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Review: ShopBack.in, Get Money Back When You Shop Online!

Shopback.in

I love bargains, sales, coupons and cashbacks. Most often these aren’t real, they are just illusions to get us to spend more but well, I’m still a sucker for the blue pill most times. 😛 (Also, I’ve seen a lot of friends using these in other countries and they seem to save a bit.)

Shopback.in is a new entrant into the Indian market and they offer cashbacks. So, I figured I’d go check them out, not that I’m going to spend extra money but if I could get money back on what I’m spending anyway. Why not?

 

First Impressions of Shopback.in

 
Homepage Shopback.in

The premise of Shopback.in is clear right at the start, they offer coupons for a wide variety of stores, including popular ones such as Flipkart and SnapDeal. Some cashbacks are a percentage of your spend while others are straight forward amounts.

 

So how does Shopback.in work?

 
How It Works Shopback.in

According to Shopback, merchants give them a commission for referring you to the store and they give that commission back to you. Simple. They even have a calculator for you to calculate how much you will get back in their How It Works section.

There is a catch though, actually a couple of them. One you have to be careful and go through their site to get your cashback. Then there’s the waiting period that can take up to 30 to 60 days for your transaction to be validated. Lastly amounts can be redeemed only after they exceed the amount of Rs.200.

There may be an additional cause which puts an expiry date on each set of points redeemed, that means there’s a time limit, and you have to reach the 200 points goal within that time frame, else you start losing points. Or you may have to wait for up to 5 months before the money can be cashed out.

Catch Shopback.in

 

Advantages of Shopback.in

 
One that stands out is that the money you get as cashback is not tied up as coupons or gift cards, etc. You can choose to get it back into your bank account straight and clear. This one’s a big plus in my book.

 

My Thoughts About ShopBack.in

 
It wouldn’t be fair to rate a website or service without trying it. So I gave it a twirl. My mobile bill was due for payment and I figured I’d pay that through Shopback.in’s Paytm coupon and see what happens. Here’s what I did.

Paytm Coupon on Shopback.inI chose the Paytm coupon

FinePrint on Shopback.inRead the fine print

Shop now on Shopback.inHit the shop button

Redirect on Shopback.inGot redirected to Paytm site

Paytm via Shopback.inEntered my details

Paytm payment made via Shopback.inMade the Payment

Cashback on Shopback.inAfter about 12 hours the Cashback showed up

 

Back to My Thoughts About ShopBack.in

 
The experience of signing up and using the site was good. The signup process is short and the site is easy to use. Since it was my first time I was extra careful about every click but I found that following instructions wasn’t too complicated.

I was also happy to see that the turnaround for my transaction cashback was just 12 hours.

My only complaint is that I have to wait 85 days before I can redeem my cash, that’s almost three months! That’s a long wait, plus add to that the requirement of 200 points before a release of funds. I’d also received a welcome email saying I’d get 100 bonus points on my first transaction. It’s been almost a week and no sign of the bonus showing up.

Welcome bonus Shopback.in

All that said, I still think Shopback.in has promise. If I am going to spend my money, why not spend it through the site and get some back. I intend to use the site to pay my bills, recharge my mobile, shop on Amazon and Flipkart, and do all the other online spending. Hopefully a substantial amount will come back over time.

Have you seen Shopback.in? What did you think of it? Do these cashback schemes work?

P.S. – If you plan to signup and use Shopback.in use my referral link. You’ll get Rs.100 signup bonus and so will I (when you spend a minimum of Rs.500). You will also get an additional Rs.100 bonus on your first purchase I’m told.

April 13, 2016   No Comments

Review: Lenskart – The Eye Checkup and Buying Experience

Should you buy spectacles online or offline? How good is the Lenskart eye-checkup? Ophthalmologist or Ophthalmic Technician? Physical store or Lenskart? This review answers these questions. :)

***Please scroll right to the bottom for just the review****

I’d been noticing for sometime that I was struggling with fine print on bottles or small print on hoardings but I didn’t give it much thought since it wasn’t impairing my daily life. Then two weeks back I started getting headaches when I had spent too much time reading or using the computer.

