My Quikr Experience!

When I got a mail from Blogadda saying I’d been shortlisted to buy products worth Rs.5000 from Quikr.com for FREE and blog about my experience, I didn’t jump for joy. Not right away.

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”, you might ask. To which I will say, “YES, I get how BRILLIANT it could be.” (which is why I signed up for the activity in the first place) but I was a little skeptical about what I’d find from what promised to be an “Online Classifieds website”. The word “Classified”, to me, always evoked images of small, cramped text and products you wouldn’t need ever.

Phase 0: Getting acquainted with Quikr

Anyway, I logged on to quikr.com, where I was asked to select my location. I was then redirected to http://chennai.quikr.com/. I signed up for an account of my own, which was a fairly easy and speedy procedure. This was even with mobile phone verification as an option in the registration procedure. I proceeded to look at the Categories I could shop under:

Quikr Categories

My initial impressions of the layout and items listed on Quikr across all categories:

  • While the layout isn’t going to win any awards, the text was extremely readable and it didn’t hurt my eyes. The layout succeeded in how utilitarian it was and satisfied the user’s basic navigational needs.
  • The ads varied on how genuine/professional/amateur/appealing/lackluster they came across as. It was pretty much like a virtual fair, where you, as a buyer, could wade through what you didn’t like to zero in on the ads that interested you, within and across products.
  • THERE WAS SO MUCH VARIETY IN ADS. I honestly didn’t expect this. From guitar classes to a used guitar to a bike to a mosquito net, home cooked lunches and even homemade chocolates, there were ads for everything you could possibly need!!
  • All the items weren’t necessarily used. There were a lot of used products for sale, yes, but new products, either sold by individual sellers who don’t have use for it or dealers were available.

Phase 1: Replying to ads for products on my want (and need) list

I think it was after the initial round of browsing that I allowed myself to get a little excited! I then proceeded to consult my wishlist, which I call THE WANT LIST:

The Want List

Since I didn’t want to buy a straightener just yet (I was sure I’d waste half my day straightening my hair, as I can get pretty obsessed with it) and I knew I wanted to buy the Jigsaw puzzle elsewhere, the beanbag was the obvious place to start. I proceeded to Home and Office Furniture where I found Bean bag under type of furniture. I felt hopeful and restless as I sifted through the various beanbag ads:

Items Listing for Beanbags

Since it was close to midnight, I couldn’t start calling all the sellers. Instead I left some of them messages (by Replying to the ad), asking if it was still available for sale. In some cases, the picture itself turned me off as I wanted a relatively new bean bag that wasn’t already old and worn looking.

A couple of hours later, when I was deleting a few movies to make space for downloading a new movie, I remembered what my friend had told me the previous day:

“You buy all of these things online… why don’t you buy yourself an external hard drive? You won’t have to keep deleting stuff and your laptop will FINALLY be able to breathe.”

And then it hit me, Why COULDN’T I get myself an external hard drive? I didn’t WANT it but I definitely NEEDED it. Looking for external hard drives under Computer Peripherals (which fell into the Electronics and Appliances category) was a little trickier. Some of the drives were too pricey, while others were at such a reasonable price I was sure they would’ve been sold by now. Again, I tried looking for hard drives that were either new or hadn’t been used much. I tried searching for external hard disk ads that were listed nearer to where I lived so that it would be less of a hassle to pick up the product, if at all I got lucky enough to buy one.

I also decided that if this didn’t work out, I’d splurge on books. There were a number of ads for books: ranging from a Georgette Heyer stash to a sale for imported used books, in the Books – Magazines Category under Home & Lifestyle. At the end of that day, my Quikr Message box looked like this:

Quikr Replies to Ads

Phase 2: When My Replies get Replies & I Zero In

I woke up to find my Yahoo Mail inbox filled with mails bearing subjects like “Beanbag” and “available” or “sorry”. It took me a while to realise it was Quikr-related! The sellers had actually responded, and so promptly!

One problem I had was that since I didn’t know the name of any of the sellers, there was no way of knowing which ad the respondent of any mail was referring to when he/she replied saying the product advertised was available or not available. Sometimes, if the seller had given his/her contact number again, I could match the contact number with the number listed on the ad. Otherwise, I’d have to call the few ads I’d saved and ask, again, if it was available or not.

