How a Marathoner Trains for a Shopathon


How a Marathoner Trains for a Shopathon

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Before online shopping websites, buying the latest phone meant heading to the biggest mobile store in your town and praying to God that they weren’t out of stock. God’s approach to customer satisfaction, however, is exactly like our service providers, which meant that luck was rarely in your favour. It’s not just phones and electronics – physically shopping for clothes and furniture you wanted was also a hassle. It meant you had to strike a shady deal by shelling out almost twice the amount to buy an imported item “without a bill.”

As a gadget junkie as well as a runner, I can tell you that finding your desired phone, mouse, or laptop is as hard as training for a marathon, without any of the health benefits. And then came the Flipkart Big Shopping Days sale. Suddenly, hard-to-get accessories were available to everyone on the internet, at the same time, and at amazing prices. A world of unbelievable offers opened up, with sweet discounts and jaw-dropping deals.

Just like the Mumbai Marathon, the Flipkart Big Shopping Days sale is an annual event now, like your marriage anniversary or the Champions League final. We remember the date, we remember the time, and we know which deals we have to act on. The flagship phone, exclusively available on only this website, and nowhere else, is not going to be accessible at the same price again. And it’s not like our salary is going to see an increment anytime soon.

So now it’s time to bring out the big guns and go all in.

Snatching the best deals in an online sale is a bit like pocketing the snitch in a game of Quidditch – it’s tricky and requires a bit of genius, for flagship phones disappear faster than Mumbai’s infrastructure during the rains. Like everything in life, even acing an online sale requires meticulous preparation, almost akin to running a marathon.

To warm up, time yourself from the landing page, to adding a product to cart, to the checkout page, and keep trying to improve on that time.

While running long distance requires research on the track, diet, and routine, your inner Einstein must be channelled during the sale to perform all the calculations to make the most of all of the advantages of the sale. “Does this item have no-cost EMIs? Yes it does. “Is there a buyback guarantee for this mobile?” Of course there is. “Are these brands available anywhere else?” For once, the answer is no. Even if you failed maths in school, you should be able to get a deal that makes you happy, and your friends jealous.

Once the shopathaon research is done, it is time to polish and sharpen the equipment for the big day. Just like you can’t head into a marathon with torn shoes and a leaking bottle, you can’t enter an online sale on an uncomfortable chair and a 2G connection.

Mouse and keyboard speeds must be optimised, and a bottle of Gatorade should be kept around to get your adrenaline high. WiFi passwords must be rechecked, browser plugins must be disabled, all possible phones where the OTP can arrive must be assembled in one area (and be charged), and net banking/card details must be organised in an Excel Sheet – ready to be copy-pasted – so that you don’t waste any time.

Practice makes a man perfect, they say, and the rule aptly applies to the Flipkart Big Shopping Days shopathon as well. To warm up, time yourself from the landing page, to adding a product to cart, to the checkout page, and keep trying to improve on that time. A marathon ends with a sprint, and in a competitive environment like the Flipkart Big Shopping Days sale, milliseconds and nanoseconds can make a huge difference.

Once the preparations are done, it’s time to test them out on the field. Butterflies, like on exam day, are normal and one can treat oneself to a bit of dahi-cheeni for luck. And if luck isn’t enough, guarantee your own success by using your SBI credit card for a juicy 10 per cent discount.

That’s just the start of it. Like every marathon, the shopathon is a thrill that can’t be described, it can only be experienced.

Race ho toh marathon, aur sale ho toh aisi!

Gear up for Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starting 16th July (4 pm) to 19th July