Online shopping has never been so big in India. The main thing that attracted most people to online shopping in the past was the huge price difference when compared to the retail stores. The online stores were able to save the money spend on setting up retail stores, their rents, salary for salesman etc etc. The online stores were able to transfer the money saved as discount for their customers. There used to be at least 30% price difference in online stores in the past. Is it the same now? Not really.
The Psychological Move Has Started To Take Effect ?
What is the psychology behind online shopping? Couple of years ago, online stores were giving away huge discounts to get the trust of customers. Once they established a decent enough reputation in the customer's mind that the products on a particular online store is cheap, then they will start increasing the price.
Some people get addicted to online shopping as they can give away with trouble of visiting each and every retail store for better deals. In online shopping, you can buy products within 60 seconds, period. Once you get addicted, you will completely stop going to retail shops as you can get everything delivered to your door step. If you are of that type, then let me warn you, you are losing some serious money by the day.
Even today, you can get great deals online for most products. But some are sold at insane prices. Do you know the fact that almost all online stores sell products from third party vendors. Vendors buy bulk products and register themselves on these online shopping sites as sellers. They sell their products at prices they wish. The online shopping company will have control over the shipping and delivery related issues, but the price is decided by the seller.
Sellers on online shopping sites are really smart. They try and sell products that are of low or second grade quality. When you look at it, you won't be able to make out the difference. There are sellers who sell second quality deodorants and perfumes which look exactly the same as the original. The smell, the brand, everything will be the same. We Indians are very much used to low quality products, so we are not sure whether which one is original or duplicate. To know that, you need to use an imported piece of the same brand. Then you will know the difference.
There is a place in Kerala called Tirur where there are people who even make branded cell phones. There you will get Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo for Rs.8000 (the original, costs Rs.28000). The shopkeepers will convince you saying that it was imported illegally from gulf countries and hence the low price. Even in Dubai the phone costs an equivalent of Rs.20000 . So how are they selling these phones at low cost. What they do is, buy original case and display of Samsung and use second quality products for all other parts which you normally won't see. When you look from the outside you won't be able to see any difference. You will know the difference when you use it for couple of days.
There is a lot of demand for such phones as you can boast of a Galaxy Note for 1/3rd of the price. Recently Samsung authorities and Kerala Police raided the area and was able to arrest some people. But still it is continuing, there is no stopping them. I am not saying that everyone there are frauds. I just cited this incident just to let you know about the quality of products.
Now coming back to online shopping and my experience. I was on the look out for a UPS. I decided to buy a particular model from APC, I saw the price on an online shopping site as Rs.2699, then I went to a local UPS dealer and asked about the price. There it was available at Rs.2500 (one must believe that the shopkeeper still makes a decent profit when it is sold at Rs.2500). Now you will have some idea about the profit made by online sellers.
So my advice will be, think before you buy online. Check the price at atleast 2 local shops and make sure that price online is something acceptable. Don't fall in the trap set by online sellers.