I also still felt like it was too good to be true… like the chance to acquire these beautiful, beautiful goodies would slip away any moment. I started calling the numbers they’d listed under their contact information. A Toshiba 1TB external I’d seen available for Rs.3000/- had already been sold and so was a beanbag for Rs.250/-. But a lot of other sellers responded affirmatively and said I could pick it up from their residence or office the very next day.

A combination of how value-for-money the price was, the vibe I got from the seller, how far I’d have to travel to pick up the product and how close to new it was made me narrow down my choices to:

And because I’m a bookworm and it’s in my blood:

Phase 3: Action!

I'm on a quest

When I refer to the picking up of all the products I’d zeroed in on from the respective individual sellers’/dealers as a quest, I am only exaggerating a little bit. It was the day after Diwali, and there was a slight drizzle. I was scared there would be a downpour any second, but I wanted to make the pick ups as soon as I could.

As my father and brother had some work on the way, we were all in one car, and had around five stops to make in total.

Our first destination was the office of the individual seller of a Seagate 1 TB external hard disk. We found the place with no difficulty and the seller had the external hard disk ready. He’d also printed out the Invoice. He explained that he’d purchased the hard disk to shift a few files from one office to the other, and beyond that, he had no use for it.

We checked if the hard disk worked on my laptop, went through the warranty PDF and after that, we decided that we’d get it. Though the seller had listed the item at Rs.3700/- on Quikr, he was willing to sell it for Rs.3500, which was pretty great! After the transaction was made, we thanked him and left. I was amazed at how quick and easy it was!

For the bean bag, we had to pick it up from the residence of the seller, which was almost 40 minutes away. Still, after a couple of wrong turns and then finally finding her residence, she promptly showed us the bean bag. It was in great condition. The seller maintained that the price was nonnegotiable as it was barely used and only four months old (she was only selling it because she was leaving the country). We left with an XXXL beanbag in the backseat of our car!

The final Quikr-related stop was at ISHTAM, a used-book exhibition. The books were imports from US, UK and Australia and were at great prices (ranging from Rs.50 to Rs.150 per book). I had to stop myself from squealing when I saw books by Nick Hornby (!!!), Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Sebold, Alexander McCall Smith and other amazing authors (even Sophie Kinsella, who’s such a guilty pleasure) for Rs.100! Only BECAUSE I didn’t want to splurge (I had just bought an external drive and a beanbag), I left with four books (two for Rs.50 and two at Rs.100) and a dopey smile pasted on my face!

On our way back, it started raining buckets. But I was so so happy, and my brother started getting equally excited! We just couldn’t wait to get back and unload everything!

Phase 4: The Happily Ever After!

:D

So worth it!

Can Hardly Stop Smiling

The beanbag finally got struck off my Want List!

I also have four really fun books that I can read while lounging around on my beanbag! 🙂

And thanks to the 1 TB external hard drive, my desktop computer and laptop can finally breathe.

Final Thoughts

I can safely say that my experience with Quikr.com was a positive one. It was definitely quicker than what I imagined it would be. Contacting individual sellers/dealers and picking up the item can be done as easily as within a day or two, whether you arrange for the product to be delivered to you or if you personally pick it up. It takes even lesser time than when you order it online, something I didn’t expect!

The sheer variety of products also surprised me, though I would approach ads with regard to tuition classes and job listings with even more caution and discernment. Quikr definitely matches the buyer with their ideal seller, as you have the option of settling for the price and quality that you are most comfortable with. It’s like a mela of new and used stores minus the crowd and chaos! I come away from this experience a little less skeptical about the Quikr experience, and even open to putting up an ad or two, if the need ever arises!

This post is a part of the Quikr.com activity at BlogAdda.com

Healthy child, happy home

Illness is almost like a mood. And when it takes hold of a child, you can feel it take over the house. The mother rushes back from work as soon as she can and turns down invitations. “My child has come down with…” she says, apologetically as she refuses to leave the child’s bedside. The father checks in every few hours, and they go to school as often as the child, bringing back notes of what the child has missed in class.
The air is ridden with gloom and anxiety and anticipation. Relatives get live updates of the situation every twenty four hours.

Sounds like an exaggeration? It sounds like a major chunk of second grade, when I got typhoid. I don’t remember how long it took to recover from it… all I can remember is that it felt like forever. It was an endless cycle of soup, sponge baths, temperature-checking, missed-swimming-classes and living in bed. My brother wasn’t allowed in the room, lest he catch the fever too. My parents, they didn’t seem to care if they did… they’d hover around, looking just as sick…with worry.

