In this post I am going to go through some of the most famous online shopping sites of India. I would be going through pros and cons of each and highlight which website is most suitable for purchasing a particular product.
The first site that comes to mind when we think of online shopping is EBay. EBay is definitely one of my favourite online shopping website. The most prominent reason for this would be availability of almost anything you desire and comparatively better policies than other websites (which we would see later in the post).
Ebay is well designed and its search feature provides you with relevant results. At eBay, various sellers can sell their product online by making a seller’s account at their website. The advantage of this is that you get resources and products of almost anything you desire. Next, we discuss some more important aspects online shopping which are purchasing options and security.
EBay is good in this regard too. EBay provides various ways for payment such as Credit card, Net banking and most importantly Cash On Demand (COD). However, COD is not available for all items.
The best policy which eBay implements for your security is called “PaisaPay” . With this policy, after you make a payment, the seller is required to ship you the product within 2 weeks. Only after you are satisfied with the product and confirm that you received the item, the seller gets the money from eBay. This ensures that seller don’t get payment until you get your product. If you don’t get the product within time then you are refunded back.
The Ugly Part
Now comes the Bad part. Though the policies are good but not perfect and reality is bit different. The refund part is not very quick and involves a few complications. You have to file a complaint in so called “EBAY COURT “if you are not satisfied with your product. You have to give complete description of why are not satisfied and then eBay decides what to do next.
I would state my personal experience. I got a different laptop than what I ordered. It took me almost 2-3 months to settle the issue and I was really frustrated by the response. This issue was related to Global Easy Buy which further complicated things as the laptop was imported from USA.
· It provides Daily Deals and Deals of the Week where the products are available at a comparatively less price and have free shipping.
· The no. of products and range available are unmatchable. No site comes even close to having such large no. of products available from almost any category.
· Good Vouchers or coupons available if you subscribe to their email newsletters.
· Good policies. You get full refund if anything goes wrong.
· Fair Customer Care if you need to sort out some issues.
· Electronic Products are available at best price at eBay compared to other sites.
· It may not provide you with the cheapest deals. You may get better price at a store near you for many items.
· Refund takes time and may be troublesome experience for many people.
· Global easy buy not recommended as it takes a lot of time of delivery and if something goes wrong then you are screwed.
· All sellers are not trustworthy. There are chances that you may be duped by sellers as anyone can sell items at eBay. This is particularly important when you are purchasing used items.
Visit ebay at http://www.ebay.in/
This is a comparatively new website in the market of online shopping. Inspired by amazon.com which primarily sells books, flipkart also initially started as an online book store. Now it deals with many other products too including electronics items.
When it comes to books, it is way ahead of any other site. The discount available on books are great. You would get around 15-20% off on almost any book. I got 40% off on many books too. The best part is that it does not have any shipping charges. Yes, it’s true, no shipping charge. And that’s not it; you get cash on delivery feature too. Delivery was very good too. I got my books within 3 days in well packed box. If you order books from flipkart, you would never find yourself visiting the book store near you again.
Flipkart also gives you opportunity to buy other products too. The range available is not comparable to eBay though and its price may not be the best you would get. The price is moderate and fair deal but not the best.
· Excellent collection of books
· Best price on books and great policies.
· Good delivery time which is usually 3 days.
· Good price for electronics items too.
· Cash On deliver feature for most items.
· The price for electronic items is not the best deal you can get.
Visit Flipkart at http://www.flipkart.com/
FASHION AND YOU
This site is different from above mentioned sites. It only deals with selling fashion related products. This mainly includes clothes, cosmetics, perfumes and occasionally electronic items too. It started as an invite only site where you need to get an invitation from an existing member to join the site. Now it’s open for all. It is a very good place for buying clothes. You would get very good deals for purchasing Branded clothes and perfumes.
It updates its site every day at 11 a.m. You can expect all major brands such as adidas, puma, Reebok, CK and many more leading brand products at good price.
However I did not like the policies of this site. In fact, it’s one of the worst website when it comes to policy. Once you place your order, you would be informed that it would take 3-4 weeks for delivery. It is one of the worst delivery time among any of the website’s that I have used. I ordered some items from this site and it took me a month to get the products. This late delivery should not be regarded as a general case. I had got delivery of an item in a week also but out of the so many items which I have purchased from this site, 7 days is the best delivery time you can expect.
Now comes the worst part. It charges you Rs 100 for shipping for anything. So, even if you order Rs 200 item, you would still get Rs 100 shipping charges. It would be great if you order a higher price item or a group of items as you would still get Rs 100 deliver charge. But I don’t think that’s fair.
Also, you have to pay additional Rs 50 for cash on delivery option. This is Not acceptable at all. You get Rs 700 voucher if you refer a friend and after he/she makes a first purchase at the site. This was Rs 1000 earlier and now has been changed too Rs 700. Not at all a welcome move.
· Good deals for major clothing and perfume brands.
· Invite Voucher can save you a lot.
· One of the best site for purchasing fashion related products.
· Weekend deals are great where you get a lot of variety to choose from.
· Bad customer policies. Not at all customer centric.
· You don’t get refund but rather credits through which you are forced to buy something from the site only.
· They take a lot of time for delivery of products.
· Involves risk while buying online for clothing etc. regarding fitting, size, quality etc.
· Not suitable for purchasing electronic items. You get better deal at eBay or flipkart.
Visit FashionAndyou at http://www.fashionandyou.com/
Other Site Like Indiatimes.com & Rediff Shopping
There are many other sites such IndiaTimes shopping and Rediff shopping. These are definitely not recommended at all from my side. IndiaTimes offers bad deal. It sells cheap and low quality products and for electronics, its price is quite high compared to others (even after excluding shipping charges).
Don’t get influenced by its advertisement in newspapers. It does not worth your time.
If you have any of your experience to share regarding your online shopping experience then I would love to hear from you. Do comment in case you would like to add to above mentioned views. I would like to hear from you even if you disagree to any point.
These are of course my personal opinions and a collection of experience’s of many people I know who have used these website’s and it should not be taken as absolute judgement for any of these website. You can try these websites and I am sure you would love shopping online. It provides great deals if you are clever enough to judge the best out of the various available options.