It took four books to fall in love with the service. Today, flipkart is my favourite Indian website. It is simple, fast, secure and safe. I know this sounds like it is a paid post, but it is really that good. The biggest ‘problem’ I faced with the website was when it took a week to deliver a book that was supposed to come in three days.The Cash-on-Delivery (C.O.D.) option is what turned things around for them, I suppose. Unlike many other online shopping sites, you can buy products on flipkart and pay nothing till the product is in your hands. Once you get it, just pay the courier guy who delivers it to you. For a country still new to online shopping and apprehensive about giving out debit/credit card details to websites, this works perfectly. They operate only in India. Shipping is free for orders above Rs.200
Then there is the sheer variety of books on offer. They have a enviable range of books (more than your neighbourhood Crossword store certainly) and many of them are available in multiple editions. They also sell mobile phones, movies, music, games and now even cameras (they might expand to all consumer electronics). Everything with handsome discounts because all the middlemen are eliminated. I only hope their diversification doesn’t result in a compromise on quality.My ‘pleasant surprise’ moment came when I realised that there is actually a point in making wishlists – there are people who read your wishlists and are willing to buy you stuff! Wah! Long live flipkart! Those of you who haven’t used the service yet, head over to flipkart.com the next time you want to buy a book. And if your loyalties are already with eBay, well at least support Indian start-ups every once in a while! If it is any encouragement, the founders quit their jobs at Amazon to start flipkart.