Forget those favours from friends abroad for the just launched iPad 2. Now a simple click can get you the latest and best gadgets at your doorstep
A few months ago New Delhi-based Rina Bhardwaj, 31, was running around the Capital’s infant shops looking for a baby monitor. “I wanted it before my baby was born and I could not find it anywhere!” she says. After searching for a week, she took a friend’s advice and checked websites which sell gadgets. She found exactly what she was looking for on EBay.in. “It took me an hour of browsing, 5 minutes of paying and it was delivered to my home within a few days,” she says.
Be it the latest gadgets or the hard-to-find stuff, Indian websites are offering it all online—and chances are you will get most items at a discount. Here are some websites you should visit before you trek down to a gadget store.
EBay Global EasyBuy
Want to buy something that has just been launched in the US? EBay.in has made it easy with its Global EasyBuy service (www.ebay.in/globaleasybuy). You can buy the latest laptops, personal digital assistant or PDA phones, music systems and other cool things as they launch in the US. The prices displayed include shipping and customs costs, so when you order you know exactly how much you will have to pay. The website offers an equated monthly instalments, or EMI, facility for three-six months on select items, in case the cool thing you want comes with a hefty price tag. So you pay in rupees, while the latest e-book reader is delivered to your home. The prompt customer service and no-fuss website are an added bonus.
Log on if: You need the newest and the best internationally, and are ready to pay any price for it.
In store: Looking for deals on a mobile phone or the latest gadgets launched in the US? Online retail sites may be just the thing for you
A newly launched website, Olx.in is a subsidiary of the international site Olx.com, famous for its classified advertisements. The website is a marketplace where you can sell or buy just about anything and everything under the sun.
This means it is flooded with second-hand and budget items. In terms of gadgets, this is the perfect place to find a second-hand phone, games for your PlayStation, a cheap DVD player or genuine software at a fifth of its cost. We found Microsoft Office selling for that discount and a PS2 game console for Rs. 5,000. The seller’s number is on the website. If you are interested, all you have to do is call the person and strike a deal. One suggestion, though—see/test the gadget before paying up.
Log on if: You want to buy or sell discounted, second-hand gadgets.
This site is an efficient online mall. It has already made its mark with its vast array of discounted books, its countrywide prompt service (it promises to deliver products in a minimum of three business days, though imported items and those sent through registered post may take around two weeks). Flipkart also has a huge section of mobiles, cameras, games, laptops, laptop accessories, MP3 players and more. What we especially like is its fast-loading pages, its clean layout and the fact that it has a section called Low Cost Phones. There are many payment options, one of which is cash on delivery for orders up to Rs. 50,000. You simply order online and pay the courier guy on delivery. It doesn’t get better than this.
Log on if: You are looking for cheap phones or want a website which has a smooth interface.
This is a nifty website that offers new deals on products ranging from apparel, accessories and gadgets to home appliances every hour, round the clock. Ideal for the Twitter generation, which likes a constant stream of tempting offers, each deal is available on the website for just 1 hour. It claims to offer as much as 50% discounts on products that are brand new. You can track the website constantly through its mobile app or through its Facebook page—these will alert you about the deals available each hour. The number of pieces per available product, however, is limited. On 5 July, Soldinsixty opened an offer for the iPod Shuffle, selling it for Rs. 2,499 (its printed price is Rs. 3,700, that is a cool 32% off). All the pieces were sold in 30 minutes.
What we especially like about this innovative website is its free shipping, so you pay only for the product. The concept and the website are new, so we suggest caution while doing deals as start-up hiccups are being reported.
Log on if: You are looking for an unexpected, surprising deal at a discount.
As the name suggests, the website is all about gadgets. Since it is a focused website, this is the place to go if you are looking for gadgets you cannot find anywhere else. This means anything which is not mobile, laptop, smartphone or accessories, though these are also available here. The website has sections called Toys and Baby Gadgets, Bar Gadgets and Security and Spy Gadgets. You can also find T-shirts with electronic patches which light up, at Rs. 999. It even has a section called Most Unique Gadgets—we found things like batteries which can be recharged through USB and a Firebucket barbecue; we are still trying to figure out what we can use it for. The website is still pretty small in terms of turnout, but it is careful about its products—these are presented with detailed descriptions as well as high-resolution photos. We call it a boutique shop for gadgets.
Log on if: You are craving for something gadgety and want to be surprised.
If you bought music online about 15 years ago, you would remember Fabmall.com—the website sold the coolest cassettes. The same changed to Indiaplaza.in more than a decade ago. The site now sells all kinds of gadgets—videos, electronics, cameras, mobile phones and appliances. Though a bit tricky to browse through since its categories can be confusing initially, once you get the hang of it you can find your brand at a good discount. There is also a variety of gaming consoles such as Mitashi and Game Boy consoles, for people who want to move beyond the triangle of Xbox, PlayStation and Wii.
Log on if: You are looking for essential items, especially mobile accessories such as batteries, adapters and cases, for which you may not want to visit the market.
If it is a phone you are looking for and can’t make up your mind about, go to InfiBeam.com. With about 500 types of phones on display, our bet is you will find what you are looking for. Their comparative and search features are excellent and give you options like features, body type and colour, apart from the usual price and brand ones. There are detailed descriptions of each product, with technical specifications as well as high-resolution photographs. Since most of them cost less than Rs. 10,000, and are available at a discount, it is the perfect website to buy your phone from.
Log on if: You are looking for a cheap mobile phone and don’t have anything particular in mind.
The site—part of the Network18 conglomerate—is meant for the middle-class, budget buyer. It is your one-stop destination for electronic products from a cross-section of 32 categories such as mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players, and for comparing their features and prices. The home page asks one simple search question: What are you shopping for? Then it is all about narrowing your choices till you find the gadget most suited to you. The website first compares the features between products and then the rate at which different sellers are pricing the product. Its sellers range from mall retailers to small kirana or mom-and-pop shops. This means you get to know how much the gadget is selling for without having to roam around in the blazing heat looking for the right price.
Log on if:You want to compare different brands and are price conscious.
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