When I was well enough to get back to school, they struggled as much as I did to catch up with everything that was going on in class. The day after my re-exam, there would be dark circles under their eyes. My mum would have long conversations with my class teacher on everything I should be up to date with. When I was back on track, so were they. Everyone slept fitfully again! The measuring cup for my medicine and the ever-present thermometer went back to the shelf. It was a relief not to see it around anymore, daunting the lives of everyone around.

Given that from ages 5-10, the child is the life of the house, I guess I’m trying to say that she does inevitably set the mood of the house. During my healthier and happier days in second grade, my laughter was their laughter. My anecdotes about school tickled them just as much. When I skipped around the house, there was a spring in their step. Our birthdays felt like theirs, with the food, cake, bevy of people and never ending supply of gifts and chocolates.

I also remember a time when I was at my peak: when I’d eat all the fruits on my plate, finish my homework on time and we’d all go out somewhere at least once a week. There was the time we went to an amusement park… and came back with our hair dripping wet and dopey smiles pasted on our faces. I held a stuffed toy I’d won in an arcade game, and my brother just ran around the house; he was at the age when he had too much energy. We were tired and famished, but it was a good kind of tired. Looking back, it’s extremely clear that the physical health of a kid, any kid, inevitably influences the mental (and physical) energy of the house.

This post is a part of the IndiBlogger Happy Hours activity, courtesy Dabur Chyawanprash (https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/)

Blogadda Contest Entry: #Matched

An experience of IPL craze told in third-person narrative to fit with my Boy/Girl series; for the Star Sports IPL 2014 BlogAdda Activity:

 

Saturday night was date night and the very thought of it gave Boy the jitters. It was the night of the most exciting IPL match yet and he absolutely- abso-freaking-lutely had to watch this in front of his wide-screen home TV. But what would Girl think? He couldn’t possibly give cricket as an excuse for cancelling on her!

“You boys and your cricket,” she might say, with that disdainful frown.

Worse, if he made it to dinner, he would somehow offend her when he subtly checked StarSports.com for live updates mid-conversation. Their live-streaming feature and simultaneous access to recaps was addictive. Whywhywhywhy did the match have to fall on the same day? He should’ve figured this out earlier and cancelled much beforehand.

“Say you’re sick,” Friend A said, having absolutely no confusion on the issue. “It’s The Match, man.”

“I’ll text you updates, da.” another said, appearing to be benevolent. “For fifty bucks.”

What if, by cancelling on her because of the IPL match, she launched into a tirade against Men and Their Ways? The last thing he wanted to do was perpetuate stereotypes. Could he have an emergency? Could his parents whisk him away to some far off place? But lies never remained hidden. Augh!

Finally, seeing no way out, Boy dialed her number, every digit making him wince:

“Hello?” she said.

“Hey, uh,” he paused, feeling extremely awkward. “Are we still going out for dinner? Saturday night?” He hoped against hope that something would’ve come up on her end.

“Yeah!” she said a bit too quickly, and brightly- making him feel extremely guilty. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Why wouldn’t we be going?”

“Um,” he said, feeling worse. Deep breath. Slow-motion-stills of stumps flying in the air filled his head. “Um, the thing is-”

“Yeah?” she said. “Sorry, I mean… go on!”

“It’s… the match… the match is tomorrow and…”

“You want to postpone?”

“Yeah,” he said. Postpone. Yess. Postpone sounded much better than cancel.

“Thankgod!” she breathed, finally sounding relaxed. “I didn’t want to miss the match either! I’m so glad you didn’t feel like you could miss it too! I need to watch every play at home. In front of my TV, you know?”

There was warmth in their laughter. Thank god for the mutual-IPL-craze. They were going to be a good match, indeed!

This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.

Blogadda Contest Entry: #IPLTales

This is a story of extreme cricket craziness, an Android App, a city of fans, the TV set that went from Idiot Box to Most Prized Possession overnight and some mad bicycling skills!

IPLTalez #KannaKeepKalm

The evening of a Pepsi IPL match -Chennai Super Kings versus Mumbai Indians-, a bunch of us were lounging at the beach. The pseudo witty banter had reached its peak and the match was in the corner of all of our minds. I was watching replays of the earlier matches on Star Sports.com’s Android App on my pretty yellow phone. I loved how they made important plays easily viewable and accessible. They made for neat recaps. I was also completely dependent on their live-streaming feature. CSK had it in the bag, didn’t they? History would repeat, surely?

