Saturday, December 27, 2014

Unexplored Online Shopping Options for the Indian Consumers: Tip for getting better deals on

Hello World,

This is the holiday season and most of us have or are buying gifts for self, family and friends. In this post, I want to familiarise you with some additional online shopping channels that can offer you products cheaper than those you might believe as the cheapest. Nothing ground-breaking here but I did identify an undiscovered link of ecommerce supply chain that has the capacity to deliver us consumers in India, the added benefit of ‘in-store’ discounts via conventional online shopping channels.

Long story short, I find that for so many products, can prove to be cheaper than from any other online retailer website that we are used to in India. Now a lot of things have to fall in place and I will walk you through it. My objective here is to empower the consumers, that is you and me, with a small piece of information that might help us save some money while buying products online. There is no cheating or malpractice involved in this whatsoever, so let’s get to it.

This past 6 weeks I believe is best pat of the year when all the companies release new products and retailers slash prices to clear their inventory. This trend is catching up everywhere and here in India, we consumers took it to a whole new level as online retailers miserably underestimated the demand for online shopping. One retailer wanted to make $100 million dollars in revenue in 24 hours with a particular ‘sale’ but reached that target in 10 hours and faced overbooking and web-traffic issues. Consumers lashed out at the retailer for being phony but the reality of the fact is that the retailer did not expect so many of us would turn up to buy products online here in India.

I have bought more than one product from (in the past few years) which cost me a lot less than what I might have paid while buying on the indian online retailer websites including Just like any other person, I would go to the major online retailer websites, one by one and look for my favorite product and then compare prices/reviews. I would buy the product which seems to be most appreciated and from the seller who has the least customer complaints. 

One day, I typed in in the address bar and it took me to I got curious about it and googled and realised the retailer is hosting different sites for different markets. My curiosity took me into the website and I started browsing it for the products I was looking in the Indian online retailer websites. Something dawned on me. 

Here is an example:

Given below are screenshots of different websites, for one particular product, which in this case is a GoPro Hero 3 camera (I bought one recently from and paid much less than what I would have paid if I had bought from the domestic ecommerce websites):

Indian Online Retailer 1:

Indian Online Retailer 2:

Look at the Hero 3 product image above. Hero 3 is the one as shown in the previous picture. For some reason the very product image is displayed wrong. May be a small glitch in displaying product information (or is it something else? I am just asking.) Product Option(international reseller/small business):

The product price +shipping totals $ 268.70 which as of 28th Dec, 2014 equals about INR 17140.37. 

INR 17140 is way less than the other entries as captured from Indian online retailers. Even if you consider the 28% duty, the total will be around INR 21000 and the $ 268.70 is not the cheapest deal for Hero 3 on I just took the first economical deal I could find. If you search a little bit more, you might get an even better deal on it. 

We can try this out everytime we look to buy something online. I think it would be worth the time looking up international resellers on sites such as at least for products such as consumer electronics. Spread the word and see if your friends find similar deals. We need to remember that 'sharing information' is the real power of consumers. 

How does this work? Well here’s how I understand this. Consumers in established markets have access to frequent in-store and online discount/clearance sales where the prices are slashed by big margins. The Black Friday sale is the most prominent one but stores and online retailers tend to host such events from time to time whenever they find a particular set of inventory holding up space and investment. Now these products when they reach the hands of those who sell on eBay, the rest of the consumer world gets the product at a price different from the rest of the big businesses. Remember, we are talking about individuals who buy and sell stuff from their homes. At least, most of whom I bought from are that type of eBay sellers. There are some who have been doing this for a long time I suppose since I see them classified as Top Rated Seller.

The interesting thing here to me is that, we consumers now have in-direct access to in-store and regional discount sales through these entrepreneurial individual sellers (or resellers). Credits to their thinking, we consumers have one additional choice that can add value.

I think, we consumers here in the Indian market, can leverage the low price options from international resellers (mostly small businesses) to get the most out of our online spending. I have bought diverse categories of products this way and I believe, you can too. 

However, there is a risk of choosing the wrong reseller. I will remind you to exercise your discretion and analyse the purchase decision and product/reseller choice carefully before you decide. What I am describing here is a mere indication and no endorsement of any business. This is a tip from one consumer to another, nothing less, nothing more.

Indian ecommerce market is rapidly growing and the trend of impulse shopping has caught up with the consumers here. 

Finally, the ecommerce  domain has established itself as a major consumer-influencing force and the brick-and-mortar businesses are switching to or adding up their click-and-mortar business models. There is however a rising concern of bad service and online frauds as consumers are just getting aware of the internet traps. In other news, the tele-marketing shows are seriously targeting the older demographics and the companies that are going full flow with late night tele-marketing shows are those who were notorious for online frauds in the ecommerce domains. The consumers got so annoyed that they reviewed those retailers out of mainstream internet trade. Now they are after the gullible older demographics who are not sure about online purchases and find ‘comfort’ products very luring. 

Overall, the ecommerce industry is growing by the billion but yet to offer the product diversity as in established markets. Consumers are learning new pre-purchase and post-purchase quality perceptions and the retailers have to listen to them right now. The brick-and-mortar businesses should now get their own internet-based business model running or see their business migrate away to other online retailers. Good times ahead for those businesses who put their customers first.

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Image Source:

Product display pics (retailers 1 & 2): Those are screenshots from the respective retailer websites. I think it is better we let their identity be anonymous or let's say open to interpretation. Maybe they get their brains that way. 


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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for the great post, it was very helpful to me..... as well.....

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