How to surprise your wife with a sauna

Every now and again I come across an eBay story where a sale goes perfectly and that’s just what happened to Lyndon Holman of Devon.

One morning before work Lyndon bid and won a his perfect sauna on eBay but it was 142 miles away in Birmingham. It was also marked “Local Collect Only” but undeterred Lyndon turned to uShip. He had used uShip before and posted an advert for a courier to deliver the sauna.

About 10.30am he had a response from Matthew McCormack of MMC Couriers. Matthew had just completed a delivery in Birmingham and checked his uShip iPhone app and found the sauna delivery job. He bid on the job, had a quick phone conversation with Lyndon and half an hour later was picking up the sauna.

A couple of hours later the sauna was delivered in Devon much to the surprise of Lyndon’s wife – Lyndon left work early but still hadn’t got home to tell her there was a sauna on it’s way!

Oversized or overweight items are almost always a bit of a bargain on eBay, simply because buyers normally restrict themselves to item in their immediate locality. However services like uShip enable buyers to source couriers across the country who will bid against each other to win the job, often snagging the buyer a real bargain on their purchase. The uShip iPhone app enables couriers to check immediately for available deliveries close to where their last job finishes. (There is also a uShip app for Palm and Android.)

I’m still amazed that an item the size of the sauna could be purchased at breakfast time and delivered in time for afternoon tea by a same day courier at a reasonable cost – but not nearly as amazed as Lyndon’s wife was when it turned up on her doorstep.

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How much did it cost Chris?

Mark T • 3rd July 2011 •

yes not the sauna cost but the transport cost is the interest to us

northumbrian • 4th July 2011 •

Hi Mark, £100 Not the cheapest delivery bid but not bad for 50kg L: 1.00 m W: 1.00 m H: 1.90 m same day delivery

Chris Dawson • 4th July 2011 •

cheap as chips a cracking deal

northumbrian • 4th July 2011 •

"Every now and again I come across an eBay story where a sale goes perfectly " all our sales go perfectly every time though sometimes the buyer needs reminding!

northumbrian • 3rd July 2011 •

Mark... an authentic Finnish sauna would normally go for about $10k.. I am selling mine for $7,500 FOB Minneapolis, MN. good deal, especially with uShip!

glenn • 4th July 2011 •

The one's on eBay cost around $250 to buy direct, looked at the market before but didn't fancy being responsible for roasting anyone alive with a dodgy suana.

whirly • 4th July 2011 •

Easy answer to your problem. After fitting it invite round to try it out all those people you would really like to see roasted alive as 'Guinea Pigs'. If they survive then it is obviously safe. If they do not survive then the World is probably a better place without them.

Chris • 4th July 2011 •

And the buyer paid by paypal, got the item collected and then put in a paypal claim saying where's my item Just a thought....

Jonathan • 4th July 2011 •

For delivering a sauna 160 miles on the same day, I really think the price was good.

Matthew McCormack • 7th July 2011 •

Hi Matthew, and welcome to TameBay! I agree with our reader Northumbrian - "cheap as chips, a cracking deal" The thing I'm really amazed at though is that Lyndon found anyone to do the job at such short notice, but I guess that's the power of uShip. Be interesting to know more - do you get a lot of work through the site?

Chris Dawson • 7th July 2011 •

Surely the reason why sites such as uShip can find such Cheap Transport Costs is the "Return Load". The driver(probably a one man band) has a load to take from A - B. At B. he goes on uShip to see if there are any loads on offer which will give him an income going home. If he finds one he is happy to quote low because he has already factored in his return journey into his original price for the first load. Running empty vehicles around the Country is expensive. So if he can get a return load he has had a very good result and of course so has his 2nd customer.

Chris • 7th July 2011 •

That's exactly how it works - brilliant isn't it :-D

Chris Dawson • 7th July 2011 •

So Brilliant that uShip deserves to be highlighted everywhere. After all not only does it benefit the haulage company and the 2nd customer but by reducing the number of empty vehicles running around it goes some way towards reducing such as congestion and indeed pollution caused by Motor Vehicles. In fact everybody wins.

Chris • 8th July 2011 •

In case anybody wonders about the driver being able to find on uShip a return load from B - A. If he is careful he can possibly find several loads. He is in B so perhaps he can find one from B - C. Then again going on uShip he can find another for C - D. Each one taking him towards home if not all the way. It does require the driver to have a good knowledge of Geography, or a good map book or a good Sat Nav. At the end of the day he will have a good, if busy day, and will satisfy the needs of several customers.

Chris • 8th July 2011 •

There is another point. Not every Truck is suitable for taking every possible load. Many "Man with a Van" type operations use a Transit or similar. Obviously they are very suitable for many loads. But lets say for example a Manufacturer has been badly let down. He has 20 tons of product to move and he has phoned round his usual hauliers and none can do it on short notice. He goes on uShip and there is an Artic just down the road having dropped off a load and going in his direction. The man with a van cannot look at it but the artic maybe. Again it could get the Manufacturer out of a hole(maybe he has to deliver by a certain time-many companies operate on a "Just in Time" basis if his delivery is late it could shut the factory down). So whatever you have to move it is possible that uShip could help and similarly if you own or operate any form of transport it could be useful to check because there could be that return load that could be financially beneficial.

Chris • 9th July 2011 •

Hi Chris, I do approx 1,500 miles per week, moving mostly UShip items, so it keeps me busy!! With it just being me at the moment, that means a lot of time online also, so doing a lot of hours per week. But I can see that it is possible to move up a gear into a proper business model, starting with taking on a driver, leaving me to quote etc., and then possibly 2nd van. This has taken me by surprise, as I started couriering in order to keep myself going financially while trying to start an IT based business. However that has now taken a back seat to MMCCouriers.

Matthew McCormack • 18th July 2011 •