How To Shop Smartly Online In India
Shopping Online is the best way to get great discounts and an array of items that you wouldn't normally be able to purchase locally. Especially in India there are so many great bargains I wish I could afford to buy everything. The products they sell in India are half the price of products internationally simply because they are not in season anymore or are the last of stock lines.
Yet so many locals are against online shopping simply because they don't do any research before committing to a purchase. Then are extremely disappointed that they never shop online again. I have heard several stories of customers being duped and when I hear why I feel sorry for them because it could have been so easily avoided. But too many get caught up in the hype of a good bargain they forget logic and reason.
Then there is the worry that the products sold online are inferior which is just not true. Essentially you get what you pay for most of the time. So if you spend a lot of money on clothes when you go to the market why wouldn't you do the same when you buy the same outfit online. Though the best part of shopping online is that you won't be caught seen in the same outfit as your cousin at your brother's wedding.
So I will share with you my tips based on my experiences as some have been bad but majority have been fantastic. My experiences have only been bad merely because the staff stuffed up my order, I have never actually been disappointed with any product that I have purchased. These tips can actually really apply to shopping online in any country as it’s just using your common sense and having attention to detail.
My Top Tips To Avoid
Being Scammed Online
1. Research The Product You Are Buying
This sounds simple enough but too many just don't take the time to do this. I am forever shopping online so that is enough research for me. The best way is to look for the item you are interested in on sites that are trustworthy. Then shop around different sites to get a feel for the average price, and the best price when it is on sale. You will get a feel immediately if a price seems too good to be true.
This also applies to the quality of a product and determining if it is a counterfeit. Looking at photos of the product on different sites or even the manufacturers or designers site will give you the best idea if a product is a knock off. It is usually in the finer details where you will determine if a product is counterfeit. Such as the stitching, trimmings, material, lining, embellishments.
You should also keep in mind where you purchase the product from, such as a Prada handbag. If you can buy it from a market stall it is obviously a knock off. Some designers only sell their products through their own stores or have exclusive rights through a select few retailers. So think of these things when you make your purchase online.
2. Does It Sound Too Good To Be True
Usually you can tell if a price is too good to be true just by shopping around. However sometimes prices are low simply because it is faulty or damaged. It may be the last of the sizes such as women's heels, sizes 4 and sizes 11 are usually the last sizes to sell as they are the least common.
It could also be a discontinued line or it was a limited edition line and therefore they are selling them cheap to clear stock levels. So you just need to do a bit of reading and research the item you are buying. This is the best way to avoid being scammed.
3. Read Customer Reviews
When shopping on some sites that I know sell inferior products I will only buy if I see reviews posted by other customers who have bought the product. Look for reviews where several customers have purchased an item. If there are only two reviews that have been left with no photo, and are both glowing reviews about how fantastic the product is, then this is most likely the retailer creating hype rather than genuine customers. If it was as great as they say then why aren't others buying this product?
Then there is the opposite reviewer who only has negative feedback about the product. This can sometimes be the opposition or just an angry customer. Neither of these are helpful really. So always look for reviews that provide descriptive feedback. If there are none on the site you are using then do a Google search for reviews. Most people these days blog about their purchases and experiences online. So there is an abundance of resources out there.
4. Look For Photos Posted By Others
As with checking the reviews it is important to check for customer photos. Some sites allow customers to leave photos of their purchase. This is especially helpful given majority of online retailers in India will post photos taken from designers and sell a recreated product rather than intentionally counterfeit. So you just don't know what you are buying until you see a customer post a photo.
When buying material for a kurti or anarkali, it is the norm to post the designers photo. Then there will be about ten different brands who have all attempted to recreate the outfit. So each final product will vary from the original photo. Sometimes they provide a quality outfit however some appear nothing like the photo depicted.
It is also a good idea to look for customers photos as the advertised photo is usually edited too much that it appears nothing like the product. Again this is normal business in India, so I make sure to either check the photo in the customer review on the site or I google reviews.
5. Consider If The Product Suits Your Needs
Since you can't touch or feel the product you are completely reliant on the photo and product description. Along with your background research you do on the product. Photos are usually taken in lighting that makes the item look good on the model. So you can't really determine if a blouse will be transparent when you put the item on over your black underwear. Naturally the model wearing the item will most likely wear nude underwear or it’s edited out. Therefore the photo doesn't always tell the truth.
So instead read the description, if the material is chiffon or silk you know it is transparent. Some sites also note the models height and size so that you can determine the length on you. If you are looking to buy a maxi dress and it is ankle length on a model of 185cm and you are 165cm then it is obviously way too long for you. Which means you will need to have it altered. It is little things like this that you need to consider before making a purchase as otherwise you will only waste money as returning or exchanging items is difficult.
6. Check If A Site Appears Genuine
When shopping on some sites you can get a feel whether it is genuine or not. When I first arrived in India I had no idea what sites were legitimate. Though your good friend Google is the best bet. First do a Google search about the site and look for customer reviews about it. If there are lots of reviews and people talking about it then this is a good sign.
There are also sites that advise if sites are genuine or not. Use these sites to confirm if the online site you are on is the real deal. If you are still unsure then look for things such as the layout of the page. Does it look like a school boy created it in his bedroom at home or is it professional? Are there contact numbers listed that actually work? Is the security certificate up to date? Are words spelled correctly? Are sentences grammatically correct? These are sure signs if a site is created to scam people.
At the end of the day if you still are unsure just don't shop there.
Have you had a good or bad shopping experience online?