The headaches reminded me of childhood, I’d known these types of headaches through the many years I wore spectacles, before I got corrective surgery. Now they seemed back after almost 15 years. I figured I needed prescription glasses, but was undecided on the method of acquisition.

A post on Facebook about which was better online or offline, didn’t give complete clarity so I decided to try both. I figured I’d get an eye checkup both from the LensKart guys and a reputed ophthalmologist. The idea was to try both and compare. And while I was at it, also compare the physical spectacles buying bit.

 

***(All agents / LensKart Employees names withheld to protect their privacy.)***

Ophthalmologist or Ophthalmic Technician?

 

Lenskart Eye Checkup

I went through the Lenskart tour about eye checkups, was impressed with the detail and so booked an appointment. The fact that they were offering a free checkup helped as it made this a no-risk experience.

The certified refractionist / optometrist (as Lenskart calls them) turned up on the day of our appointment with two big bags. He setup his equipment and started off with the tests.

The first was with an small handheld auto-refractorometer, the second few tests were with a ball point pen to check basic eye health, followed by trial glasses and the ageless alphabet/number chart and finally another machine to check for distance between the eyes.

The tests done he gave me the below card and then offered me frames to try. On asking about qualifications I was told all Lenskart certified refractionists / optometrists are certified Ophthalmic Technicians.

The entire process took about 30 minutes. The Ophthalmic Technician was professional, easy to deal with and didn’t push for a sale. I quite enjoyed the process and the convenience of having it all done at home, except that the measurement the guy made wasn’t accurate.

Ophthalmologist Eye Checkup

A few days later I went to Dr. Vagh, a reputed ophthalmologist. After waiting for a while I was ushered into his room. A quick history chat was followed by my eyes first being checked with (maybe) a slit lamp machine with extra time spent on the current condition of the radial keratotomy I’d got done years earlier.

He then checked my eyes again with a table-top auto-refractorometer and finally with trial glasses and a projected alphabet/number chart. Since I could read the smallest standard small print without an issue, he challenged me with even smaller print.

As it turns out, I now have a reading power, and according to Dr. Vagh, 5 years before it would be expected [but he doesn’t know I’ve read more books then expected 😉 ].

Ophthalmologist It Is!

The choice between Ophthalmologist or Ophthalmic Technician was clear. There was a vast difference between the results of both. The Technician’s results state I only have spherical power but the Ophthalmologist found I have long sight with actual power in both eyes. The ophthalmologists tests and results from the alphabet charts also felt more bang on (you know what I mean). Ophthalmologist it is!
Please always go to a trustworthy ophthalmologist for an eye checkup.

 

Physical store or Lenskart?

Physical Store

I didn’t really experience this part but I have gotten spectacles so many times before in life that I am going to go by that for now. And that experience is neither here nor there. Sometimes it had worked out well and other times it had been hassling.

I did ask for prices at the clinic though and got a ball park figure. Crizal Lens would cost me Rs.2,900 with all their varied protection layers and quality. Frames started at Rs.1000 and on an average a good one would cost anywhere between Rs.1,500-2,000.

Over all the new spectacles from a physical store would set me back by about Rs.4,500. This didn’t include the travel costs to and from the store.

Lenskart

I checked the lens options and details out on LensKart and found it was way cheaper than the physical store, though they don’t offer Crizal lenses. The cost was less than Rs.3,000/- for the frame, Kodak Lenses, Anti-Scratch add-on and a pair of free sun-glasses.

I then ordered through the person who came home for the eye checkup since he would get a commission on the sale. I should have just ordered myself, it might have been easier. (I’d also have got the free pair of sunglasses that disappeared along with the anti-scratch add-on.)

