Friday, October 31, 2014

Sponsored Expedition of 5000 Miles: All Expenses Paid For The Journey: Blogadda and Quikr

October 11, 2014

'There is an expedition, all expenses paid, once you cover your journey successfully, surpassing all adventures, coming back successfully, and detailing your journey in length in your own words. If you accept this challenge, write back.’  - Read a mailer in my mailbox on Google. 

'Your budget is XXXX amount that you will have to spend on the way to fill up your necessities and essentials on the way. Once you come back and submit your success story with us, the amount mentioned above will be transferred to your bank account.' It further mentioned. 'Your journey will be 5000 miles.'

'Wow!' I thought, 'Quite a challenging task. Let me go for it...'

I decided to go for it, though was not at all clear about the expedition and journey. I had to carve my own path to cover up this 5000-mile long journey. 

Just for clarity, the first mailer mentioned above is purely hypothetical. The second one is real. This challenge from Blogadda was not less than an expedition to a slightly known territory. I was already familiar with Quikr till then only to an extent that it is a portal to connect sellers and buyers for second-hand items. (Mind it, I was not at all aware that it also facilitates you to buy/sell new items too, in an individual capacity or as a known/unknown trader). 

So I clicked on the link to fill my application for the expedition without being sure whether I would be selected or not. 'Definitely, there would be some selection criteria and I am not the only one applying for this adventurous journey.' I thought. Clicking on the link landed me onto the following page:


Clicked on "Apply Now" and landed further on the next tab as below:

Clicked on "Register with us here" to get the next tab opening up instructing to Login on Blogadda to apply. After logging in, it displayed my details and 5 of my blogs registered with Blogadda, with a radio button to select on which blog I would be posting my journey details after the completion of an expedition. I selected the one, mentioning approximate visitors on my blog and confirming my details. And then clicked on "Submit".

October 16, 2014

It is my wife's birthday. We all zeroed in on 4 PM to be the appropriate time to cut the cake and celebrate her birthday. At 3.20 PM, there is a mail landed into my Gmail account delivering a good news, before our celebration was to start. A gift from Blogadda, in advance, probably, dedicated to her. The confirmation mail explained about rules and regulations.

Well, so it was confirmed that the whole family of three was going for this expedition together - me, with my wife and daughter. The adventure was about to start. The journey was about to begin. We had to complete our adventurous tour with the submission of journey details by 31st October. 16 days we had in hand to plan, execute and report. The project started with a hunt on Quikr. The portal was already familiar with my identity as I had an account there. The account was opened in January this year to post an ad for buying some B.Tech books for my daughter. Here is the ad I had posted:

So this way, Quikr already knew that I was in NCR. By the way, if you have not seen this vibrant ad, the newest ad of Quikr on TV, you can watch it here on Youtube. The ad is touching, fully clear and informative on what it wants to convey; and musical/vibrant as mentioned above. I bet the same applies on their all ads.

The Budget:

The budget is Rs. 5,000. We three sat together with our individual ideas on what to buy, as soon as the birthday party was over and we got time free to start planning for our expedition. The categories that excited us most were 'Mobiles & Tablets', 'Electronics & Appliances', 'Home & Lifestyle' and 'Entertainment'.

'Wow! You can buy new items too here!', exclaimed my daughter. That was an awakening call for all three of us. So far we thought it is only for selling and buying old/used/second-hand items only. She got to know the moment she clicked on 'Mobiles & Tabs' category, selected a selected a subcategory and reached to the and had a look on the left-hand side options bar with all kind of useful options.

'That is fantastic!', the reaction was simultaneous from both of us. We learned that you can refine your results in terms of brand, price range, old/new items, location preferences, ads only with a photo. That is really marvelously customer friendly gesture for a high level of facilitation to get quicker and accurate results. The unanimous decision was to go only for new items.

After certain explorations, we had many items in mind that were placed in our tentative list of items to be procured. The list had - 
  • Folding Chairs, Chairs, Cane chairs, cane stools
  • Artificial Jewelry
  • Mop on Wheels (Spin Mop)
  • Electric Roti Maker
  • Handbags, Tote Bags, Leather handbags
  • Clothes hanger for accommodating 84 cloths.
  • HeviBase Induction Cooker
  • Gas Tandoor/Grill

The clock was ticking rapidly with a higher pace as compared to the speed at which we had to zero down on final products and that too the festive season around Diwali was nearing, indicating that finalization of deals during this period might be a hiccup for sellers.

The first item zeroed in on was a Hawkins Hevibase Induction Cooker. It was easy to hunt as I knew my destination (the cooker, brand, type) though didn't know the seller. But it was not as simple to search as I had anticipated it to be. By putting "Induction Cooker" in search, I found Induction plate (on which the cooker and other induction utensils are placed for cooking) rather than the desired Hawkins induction cooker. Putting "Hawkins Induction Cooker" again brought in similar kind of mixed results, instead of giving me the desired result. One irritating point is that when you go for customized search, you don't get the complete items on the left bar, like to opt for used or new items. Another drawback is that once the repository of ads is in the hands of the seller. Like in my case when the seller, who was an individual, had delivered the items at my residence, the ad was removed by him. Here is the link to his ad that he had posted that clearly stated about the price of the cooker. 
Here is the screenshot of the Cooker page on Quikr:

Logically Quikr must have a provision to maintain the database for the items even if their deal is closed and the items are sold. Here are the pics of cooker:

The next item was a weighing scale that we wanted to purchase. 
Here is the screenshot:

Here are the pics of the product at home:

Our next deal was electric roti maker. The deal was made with dough maker. Here is the screenshot of the quikr page:

Here are the pics of the product at home:

And the dough maker that came bundled with this:

The final hunt was for books. We needed some engineering books  that we searched on Quikr here. Here is the link page screenshot:

The good part was that as part of the deal, we not only got the computer programming books that we were looking for, we got 2 bonus books (one fiction and one non-fiction book) free. Here are the programming books and the additional bonus:

Some good and bad learning from Quikr:

1. Quikr refined search is not very powerful when you want to go for customized product search.
2. The links to pages saved do not remain constant. 
3. There is no rating provision of sellers so that you can be cautious for the wrong sellers. And sellers remain cautious for their rating going bad. That way they will always go for the fair deal.
4. I have contact details of the persons for each deal so as to prove my purchasing in case anything goes wrong due to lacking in Quikr site.
5. Some sellers (especially in handbag section and some other sections) give wrong information in terms of pricing (give a lower price) so as to attract customers.
6. Quikr site's concept is good, but then there is all kind of good and bad people for which they need to do some improvements on their site so as to increase fair buyers and sellers.
7, There is a huge experience gained in terms of interactions with sellers and hunt for products on Quikr portal. A lot of interactions happened with the sellers over the phone, whatsapp etc.

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