Monday, 6 October 2014

iPhone 5 for Rs 25000: Flipkart, Snapdeal battle it out with rock-bottom prices

all it the Big Billion Day or another day when you can save (Bachate Raho), today is a day for online shopaholics. Fllipkart has begun a mega sale since eight am this morning - it cliams this sale is on a scale India has never seen before. Snapdeal, Flipkart's arch rival, has mocked the country's biggest online retailer in a print ad saying today is no different from any other day on its website where unbelievable deals are guaranteed.
"For others its a big day. For us, today is no different.......check snapdeal.com before you buy," says the cheeky full page ad in this morning's Times of India. Its another matter that the two-page snapdeal ad comes after a two-pager ad from Flipkart in the same newspaper.
So you could grab a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 P3110 at a tenth of its original price at Rs 1,390 when it would actually cost Rs 13,900 on any other day. This deal is available at Flipkart. The Apple iPhone 5 16GB (gold) comes for less than half its price at just Rs 24,999 at Snapdeal today against Rs 53,500 original price. Clothing bought today on snapdeal will come with extra 60% off, whereas on Flipkart all branded fashio apparel will come with minimum 55% off.
Flipkart has thrown in some more goodies. It promises 100 lucky draw winners every hour where the top prize could be free holidays in Thailand for two couples. Snapdeal promises more than 100 offers every hour.
It is clear that two of India's biggest online retailers and even others like Amazon and eBay are out to catch as many customers as they can before Diwali, never mind the cost of acquiring these customers. Who's complaining though? Customers are sure to lap up the deep discounts being offered across mutiple product categories today.
Of course, the websites are all trying to outdo each other in selling merchandise at prices which may even be below cost prices but Snapdeal and Amazon do not hold inventory. They merely provide a platform for sellers to reach potential customers, making money on every transaction. Flipkart follows a mixed model where it stocks inventory for some items but does not do so for others.
It is clear that through these rock-bottom prices, the e-retailers themselves are unlikely to suffer in their earnings - it is the actual seller who is possibly offering unbelievable deals and hoping that sheer sales volume will make up for lost earnings on such deep discounts.
Why did Flipkart think of October 6? Well, 610 is the number of the flat from where founders Sachin and Binny Bansal began building Flipkart. The Big Billion Day refers to Flipkart's aspiration that a billion Indians unite that day to buy stuff from its website like never before. It has put together 10,000 people as its field staff for that one day when it expects mega orders, which need to be delivered on time across the country. Amazon has anyway been running a Mission to Mars scheme all this weekend.