Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cool Practical Thoughts

(Author of The Best Possible You & How to Meditate)

Make this the best year of your life

Years pass us by quickly and rapidly. Don’t let this year pass you by again. Make it the best year of your life by becoming the best possible you. Here comes 2014, what changes do you want to make? The first step is to learn to take control of your life and become joyous and successful. Let this year be about the transformation of your life. Start by deciding what’s the most important thing for you, set transformational goals to achieve it. Once you start changing paradigms, your life will start rolling. Don’t let negative memories cripple you. Allow yourself to dream a little, think freely. Ask yourself, where do you see your life going? Don’t stop thinking about your perfect life, which is not tied to your job. Before moving forward, take some time to think about what happened in the past year, whether you have any regrets, or if you would like to change anything. You must also list the lessons you learnt.

-> Ask yourself, are you ready for your best year yet?
-> Make goals.
-> List lessons learnt from the past year so that you don’t repeat those mistakes.
-> Find out what stops you from achieving your goals. These things will help create the life you want, rather than what has been offered to you. Good times don’t come by chance, but by deep thought and goal orientation.

You have an internal guide. When you listen to this guide, you will realize how intuitive you are. Your inner voice will guide you regarding new relationships, your job etc.
Knowing that you can trust your inner wisdom will give you further positive feelings about yourself. Get rid of that casual approach to life. Don’t hold yourself back.

DISCLAIMER: This article appeared in The Sunday Times of India in the Times Life section on 5th Jan, 2014. It has been reproduced here in its entirety just for informational and educational purpose. Copyright of the article belongs to original author/publisher.

Friday, January 3, 2014

ebay India vs. Amazon India

I prefer buying most of my stuffs online; apart from groceries. I had been a die hard fan of India's eCommerce giant, but in last few months Flipkart has grown very arrogant and annoying. Be it their shipping charges policy or their delivery network. Flipkart don't deliver in the North East India, so I can't buy stuffs for my parents in Flipkart. Many things listed in their website, they don't deliver at my pincode inspite of I living in a tier-I city of India. I tried some other Indian portals like, but those guys haven't matured to be in the eCommerce ecosystem. Once or twice I had to spend a lot of my patience cycle with their customer service. So, in last few months I zeroed in two portals. The two online giants of the world, eBay and Amazon.

eBay India and Amazon India, the Indian versions of eBay & Amazon respectively have impressive infrastructure for online shopping. Both of them hosts a plethora of sellers, selling variety of stuffs but ofcourse eBay has a far bigger spread. I think Amazon India will catch up soon. But in whatever shopping experience I have with both of them, I saw a significant difference in the way they guarantee the buyers for the stuffs they buy in their platforms. And I can write it in bold letters that the eBay India policy is far better then Amazon India. 

eBay India guarantee customers' trust with their famous PaisaPay facility. In PaisaPay, a buyer has 101% mental peace that if the items they ordered is not shipped by the shipping date promised by the seller, an automatic refund of the amount paid is initiated. Again, if the item is delivered and not received by the buyer in the promised time period, entire amount paid by the buyer is refunded. The crux is eBay don't pay the seller until buyer receives and is satisfied with the item they ordered.

Amazon India on the other hand pays the seller as soon as the order is placed. Things are okay until the stuffs ordered comes under Amazon Fulfilled category. I believe, items under Amazon Fulfilled category is kept in Amazon's own warehouse and hence buyers can expect a better shopping experience for those items. But for the other items buyer comes at the mercy of the sellers. If the item ordered are not shipped by the seller during the promised time period, buyer has to follow-up with the sellers themselves. If a buyer complaints for delayed shipment with Amazon India's customer service, they just drop a polite mail to the seller asking about the whereabouts of the ordered items. So, Amazon don't guarantee any refund. They can't because the amount has already been transferred to the seller. If the seller is unresponsive, both buyer and Amazon India is at the mercy of the seller. So the buyer have to finally shout at the the customer service representatives and after that Amazon's A-z Guarantee Claim is filed, which takes minimum 1-2 weeks or more for any meaningful actions to be taken. Till than Amazon will keep sending a polite mail to the seller with contents similar to the following:

We've been contacted by one of our mutual customers regarding an order placed with your store. Below is the information provided by the customer:
Item: ***************************
Reason: Where's My Stuff ?

Details: The cx is irate and needs the item as soon as possible or cancel the order and refund the amount....The item has not arrived as scheduled. Please send a status update to the customer

As a buyer, you have no other option but to have the patience to wait until the seller responds or Amazon's A-z Guarantee Claim is resolved. I don't know if its a joint nexus between Amazon & the sellers, but its a pathetic policy for a company who claims to be "Earth’s most customer-centric company"! Bullshit!

DISCLAIMER: The above views are my personal views and I have written this out of my own personal experience with eBay India and Amazon India's online shopping portal. The expressed views and opinions need not be true to their words and hence can't be used for any legal proceedings.