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ONLINE SHOPPING: NIGHTMARES AND BLESSINGS


If you follow me on Instagram, you'd be well aware that I am a fanatic online shopper. I've been shopping online since 2005, trying out fashion and beauty websites from around the world, and getting them deliver stuff to India.

While I've not tried my hands on shopping on Indian websites that much, but the fashion and beauty coupons and deals offered by some of the amazing websites {have you seen CupoNation?} enticed me to try online  shopping in India and it was surprisingly good.

THE BLESSINGS - ONLINE SHOPPING

1. If it wouldn't be for online shopping, I wouldn't have discovered amazing vegan brands like Angela & Roi and got amazing bags like this one.



2. No matter which part of the world you are in, its with online shopping that you can get whatever you want, from wherever you want. Sitting in Mumbai, I could get this gorgeous Stella McCartney clutch  delivered to me from a small boutique in Italy {thanks to one of my favourite luxury shopping website www.farfetch.com}




3. Bargains and deals you can't imagine!! Whether it is the sale season or not, you can manage to get the most amazing stuff at unbelievable prices. Black Friday in US and you can benefit from it sitting in Mumbai (click, click and pay, thats it). No sale season and you really want to buy something? For example you can find Snapdeal coupons at CupoNation which helps you get amazing bargains and offers.

Also a good news for online shoppers, The Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) is starting up from 10-12 December 2014 with largest online stores showcasing great GOSF deals there


NIGHTMARES OF ONLINE SHOPPING

1. When you don't get what you ordered and the money is blocked and the worst thing? The website you ordered from was in London, so sorting it out becomes a nightmare. Yes I had the worst experience you can imagine with one of the world's most popular and reputed website ASOS.COM. I ordered a pair of shoes {and they were quite expensive} from asos.com in September, the parcel arrived in 14 days and it wasn't the shoes but a shirt that arrived (imagine the horror). When I contacted them they apologised and said they reshipped the shoes but I had to pay the custom duty again, which they will refund. Now the second time around, its the same shirt again and not the shoes. Plus the extra duty which I had to follow up like crazy to get back.

Even the third time I never received the shoes, and they refuse to refund money until I ship back the shirts, they erroneously shipped, first {mind now, I have to return them the skirt they sent by mistake instead of shoes, and pay international postage for it, can you imagine?}. Shopping with Asos has been my worst nightmare. I am on international tour and I cant manage to ship them the shirt, and because of which my money is stuck and I haven't received the shoes, and its December already. Never ever ever shop with asos.com. Asos has really poor delivery service plus very bad customer service - imagine a Company ships you the wrong item {shirt instead of shoes} and that also twice. Which means they have no system to check the mistake done once and fix it and that also on an international order. The customer service desk is very automated and doesn't understand the HUGE MISTAKE they have made and have no idea of how to fix the problem whatsoever. They are good at making it all the more inconvenient and complicated for the customer, while extorting the money from me all the while. And for their mistake, they offered me 10% discount on the next order. Can you imagine? How cheap is that? What kind of global company of a size and reputation like that does it?



This isn't the first time I had problem with shopping online with asos.com. They didn't deliver my parcel earlier too, took me 45 days to wait for the parcel after which they apologised and refunded my money back. But its been about 3 months and I havent received my order, nor my money has been refunded.

2. Another problem with online shopping is that items shown on the website is different from what you actually receive. I ordered a dress online from a UK website. What I received was yellow, while the dress I ordered was actually an orange. Plus the fit and style was very different and the fabric in person looked quite cheap. Now shipping them back to the UK was a hassle, so I ended up keeping it and not wearing it.

3. Its not just the international online shopping that have their share of problems. Some Indian online shopping stores (like www.koovs.com) have a really inconvenient policy when you want to return an item {return policy}. They don't refund your money, but only provide a credit note (actually credit code in this case), that you can set off against your future purchase. Plus these credit codes have an expiry. First they send you unsatisfactory product and then they don't refund your money back. That's uncool.

Like everything there are pros and cons of online shopping. So its important to be careful when treading online for your purchases. Especially be careful when shopping online from international websites to avoid nightmares like asos.com case. While I had my bad experiences, I wouldn't refrain from trying it out, but will be more careful with my choices.

Here are some tips for safe online shopping:

1. Shop from a secured website: First and foremost it is important that all your online shopping is carried out only from a secured website. Never ever buy anything online using your credit or debit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed {this is a minimum security requirement}. The SSL encrypted websites start with HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. In addition to the 'https' code look for a locked padlock icon on your browser. It usually appears in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. Never share your credit card or bank account information over email to anyone even if you receive email from your online shopping website. Also it is advisable to shop from your credit card instead of debit as your debit card is linked to your bank account and a lot more damage can be done if the hackers have your bank details.

2. Use familiar websites: Shop from a trusted and known website rather than what search engine directs you to randomly While online shopping is a blessing, there are many cases of frauds via online shopping. So be careful where you shop from. Check the reviews or people who have shopped earlier from their website before you make any purchase. Prefer websites your friends or family have used.

3. Discounts, codes and vouchers: The best thing about online shopping is not only the whole world becomes your marketplace, but also it offers you the best price. In addition to the ongoing online sales, always look for discount coupons of the retailer you are shopping from, you may get access to a coupon you didn't know existed just by taking a few extra seconds for a quick search.. It gives you additional cost benefits. There are many coupon codes and discount code websites for every country. Many stores themselves also provide you with their own promotional codes if you sign up for their email newsletters. Enter the code before you check out to reap the savings.

Moreover before you buy, look for the best price online. Search discount sites for the item you want before buying it elsewhere.
4. Easy returns and exchanges: It is advisable to shop from websites that offer free delivery or free returns {its wonderful if can get both}. Since you are buying products without trying it on, the risk of the product not fitting right or not meeting your expectation is high. So it makes sense to buy from websites that cut down the cost of replacement or return.

Share your Online Shopping experience!!!!
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6 comments:

  1. Comprehensive overview of what we all love! Shopping online! I have been a regular for a decade & I find Ebay interntational as the most convenient destination even for shopping clothes. The reason- My money is protected. I dont need to ship back. I get full refund if cheated. Luckily I have never been cheated :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats a really bad experience you had with Asos .. and thats such a reputed brand. I generally order only from Indian websites cause shipping back the stuff would be easier in case of problems.
    Nice blog you have :)
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC?

    http://everythingthatclicks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wife's delight, but a husband's nightmare....my wife got hooked to this post....LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So true that online shopping has its own pros and cons! You have a great blog. Just followed your blog and Instagram!

    ReplyDelete
  5. nice analysis.. but the risk is getting reduced as most retailers offer replacement/refund within certain time

    ReplyDelete

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