The first round of online festive season sales is just around the corner. Amazon and Flipkart are gearing up to launch their biggest sales of the year just ahead of Diwali 2019. Amazon's Great Indian Festival 2019 sale and Flipkart's Big Billion Days 2019 sale will bring hundreds of deals to online shoppers this year. While it's easy to get carried away with such a large number of deals floating around, it's important that you spend your money wisely, especially when it comes to high-value electronics.
The pre-Diwali sale season is probably the best time to buy your favourite smartphone, laptop, smart speaker, tablet, or other gadgets at a great price. Not only do you get a discount but you also end up saving a lot more money using the available bundled options. When you're spending so much money online, it's important that you follow some basic rules to ensure you don't end up losing money in the long run.
We've put together a simple guide to help you safely buy electronics online. These tips will help you make the most out of the upcoming Amazon Great Indian Festival 2019 sale and the Flipkart Big Billion Days 2019 sales.
Use official websites and mobile apps
It may sound very obvious, but this is where most online shoppers are caught unaware, especially first-time online shoppers. To shop online, arrive directly at an online store's official website on the desktop or use the official mobile apps downloaded from relevant app stores.
There are way too many phishing scams running around that encourage you to click on legitimate-looking links to buy products online. Clicking on one of those links may lead you to webpages that resemble popular online marketplaces. These links are generally spread across major social platforms and cross-platform messaging apps.
Pick the right seller
All major online retail stores are, simply put, marketplaces, unless you're buying from a small online retailer. These include both Amazon and Flipkart. While both these marketplaces have strict policies that bar unknown sellers, there's always someone who finds a way out.
While shopping online, make sure you pick a seller with a decent rating. All sellers on Amazon and Flipkart include ratings and customer feedback that's easy to access via product listing pages. Beware of sellers labeled as 'new' on these online marketplaces.
On Amazon, most trusted sellers follow the 'Fulfilled by Amazon' program. Amazon lists a seller's rating out of 5 along with the total number of ratings on the product listing page. On Flipkart, you can spot trusted sellers under the 'Flipkart Assured' banner that appears on product pages. These programs ensure you get faster delivery and proper support in case anything goes wrong.
Make sure you know what you're buying
Another thing you need to ensure is that you know what you're paying for. Online marketplaces sell a large number of electronics and sometimes it's easier to end up with an older model or a refurbished device if you aren't careful enough.
Although most refurbished electronics are always labeled properly, you may end up missing it or ignoring it while trying to grab the deal in a hurry. Refurbished devices are repaired, used variants of a product that are sold at a discounted price.
You should also ensure you properly scan the product listing page to ensure you're picking up the right model. For products that carry similar names across the years, it's easier to end up with an older model of a speaker, a pair of headphones, or other gadgets if you're not careful.
When things go wrong, reach out for support
In the world of online shopping, no matter how careful you are, things will go wrong. But you don't have to worry. Make sure you reach out to an online store's support staff through proper channels.
In the case of Amazon, it's always better to directly reach out to them via their website. Simply head to Amazon's website, click on Customer Service on the top menu, pick Customer Service on the left-hand menu, and click the Contact Us button on the right. Make sure you select the right product and explain your problem as clearly as possible.
As for Flipkart, it's probably easier to directly tweet your issues to them for a quicker response. You can also reach out to them via their website by selecting More from the top right-hand side menu, click on Customer Care, and select the relevant order.