To start off I got more than one email, saying the order hadn’t gone through and I should try paying again on 31st August night. The retry payment link in the email took me to page where the order was not specifically listed. All it gave were details of the frame and the amount to be paid. No details about the lenses or add ons.

Ass that I am, I went ahead and made a payment and then I was not asked for my prescription after payment. All this left me quite confused. I didn’t know what I had ordered and was worried that I’d be sent clear glasses as no prescription was taken.

After making a couple of attempts to call customer support, (only to be told on my second call that it was too late to call), I sent an email to support about my confusion on 31st August at 10:36pm.

The next morning I called the helpline around 12:30pm and asked the agent for my order details. She didn’t list the anti-scratch add-on so I asked her about it. She said it wasn’t there and to add it I would have to cancel and reorder. I asked her to cancel.

She put me on hold and then came back to confirm that I had the anti-scratch add-on on my order and I shouldn’t cancel. I then asked her to email me the order details as a confirmation, which she agreed to do. She also gave me an email ID to send my prescription to. Happy that I had got all I needed, I hung up and emailed the prescription.

A few hours later I received an email confirming receipt of the prescription. The next day on 1st Sept. I got an sms about my order being processed. On 2nd another sms saying the spectacles have been dispatched and on 3rd they arrived.

The email from the call centre exec. though never did arrive and I finally got an email reply from support only on 6th Sept. which I read with my already delivered new spectacles. The support email said “We wish to inform you that you have not added the anti-scratch add on which will cost Rs 200 during the order process.” Great! What was i supposed to do this late in the process?

Lenskart It Is!

Between the physical store and Lenskart, I’d go with Lenskart for ease of use. However I think nothing beats physically trying out a frame, so make sure to either ask for trial lenses or go to a Lenskart store. (I’m glad I had chosen my frame during the eye checkup appointment).

 

Overall Review

 

The Lenskart checkup took longer but was very convenient with time and place of my choice. However in spite of the inconvenience of going to an ophthalmologist, waiting for my turn and all that, it was at the ophthalmologist that I got the correct power prescription for my eyes.

Apart from the goof-ups in the ordering process and ones by customer support, the over all experience was good. I appreciated the vast options available in frames, the comparison chart of the various lenses and the after sale service and delivery.

Things I didn’t appreciate –
1. What is shown on the website should be available (if not it should be removed). I was forced into changing my colour choice due to unavailability after order.
2. The frame and the lens feel very plasticky, but then again that makes it very light.
3. Freebies should not just disappear. 😉
4. The items ordered being listed with more clarity on payment page would help.
5. I’d also like to see more integrity and speed from the customer service peeps.

Overall to answer the question ‘Should you buy spectacles online or offline?’, I’d say a both. Get your eyes tested by a trustworthy ophthalmologist, choose your frame at a Lenskart store and then buy the frame and lenses online on Lenskart. Also make sure to read and re-read your order carefully!

September 10, 2015   4 Comments

Friday Review: Quikr – Another Classifieds Site

A couple of weeks ago I came across an activity on BlogAdda to review Quikr, the offer was to buy something worth Rs.5000 or less, blog about it and get the amount reimbursed. Sounds cool no? So, I applied and got selected. (OK, I gotta say this, so here goes – This post is a part of Quikr activity at BlogAdda)
However let me say this upfront, I didn’t buy anything even after a lot of searching, but since I’d done all the homework, I figured ‘review toh banta hai’. :)

Let’s begin where it all begins, at the beginning… 😛
In the hope of buying something [for free :D] I headed over to Quikr. The site prompts the first time visitor to choose the city they live in, it offers a match and a lot of options.

Choosing a city causes the pop-up to disappear and the next pop-up to appear.

The pop-up for choice of city made sense but the pop-up about the latest TV ad was irksome. I didn’t need to see that or waste my time getting past it! I’d have preferred heading into the site directly.

