|A local market in Goa|
But soon, I also realised there's life beyond Flipkart and the others. And not just heavyweights like Junglee, Jabong, Myntra, etc (how do they come up with such names?).
I'm hardly addicted to social networking sites these days. I am active on them but they don't keep me hooked for too long anymore. Apart from a silly game, Candy Crush, all my online activity seems to centre around any website that sells something of interest. And with Christmas around the corner, my annual Twitter Secret Santa participation was imminent. My Santee's wishlist had a generic mix of things s/he wanted (not gonna reveal the gender yet). And while looking for those, hit upon some sites - old and new. I'm sharing a few in this post. Maybe you'll find something of interest or score a bargain in the process.
Chumbak products are not easily available in Mumbai (or at least I haven't found them easily), so your best bet is to go online and shop directly from the website.
"FREE shipping on order value Rs.595 and above". So that could be a factor.
Also, it's a good idea to check the "sale" section on any of these sites. Like here.At the time of writing this, there's this sweet combo of coffee mugs for mom and dad for Rs. 395. And a canvas laptop bag with an autorickshaw print on it at Rs. 495, marked down from Rs. 1550. Awesome, right?
One thing I'm sad about is that they have discontinued selling (at least online) their square-shaped postcards. I thought they were wonderful.
|A selection of Chumbak postcards|
I stumbled onto this store on my last trip to Bengaluru in April. It's a haven for original merchandise with a music, film or TV theme. Like bobble heads of your favourite TV characters. The incorrigible Barney Stinson, an annoyingly cute Sheldon Cooper (as also his other fellow characters from The Big Bang Theory) and even some of your favourite superheroes make up a small collection worth checking out. Considering these are genuine pieces, the pricing looks quite reasonable. The website is a welcome relief if you live outside of the Garden City.
(1) The website doesn't load the images properly. Most of the descriptions are hidden. Cluttered feel. CSS/HTML gone haywire perhaps?
And (2), the other issue I have (and I did make a phone call to confirm this) is they have a shipping cost for each product. So if I'm picking up a set of badges (Rs. 50 shipping) AND the Barney bobblehead (Rs. 100 shipping), they will charge me Rs. 150 for shipping to the same address. Absurd, right? I was informed they are working on that. I hope that's rectified soon.
Coming back to Xarato (How do you pronounce it? "Zarrato"?)... I landed on it because a friend sent me a link to something and then I clicked on something else and was on this Facebook page for "Nobodyelse" - an independent Nagpur-based business for "Clocks, jewellery, hooks, murals, paintings etc." - and the person behind it has a jewellery line called Errors which caught my eye. I'm a sucker for earrings. What can I say? Click here to see some images.
The surfing on that site took me a while. The site is image-heavy (obviously!), so a slow internet connection can really kill the experience. But other than that, no issues with the transaction.