Buying Stationery Online in India
If you are a writer, an artist or a translator, it is likely that you have more than a cursory interest in stationery products. If you are to buy stationery provisions for your office, you have a professional reason for cultivating an interest in stationery. People who are not any of these may also have a special interest in pens, pencils or art materials. Yet, in this age of the computer and the internet, you may not have well-stocked retail shops in your locality for you to buy what you need. A good online retailer of stationery is an ideal solution in such a situation.
In India, the large online retailers do sell stationery products but only as one of those myriad other products that they sell. Pens and pencils are not the most expensive items that people buy. So it is difficult to get rich or make a handsome profit by selling stationery. That’s why Amazon or Flipkart or any other online retailer is not the ideal place where you want to be if you want to buy a pencil or a pen.
To cite an instance, I have been searching for inexpensive 0.9 mm pencil leads for my mechanical pencil for quite some time. I have failed to find them with the local retailers I have easy access to. I corresponded with one big producer of stationery goods in India, but lost interest after exchanging a few emails because those who are to sell the products showed little interest in selling a few boxes of pencil lead to an individual. Some of the big online retailers have some stock but these are mostly foreign-made and far too expensive. So it wasn’t an ideal situation, but I didn’t give up on my search.
Last week I discovered Offimart.com. In fact it was my search for 0.9 mm pencil leads that took me to their site. I found that the site is powered by Infibeam, a reputed company from whom I bought a few books years ago. Offimart claims they have over 20,000 items listed on their website and have partnered with thousands of vendors and suppliers. They keep a stock of some of the listed products and they procure the rest as per the buyer’s order. Offimart claims orders are usually shipped in 3-7 days.
I discovered that Offimart has stocks of Camlin Hi Par 0.9 mm B Fine Leads and I promptly ordered a few boxes along with some erasers. Offimart’s delivery fee is only Rs. 50 per order (not per item) and they deliver at the customer’s doorstep throughout India. For orders above Rs. 1000, they waive the shipping charges. This seemed very reasonable. I ordered on 18th July and received the items in fine condition and delivered by Fedex this (20th) afternoon. I can’t dream of a better service! According to Offimart, they use the services of leading couriers like Fedex, Blue Dart etc. for delivering the products across India.
Offimart hasn’t solicited me to write this post. I have written it on my own as I am very impressed by their prompt service and plan to buy more products from them. Now I know where to look for if I want to buy pens, pencils and art materials online in India!