• I Gained Back Two Precious Hours to My Weekend, Thanks to This Service

    A mom discovers the convenience of grocery online shopping for the first time
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
I Gained Back Two Precious Hours to My Weekend, Thanks to This Service
PHOTO BY honestbee.ph
  • Any mom managing a household will tell you, with conviction, that weekends are much busier than weekdays. Did I stress that enough? MUCH busier. There's just too many things to squeeze into only 48 hours. While the singletons couldn't wait for Saturday (or Friday night) for a breather, parents know it's the start of an endless list of errands.

    One of the tasks that takes up a lot of my time on a weekend, besides cooking, is grocery shopping—although, since I enjoy scouring the supermarket aisle by aisle, I don't mind doing it at all. Heck, I even consider it my me-time. This is why I had mixed feelings when I first heard of the Honestbee grocery delivery service.

    According to its website, Honestbee is "Asia's leading online concierge and delivery service." Launched in 2015 in Singapore, it now has presence in 8 countries and has 112 partner stores. Locally, it has teamed up with Robinsons Supermarket and Farmers Market, among others, for its services in key cities in Metro Manila. 

    Honestbee claims that its service is "4.1x faster than shopping for groceries yourself," so of course I had to try it! You see, it takes me at least two hours and a half to shop for groceries: about 24 minutes to drive the 5-kilometer distance to the mall, at least an hour to go around the supermarket, 15 minutes to line up at the cashier, 10 to walk to the parking lot and trolley my purchases to the car, and another half hour, at best, to drive back home, depending on traffic conditions. 


    Using the Honestbee app on my mobile phone was fairly easy and hassle-free. After setting up my account, I proceeded with virtually shopping for my items at once.

    Navigation is simple, products are searchable and easily identifiable with a photo, and I get real-time computation of my purchases as I add them to my cart.

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    You could select the time of delivery in hourly brackets, and there's a small concierge fee of P99 (for the "Shopper bee" who selects your items) and a delivery fee of P99, although the latter is waived if you reach the minimum amount of P1,500.

    Within a minute after finishing my transaction, I got a confirmation email with details of my order.

    On the half-hour mark of my preferred delivery time, and after two calls to check if the out-of-stock items on my list could be substituted for another brand (a service I appreciate because I'm usually loyal to the brands I use), my order arrived.

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    To check the quality of their service, I purposely varied my orders to include food and non-food items, delicate goods (eggs), frozen goods (bacon), and fresh produce (scallions).

    Everything was neatly packed and segregated accordingly. No broken eggs or mixed-up items, thanks to Jodette (the shopper bee) and Raimond (the delivery guy). Success! It took all but two hours (so, yeah, not 4x faster), but I accomplished that task without even having to leave home. 


    Will I use the service again? Absolutely. But that's not to say I'm not setting foot on a supermarket again—at least for some me-time. 

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