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What’s the ‘net’ price?

Friday, November 12, 2010


Online shopping is slowly but surely gaining popularity in Mumbai. Samreen Samad and Shalvi Mangaokar check out some of the best online stores the city has to offer

With our busy lifestyles, sitting at home while you shop seems like the ultimate indulgence. Clothes, accessories, home décor and electronics are delivered right to your doorstep with a click of a button. We find out which the best online stores in the city are and whether or not Mumbaikars are happy with their online shopping experiences. 
Brand mile
Brand Mile is a smart shopping web site similar to 99 labels, which offers 70% off on products. One of the nicer things about this website is that they give inside prices of international brands. This makes it easier for the public to compare the prices and see which a smarter buy is. Amongst its other benefits are the fact that you have access to hand picked fashion and lifestyle products. You can also participate in contests and win fantastic prizes. 
Cost comparison: Verushka by Payal Kothari pair of peep toe booties, Retail: `3,400 vs Online: `1,913
99 Labels
99 labels offers some great deals on fashion wear,accessories, lifestyle products, sports wear and gear, electronics and even furniture at members-only prices that are up to 70% off label prices. We like this site because they have flexible payment options such as cash on delivery, credit cards and net banking.
CEO/Co-founder Ishita Swarup says, “Since we’ve started, I have personally noticed a significant growth in the number of people wanting to try online shopping. At 99labels we ensure complete detailing of the products and we also have a return policy just in case.”
They stock many brands and have a variety to choose from. Ishita adds, “Real estate is very expensive and that’s one of the reasons why all these brands decide to sell products online. Besides, this way you can reach more people and the access is easier.”


Cost comparision: Diesel Red Dress,
Retail: `11,000 vs Online: `3,300
Azaad Bazaar
Azaad Bazaar is India’s first Lesbian, Gay, Bi sexual and Transgender pride store. The label is quite popular among the LGBT community as well as those who like quirky home décor. They have everything from t-shirts and accessories to mugs, notebooks and fridge magnets and not to forget disco balls and fur handcuffs. Everything is priced reasonably from `30 to `2000. Simran, co-founder of the website, says, “We started the website in early 2009 and it’s going great so far. The response has been great. The concept is becoming better by the day,” Simran concludes.

Shelly’s Wall
Shelly’s wall is all about the new concept of wall tattoos. These are sold only on the website and you can browse through the site and select from a variety of colours and designs. Website owner, Shelly Lalwani, says, “Online shopping is a common trend all over the world, and its catching up in India as well. People in India are reluctant even today and worry about credit card payments online. But it’s fast and saves you a lot of time.” Wall decals start from `500 onwards. Check out her work on…

Fashion and you
Fashion and You, stocks high end fashionable apparel, shoes, watches, lingerie and lots more all at a reasonable price. We love that every product is displayed in four different dimensions which help you get a clear idea of whether it will suit you or not. Also, their offers are affordable and keep changing at regular intervals. Off late, the brands associated with this site have also increased and their shipping charges are just `100 and the product will be delivered within two weeks.

Cost comparison: Dior Midnight Poison perfume, Retail: `7,065 vs Online: `6,242

Smart Shoppers
Smart Shoppers is a Chennai based website which offers a range of digital products and services. Digital cameras, photography lenses, SLR cameras, camcorders, camera accessories, mobile phones, laptops, LCD TV and lots more is available on the site. Reputed brands like Apple, Samsung, Philips, Sony, and SanDisk are also a part of this site. They have discounts on most of thier products,and offer multiple payment option.
Cost comparison: Canon EF 50mm 1.8 lens, Retail:`5,595 vs Online: `4,995
Now you can shop from the USA sitting at home. 20north has electronics to books and thousands of other products, they have everything you are looking for. In case you have seen something on an US website and can’t find it on 20north, they make sure that they order it especially for you. So you no longer have to wait for your aunt to send you US goodies.


Cost comparision: Ray ban sunglasses, Retail: `7,427 vs Online: `5,117
Pros of online shopping
24/7 The advantage of online shopping is that, it can be done anytime of the day. If you feel like buying those red stilettos at 3am, you can!
Comfort You can just sit at home and shop for everything that you desire. You don’t need to dress up, care about the weather outside and save up on fuel too.
Variety You can check a variety of products at one go without walking too much or travelling to different stores.
Privacy Online shopping helps you buy things you would feel shy to buy otherwise such as Viagra and sex toys.
Availability You can shop for products that are not available in your locality. You can even get products which are not available in your country.
Cons of online shopping
Money issues One of the biggest problems with online shopping is the payment. On most sites you’re restricted to making payment by credit card which may not always be safe. Very few sites would offer the ‘payment of delivery’ facility.
Accuracy While shopping online, you buy the product because you are enamoured by its description. But beware, the description may not be accurate.
Size matters Shopping for clothes and shoes is risky business. The sizes they put up are according to the sizes of the people in their country. US size small, would be Indian size medium. So make sure you know your corresponding size.
Shipping costs Most sites will charge for shipping. The amount may vary, but more often than usual, you end up paying quite a bit. So make sure you check about shipping costs before purchasing a product or the actual cost of getting the item might not leave you with much of a bargain.



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