Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Online Shopping Experience

This summer, I've been experimenting a bit with online shopping and I must say, the experience has been mixed somewhat.

I started with a t-shirt from Inkfruit.com. Alright, this was a sin: I realised this summer that I have so many t-shirts that I must never buy anymore (except a white one because I have no white t-shirts, a huge problem during the Kshitij photo-op). Alright, so I discovered I had a white t-shirt lying at home. That, along with sweater and full-sleeve I had bought previously, and I thought I had enough. But oh heavens curse me - I bought myself another! I didn't want to really - but circumstances (read, family) compelled me!

Alright, enough is enough. I hereby swear I shall NOT buy anymore t-shirts for the next two years at the very least. And I intend to keep this promise... really! But the service from Inkfruit was superb - delivery well on time, a sale (now you know why!) and excellent packaging. Not to mention the t-shirt itself, which was of good quality, fit well and had a great design on it (I even got a card from the designer).

Then, I ordered a book - German for Dummies - from Tradus.in (the book was a little old, published in 2006). Now, this was a bad experience. Fortunately, it was ordered on Cash on Delivery (CoD). After waiting for a few days with no shipping notification, I got a message informing me that the order was delayed. A few days later, another mail informed me that it had been shipped and would reach me in 3-4 business days. A week later and I got another message, informing me of some delay (like I didn't know that already). And the male had the gaul to ask me to inform customer care, like that was my job!

So, I gave it another day and finally informed customer care. I got a prompt reply the next day, with due apologies and a request for another week to sort things out. And here's what amazed me: they asked me to get in touch with the courier company - you do that, it's your job! And finally, a whole three weeks after I had placed the order, my book arrived - poorly packed, slightly bent (but the included CD was fine). Tradus' service was poor for sure, but even their packaging wasn't up to the mark (their excuse would be that the courier company packs, but what do I are about their supply chain?)

So, overall, it's been a mixed affair. Inkfruit was great but I won't be going there again for some time (I promise!), while tradus.in was terrible and I'll never be going there. Anyway, I've realised that the best way to go is to read some reviews before using a website. And I've found the ideal site - flipkart.com, starting by a pair of IITians and supposedly the best online bookstore in India. Well, I'll be putting that to test for my birthday this month. Let's see!

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