - a great alternative to massage oil

3 x Transformers Toiletry Wipes 90 wipes - 99p each - we go through a LOT of these in our house!!

2 x Peppa Pig Multivitamins George - £1.99 buy one get one free - The kids eat an ok amount of fruit and veg but could do better so I thought I'd try these.  They love them (review to follow)

Wet Ones Sticky Fingers Travel Pack 12 Wipes - £1 - A godsend on days out and seemingly impossible to buy on the high street currently.
Dr Johnson's Antiseptic Spray 100ml - £1.05 - great to keep in the handbag for trips out, but again pricey for what it is.


Sign up
In order to make a payment, you’ll need to sign in to your Chemist Direct and create an account.  This process is free and easy and only takes a couple of minutes.

Once signed in you need to put your delivery and billing address, if you save these they will stay with your account making checkout easier next time.  You also need to select which delivery option you’d like - Standard delivery within 5 working days (£3.49 or free if you spend over £40) or next day delivery (on orders before 5pm), this has 2 options before 6pm the next working day is £4.75 and
before 1pm is £6.99.

If you have a discount code you can enter this here too.  If you'd like £5 off just contact me and I'll be happy to refer you for this saving.

You’ll then see a summary of your order, including any discounts you’ve received and the delivery charges, plus any other costs (e.g. overseas delivery, additional weight).

Pharmacy only medicines
If you’re ordering pharmacy only medication you’ll be asked further questions to ensure you have selected the appropriate medication and determine suitability before allowing the product to be sent out, just as you would in a shop.

The questions include general ones like:
Will you be taking this medication?
What is the age of the person who will be using this product
What symptoms are going to be treated with this medication?
Does the intended user have any other medical conditions?
Is the intended user taking any other medication?

.... to more specific ones (I am using the Thrush ones as an example, these would vary depending on medication):
Has the intended user have more than two infections of thrush in the last six months?
What is the sex of the intended user?
Is the intended user a male with thrush caused by a female?
Has a doctor previously diagnosed the intended user with thrush?

You are asked questions for EACH medication, including basics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen so be prepared for a long process if you have a basket full.

You’ll then be taken to the confirmation screen with a summary of your order for checking. If you’re confident you’ve made the right selection you select a payment option which can be either a credit/debit card or PayPal.  Following this you'll receive an email with your confirmation number.

Payment is taken at the time of ordering.

To be honest this is where the process failed for me.  When I placed my order (14th July) all the items were in stock and  I selected the 5 day delivery window.  

2 days after placing the order I was informed one of the items was unavailable and the order would be held until Tuesday when they got their delivery (a further 4 days).  This day came, and I get an email saying they cannot get hold of the item and could I confirm it could be substituted with one that was more expensive.

I replied saying this would be fine, as long as it was price matched, and giving an alternative product (cheaper then the original) if not.

I had no further correspondence from them except a dispatch notice on the 23rd (I believe it arrived on the 24th or 25th, I was on holiday so it was left with a neighbour).

Please do check your receipts if you are having items changed as my substituted item was cheaper then the original and I've not been offered a refund (all be it only 13p so I'm not fighting it) but this has not been offered or returned.

How can you get in touch with Chemist Direct?

 website      @chemistdirect      facebook      google+       blog

Disclaimer:  I was given a £50 spend voucher to try out for the purpose of this review.  The choice of items, and opinions, are all my own and honest.
Discounted products were not included in the offer, and any medicines on the order was checked by the online pharmacist before distribution


  1. Great review....They seem to be a bit hit and miss with delivery....I have read a few reviews where the delivery wasn't too good. I have used them twice in the last 6 months or so and they have always been brilliant for me :)

    1. I'd heard good reviews about delivery too. I made it known in my reply about the substitution that I was writing a review so expected some sort of human reply but nope :(

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