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Kitna Deti Hai ???

Remember the good old Maruti Ad ??

Here have a look at this video.

“For a country obsessed with mileage” Maruti hits the right chords.

So correct. The country is obsessed with mileage, value for money and  price over service. For us, Its Price first and then the rest.

Let’s talk e-commerce (Flipkart actually)

Flipkart the poster boy of Indian e-commerce, redefined the e-commerce by its service. Kudos to them. They’ve been the best in consumer delight, and why not when they offered huge discounts, quick delivery, replaced your items even after a month’s use and all that at VC their own expenses.

But yeah, a delighted consumer 🙂

The Prices

Things changed in last two months – when Flipkart decided to move towards profitability and started reducing the discounts and most of the products featured now are at raised prices (compared to past). 

Consumer delight service continues (Kudos to them again !!) with the belief that the old happy consumer will continue buying the services (now, a little expensive though) happily.


In the past Flipkart has mostly been at the top of the list among the price comparison sites for offering the lowest prices. They’ve been a major contributor in the commissions to these sites as affiliate commissions, for driving their sales.

But few days back, they’ve changed their terms & conditions and do not allow price comparison sites as their affiliates. Are they suspicious on their own belief ?

[Image: Screenshot from]

Back to the Prices

Price matters, and the Flipkart has become more expensive than other e-commerce players in most of the products.
I was looking for the new Samsung galaxy S3, and here is the difference I found between Flipkart and Zoomin. That is almost 2000 INR.

Now, I don’t think I will throw 2,000 more even if they deliver it to me the same day.

I am just curious to know –

Will you Flipkart it, when you can actually BUY it (for much lower) ??? 


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  1. Profile photo of Sai Rodinhood Pothuri

    Hi Punnet

     From my end for big priced products i can go to nearby dealer or distributor and get the product for some less amount or even i can change my mind after seeing similar products. touch them feel the UI and then plan.. so for high priced items i prefer to buy in local market



  2. Profile photo of Vijeet Rathi

    I agree with you on the price front. Other sites are offering some products at much cheaper rates than Flipkart with satisfactory level of service. I recently bought a book from Uread which was about Rs. 90 cheaper than on Flipkart. While Flipkart promised to deliver it in 2-3 business days Uread promised 2-4. But let me tell you I usually do not receive parcels in that time period because of my location. I got the book in 5 days which was still quick in my opinion. At least on the books front Flipkart has lost this customer.

  3. Profile photo of Arun Purohit

     Price is important but its not every thing.  To quote my own experience, I ordered a book Beyond Buzz 2.0 from Homeshop 18 with COD because the book was Rs 200 cheaper on it than FK.

    This shitty e seller took 45 days and didnt deliver it.  When I followed up , they gave the usual SCUKY excuse – “Consignment returned undelivered ” . When I disputed that  saying my home and office are manned 24x7x 365,they said – “Sorry sir ! Our mistake. Can you please place the order again ?  ”  This actually pisses me off and I said FUCK YOU..

    They took the abuse and gave me Rs 50/ coupon on my next purchase on Homeshop18.

    Do you think I have any fuckin’ rationale of going back to them and other E commerce vendors. Remote , in my wildest imagination.

    Yes , in extreme case, I will pay flipkart more than the market price of product and also delivery charges if I am sure that it will be delivered to my sister on her birthday, gift wrapped and with certainty on that day. It still works cheaper for me in comparison to going to store, bargaining, picking, packing and sending it through parcel.

    Use case for high quality, high price  definitely exist. Indiatimes, Homeshop18 definitely are not worth saving those Rs 100 or 1000 saving

  4. Profile photo of Ajay Mundra

    I’m not a ECOMM buyer so price do matter to  i would also follow the traditional buying technique; go to the shop see the product;bargain and buy it … 

    Discounts / lesser price are luring.. i was going through the detail of timtara and they have a very bad reputation rather no reputation (i feel).. If one want to buy a high value product i would rather suggest to shell in the higher amount product atleast you’ll have a guarantee of not getting harassed.

  5. Profile photo of Hiranand Chawla

    Hi Punnet,

    If you have wrote this just because of the price then boss let me correct you. You are focusing on one product which is not discounted by flipkart … check out samsung ‘s other products like S2 and Galaxy Ace “you will find the real difference”… !!!!