Once past the TV ad, I landed up on the main page. The page is well laid out and quite clean. A quick route to seeing something is offered along with category choices for buying. There are also the most popular categories listed out if you need it.

Clicking on the Sign-in/register option led to another pop-up which gave me options to login or register. The sign-up process is simple and short with just the right questions being asked. You’ll need to intimate if you are an individual or a business, provide your email id, mobile number, current city and create a password.

Since a login is not needed for buying and really only needed to tracking a sale, an extra step to register or sign-in makes sense. However I’d have liked to see the city being choose by default, especially since I choose that as soon as I landed on the site.

The buyer or seller can verify themselves by giving a missed call on a number provided using the mobile number given at the time of registration. I’d have preferred an MS or a call from Quikr to the number I gave as my calling them didn’t work out and I couldn’t complete verification.

Completion of registration took me to ‘My Dashboard’. Like I said before registration works best for selling, the dashboard does not have much utility for buyers, unless you have email alerts for products maybe.

Sign-up complete I headed back to the home page to see what I could find to buy. I had a couple of things I wanted in mind. 1. a Bose speaker with iPod dock, 2. a Kindle

Quikr offers three ways to find a product –

1. Search

The search option which when you start typing gives you recommendations.

2. Categories

A grid of categories to choose from on the home page that help you find your product of choice. Clicking on a category brings up a list of further options to choose from in the category.

3. Alerts

Creating an alert for something you want.

I chose the Electronics & Appliances category which led me to further choices between laptops, kitchen appliances, and other options. There is also a fast search option where you can choose the appliance, the locality and your budget to get quick results.

Next I chose the music systems option. Quikr offers further options to refine your search in the sub-category. You can choose the brand, the price-range, the condition, the location and posting time to help you condense the results.

A choice of Bose and pricing in ascending order led me to a few Bose docks. Most of them were out of my budget but I did find one at Rs.4,000. (A quick note – the brand option to refine search worked but most other options didn’t make any difference to the results, especially when I tried defining my budget.)

However as soon as I sent the seller a message, the ad disappeared and I couldn’t find it again after. :(

After this hiccup, the search began anew to find something to buy and I next headed into a search for Kindles. This time I choose to search using the search bar.

I got 26 results but when I tried sorting based on price, I got thrown out with the message “Unfortunately, there are no ads in this category right now.”

Not to be deterred I started to manually scan for price on the list and started calling sellers in my budget. I called 4 people selling kindles and each one of them said it had already been sold. :(

And with that ended my saga of trying to buy something on Quickr. But before I go into a list of pros and cons, let me also list out my experience with the Quikr mobile app for android.

I found the Quickr app in the Play store and clicked install to get a list of permissions the app required. The list of permissions is really long, even longer and scarier than the Facebook Messenger list!

I’m still undecided on whether I did the right thing when I gave the app all those permissions.

The app works quite like the site and is easy to use. However I think the app would work better for selling than buying as you could take a picture of the product with your phone and upload it right from there along with details.

Selling anything on Quikr is a simple two screen process. The process as it is is easy and quick but since I haven’t sold anything, I can’t say much about the quickness of the sale. 😀

Pros –

  • The site and app are simple and easy to use.
  • The system to setup something to sell is easy.
  • The layout of the site and products in easy on the eye.

Cons –

  • Most products though listed are already sold. A way to track and remove sold items from the site would be helpful.
  • Some of the filtering options do not work when scanning listings.
  • Though the catalogue is extensive and categorised, finding what you want is still difficult. Searching is easier but even that does not work to perfection.

Overall –

Quikr is just another classifieds site, nothing specific that makes it stand out or be special. For that matter it would makes sense both when buying and selling to spread the net and use other classifieds sites too. That said Quikr could be a useful site, sometimes. 😀

Have you used Quikr? Bought or sold anything? What did you think of it?

November 12, 2014   No Comments