Tips To Make The Best Use Of A 'Digital' Diwali
It’s all about being smart this Diwali! Here are some tips for a great online shopping experience this season. Also, use social media well to celebrate the festival in the best possible way.
By Amrita Gracias
Festivals are fantastic for bonding with family and friends. And Diwali is no exception. This is the time to prepare sweets and other delicacies together, get your home festival-ready and not to mention, shop for new clothes and gifts, for yourself and your loved ones.
Today, however, the shopping experience itself has changed. Look at the front and back pages of newspapers, for instance. These are filled with offers galore, this festive season. And most pertain to online sales that seem to come with the most attractive discounts. In fact, till recently, festive purchases meant making a visit to a popular shopping area or your local mall. But now it can be done with just a swipe of your phone, or tablet, within the comfort of your home. Diwali dhamaka has taken on a whole new meaning now!
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Like we said before, online sales are the norm today, making your shopping experience quick, convenient and affordable. The best part is that you don’t have to deal with jostling crowds and you also save on fuel and parking charges. However, it is good to be cautious while shopping online, no matter how attractive and lucrative the offers may seem.
So, here are a few tips to make the best use of a ‘digital Diwali’ before you go overboard shopping online!
What you can get for a good deal
- Electronics: Laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets like headphones, speakers and printers are some of the best things to buy online. You can find some really good bargains at this time. And the deals are usually much better than what regular stores offer.
- Home appliances: Items like grinders, mixers, water purifiers, induction stoves and toasters are often sold for great bargains. Bigger appliances like microwave ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, air-conditioners and home theatre systems are also sold at competitive prices. Often, you can even exchange your old appliance, which means you sometimes get a better price on the new product.
- Kitchen utensils: Non-stick pots and pans, storage boxes, lunch boxes, water bottles, coffee mugs and other kitchen utensils are common items that can be bought at online sales.
- Clothes: The festive season is a great time to shop for clothes as big discounts are offered on most branded apparel. Besides, regular stores can only stock limited designs and sizes. So, if you are looking for a design in a particular size, you are more likely to find it online. However, do make use of the size charts provided to ensure you order the right size.
- Personal grooming products: Shavers, trimmers, hair dryers, hair straighteners and accessories like make-up brushes and curlers are also items that are discounted online. Often there are also very attractive offers on personal care products including body lotions, moisturisers, soaps and shampoos.
- Toys and accessories: You often find great deals online for children's toys and baby care items like diapers, feeding bottles and sterilisers from reputed brands. These products are otherwise quite expensive.
Be careful when you buy
- Make-up: Colours and shades might appear different on screen than in real life. Buy a product only if you are sure of the shade number.
- Furniture and furnishings: It is difficult to judge the comfort, quality and colour of furniture as well as furnishings like upholstery and curtains, online. You may also be charged extra for shipping, in the case of heavy or large pieces of furniture. Do check the online retailer's return policies beforehand, in case your item arrives damaged.
- Linen: While huge discounts are offered on these items, it is important to check details such as the size and quality of material before buying items like towels, bed sheets or quilts.
- Mattresses: Since these are items that cannot be returned, be sure that you have ordered the right size.
- Designer bags: If you find these being sold at rock-bottom prices, chances are that they are knock-offs or fake. So, be careful.
- Shoes: Measure the length of your foot and use the size chart provided to get the correct shoe measurement. Remember that standard sizes can either be Indian, American or European.
- Jewellery and watches: When buying expensive jewellery online, make sure the site is that of a reputed jeweller, who can vouch for the purity and quality of the product. For branded watches, ensure that you also get a certificate of authenticity.
- Items on flash sales: When best-selling products are offered on surprise sales, do check that the items are really being sold at a discount or, at their actual price.
How you can save money shopping online
• Prices and discounts: These fluctuate through the year, and you are most likely to get the best discounts during the festive season. So, if you are looking to make an expensive purchase, it is worthwhile waiting for festival sales when you are sure to get a good deal. Keep in mind that you can check out the interest-free equated monthly instalment (EMI) options available on most sites. This way you don’t have to pay the whole amount immediately. Shopping sites also offer additional discounts on certain credit or debit cards. Look for the promo or coupon code in order to get additional discounts. Although a marketing tool, you can use cashback offers to accumulate credit that, in turn, can be used for later purchases. Always check for extra charges, fees or taxes (handling charges, delivery charges or convenience fees) before you place an order.
• Safe and secure: Only purchase from popular and reputed websites. Online shopping sites are a dime-a-dozen today. So, don’t be swayed by cheap prices alone. Check that the website address begins with a ‘https’ as this indicates that the site is secure and that it is safe to provide your personal information and card details. It is also advisable to make sure that the site has a responsive and reliable customer service department. This is helpful when you have any difficulties with the product or if you wish to return it, later.
• Aftersales service: Check for the warranty/guarantee on expensive products. Sometimes for a little extra, you can purchase an extended warranty or an annual maintenance contract for a product. Check about the return policy for a particular product. In case you want to return it, you should be able to do so without losing any money. Also, make sure to keep all your invoices and other product-related documents for future reference or, in case you wish to return the product.
Social media for a digital Diwali
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, so it is quite natural to use these platforms to celebrate Diwali too. Here are a few ways in which you can ‘digitalise’ your Diwali festivities!
- E-invites: If you are hosting celebrations, get creative and design your invites using simple software tools. Send out the invitations to your friends and family via these platforms.
- Online events: Using social media platforms, you can create an event online and ask invitees to RSVP to the celebrations.
- Hashtags: To make things more interesting, create a fun hashtag for the festival celebrations. This way all your guests can share and view photos or videos of the event online.
- Community events: Use social media websites to get a gist of the festive events being organised in your locality or city. This will help you choose the ones you would like to attend. This is also a great way to network with people from the community and celebrate festivals together.
We hope you have a pleasant experience shopping online this Diwali. Do keep these essential tips in mind and shop smart. After all, it is real money that you are spending in the virtual world! Similarly, use your social media platforms wisely. Share the joy. Spread the light.
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