Service: Prime Pet Supply mail order services
Web address: PrimePetSupply.com
Physical address: 2824 Steinway St. Ste 228; Astoria, NY 11103
E-mail: email@example.com (customer support); firstname.lastname@example.org (business and media inquiries)
Social media: on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
All right, I confess. This summer, I gave in to the lure of convenience offered by online pet supply mail order companies. We haven’t visited some of our favorite local pet boutiques in months, not for lack of desire, but time. This is what happens when the sole driver and primary dog supplies purchaser at the House of Two Bows ends up with a 9 to 5 office gig, a condition which I understand afflicts large populations of North America.
Trapped in my downtown office tower cubicle, I came to appreciate the type of service offered by companies like Prime Pet Supply. Indeed, finding a reliable online supplier of pet goods will be important in upcoming months, for reasons I shall reveal later…
Prime Pet Supply is a brand new company, based in Astoria, New York. We were invited to try out their services by Serkan Kutlubay, who is listed as the company founder along with co-founder Vanessa Quick (according to the American Pet Products Association; this information is not readily available on their site, though I always prefer to know who’s behind a brand). Their company promises the following:
- We believe that our pets’ food and treats should be prepared with the same care and attention to healthy ingredients as the food we feed ourselves. We do the research for you and hand-pick each and every item to ensure that there have been no complaints regarding the quality of the product or its formula. Prime Pet Supply stands firm in our mission to offer only the highest quality. [from PrimePetSupply.com’s About Us page]
Wow! That’s a very high bar they’ve set for themselves. Let’s see how they measure up.
So the number one pet expense category that I care about is food. It’s not something that I usually purchase online, preferring to examine the package and check my own labels in person. But when I know what I want, it’s easy to pick it out from a list.
What I first noticed when entering the dry foods product category was that Natura products seemed to dominate the inventory: Innova, EVO, California Natural, HealthWise, Karma were all represented. Alas, we don’t feed any of these brands, and especially not after the last round of recalls, which unfortunately had occurred right as I began shopping from Prime Pet Supply. Concerned about how their company handles their stated commitment to quality in light of such a widespread recall, I shot an e-mail to Serkan with my concerns.
- “The moment we received the recall notification that morning, we immediately marked out of stock all products related to the recall. After 15 minutes, all the recalled Natura products are marked as out of stock. I believe we acted fastest to that matter. […] So I am proud of my company we didn’t make any single sale after the recall. In next 2 hours we sent an email to all our Natura product customers and notified them about the recall, not only notified them about it, but also, we recommended them replacement brands such as Fromm and Great Life and also send instructions about receiving refund from Natura.
- “I believe we handled this incident pretty well. We received many thank you email from our customers that day.
- “From what we heard so far is very promising, the company [Natura] is doing their best to prevent future recalls and I believe this incident won’t be repeated. One reason we sell their pet foods, because of the ingredient and formula quality. However if they issue another recall then probably we will stop selling at least they dry food line.”
I was impressed with the thoroughness of his response. This is a point in favor of Prime Pet Supply, even if I don’t have the same faith in Natura. Currently, Natura products continue to be sold on their website. They offer several other options that I was happy to choose from.
The order I placed was as follows:
- Fromm Grain-free Pork and Peas recipe (12 lb. bag), $35.90
- Grizzly Pet Products Joint Aid – sensitive tummy formula (10 oz.), $14.90
$50.80$15.80 (after discount)
Under normal circumstances, orders under $69 tack on a $5.95 flat rate shipping charge, but we received a promotional discount and free shipping in exchange for this review.
So I did notice that their prices are not the lowest compared to other online retailers, and the free shipping threshold seems a bit high. However, they had the box at our doorstep fast — in just two days time, even though the company is stationed out on the East Coast like most of the other major online pet supplies retailers. You can also save 15% on items scheduled for auto-shipment. And of course, you save on gas and taxes, as compared to shopping locally.
The box was a little beat up in transit, but that’s not really their fault. What they may need to do, however, is to add more packaging in the box, as things do get jostled around within, especially when the package includes a large, heavy bag of kibble!
I deliberately ordered one large and one small item to see how they would handle the packaging. Grizzly Joint Aid comes in a pouch, not a bottle, so the beat up box didn’t affect the product itself. I also chose this item because it comes from a company I generally like, and I had not seen it offered by other online retailers. Always nice to learn about a joint supplement that I can offer in custom, measured doses.
Both Bows were most interested in the kibble. Good thing it arrived as quickly as it did, as we were getting down to the crumbs on their last batch of Fromm’s Salmon Tunalini. They haven’t tried Pork and Peas before, so it was a risk to splurge on a 12 pound bag; Prime Pet Supply doesn’t offer this new recipe in 4 pound bags. Since we’ve done well with this brand and with pork in general, I decided to go for the plunge. It’s working out well so far.
When buying food from an online retailer, I suspect most people go in knowing beforehand what they want to purchase, since returns can be such a bother. Unfortunately, Prime Pet Supply seems to be missing the majority of our regular food brands, though they do have a handful of others that look promising and unfamiliar to us.
On the upshot, they impress us with available brands in other categories, such as dog clothing. They offer Hurtta brand jackets and Jaraden pet carriers, which have caught my eye as well tailored, high end products that we do not see from other “all-purpose” pet suppliers. They also draw my attention to items of interest that I don’t normally scout out at local stores, like “natural” flea and tick deterrents from Alzoo.
The company is also in the midst of actively expanding its selection, as well as soliciting feedback from its customers. They are very interested in us, to the point where I had a live chat representative pop up one afternoon when I was sitting on the website… Woah. That was a little unexpected. I must admit that I brushed “Benny” off by quietly closing the window without bothering to say hi. Nevertheless, I like that this option is available during regular business hours, and that Serkan himself is so active and prompt to respond to e-mails.
Will this be my first go-to site for all my pet needs? Well, probably not… considering that my pets don’t need much by way of material goods other than edibles, and I’ve noted some of Prime Pet Supply’s inadequacies on that score. Will we check back and keep an eye on this site? Yes — especially if they can continue to differentiate themselves in other categories. They’re good for some surprises and a friendly, easy shopping experience. Time will tell what else they have in store.
Final Scorecard (in order of my priorities):
Cost effectiveness: B+
Customer service: A
Quality of received products: A
OVERALL SCORE: B+
[Disclaimer: The House of Two Bows received a discount in exchange for our honest review. The opinions expressed in this post are from M.C. and the HoTB.]