  6. Profile photo of soneeta sethi

    i always buy phone from the showroom. you can place 10 different products in front of your eyes,touch feel and than decide. more over there is not much difference between the showroom price and flipkart price. but what’s best is that in the show room the sales guys even transfer all your data from the old phone to the new phone and even explain you all the features. they even upload free applications. i think that’s the value added service we prefer.Getting a few things done for free. And this very well compensates the price difference between the showroom and online. I think Flipkart is still best for book.

  7. Profile photo of Girish Bhaskar NK

    If you are a regular online shopper, you know by now that every site is the same till there is an issue. Coz when there is one, all these guys make you run pillar to post. “At this point” I dont mind shelling out extra money on sites likeFK or Myntra coz I KNOW I have no headaches if there is one. If Price is the only thing Im looking at, there is always eBay, no one can beat e-bay there boss!

  8. Profile photo of Rohan

    @Arun i agree with Arun that Price is not the only parameter while choosing between flipkart, infibeam, landmarkonthenet etc for books

    My experience: I wanted to buy “A GAME OF THRONES– Complete boxset” and found it cheapest on infibeam. 15 days of continous followup after promised delivery timelines, nothing.

    Cancelled the order and then went for landmarkonthenet as it was the next cheapest. Another 15 days gone, nothing.

    Cancelled the order again and ordered it via flipkart, the consignment reached me in 3 days FLAT. also, it was marginally expensive.

    This is where CASH ON DELIVERY is a boon, just cancel the order and no issues whatsoever. with credit card payment, follow up with website, bank etc , lots of hassles.

    The experience with the call centers of other websites has been so bad that i will never shop ther, even if the product is marginally cheaper.

    SO, Flipkart and COD works for me.

  9. Profile photo of Gaurav Dahake

    Seriously I feel flipkart would lose their ground. They would lose ground to amazon which is on its way to India and some other players who have developed great service standards (eg:urbantouch, zoomin).

    But interesting insights are given to us by alexa which says that their rank has increased by over 200 to abt close to 300 in past 2 months. I am not sure how much they have spend on adverts and stuff recently. But this seems to be a strategy to generate an inertia for consumers moving from FK to amazon which plans to come. Also I would like to be enlightened on why their rank has increased in the past 3 months. Any specific reason ? 

    Anyways comparison portals are definitely booming. And there are comparison portals that offer exhaustive lists from e commerce stores. eg:, junglee etc.

    Junglee still doesnt have many sites like FK, infibeam jabong stuff on it and seems it would never have it because of the rivalry. 

  10. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    Hi Hiranand , its actually not about just one product, but most of them (S3 in post is one such example).
    and hey I even found S2 and Galaxy ACE selling for much lower on other stores.
    Check out-
    ACE on zoomin – 10,699
    ACE on FLipkart – 11,100

    S2 on Sulekha – 26,400
    S2 on Flipkart – 27,100


  11. Profile photo of Vineet Kaul

    Depends on the product being purchased, its price and how well the competing site is known in the market. On face value i may not shell out an extra 2 grand.

    I may even go to a retailer and buy something worth 40K after seeing the above price comparison.


  12. Profile photo of RK Dhanvada

    Flipkart will become formidable only when they like Amazon opt to be Price Leaders, Delivery leadership of real fast one and Choice leadership. Empowering the customer to be critical even of the product experience . Flipkart for Orders worth more than 100/- was no courier charges ,gave them entry into the market . Even upto Rs 200 was understandable, Now for 300/- and above is rather doubtful to tempt. . Their prices of the same book are always dynamics and changing..  Books are no stock prices to fluctuate.  It is the convenience that compels to buy now from Flipkart .   Now with Amazon kindle and Rs payment of buying digital book will cause paradigm paralysis. Because Amazon allows the digital book to be resold again through Amazon store. !!  Innovation also requires deep purse to sustain in the long run

    For now Walmart has some 200 people developing its online store also . No need to go to physical store every time for home delivery. The whole game shall be logistics , price leadership and wider choice.. The Flipkarts of the world will have to change before the change happens or do some innovation to be invent a change than being another me too. Both Amazon and Walmart working in developing their logistics infrastructure  

    RK Dhanvada

  13. Profile photo of Gaurav Dahake

    more cheaper versions are there

  14. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    every site is the same till there is an issue” I agree with you on this.
    People have had their frustrating moments with almost every store. Even with their excellent service even Flipkart has unhappy customers (few here).

