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10 things you must know about Google’s Great Online Shopping Festival

The third edition of Google’s annual Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) has kicked off and several buyers have already made their first purchases before stocks run out or deals end. The three-day event will have over 400 brands and e-commerce portals offering deals and discounts. Here’s a look at 10 things you must know about GOSF:

1. WHERE TO SHOP: As part of GOSF, most leading e-commerce companies are running deep discounts and purchases could be made at any of those. Additionally, buyers can also access GOSF sale through the gosf.in website, which displays trending deals across websites. One could also use price-comparison websites to find the best deal available. Some of the e-commerce website participating in GOSF this year include, snapdeal.com, amazon.in, ebay.in, limeroad.com, shopclues.com and jabong.com

2. FLIPKART GIVES A MISS: In case you were refreshing flipkart.com’s homepage and waiting for the deals to start, the e-commerce major has chosen to not participate in GOSF this year. The Bengaluru-based e-tailer was an active participant in the last two editions of GOSF. However, this year the dates of Google’s event clash with Flipkart’s Big App Sale, where the company is offering discounts to buyers who make purchases through its mobile application. Experts believe that Flipkart’s decision may stem from the fact that the company has managed to create a strong branding for itself and does not need to ride on GOSF to attract buyers.

3. 2013 EXPERIENCE: Launched in 2012 by Google to boost online shopping in India, GOSF saw over two million unique visitors (half of which were women) last year, as per data released by the internet giant. Leading e-tailers like Snapdeal, eBay and Myntra had said that they witnessed a significant uptick in sales during GOSF 2013. As per Google, the over 200 e-commerce websites that participated in GOSF saw a three to four times rise in sales. While several other online sales in the past have experienced heavy traffic during morning hours, GOSF 2013 had seen peak traffic between 2-8 pm.

4. EXCLUSIVES: This year, Google India has created an ‘exclusive launch corner’, where it will release several of its products for the first time for Indian buyers. The company is expected to launched Google Nexus 6 mobile phone under this category, along with Chromecast, a digital media player developed by Google.

5. GLITCHES: Technical glitches have become synonymous with online sales in India. Even as websites would be better prepared for handling traffic after Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’ fiasco, some buyers said they faced issues while making purchases today morning. While some buyers said they were unable to complete transactions on some websites, a few others said that when they added an item to their cart, it’s price automatically changed to the undiscounted one.

6. POLICIES: Like for several other online and offline sales, various e-commerce websites change their return and exchange policies during GOSF. Therefore, before making any purchases, it is best to check the website’s policies in case you are not sure about the product. There is also a need to be careful about services like cash on delivery, which may not be available at some websites. With deep discounts, some websites could give free shipping a miss and charge buyers for deliveries.

7. 299 CORNER: To charm the price-sensitive Indian buyers, GOSF has launched another new section called the ‘Rs 299 Corner’ this year, where all the products listed would be available at Rs 299. Several e-tailers such as Snapdeal, ebay, Jabong, Firstcry, Fab Furnish, Lensekart and Yepme.com are offering the Rs 299 deals on products such as wrist watches, electronics, clothes, linen and furnishing.

8. UNIQUE OFFERS: You may chance upon the most unusual deals during GOSF 2014 as participants for the event include several offline retailers, car manufacturers, restaurants, financial institutions and real estate companies. As part of GOSF, Tata Housing is selling residential apartments of several of its projects across Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad, according to a newspaper advertisement today. There are also categories like mobile apps, automobiles (which include brands like Fiat, Mahindra, Renault, Chevrolet, Ford and Nissan), jobs (which include job portals like Naukri, Shine and Monster), healthcare, travel and luxury premium products. You could even buy an insurance policy on discount during GOSF.

9. SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media is already buzzing about GOSF 2014 with #72HoursOfCrazy trending on micro-blogging website Twitter. As per current updates, several buyers have shared grievances over not finding good deals, however, several others are excited about the exclusive launches that the event has promised.

10. OFFLINERS’ FEARS: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a body comprising medium and small retailers, has registered a protest with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying the sale on Google, with larger data resources than Flipkart or Amazon, could be a disaster for brick-and-mortar retailers. Offline retailers, who had condemned Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale massively, may display greater resistance to GOSF. While the Flipkart’s event was limited to one portal and was for one day, GOSF is spread all over the e-commerce world and will go on for three days.

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