I had placed bets with my Royal-Challengers-supporting cousins on CSK. They wanted Mumbai Indians to win so badly.

If we lost, I had to buy myself a pair of new, non-orange shoes. I wasn’t ready to give up on my vice of wearing the oldest, ugliest pair of shoes so easily.

And then, before the clock struck eight, the unthinkable happened—

I swore out loud, breaking up the mundane conversation on who should get back together with whom. My phone had lost charge! How could I have forgotten to charge it?

“Stupid,” I said out loud, provoking shrieks of laughter and insults from my friends. “Phone? Anyone?”

But no one had recharged their data pack. I was the one who usually gave all the cricket updates. Now, they would miss out on a chunk of the match too. It was 7:40PM. I couldn’t just sit there! I decided to cycle all the way back home. More bets on whether I would reach on time were placed. I was becoming the source of entertainment.

8:07PM: I was still in transit. Traffic jams! Eurgh!

“What’s the score?” I yelled near the bend of the road leading to my house, in sheer frustration.

A man peering into his phone poked his head out of the auto and gave me the much-needed-update! My mother was flabbergasted to see me drenched in sweat when I reached home but I raced past her to the already-switched-on-TV-set. Star Sports was blaring and the commentator’s voice felt like music to my ears.

I knelt in front of the TV, a wide grin plastering my face and my heartbeat quickened with every ball! Everything –EVERYTHING- that had led to that moment was completely and totally worth it; just to watch the game, the people who played it and the people who loved it as much as I did on one wide screen!

(And spoiler alert: My “ugly” orange shoes remained unreplaced!)

This post is a part of Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.

Protest Against Smelly Stubble activity: A Prickly Letter from Girl to Boy (#epistolarystory, Blogadda Contest entry)

Epistolary Story

Dear Boy,

 

So your friends heckle at your hairless face

Call you chocolate boy, mamma’s boy, basket case…

So you have decided to grow out that beard

Let the stubble tickle and spear

What’s left of us?

 

Now the friends call you rockstar!

The groupies tug at your shirt

Only I see it drain

what’s left of your mirth.

The stubble grates against everything,

It sticks to your face,

It adds to the heat,

It cuts against my cheek.

It makes you hot-headed,

Miss a beat

while you scratch the itch

Near your cheek.

 

Boy, if you’re not done,

I am. For

I hate that smelly stubble!

that makes you look older

but no wiser

strange, but no quirkier

lazy, but no nicer.

 

You have said:

judge me not by my looks

i’m a man, it’s manly

the resemblance to a crook

it’s not uncanny

How am I judging your looks

when I cannot see your face?

How is it manly

to ignore what’s sanitary?

How do I ignore the haunting

daunting, extra weight

it adds to your face?

 

I love you, Boy

I really do

It’s just really

I hate that smelly stubble

that is not a part of you

and definitely not

a part of that gorgeous face 🙂

 

~Girl

 

This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda

Protest Against Smelly Stubble activity: A *Rough* Encounter (Blogadda Contest Entry)

Protest Against Smelly Stubble

As Murphy’s Law would have it, Boy bumped into Girl at the market of all places, when he was looking his absolute worst.

You see, Boy hadn’t shaved for days. He had been slummin’ it and as a result, the prickly, sweaty hairs on his face had gotten in the way of his niece snuggling up to him, eating breakfast and now saying hello to The Girl He Liked without dying of mortification. He could see Girl fighting against the urge to cringe.

HER: Um, uh. Are you okay? Are you sick? Is everything alright? You look-
HIM: Uh, no- uh, I’m in a play! Yes… I’m…
HER: Oh! Um, that’s-
HIM: Igottago.

Boy raced past Girl to the nearest store, leaving Girl absolutely confused. 

HIM [to the shopkeeper]: Razors please! How many? I don’t care, all of them! Do you have a restroom?

Minutes later:

GIRL [picking up her phone]: Hello?

HIM: Where are you?
HER: Just leaving. Are you okay?

And then Girl caught sight of Boy exiting the opposite store. A little shaken, with that goofy smile, wearing those annoying orange shoes… but looking like… looking like him. For me?

"His clean shaven look bowled her over"

His clean shaven look bowled her over.

This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda