VOLY review: We test 15 minute grocery delivery
Quick verdict: When you need groceries or alcohol in a hurry, VOLY can deliver to your door in 15 minutes.
- Good product range is growing
- Great value
- Fast delivery
- Delivery areas limited to Sydney at the moment
VOLY is an instant grocery delivery service that launched in Sydney mid-2021.
Having raised around AU$18 million in investment to date, VOLY is in a massive growth phase, which we've noticed when testing their service. Their product range has expanded noticeably between December 2021 and February 2022, with a current product range of around 3000 items.
VOLY currently services a number of suburbs across Sydney, from the CBD to the lower north shore, Manly and the inner west. They promise to deliver within 15 minutes. During our first test run, we officially received our order within 18 minutes (our delivery was to a hotel address, so there was a little extra time to navigate the lobby – and either way, in our view, 18 minutes is super swift).
Here's how the app works, the fees and charges, and what kind of service you can expect.
VOLY fees and prices
In articles about VOLY, we've seen a flat $2.99 delivery fee mentioned. In the app and on its website, no delivery fee is mentioned. It's not until you start placing an order that you find the delivery fee is a super-low and very reasonable $2. For my first order, I received a $10 voucher and free delivery as an incentive to try. Prices of products in the app are comparable to supermarkets, too: a 300g bottle of kepwie mayonnaise is $4.90 with VOLY, and $4.70 at Woolworths.
The potential exploitation of employees or contractors is top of mind for many users of these types of services nowadays, so I did some digging. Happily, I can report that all riders with VOLY are employees, "paid and treated like family with lots of extra perks", the company confirms. One service they could look at adding is the ability to tip in the app: I wanted to give my delivery agent a few dollars, but the app didn't support tips and I didn't have any cash on me.
Delivery drivers (or riders) were super polite and friendly, and you have the option for a socially distanced drop off if preferred (you can choose from "leave at door", "don't ring the bell" and "call when you arrive" as options). While the app is super user friendly, it doesn't have a lot of info front and centre.
For instance, delivery fees aren't mentioned until you're ready to check out. I had to dig through the FAQs, which sent me to the website, to find out if they delivered to the suburb I was staying in.
VOLY delivery range
VOLY delivers to a broader range of suburbs than some of its competitors, with couriers willing to travel across the bridge and outside of the CBD. The current delivery range includes the CBD, the inner west, some eastern suburbs, the lower north shore and Manly.
VOLY product range
I first used VOLY in December 2021, and the range was relatively small but more than adequate. Revisiting the range in February 2022, they've added more products, including the handy addition of alcohol. In one of my favourite categories – cheese – there are currently 31 different options available (with a few more out of stock). That's more than enough to whip together a decent cheese board.
How to use the VOLY app
When you open the app, you can instantly start browsing products. There's the new addition of alcohol and promotional items to swipe through, and all items are clearly described with prices. The only slight frustration is that the delivery fee isn't listed anywhere: once you add to cart and click "delivery", you'll see a small delivery charge added to your order. It would be more transparent to list this upfront. When I ran up a test order writing this review, the delivery fee on a $28 shop was just $2. After you add to cart, you hit delivery, tap in your credit card details or use your phone's ApplePay or GooglePay to submit payment, and you're all set.
Should you use VOLY?
- Use it if: you want a grocery top-up without having to leave the house; you need ingredients in a hurry as you're mid-way through cooking.
- Don't use it if: you prefer specific brands or products, or you need more than one bag of groceries.
With a growing list of inventory and a delivery area that continues to expand, VOLY is a convenient instant delivery app that offers really good value for money.
The app could do with some added info, like a clear and upfront mention of delivery fees and service areas, but overall app navigation is user-friendly. Most importantly, the order arrives accurately and within a short time frame, saving you the time and hassle of heading to the shops yourself.
How we tested
- Having flown to Sydney from Queensland for work, I found myself stuck in my hotel room after a COVID case unexpectedly forced our office to shut up shop. I needed some snacks to get me through the rest of the day. Enter VOLY.
- I downloaded the app, ordered with ease and had vege chips and chocolate in my hands within 18 minutes.