Chewy.com Review – Our Take… Plus Real Customer Reviews

Disclosure : This website has an affiliate agreement with Chewy.com. We’re compensated when readers click on product links from KittyCatter to Chewy and go on to purchase an item. This article was written by a freelance writer (and cat lover) who was asked to research and give her honest opinion on the company.

Chewy Online Pet Supplies


Why Buy from Chewy?

Hint: They sent a card...

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Is Chewy the best place to buy supplies for your cat?

In 2011, Chewy was created to fill a gap in the online retail space. Prior to Chewy, few companies were dedicated to selling pet products online, particularly not on a large scale.

With their confidence bolstered by the massive growth potential of a web-connected and underserved market, the founders of Chewy started with a powerful goal. They wanted to become the world’s largest pet retailer. The company grew quickly. By the end of 2012, the company had made $26 million in sales.

Today, the company is second only to Amazon in the online pet retail space, accounting for about 25% of all online pet food and pet supplies sales in the first quarter of 2017.

Chewy sells products for dogs, cats, fish, small pets, reptiles, and horses. This online retailer has a formidable inventory of food, treats, litter, toys, and other supplies for pets of almost every type. Chewy carries hundreds of brands and keeps over 18,000 items in stock.

Chewy’s House Brands

In addition to national brands, Chewy sells a handful of Chewy-exclusive house brands.

  • American Journey – dry food for dogs and cats
  • Tylee’s – human-grade meals and treats for dogs
  • Onguard – flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs
  • Frisco – supplies for cats and dogs, including bathroom products, pens and crates, cat trees, and cat litter
  • USA Bones and Chews – chewable dog treats

PetSmart Acquires Chewy

Recognizing that the acquisition of a leading online pet retailer could assure the company’s continued dominance in the pet retail industry, PetSmart bought Chewy for an estimated $3.35 billion.

The PetSmart acquisition left Chewy as “largely” an independent subsidiary. It initially retained Michael Day as CTO and Ryan Cohen as CEO, although Cohen stepped down from that position in early 2019. He was succeeded by Sumit Singh, former director at Amazon Fresh.

Where is Chewy headquartered?

Chewy has a 70,000 square foot headquarters located in Dania, Florida.

Where are Chewy’s warehouses located?

Chewy owns six warehouses in the United States.

Chewy’s fulfillment centers are located in Ocala, Florida, Sparks, Nevada, Dallas, Texas, and Clayton, Indiana, along with two warehouses in Pennsylvania – one in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and the other in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

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Chewy vs. Amazon : What makes Chewy different from other retailers?

In other words, why would you shop on Chewy instead of Amazon?

In two words: “customer service.”

Although Chewy has good prices, it’s not a top budget shopping destination. The site doesn’t exist for deal-hungry coupon clippers. Chewy stands out because it offers an unparalleled customer experience.

Co-founder and former CEO Ryan Cohen describes the company’s customer service strategy as “Zappos on steroids.” In other words, Chewy is dedicated to creating real, textured relationships with the people who shop there. It’s the quality which is so often touted as the primary differentiator between in-store and online shopping. It’s a unique, human experience.

The Chewy Difference – It’s Customer Service

Chewy’s customer support team is available all day, every day. The support number is displayed prominently on each page of the site. All of their direct mail communications also showcase the phone number. It’s an open invitation to get help anytime.

I’ve contacted Chewy dozens of times via their 24/7 live chat feature. Whether the message was sent on New Year’s Eve at 11pm or a Monday afternoon, the customer support representatives have been prompt, friendly, and helpful.

All customer support staff is challenged to respond to calls in less than 4 seconds or under two rings. Customer support representatives are trained to respond to all emails within 30 minutes.

And in case it wasn’t intuitively clear that people like the ability to get in touch with a real person any time of day within seconds, sparkling customer reviews and blog posts drive the point home.

This exceptional customer service strategy extends beyond the work that makes a sale – the company creates loyal customers by creating a relationship.

Every first-time customer receives a handwritten card welcoming them to Chewy. Coming from a company with over 3 million customers, that’s something special.

And when was the last time Amazon sent you a handwritten Christmas card? In 2016, Chewy delivered 2 million handwritten holiday cards to customers.

Chewy employs a stable of about 20 in-house artists. These artists are tasked with the creation of hand-painted pet portraits. These portraits are delivered at random to customers as an expression of Chewy’s appreciation. They’re not available on request. You can’t buy one. They’re always a surprise. The company sends out about 700 hand-painted pet portraits each week.

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Chewy Online Pet Supplies


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The Shopping Experience

With a healthy selection of products and straightforward navigation, it’s easy to either search for specific products or browse by type. When you’re shopping for cat food, you can easily narrow your search by selecting specific life-stages, food types, flavors, and toggling dietary needs.

How long does it take to ship from Chewy?

All orders processed before 4pm EST will be shipped the same day. Chewy states that “most customers receive their orders within 1-2 days of placing them.”

Chewy orders are shipped via FedEx, LaserShip, and other select carriers. This means that Chewy is currently unable to deliver packages to PO boxes or military addresses. Their products are only available to customers living in the contiguous United States.

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How much does Chewy charge for shipping?

Chewy charges a flat $4.95 shipping rate for orders under $49. Once you’ve exceeded the $49 mark, all orders are delivered to your doorstep for free.

Chewy Autoship

If you’re crazy about convenience, you’ll probably like the Chewy autoship feature. This feature allows you to sign up for regular shipments of your favorite products.

You are able to customize and adjust the delivery schedule, and it’s easy to cancel the shipments at any time.

You’ll get $20 off your order when you sign up for your first autoship. Select brands offer a 5% discount on all items purchased through Autoship.

Read Chewy’s shipping policy here.

What is Chewy’s return policy?

Chewy is well-known for their easy refund and return policy. The company has a 100% unconditional satisfaction guarantee and will accept any return within 1 year of purchase. They offer complete refunds and always cover the cost of shipping.

What types of payment does Chewy accept?

Chewy accepts payment via VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card.

Does Chewy have a mobile app?

The Chewy app is available through the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play store for Android. It’s clean and easy-to-use and offers all the features of the desktop site. The app receives consistently positive reviews from both iOS and Android users.

Here’s what customers are saying.

After consulting various consumer review sites, including ResellerRatings and ConsumerAffairs, a theme becomes clear. While the company consistently receives positive reviews on almost all fronts, the really thrilled reviews come from people who are impressed by the Chewy customer service.

On ResellerRatings, Chewy.com has 85,134 reviews and a 7.77 out of 10 rating.

The site breaks down ratings into five key performance areas: product & services pricing, chance of future purchase, shipping & packaging, customer service, and return/replacement policy.

Let’s see how it scored in each of these areas:

  • Return/Replacement Policy – 8.77/10
  • Product & Services Pricing – 8.47/10
  • Customer Service – 8.19/10
  • Chance of Future Purchase – 7.88/10
  • Shipping & Packaging – 7.84/10

Positive Reviews

“I am never one to write reviews but Chewy has been so amazing I want to share my experience. I used chewy as a pet food supplier for several years and never had any issues. Food always in stock, always delivered on time, and always got a hold of customer service on the first ring. Chewy was great in my mind then but where they really went above and beyond was when my dog passed. Not only did they refund me for the full price of the dog food that had arrived and we never opened, but they also told me to donate the food on our dogs behalf and were very compassionate on the phone. On top of all that, they sent flowers and a card to our house along with their condolences. Chewy is a company that truly cares about the pets they serve and i would highly recommend them to anyone and plan to use them again when we decide to adopt another dog. They were amazing!”  – JeremySnyder

“I can’t say enough great things about this company! Their customer service is absolutely fantastic. One of the 50lb storage buckets arrived with a warped lid. I called to see about exchanging and they told me a replacement would be shipped out the next day and not to worry about returning the one I had! She asked about my dog and if she was enjoying her new rope toy we had purchased as well. After reading other heartfelt reviews, I will always be ordering from this wonderful company!” -klhastings1

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Negative Reviews

“I was with Chewy.com for several years — I watched the website grow and they used to have the lowest prices, no taxes, and fast shipping. However, chewy has progressively changed. Prices are not the lowest anymore, they are now charging taxes and even though the website says “Free 1-2 day shipping over $49″ that is not always the case! If you place an order on Friday or Saturday you will NOT get your order until Tuesday or Wednesday (that is not 1-2 day shipping — that is false advertising!).” – jonesjc0314

“Chewy.com is now charging sales tax and charged twice as much my local store! #corporategreed I guess it’s not surprising they would pad their profits through fraudulently overcharging sales tax… their wildly fluctuating prices #chewypricejump are a good indication of their desire to maximize profitability at any cost. #greedychewy” -harris2270

Read more reviews of Chewy on ResellerRatings.

The Bottom Line – What’s Good and What’s Bad About Chewy?

What makes Chewy great:

  • The customer care experience is unparalleled by any other major online pet retailer today. If you like shopping from a store that sends handwritten cards, sends hand-painted portraits, and helps pet parents through the grieving process, you’ll like Chewy.
  • Low prices. While Chewy prices aren’t always lower than those on Amazon and in brick-and-mortar stores, their pricing is always competitive.
  • A 365 day return policy.
  • Free shipping on orders over $49.
  • The autoship function helps you to save money and avoid running out of your cat’s favorite products.

What’s not so great about Chewy:

  • Brick-and-mortar stores offer an interactive, stimulating experience. If you enjoy bringing your cat to the pet supply store and letting them watch the fish tanks, switching to Chewy will take a little bit of entertainment out of your and your cat’s shopping life.
  • Numerous customer reviews indicate that while the company once offered lightning-fast shipping and that packages arrived within 1-2 days, this has changed recently. Apparently, packages now take longer to deliver than they did in the past.
  • If you agree with numerous voices in the pet business community – including major brands like Fromm and Orijen, you believe that it’s important to support small, independent retailers. Particularly since the PetSmart acquisition in 2017, supporters of small retailers find it increasingly difficult to justify shopping through this online giant.
  • Home delivery is only available to people living in the contiguous United States.

Conclusion

Chewy is a good option for pet parents who like the convenience of having their cat’s supplies shipped straight to their door. The autoship feature helps to ensure that you never run out of your cat’s favorite products and could save you money. If things don’t work out, Chewy has a worry-free return policy. Plus you’ll get a handwritten card just for placing your first order.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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