  15. Profile photo of abhay singh

    Now more then MRP on zoomin 🙂  MRP 13500 buy @ 14,420

  16. Profile photo of Anirudh B Balotiaa

    I have never bought anything from FK which is not available on other sites. Price is always higher on FK in my experience and specially for books.

    See this site –, it compares books prices from all major Indian sites. FK is never ever lower. I have even double checked on the FK but prices are correct and in real time.

    I don’t mind waiting 1-3 days if can get something cheaper.

  17. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    Ha Ha Ha …. this is funny. Seems they added some extra ZOOM to it 😉

  18. Profile photo of Girish Bhaskar NK

    Well that’s why the “At this point” 🙂 But honestly have had good experiences with both of them, especially with Myntra. Exchange of goods is super smooth with them.

  19. Profile photo of Harsh Gagrani

    Pretty simple. There is no brand loyalty for e-commerce companies just yet. I used to buy all the books and other stuff from Flipkart. Now products are expensive over there. So i’ve shifted to homeshop18.

    And yes, “Now, I don’t think I will throw 2,000 (or 200 or 20) more even if they deliver it to me the same day.”

  20. Profile photo of Ankit Govil

    Just to correct you on few facts:

    1) FK replaces product within 30 days only when they are damaged not all of them.

    2) FK not being at lowest price point is not a bad thing. If a company decides to price its product better and in return guarantee a good service for it . I think its more of business decision.

  21. Profile photo of Sarsij Nayanam


    Let me share my experiences with Flipkart….

    I love reading books, and I usually read a new book every week. Many of my friends suggested me that I should buy books from e-Commerce stores, however I didn’t ever think of buying it from the web because of two reasons –

    1) I always wanted to get a feel of the content by reading a few pages from the book before purchasing it, and

    2) I didn’t have a credit card (I still don’t have it, and I will never get a credit card for myself). 

    Somewhere last May, I wanted to buy two business oriented book which were not available in the book stores and hence all I could do was to do a search for the same over Google. I got to see that some of the eCommerce stores have these books, and for the first time I logged in and registered myself at one of the eCommerce portal which sold books as well. I did not order the book yet, I was skeptical about certain things…… (This was Infibeam)

    Then one fine day, I got a promotional mailer from Flipkart, I registered at their website and explored a few of the things and lost interest immediately as I couldn’t see anything great or different from the Infibeam’s website (which I had seen a few days ago).

    Almost by chance, I did a search of the two books I wanted to purchase, I compared the prices at Flipkart and Infibeam, and almost by miracle I found that one book is being sold at a cheaper price on Flipkart. I made up my mind to buy the book, though the COD option was still something unbelievable to me. With all disbelief I did choose the COD option and finally ordered the book from Flipkart.

    COD worked, against all disbelief I had, and the book was delivered. I was amazed – First, the book is cheaper than the market; Second, I didn’t have to do anything to get this book; Third, I had to pay only when the book arrived at my doorstep. (Some questions which left me amazed – #1. Why am I getting such a huge discount? This book is not something which needs to be sold at any discount, the book has buyers even if there is no discount. There must be someone who is offering me a discount with some purpose.  #2.  Not only did I get the discount, the shipping charges were also waived-off as I made a purchase of more than Rs 100. So someone paid for this courier as well. #3.What if I would have declined to pay for this book? I had no liability to accept the book. This guy would have not only taken this book back, meaning additional logistics expense. Who is funding this guy so much!!!!!)

    Trying to make an economic sense of what happened with this COD delivery, I concluded that – There is someone who is sitting on a huge pile of cash and is trying to attract my attention towards his store. For the time being, let me accept these extra-ordinary expenses as his customer acquisition cost (or COCA), but how long such an extravagant party continue? 

    My only observation about my buying decision goes like this – I could not find anything different between Infibeam and Flipkart, infact I got bored of their whole portal because there was nothing different from what I had already seen at Amazon. But I still chose to order a book from Flipkart based on the discount offered to me.

