The first round of online festive season sales is all set to begin from next week. Both Flipkart Big Billion Days sale and Amazon Great Indian Sale will kick off from October 10. Other online marketplaces are likely to follow Flipkart and Amazon with their own sales. It's that time of the year when everyone is looking to grab great discounts on their favourite products. But it's easy to get carried away in the mad rush of flash sales and offers that seem too good to be true.
We're prepared a small guide to help you out while you're shopping online during next week's big Amazon and Flipkart sales, and beyond. Following a few simple rules can not only ensure you get the best deals but also help you shop safely during the sale.
1. Compare prices
The most obvious, yet commonly overlooked, aspect of shopping online during festive season sales is price comparison. The biggest online marketplaces — like Flipkart and Amazon — tend to match the top deals offered by their competitors. At times these prices are matched almost instantly while sometimes companies take their own sweet time to update prices. Once you've settled down on a product of your choice, simply compare the price on the next biggest online marketplace. In case you notice an exact match, go with the one that can offer you a better-bundled deal in terms of an exchange offer, cashback, or an instant discount with your choice of payment method. This helps you score an overall better deal.
Time and again, online marketplaces have been accused of inflating prices on their sites weeks leading up to big sales like the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale and Amazon Great Indian Festival. While there's nothing illegal about it, it's generally carried out so that deals look attractive during the sale. Online marketplaces generally display three different prices for a product. The first one is the maximum retail price (MRP), the second is the usual selling price, and the third is the current listed price. Your eyes should be on the second and third prices.
2. Navigate like a pro
Most online marketplaces, even the good ones, are quite cluttered from a design point of view. During promotional sales, things get even worse. Navigating the website and finding the right deals and offers amongst a large number of banners across the website becomes a tedious task. You may end up wasting a lot of your precious time finding the right deal and by the time you arrive on the right product, the deal may be sold out.
So how do you ensure you don't get lost in a massive online sale like Flipkart Big Billion Days sale or Amazon Great Indian Festival? The easiest thing to do is simply search for the product. You can either use the website's search feature or use Google. Arriving directly on the product of your choice will enable you to quickly make a decision. Another way is to open up product category pages on the website and use the available filters to sort products based on your needs. This will display the products along with their latest current prices.
A lot of customers wonder if it's better to shop online on mobile apps or directly on the online marketplace's website. While it's easier to shop on mobile apps, it's a bit better on the website since you can quickly navigate, search, and complete your purchases.
3. How to make the most out of flash sales
Both Flipkart Big Billion Days sale and Amazon Great Indian Festival will feature flash sales throughout next week. In case you're new, these are limited-period sales with a limited amount of stock. Naturally, these vanish within a few minutes, if not seconds. To make sure you're able to complete a purchase during these flash sales, you should arrive early. Some of the most popular flash sales are advertised early on, enabling customers to prepare themselves. Make sure you have your personal details, address, and payment information saved in your account to make the checkout process quicker. Although flash sales do need a bit of luck, these simple tips will still help make things easier for you.
In case you miss a flash sale, you can still wait and try again as most online marketplaces run multiple flash sales with similar products during the entire festive season sale.
4. Stay away from rotten deals and sellers
If a deal looks too good to be true, it normally is. Always make sure you check a seller's rating and product description thoroughly. Popular online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart only promote deals and offers from reputed sellers but given the huge scale of these sales, it's almost always impossible to keep some malicious sellers away. Things like a 'new seller', and cases where a product's price seems way lower than usual, these are obvious red flags you should consider while making a purchase. On Amazon, pick sellers with 'Prime' and 'Fulfilled by Amazon' banners and on Flipkart, pick sellers with 'Flipkart Assured' banner. Sellers covered under these programs offer standard return policies and you’ll be able to receive customer support as well.
5. Use the available bundled offers
Online marketplaces now offer a variety of bundled offers to make their deals even sweeter. Since they're no longer able to offer deep discounts on a lot of products, they are now throwing in exchange offers, cashback, no-cost EMI options, and instant discounts to entice customers. In case you're buying electronics, you're more likely to find bundled exchange offers where you can swap your old item in a working condition for an instant discount. While these exchange offers don't come with the best value for your used product, they're still far too convenient than reselling your old products to third parties directly. Both Flipkart Big Billion Days sale and Amazon Great Indian Festival will be offering a wide range of payment options so make sure you pick the one that you have access to, and can further add value to your purchase.