By Aditya Kumar Singh


I had an itch. The indescribable itch of a man with a billion aspirations, armed with my recently credited monthly salary. Obviously, one could foresee the bankruptcy, but that’s not the point. I was a man on a mission. I wanted something “tasteful”. Something that I could point at, be thoughtful and appear to be cultured in front of my guests; if I ever hosted a wine tasting party.

Smoke poured out from the back of my man-maths calculator as I presented my case to the woman of the house, whose arms remained resolutely folded throughout; maybe because of the overdue electricity bill. I am pleased to share that common sense prevailed – on her part, I mean – but only because I admitted to buy a toast maker. A sensible choice indeed, because the last time I attempted to show off my culinary skills, I was moments away from burning our whole house down. Talk about being adept.

Now, there are two ways to execute the agreed upon mission. One is to drive all the way to a store, look at a few models, act as if you understood the technical details, pay up and come back. But then I was a man. I do not take consultation from another scruffy bearded being. I mean, when was the last time you saw a man ask for directions? The second option was obviously through online shopping, where I could at least bypass clingy salesmen and browse away from the comforts of my home.

With all the logic in place, I browsed my way to I landed up here mostly because I had impeccable web navigation skills and partly because it was recommended by the host of a house-warming party which I had attended. He wouldn’t stop gushing about all the new appliances he bought from the aforementioned site. Coincidence brought me here, so I decided to might as well test its waters.

Image 2The interface looked neat. A huge search bar followed by few filters and a massive “Go” button. I did what I had to, and beggar’s belief, I was spoilt for choices. The marketplace had a barrage of options for every possible size of bread. Heck, I could even choose what pattern I wanted on my bread! The options included not only domestic but also foreign products, for which I did not have to fume over exchange rates as they have EZB coins, where I can pay without worrying about fluctuating exchange rates.

Like a child brimming with enthusiam when he stands in front of a huge rack of M&Ms, I went mad and clicked all varieties in the shopping cart. I could not justify why I wanted one more than the other. Last time I was so confused, I was going through a famous men’s magazine and could not tell whom I liked the most. Seeing my confused state, my partner could tell I had gone rogue. Hence, she tackled me out and took matters in her own hands.

Unfazed by the recent happenings, I reminded myself that there must an app too! A quick tap and voila, I was back in the business. I went through the pinned items on my page and proceeded to book the much-coveted toast maker. Though initially sceptical about chatting with the merchant first-hand, I was successful in striking a pretty good deal. And that’s when I realised the reason why I was going to visit this site again – the Chat & Buy system. Now, what can possibly surpass the thrill of negotiating the price? I could almost sense the grinning woman next to me nodding her approval.Image 3

And I must say, the mobile interface was much better, partly because I could glance through the page effortlessly, but mostly because I could loiter on the freshly tucked bedsheet and still go mad.

While I was obsessing over it, I did a background check on how this site works. Apparently, one can sell their products on this free online shopping portal and make money online. Need I remind you that I had a billion aspirations? I could foresee making stuff in the garage and would create a free online store for me. This could be especially good for small businesses, wishing to dive into a larger market but not having a strong customer base as yet. And since the website has integrated its platform with Facebook as well, a free Facebook shop to boot! Now, if only I had something credible to sell…

Sadly, by the time I was fermenting my entrepreneurial skills, she was done with her shopping and was mighty pleased with my choice of website. Cashing in on her pleasant mood, I proceeded to propose my current thought process of creating a free online shop; which I am quite sad to report, was shot down. But I am a man and I never let go of my thoughts of making money online. Another weekend it is.

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind