Diwali has become synonymous with shopping with a slew of discounts and offers hitting the market during this period. We tell you what’s on offer under three broad categories.
We have explored the space for online shoppers to grab deals for household items and consumer goods. With the festival season kicking in, some may remember to plan their holidays only now, so here are some travel deals that may work for you. And there would be a few disciplined ones who would save up and make big-ticket purchases such as a home or a car. We have something for them too.
However, keep in mind that just because you get discounts does not mean it’s the best deal. So do read the terms and conditions and look at the fine print before bringing home anything.
For the online shopper
Online demand during the upcoming festive season for products such as mobile phones, e-tablets, consumer electronics, home appliances, home decor, furnishings, apparel and ornaments is likely to shoot up 300% from last year to over Rs 5,000 crore as nearly 12.5 million consumers are expected to place orders through the Internet, according to analysis by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
Online shopping sites such as FashionandYou.com, Yebhi.com and Tradus.in mostly cater to luxury apparels, perfumes, handicrafts, home decor, gadgets, shoes and accessories, body and hair care products and designer wears.
For Diwali, these portals have lined up products starting from sweets, dry fruits, gift packs, holy idols and more. Yebhi.com, a franchise portal of Bigshoebazaar India Pvt. Ltd, has launched five new products categories, including lehenga and jewellery section. The site has also started offering real gold jewellery from different brands. “Yebhi.com is not a discount oriented site but we will be offering discounts between 30% and 70% on products during Diwali,” says Manmohan Agarwal, CEO, Bigshoebazaar India, an online fashion store.
FashionandYou.com has started express delivery in 24 hours and has waived off shipping charges of Rs 100 and cash-on-delivery charges of Rs 50.
Tradus.in gives you virtual shopping vouchers of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 on purchases of Rs 1,500, Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,500, respectively; the offer is valid till 26 October. For example, if you shop for Rs 1,500 or more, you can get Rs 500 back in the form of virtual points, which goes to your account in form of a gift voucher and can be used on your next purchase till 31 December. But in order to redeem the voucher, you will need to make a purchase of at least Rs 1,500.
HomeShop18.com is offering up to 60% discounts on branded mobile phones, up to 50% on household appliances and up to 45% discounts on LCD televisions. “We have also launched a scheme wherein every shopper gets assured gifts,” says Sundeep Malhotra, founder and CEO, HomeShop18.
Tip: Make sure you verify in detail the product name and model number before you make any purchase from the sites. Stay away from sites that don’t offer an easy return and refund policy. Also check the return policy of products and read reviews by earlier buyers. Look at the fine print carefully.
Even travel companies and online travel portals have introduced budget packages.
Discount on tickets: According to estimates by Cleartrip.com, a travel portal, the cost of air tickets have gone up this year during Diwali compared with the last year. For instance, a ticket from Bombay to Delhi which cost Rs 4,460 last year is now at Rs 6,726 this year. If you book a round trip international flight originating from India you can get up to Rs 2,000 discount per booking and save up to 30% on your hotel stay in India if you book through Cleartrip. Cleartrip also has cash-back offers on domestic flights and hotels if you make your payment using maestro/mastercard debit card.
Discount on travel packages: You will get discounted packages for domestic and international tours; some offers last even after Diwali. “Most of the offers and promotions are valid on bookings done until the week before Diwali. We also have offers for Christmas and New Year. We have Diwali specific offers like if you choose Diwali Dhoom in Goa you can save up to Rs 2,000,” says Keyur Joshi, chief operating officer and co-founder, MakeMyTrip.com, a travel portal.
Cox and Kings Ltd, a travel company, has launched special “departures” for Diwali. “We have international packages that include air fare, airport taxes, transfers, insurance and sightseeing,” says Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox & Kings. For example, for “Instant Hong Kong”, you will have to pay Rs 44,300 for six days and five nights. While for a domestic tour, such as “Instant Goa”, you would have to pay Rs 7,999 for four days and three nights but includes only room and insurance cost.
School holidays during Diwali make it an ideal time to travel and enjoy with the whole family. Keeping this in mind, SOTC, Kuoni India’s outbound travel division, has a new offer. Says Kashmira Commissariat, chief operating officer (outbound division), Kuoni India, “Our packages to Malaysia and Singapore allow the travellers to avail ‘wife and child goes free’ offer. The packages include return air fares, meals, accommodation, sightseeing, transfers and services of an SOTC tour manager and exclude visas and taxes.”
Tip: For travel deals, always read the terms and conditions, inclusions and exclusions. You should pick a holiday package that best suits your requirement as travel portals also provide customization. Look for hidden charges, if any. Also, make sure you like their itinerary and want to visit the places that is on their sightseeing list.
For buying assets
Discount on loans: The festive season offers give you a concession in rates on various loans. For instance, IDBI Bank Ltd has reduced its interest rate on home loans by 25-50 basis points (bps) as a festive offer. You can avail their fixed-floating home loans up to Rs 25 lakh at 10.75% for first year and 11% for second year and bank’s applicable floating rate thereafter, Rs 25-30 lakh at 11% for first year, 11.25% for second year and floating therafter, Rs 30-75 lakh at 11.25% for first year, 11.50% for second year and floating rate thereafter. The bank also offers a discount of 100 bps in rates for all other loans. Says R.K. Bansal, executive director, IDBI Bank Ltd, “This is a special festive offer and it is valid till 31 December. With this discount, our loans offer competitive rates.”
Dena Bank, too, is offering a 25 bps discount on its home and auto loan. Central Bank of India is offering discount of 50-100 bps on various loans. The bank has waived off the processing fee on personal and car loans. HDFC Bank Ltd has a special offer on Ford India Ltd cars, where they are offering 100% funding.
Tip: Do not avail a loan, just because you are getting a discount. Compare with other lenders to make sure the deal works for you. Also, these offers are limited period offers and may not be available later.
Deals on cards: Almost every bank has some discount to offer in the festive season. While some give back cash, others are giving free vacations.
Says Sonalee Panda, products and marketing head, ING Vysya Bank Ltd, “This festive season, our big campaign is for our ING Debit cardholders where we are sending five winners on a fully paid trip to London. In addition to this, five others will win Sony Vaio laptops. There were over 1,000 early bird prizes to be won. Apart from this we have the standard discounts and cash back promotions.” American Express offers a 5% cash-back offer on electronic shopping during this festive season at participating merchant outlets. The offer that started from 15 October will last for 45 days and will fetch exclusive earnings for card members. IndusInd Bank Ltd is offering assured cash-back in various ranges. Axis Bank Ltd is offering 5% cash back on debit card anywhere.
Tip: Keep in mind that most bank offers are seasonal and for limited period. Do check the fine print and eligibility requirements to make the most of the offers.