Specialty stores are the latest in-thing in e-commerce. While the earlier websites followed the 'all-things-under-one-roof' strategy and became the virtual versions of department stores, the new ones sell only one type of product. That is, they specialise in one type of items. This means more choice, especially if you are looking for something particular, say a watch.
Also, these sites offer value for money as discounts are on offer all year round. Here are some such single-vertical websites and what they offer.
The website offers 50 footwear brands, ranging from top names costing thousands of rupees such as DKNY and Guess to slippers starting at Rs 100, at a discount. Shipping is free and there is cash-ondelivery option and best-price guarantee. Apart from brand-specific deals and end-of-season sales, this webstore has a permanent clearance section. You can return the product within 100 days. However, this doesn't apply to any item costing Rs 300 or less.
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The first thing to do when you log on to this site is create your own store by answering a few questions. The 'My Store' option acts as a filter and showcases options that match your style and needs. The list is updated each time you log on. You can retake the survey and re-personalise the showcase as many times as you want to. Another benefit of registering is reward points worth Rs 2,500 that can be redeemed while shopping. Apart from the regular categories, fashos.com has a 'stylists' pick' list to keep you updated and a 'shoe-care' section that sells creams, polishes and brushes for your footwear.
Launched by Valyoo Technologies Pvt Ltd (which also runs other single-vertical portals such as LensKart.com, WatchKart.com and BagsKart.com), Jewelskart is one of the most popular sites selling branded jewellery. Options include Asmi, D'dmas, Sangini, MMTC, Gitanjali and Nakshatra. Discounts range from 10-20%. Apart from gold and diamond, it has a collection of silver jewellery and sterling silver range. It also comes out with attractive offers from time to time. For instance, for the monsoon season, it is offering a Rs 500 discount on any purchase of Rs 1,000 and above and a 20% discount on branded diamond jewellery worth Rs 15,000 and above. If you do not have big bucks to spend, there is a special collection of things below Rs 1,000. There's a lowest-price guarantee as well. If any site is offering the same thing for a lower price within 10 days of the purchase, the company will pay you 110% of the price difference. Plus there is a 365-day 'no-use policy', which means you can return the item within 365 days, without giving any reason. However, for this you will have to ensure that the item in its original packaging and condition.CaratLane.com:
This is the best place to look for diamonds of all shapes-round, oval, princess, pear, heart, asscher, cushion, marquise, radiant. Apart from the regular items, the website sells themebased collections such as Traditions, Everyday Diva, Faith and Gardens. If you still don't find what you are looking for, you can design your own pendant, ring and earrings. The website also sells loose diamonds of different shapes, cuts and weights. Then there is an extensive collection of gold coins from 1gm to 50gm in different designs. Bluestone.com: This online jewellery store offers products in three main categories-earrings (starting Rs 3,294), rings (Rs 9,781 and above) and pendants (Rs 2,163 upwards). The products are certified by the International Gemological Institute and HKD Diamond Laboratories, Canada. The site has a '30-day no question asked return policy', with free return shipping. It also promises lifetime exchange. So, if the jewellery and the stones are intact and you have not misplaced the certificate, the piece can be exchanged for any item at 80% of the original price. They have cash-on-delivery and give transit insurance. If you are an ICICI, HDFC or Citibank credit-card holder, you can buy on equated monthly instalments at no interest.
A Rocket Internet venture, the famous German online startup incubator of the Samwer Brothers, Fab Furnish is a dedicated online destination for furniture and home ware. It sells variety products under categories such as furniture, bed and bath, décor, lighting, kitchen and dining and appliances. They have a 'under Rs 500' section for the fancy yet frugal items and a dedicated section where you find all the deals listed on one page. Top brands sold on this site include Philips, Bajaj Electricals, Swayam, MOM-Italy, Inalsa, Blue Dahlia and Mosaic.RoomStory.com:
The website claims to offer all items that you put in a room, from knick knacks like coasters, bottle openers and tin jars to bed ware, kitchen appliances and lighting solution, from best brands at best rate. The website also has a separate section for gifting ideas which has sub-categories such as housewarming, birthdays and wedding.
Even if you know which style suits your face type the best you can never be sure about a sunglass unless you actually try it on. Lenskart solves this dilemma. They have an option called 'try-it-online' that lets you upload your picture or select from their models with different face types and see how it actually look. The range for sunglasses starts as low as Rs 399 (available with power) while the eyeglasses start from Rs 499. Top brands such as Ray Ban, Vintage, Fastrack, Opium, Puma, Esprit, Speedo, Sprint and Farenheit are available and some of them are discounted as well. They also have an eye lenses range which include wellknown brands like Bausch and Lomb, Acuvue from Johnson & Johnson. The website has a 14-day return policy, free shipping both ways and gives you a lowest price guarantee online.
From daily-wear brands like Fastrack, Titan, Timex and Casio to mid-range collections from Citizen, Fossil, Guess, Esprit, Police, Tommy Hilfiger, French Connection to premium brands like Victorinox , Tag Heuer, Movado, Rado and Longines- Watchkart has something suitable for every pocket. They have a collection of branded table, wall clocks as well as pens and calculators. In you are stuck the website has a live chat option where you can get all product related information, help in placing the order and even check your order status.Ghadiwala.com:
If you are in a hurry to receive your purchase, Ghadiwala's 'ready-to-go' section is the fastest (delivers within 36 hours). Like Watchkart, it sells both regularwears as well as premium brands. When shopping, do not forget to check out the daily deals section to get the best price. Like all others, the website accepts cash on delivery and free shipping and 15 days return policy. If you are a CitiBank, Standard Chartered or ICICI bank credit card holder, you also get a 3 month EMI facility.
Branded items, good discounts (some even at halfrate) and an expert advice just a click away. Apart from briefs and bras, Zimave has a decent collection of lounge, sleep, swimwear and shapewears as well. The shipping is free and the packaging is discrete (no branding, marking or product description). So, you can receive your package anywhere you want to. You can pay using netbanking or cards. The cash on delivery is free only on orders above Rs 500.PrettySecrets.com:
Owned by MTC Retail Pvt. Ltd., which also runs a few exclusive lingerie outlets in Mumbai and Pune, has a size and fit guide that helps make a better choice. Apart from regular categories the website has a collection of stockings, thermals and accessories as well.
COUNT ON COUPONS
Double-up the discounts with free promotion codes and coupons available on dedicated coupons websites. Khojguru.com, Upto75.com, Couponraja.com and Coupondunia.in are some of the sites to surf before you purchase something online.
While Coupondunia.in and Couponraja.com lists coupons only for online stores, Khojguru.com and Upto75.com have some fabulous offline deals as well.
Unlike group-buying websites, where you have to wait for others to buy the deal for it to be live, here you just need to give your email address or mobile number and an e-coupon will reach your inbox in a matter of few minutes.
These coupons are free and you do not have to pay the site a penny. The coupons can be directly redeemeded with the merchant or service provider within a month or two of generating the discount coupon .
Some of the coupons on these websites give up to 95% off on services such as spas, healthcare and check-ups, restaurants, travel and beauty services.