Free shipping rates — three magic words that can easily light up an online shopper’s day. However, this luxury is now hardly a saviour for the online consumer, who now has to shell out big bucks thanks to the slump in the value of rupee.
Most sought-after international e-shopping portals are proving a big dent on buyers’ pockets because of the alarming exchange rates. This, combined with the news of high street fashion brand H&M deferring its entry to India because of the financial downer.
“I used to spend about $100 (R6,593) on buying a variety of clothes and accessories from Amazon and ASOS. Now, I can hardly fit 2-3 things in this budget,” says fashion blogger Hetal Shah. Not only global
biggies, the fall of the rupee is also affecting buyers who prefer local websites. “Recently, I ordered a pair of heels from a website which sources products from Bangkok. Instead of a shoe box, I was greeted with a mail saying my order was cancelled. I guess the owners could not afford the shoes themselves anymore!” says Amrita Puri, 22, a student.
Those in the retail business tell us their side. Tanvi Malik, co-founder of FabAlley.com explains, “A lot of our crystal jewellery is sourced from US or China. Sometimes, the raw material we use for our home brand is also imported from these countries, so our costs as fashion retailers has increased.” Founder of Fashionaffair.in, Yasha Bhaiya Kalani adds, “Our costs have gone up by 25%, so we’ve no option but to increase prices.” Deepa Thomas of eBay India suggests an alternative for buyers: “Go for EMI options, and compare offline and online prices before buying.”
But there’s a bright side too!
Here’s the upside. Those who manufacture locally and sell globally are raking in big moolah. “We manufacture local, so we are not affected by the rise in the dollar. We hope to cash in on this,” says Manoj Gupta of Craftsvilla.com. Dimpy Kapur of Delhi Style blog says, “Cash on delivery, which only Indian online retailers offer, is a blessing. Buyers will look at these websites more now.”
Our costs have gone up by 25%, so we have no option but to increase prices, says Yasha Bhaiya Kalani, e-retailer.