Saturday, May 29, 2010

Crossword Vs Flipkart

Reading general books had never been my passion till 2007. I have a huge collection of technical books, many of which I use as reference and rarely read them sequentially.  I had no clue then why people were so crazy about reading fiction and non-fiction books. As a part of my syllabus for Hindi exams I had read quite a few novels by the likes of Premchand. Those books did not interest me so much to make reading these novels a habit.

I did not know what to do with my huge collection of technical books due to lack of motivation and mindset to read. Many of the books I own, I could not understand much and did not have that much patience to hang on with them. I shifted my focus towards reading fiction and non-fiction books. I initially used to go to Crossword book stores to look into the books and buy a few. Though I could view the books inside for a longer period of time before buying, Crossword never used to give any discount on the books. Their membership program also was not that worth monetarily to join. Odyssey is one such shop located in many malls.

Then I came across some online bookstores like Fabmall which were not that established before 2006 and the discounts were less. We have a campus bookstore called Book World enterprises which provides 15% discount on any book. I used to check if a particular book is available there before proceeding to Crossword. However in the last few years, the growth of online bookstores has been phenomenal. Fabmall became Indiaplaza. Flipkart and Infibeam also joined the race. Slowly Flipkart has overtaken others and is now pioneering the online book trade in India.

The only drawback with bookstores like Crossword is that they do not give any discount for the books. For a low paid person like me, it hurts a lot to buy books at MRP. After much speculation, I have decided look inside the books using Amazon or Google books and based on the user ratings/comments in Amazon I would judge the book. Mostly this approach has worked for me rather than going to Crossword where I would be oblivious to what other readers feel about a particular book. I have been able to land on very nice books on varied subjects by proper researching on the online user comments.

I nowadays order books from Flipkart whose service is amazing. They deliver most of the books in 3 days with upto 30% discount on any book. There is Cash On Delivery option as well which is quite helpful at a nominal fee of Rs 10 per book. Further I do not like the book I would be buying to be turned over by hundreds of customers which is the case in retail bookstores like Crossword, Odyssey etc. On the other hand, online bookstores supply a fresh copy with nice packaging at my doorsteps.

I think there would surely be a time in future when the retail bookstores have to come up with new tricks like discount  in order to stay in touch with the online bookstores. It is a healthy competition for voracious readers who would get very good discounts on the books of their interest. When the original prints of a particular book itself is available in discounted price, people would slowly move away from the pirated copies which would certainly be a welcome change.

1 comment:

Jenil D'souza said...

exactly right my friend. flipkart is a very good company. but i came to know about some drawbacks of flipkart like delivery not in time, wrong book to wrong place, language of book was not as per the given order. apart from this, its been good.