pay in/by COD (=cash/collect on delivery)

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, I googled with "pay in COD" and "pay by COD" but received only a few results (it was so few that I didn't even check each result), suggesting that the expressions aren't used in English. When you want to know if you can pay by that method, do you say the unabbreviated version like in the following examples I created?

1.
Let's buy from this online store. It says customers can pay in cash on delivery / by collect on delivery. (At a friend's house)
2.
I don't have enough money with me now and also forgot to bring my credit card. Can I pay in cash on delivery / by collect on delivery? (At a store)
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Short answer: don't use any of these phrases.

    When you want to know if you can pay by that method
    You are calling C.O.D. a "payment method", but it is not. If you purchase something C.O.D., the payment method is "cash". So phrases of the form "pay by/with/using/in C.O.D." are not used.

    Wikipedia says: "Cash on delivery (COD), sometimes called collect on delivery, is the sale of goods by mail order where payment is made on delivery rather than in advance. If the goods are not paid for, they are returned to the retailer."

    After some trial and error, I found three ngrams using "C.O.D." and one using "COD".

    Google Ngram Viewer
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    If you purchase something C.O.D., the payment method is "cash".
    So, online stores in the US probably show just "Cash" on the page where shoppers choose their desired payment method or option. It makes sense.

    I think the most usual way of referring to COD is "can I pay cash on delivery?" (no preposition).
    Ah...that's good to know. Is the abbreviation "COD" common enough for people to safely ask "Can I pay COD"?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Ah...that's good to know. Is the abbreviation "COD" common enough for people to safely ask "Can I pay COD"?
    I don't know. But I suspect quite a lot of younger people may never have heard of COD, especially since cash payments of any kind are quite rare these days.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    So, online stores in the US probably show just "Cash" on the page where shoppers choose their desired payment method or option.
    Cash would be a very unusual option for a payment method for an online purchase:eek: I’ve purchased hundreds of items online and I’ve never seen it! Credit card, debit card, PayPal, bank transfer are all operations that can be done online. Is cash used (as in COD) in Japan for online purchases, I wonder?
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Is cash used (as in COD) in Japan for online purchases, I wonder?
    Yes.:) In fact, even Amazon.co.jp has the COD option. :eek:
    Also, many other online stores here offer other cash payment options (go to a bank and pay into the store's account, go to a convenience store and pay in cash at the counter). I don't know what percentage of online shoppers here actually choose these cash payment options, but many people still pay in cash at (physical) stores. And some stores don't even accept credit cards. I don't think debit cards are popular here.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I suspected that might be the case. It explains your line of questioning. I can call a vendor and have e.g., pizza delivered and I pay the delivery person but I can't think of many other situations where COD type payment still works.
     
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