Online shopping can be convenient and you often get better discounts than what the local shops in your area have to offer but if you do a little more research, you may end up saving even more. Here are some tips and websites that may help you get the best deals while shopping online in India.
Save Money While Shopping Online
1. Use Comparison Shopping
There are dozens of credible shopping sites in India and it may therefore take time and effort to determine which of them offers the best deal on a particular product. Comparison shopping sites like MySmartPrice.com , ShoppingWish.in and Junglee.com aggregate prices from multiple online retailers (through XML feeds and web scraping) making it easier for you to compare prices.
The big downside is that these shopping engines do not have price data from all the popular retailers (like Flipkart) so the lowest listed price may not always be the lowest one on the Internet.
2. The Hunt for Coupon Codes
Some shopping sites accept coupon codes that you can apply at the checkout screen for some additional discount on your final bill. Google is of little help here as coupon codes are mostly valid for a limited period but there are coupon aggregating sites like CouponDunia.in and CouponRaja.com where you may often find working coupon codes for any particular store.
The coupons are neatly organized by stores and the listings are sorted by their expiry dates. Popular US coupons website RetailMeNot.com too has an India-specific section that aggregates coupons from Domino’s Pizza, eBay.in, Myntra and other popular online shopping sites.
3. Research Online, Shop Offline
Not every local mom-and-pop store may have a website but some of these local stores may have better deals to offer than even the big online retailers. PriceBaba.com aggregates prices offered by the various offline retailers in a city and the site also lists their phone numbers and addresses should you decide to make the purchase from a local shop.
PriceBaba’s product catalog is however limited to mobile phones and tablets and they are primarily covering retailers in the Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-NCR region.
4. Earn Cash back on Purchases
Coupon codes aren’t the only way to save money on your online purchases. Sites like CashKaro.com and Pennyful.in offer cashbacks on your regular purchases as long you visit the retailer’s site through the special links listed on these cashback websites.
It works something like this. You create an account at CashKaro and it will provide you links to various retailer sites where cash back offers are available. You visit the shopping site through these special links, make the purchase as normal and the cashback amount will be paid to you once a threshold is reached.
5. Watch the Specials on Social Web
Most online shopping brands in India are active on Twitter and Facebook and some of them do regularly post offers and deals on these channels. It may thus be a good idea to like /follow you favorite retails on the social web.
Also, shopping sites like eBay.in, Infibeam.com, Myntra.com, Jabong.com, HomeShop18 and others have dedicated pages where they list ongoing offers – you may want to put these pages in your bookmarks as well.
6. Try a Different Browser
News reports in the WSJ and USA Today suggest that certain shopping sites, especially those in the travel category, may alter prices based on your geo-location and even your previous browsing history (cookies). I am not sure if Indian shopping sites use “dynamic pricing” but the incognito (or private) mode in your browser will prevent the site from connecting the dots and they’ll treat you as a new customer.