With summer temperatures in India hovering above 35 degrees Celsius and, at times, even crossing the 40-degree mark, you may want to tackle the sweltering climate with an effective AC. Purchasing an AC has never been easier, as you can get this appliance at various retail stores or via an online seller. As most sellers and manufacturers come up with great deals every summer, now is also a great time to buy an air conditioner!
While an online purchase may offer you more discount and the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home, an offline purchase allows you to view the product in reality and get a physical feeling too. Your confusion is not unfounded as there are various pros and cons on both sides of the scale.
To help you decide whether to buy your AC online or offline, consider these points:
Range of products
The internet makes it possible for you to view a wide array of AC brands and models right on your device’s screen. It brings together a list of brands sold across the country and gives you options to compare specifications like tonnage and energy ratings easily.
In comparison, a regular brick and mortar store offers you far fewer products to choose from, often limited to few brands. That being said, local stores have one advantage. You get hands-on experience with the appliance you are considering. You can see it in real life, be it its actual size, colour, and finish, and even understand the features thanks to a representative.
Deals and discounts
Online sites often offer products at lower rates than offline counterparts. This is because online sellers can pass on the benefit of lower rent and workforce costs to you in the form of deals and discounts. In addition, online sites function in a fiercely competitive marketplace. This means that at any given time, you have access to at least two, if not more, options for the same product online. This gives you a greater range of offers.
Regular stores also run discounts. However, these are store-specific, often limited to festive seasons. Sometimes, they may also apply only to certain appliances in the store you visit.
Ease of payment
Today, making a payment, even for a big-ticket purchase, can be done easily and in an instant. Online transactions support all types of cards, wallets, and even UPI options. Best of all, you can get these on EMI.
Most online sellers may not support cheque payment, but that should not come as an inconvenience with the wealth of options at your disposal. However, do keep in mind that since an AC has a big price tag, most online sellers will not support the cash on delivery (COD) mode.
At an offline store too, you can pay by cash, cheque, card, and if the store supports certain e-wallets and UPI, then you can pay via these options as well. In order to ensure that warranty issues can be settled without sweat, refrain from cash payments.
One side advantage of a store purchase is that you can bargain the price of the AC with the dealer or representatives. So, in this regard, online and offline may have very little difference.
Both online and offline options offer you a warranty. Warranty on ACs may come in the form of one year on the product, a year on the condenser, and 10 years’ warranty on the compressor. However, if you are buying online, verify that you are getting a warranty, and what the procedure is in case you need to claim one.
Installation costs and maintenance facilities
The total costs incurred by you when buying an AC involve the appliance price and the cost of a stabilizer unit. Brick and mortar stores may offer free AC installation, whereas online sellers tend to exclude this cost from their product price. Unless specifically stated, you will have to carry out the AC installation through local AC electricians and pay for it separately. This can be a hassle, because unless the online seller has a direct tie-up with a company, you may be left running helter-skelter.
In addition, you have your AC’s maintenance to think about as well. While buying at an offline store, most store managers or representatives will readily offer you maintenance facilities. This may not be the case with online shopping. Unless stated, your shopping is a one-time event and the rest is left up to you.
When buying a product online, it is vital that you check seller ratings and scour customer reviews. This is a necessary step to ensure that your AC is genuine, does not have any defect, and is couriered by reputed companies. When shopping online, you often have the choice of selecting your preferred seller, so make the most of it. In case, of physical stores, there is less ambivalence involved if you have transacted with the same store before.