Mega e-sales: Compare prices across platforms before clicking on buy

With money being tight, it’s essential to understand the funding options and possible snags you need to watch out for
With the festive season just round the corner, e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon are set to kick off their sales on October 16 and 17, respectively. Snapdeal, too, has announced its “Kum Mein Dum” Diwali sale from October 16.

Customers can expect to get higher discounts this year. Says Ashita Aggarwal, professor-marketing at SPJIMR: “Companies are struggling on account of low consumption across categories. They are desperate to sell and meet their targets. Customers, too, have become more price and value-sensitive.”

What’s on offer: The Amazon sale will see 650,000-plus sellers offering over 40 million products. “The aim is to help customers find everything they may need during the festive season,” says Manish Tiwary, vice president, Amazon India. Over 900 new products from top brands such as Samsung, OnePlus, Apple, JBL, Sony, BIBA, etcetera will be launched. Heavy discounts will be available on refurbished phones. Customers can pre-book for the latest ones. Amazon Pay users can unlock daily shopping reward benefits of up to Rs 500 per day. 

Flipkart will give customers a chance to pre-book products and build their shopping cart. Says Nandita Sinha, vice president-events, engagement and merchandising at Flipkart: “Customers will not just get a sneak-peak into the Big Billion Day’s offers, but will also be able to plan their purchases in advance by paying just Rs 1.”

With money being tight, it’s essential to understand the funding options and possible snags you need to watch out for.   

Funding options: Customers will have several funding options to choose from. Says Ashwini Kumar Tewari, managing director and chief executive officer, SBI Card: “SBI Card customers can avail of a 10 per cent discount on Flipkart in addition to the various offers being given on the platform during the sale period.” SBI Card will also offer the no-cost EMI facility across 14 brands in electronics and mobile phones.

Bajaj Finserv card and other leading banks’ credit and debit cards will also offer the no-cost EMI option.

Under the zero-cost EMI offer, the buyer repays the selling price in equal instalments over the tenure. The seller receives the discounted price while the bank receives the balance amount—the discount—as its interest. The only additional cost that the buyer bears is the goods and services tax (GST) levied on the interest component. “Customers who don’t have enough money to pay for their purchases upfront, or wish to build their credit history or improve their credit score, may also opt for the no-cost EMI option,” says Gaurav Chopra, founder & CEO, IndiaLends. 

Flipkart has partnered with Paytm to offer assured cashback to customers paying through Paytm Wallet and Paytm UPI. Debit-card EMIs on select cards (with no minimum balance) and Flipkart Pay Later are other payment options available.

Cashbacks will be available on banks’ cards. Says Sanjeev Moghe, executive vice president and head, Axis Bank Cards & Payments: “During the festive period, our card will offer 5 per cent cashback on Flipkart over and above the other offers given by Flipkart and Axis Bank.” 

Amazon has partnered with HDFC Bank to offer 10 per cent instant discount on shopping with debit or credit cards. The no-cost EMI on credit and debit cards options is also available.

When buying things online, keep a few things in mind. Says Aggarwal: “Check that the warranty card provided to you has the stamp, date, dealer’s signature and serial number. In case of an online purchase, it becomes all the more important to read the warranty conditions carefully.” Also, check the geographic location of the warranty. After you have got the warranty card, you may need to register with the manufacturer. It is also advisable to preserve the bill. In the case of products that have high usage or are expensive, you should go for extended warranties. Keep in mind that some brands don’t give customer support for products sold online as these are priced at a substantial discount.

For big-size or big-ticket items, buyers may prefer the store or mall route. Discounts are available there, too. Says Jayen Naik, senior vice president – operations and projects, Nexus Malls: “Apart from offering discounts, we are also giving tangible gifts to customers, which is bringing them back to our malls.”

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