Yes, yes, we’re all online shopping addicts here. There’s no shame in it (or so I tell myself repeatedly).
Online retail in India has grown at an enormous rate, catering to an ever-increasing diverse base of internet users. Middle class home-makers, college students and working professionals now shop with ease online for a wide range of lifestyle goods.
I first discovered the many benefits of online shopping when I was too busy to get into real-world shops in order to get my sister a birthday gift. When I turned to the web to buy her presents, I quickly discovered that while traditional gift shops and well-established brand stores are easy to come by, it was difficult to find products with individualistic appeal, which is disappointing to those with a creative consciousness. Therefore, over the next couple of weeks, I searched and found sites with products that offered a little humor or plain delight.
So, here, for some good karma points for myself, are online stores that offer quirky and whimsical alternatives:
Romwe – A fabulous range of affordable street fashion apparel, style experiments such as these stained glass printed skinny leggings and special statement pieces like this Bodycon dress of Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’. Romwe is not an Indian store; however, the site provides free shipping worldwide, with no minimum purchase.
Cupcakes and Closet – A popular shopping option for effortlessly elegant and stylish clothing without an insane price tag. Cupcakes and Closet delivers on their promise to give their customers the opportunity to be closet perfect.
Wear Your Opinion – A collection of smart and funny t-shirts that are socially relevant and offer a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Indian society, pop culture and mannerisms. For instance, this t-shirt depicts the slavish adoration Indians have for cricket, elevating it from sport to religion, while this t-shirt is a must-have for anyone who’s a Rajnikanth fan. If you enjoy witty in-jokes on relevant socio-political topics, then WYO is definitely for you.
Giveter – An online gift portal that helps you choose the perfect gift from more than 5000 handpicked gift ideas based on the occasion, relationship, personality of recipient, mood or price. The site also allows you to log in with your Facebook account and then select a recipient from your contact list. This automatically determines the recipient’s age, relationship, and interests to find the best gift for them. Giveter gives users a great variety of products, including this portable coffee maker, quirky cash toilet wipes, and this saucy personalized Hot Hunk Heat Change mug, making it one of the best shopping sites for whimsy.
Quirko – An online lifestyle store that describes themselves as “part quirky, part useful and fully fun”, Quirko has a wide range of the eclectic and unusual. On this site, you’ll be able to find a Coughing and Screaming ashtray for smokers trying to quit, a Cotton Candy maker, and a colorful soup mug amongst others. Quirko’s collection of crazy odds and ends will tempt you to buy all their products for yourself.
GoGifts – A collection of funny and unusual high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. When you shop at GoGifts, you can be assured that you’re buying one-of-a-kind items that you wouldn’t be able to find at your nearest mall. At GoGifts, you’ll be able to choose from a creative product list, including a hollow book in which you can secretly stash money, landline Toilet Phone (complete with a flush tank), a miniature Gramophone Clock as well as a Massage Cushion.
HitPlay – If you’re looking for unconventional gadgets and technology, then HitPlay is the site for you. Their list of products include this practical yet atypical Squid USB hub, a USB mini-fridge, and LED Ice Cubes.
Exciting Lives – Exciting Lives is one of my favorite webshops, simply because they deliver on their intention to “appeal to one’s sensory cravings rather than fulfillment of utilitarian needs” and because of an unique ability to continually surprise with their merchandise. They have personalized products like this charming Handprints Keepsake (which gives parents the chance to have the footprints or handprints of their baby permanently placed in a memento)and eclectic merchandise including this Lucky Elephant Tea Light Holder, naughty Furry Handcuffs, and beautiful This Too Shall Pass Mobius pendant. Exciting Lives also gives you the opportunity to be different and gift an experience. You can choose from giving a friend Belly Dancing Sessions, or your girlfriend/boyfriend a stress-relieving Shirodhara Rejuvenation . There are offers for a Skydive Adventure , Private Hot Air Balloon Ride and even a Zero Gravity Experience. You’ll be spoiled for choice.
Fun. Fashionable. Unconventional. Each of these sites is one or more of these things and is sure to help you meet all your quirky buying needs. Browse for hours, find gifts you never knew existed, shop generously and create your own virtual wishlist. There’s something for everyone in this list, and you’re unlikely to find other stores quite like these.