(By Shashidar KJ and Nikhil Pahwa)JustDial

Listings website Justdial seems to be taking on e-commerce giants Flipkart, ebay and Amazon head on, introducing a marketplace for selling electronics and white goods. It is aggregating neighborhood electronics shops, and selling mobile phones, television sets, digital cameras, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, among others. We’re reminded of the launch that was planned, but never quite happened, of a service called Quick Quotes. Note that PriceBaba also aggregates offline retailers, but doesn’t allow purchase online.

Justdial also seems to be quite aggressive with pricing and is currently in Mumbai is offering an iPhone 6 (16 gb) for  Rs 50,900. Amazon is offering the iPhone 6 for Rs 53,495 while Flipkart is offering the same at Rs 51,439. Justdial is offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 at Rs 51,500 while Amazon and Flipkart are offering the phone at Rs 57,000 and Rs 54,999 respectively.

Aggregating local vendors, addressing online retail concerns

What’s interesting is that instead of competing with offline, JustDial is aggregating offline vendors: Once a buyer selects a product, she is given the best quotes from vendors from that city. They also allow payments through cash-ondelivery, cards, and net banking.

Two things particularly noteworthy of this launch from JustDial:

1. Logistics: JustDial promise of deliveries within seven hours of purchase, but it’s FAQs clearly mention that shops take care of the delivery process. According to the terms and conditions: “The shops would usually dispatch the order with a delivery boy. For orders from remote locations, the shops may send the products via courier service.”

Returns need to be made to the shop directly, and complaints will be taken up with the vendor by JustDial.

MediaNama readers might remember that last February, Justdial founder VSS Mani had said intends to facilitate logistics and warehousing for small businesses, but would not get into the logistics directly. Mani had said that JustDial “will only guide them (vendors) to the best players in this space (logistics) who can actually deliver their goods and even do cash on delivery.”

2. JD Guarantee isn’t a product guarantee?

jd-guaranteeThe invoice for the product is given by the vendor who is selling it. Warranties are a cause for concern in online retail, and while it at first appears that JustDial is addressing these issues, it isn’t.

JustDial has “JD Guarantee” banner for many products, though the terms and conditions indicate that the usage of the word ‘guarnatee’ isn’t a product guarantee, merely that the company offering the product has been verified:

The “Just Dial Guarantee” and “Just Dial’s Right” is a limited assurance offered by Just Dial that the name and contact information of the advertiser and the category in which the advertiser is listed by Just Dial, have been verified as existing and correct at the time of the advertiser’s application to register with Just Dial. Just Dial makes no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of the continued existence and/or operations of the advertiser, or the quality, quantity, merchantability or fitness for use of the goods or services offered by the advertiser.

Some products, however, come with manufacturers warranty, given that they are being sold by offline retail stores.

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The latest move seems to be part of the website’s divers larger diversification strategy  from just listings. Earlier in November, Justdial introduced doctor’s appointments and restaurant booking merchant apps. VSS Mani, in a conference call in November, said that the website is also developing a cab-hailing app that will allow users to book any type of cabs, including traditional cabs, cool cabs, private cabs and branded cabs. In August, the website also said that it is planning to introduce JD Cash, a payments platform integration for its Search Plus suite of services.In April, Justdial also entered the online travel and ticketing space.