    One of the most important lessons from decades of business history is that – Price can not be the sole differentiation between two companies selling the same product, because someday or the other you will run out of the cash to provide free lunches. 

    No matter what my understanding about eCommerce told me, but for the next few months I did huge shopping of books from Flipkart. I always compared prices before purchasing, and it so happened that I had to purchase at least two books from other portals, including Steve Jobs biography (from Infibeam).  

    So, I was purchasing from Flipkart at a mad pace, but I did not become loyal to it. I still compared prices before making any purchase.

    Then somewhere around the month of Jan, I purchased a book out of impulse (Ironically, it was – Undercover Economist) from Flipkart, and I gave it a benefit of doubt – I did not compare the prices. Once the book was delivered to me, I got to know that this book was available at HomeShop18 at almost 50% of printed retail price. I felt cheated, though it was all because of my laziness.

    But, for whatever reason I came to the conclusion that Flipkart is now changing gears and is no more selling at the cheapest price. And this got verified in almost all the price comparisons I made after the month of Jan 2012. So, I moved on to other portals who sold it at the cheapest price, even if it made me wait for a week to get the book.

    Currently, when I make searches for cheapest books – 7/10 results present that HomeShop18 is selling the book at the cheapest price, though with the maximum or near maximum delivery time. I don’t mind the delivery time when I can get something at a far less price.

    I have got my second Flikart for the time being. Original Flipkart doesn’t make any sense to me now, I don’t even think of making a purchase from Flipkart now, because I have already had repetitive experience of the fact that it is no more selling any cheaper from the market.

    So while Flipkart is busy asking people to get things Flipkarted, all I am thinking is that – who is going to act as Flipkart for me with most discount. I am fine with Slowkarted instead of Flipkarted, as long as I get the same thing at a cheaper price. 




  22. Profile photo of Hemant Naidu

    I have different view about flipkart.Flipkart became market leader not cuz of cheaper prices,its about TRUST.I had bought few items from flipkart,they had sent them on time and quality is gud too.I faced no issues what so ever till now,it is the same experiance for so many others .You cant buy loyalty by cutting prices.Its about quality and service that prevails in the ene of the day.

  23. Profile photo of Arun Purohit

    Thats precisely the point. We are willing to pay more for certainty.  Thats what builds the brand when you repeatedly give same high level of service. You are always willing to pay more for pleassure. This in micro economics is called ‘Shepherding’ . Dan Ariely has written an interesting book ‘Predictably Irrational’ where he describes how  Starbucks in US could wean people away from 50 cents a coffee cup to 2USD /cup and continued to sell even more

  24. Profile photo of Prasanna

    They  (Flipkart) even resorted to shady / blackhat SEO techniques by targeting competition like crossword : Why Flipkart Is Wrong To Hijack Crossword’s Name Using Sponsored Ads

  25. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    Hey Ankit … m not actually trying to bash flipkart. Was more curious to know how much price matters to fellow rodinhooders.

    And regarding the FK replacement – I have seen some good times with it, when they replaced products, without even taking back the old ones. Truly a delight – a little expensive though (on FK’s part).

  26. Profile photo of Arun Purohit

    Great account Sarsij,

    I like your analysis and insights

  27. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    awesome sarsij … keep karting shopping 😉

  28. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    You’re right the price of samsung galaxy S3 on zoomin now is 37,900 (as in the screenshot you shared). Looks like price increased at zoomin 🙂 
    What I see is – 
    – Images I shared are screenshots from the website taken on 28th august.
    – Images you shared appears to be taken yesterday.

    My friend, online stores keep changing the prices secretly. Mostly consumers are not aware of this. The prices at zoomin were 2,000 less the day I wrote this post and have increased now.

    The price variations sometimes are so much, that they even change the prices, multiple times a week. 
    Have a look at this to see how economics of e-commerce works (Shhhhh its e-commerce)

  29. Profile photo of Puneet Sharma

    Came across this interesting study by Capegemini on e-commerce. 

    They conducted 16,000 interviews in 16 countries. The data shows we are more digital than U.S.

    – Electronics is the highest bought product category.

    – Price is the most important factor for buying & will continue to be for next 5 years.

    Link here


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