CashKaro – It Pays To Send Gifts to India!

This post is sponsored by CashKaro.com

That said,  all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and based on my personal experience with the product. 


Mom and Dad are here since February. They will be here for another couple of months to help out with the baby.

When they think I am sleeping, I hear them talk about Pari- my neice in Mumbai. They miss her. They tell Varun stories about her. My technophobic mom is learning to Skype just so she can see her grand-daughter. There are a few Varun’s toys that she likes and wants to take back for Pari. Or if she is out an about or sees me browsing children’s sites online she points out things that Pari will love.

So, I thought I will send something to Pari as a gift from grandparents. I had a couple of items on Flipkart and Amazon.in (both sites that we have used extensively while we were in India) shopping cart which I never checked out due to various reasons ( lack of sleep being mainly the most vital!).

Procrastination paid off, as I learnt about CashKaro- India’s No.1  cash back and coupons site.

What is CashKaro?

On the same lines as Bing Cashback, CashKaro works with various retailers ( Jabong, FlipKart, Myntra, BabyOye, Expedia.in, Amazon.in, Goibibo amongst 500 + other retailers); to provide cash back on products/services shopped on those sites. In other words, as a consumer, we get paid to shop online. We get the same discounts/offers etc that are available on these sites and plus we get a 5 – 10% cash back (varies based on retailer/ product) or additional discount coupons for future use.

How does CashKaro work?

There are 3 parties involved in working of CashKaro – the retailer(like Myntra, Jabong, etc), consumers (like you and me ) and  the publisher – CashKaro. CashKaro is a platform that publishes retailers offers on its website. It becomes another marketing channel for the retailers. Every time Myntra gets a sale from CashKaro, they pay CashKaro a commission and from this commission, they give us consumers a portion back in terms of cash back. A portion is retailed as revenue for them. This model benefits everyone – especially us consumers. We would have paid to shop on FlipKart or Goibibo anyways. Getting money back is cherry on top! After all, who doesn’t like to be paid to shop 🙂

For this system to work, we have to visit the retailers site via CashKaro site. That way they know which discount/offer we are trying to avail. We conclude the transaction on the retailers site (including the payment/shipping-delivery etc). The order confirmation and shipping/delivery emails are from the retailer.

Within 72 hours of transaction completion, you will see that the cash back is posted to your CashKaro account as “Pending”.

Once the retailer pays CashKaro, they pay us.

And then you can cash out the balance as a check or a bank deposit.

My Experience

  1. Create an account:

I created an account for CashKaro. That was fairly easy process – select a username/email/ password and you are set to go. Alternately, you could use your Facebook ID to join. It saves the hassle of remembering yet another password.

  1. Browse for Offers:

We were looking for a gift for my baby neice. I checked out the deals on Amazon, BabyOye, Myntra etc. Amazon.in had a blanket upto 7.5% cash back on any products so I decided to shop there.

The site itself is fairly easy to navigate. You can see the Retailers list and choose to “View deals” offered by each of them.

Sponsored CashKaro

Once you know the deal/offer that you are interested in, you click on the big blue button to activate the offer and visit the retailers site.

Sponsored CashKaro

In our case, I showed mom how to activate the amazon.in offer.

3. Payment and Delivery:

Once on amazon, I browsed as usual, added the items to my cart and checked out/paid using my amazon.in account. I did use Cash on Delivery option just because I know that is very popular payment method in India.

The item was delivered to my brother by amazon successfully and I got an email confirmation of delivery.

4. Cashback Tracked

Within 3 days, I saw an email pop up confirming that my cash back is tracked and added to my account as pending.

Note-  It will take another 8 – 10 weeks for the cash back to be “actually” paid into my account.

Would I Use It Again?

Definitely, why not?

I have a huge family in India. With birthday’s, anniversaries, festivals I am usually sending a gift or two home. If I get paid to do the same, its all the more reason not to forget an anniversary or a birthday!

Also, discount codes on popular restaurants, flowers, chocolates, it makes it easier (on the wallet) to send a gift home!

Give a try. You may like the savings too!


Psst: Sign up using my Cashkaro Referral Link. I will get a % of cash back as referral bonus. You don’t need to use a referral link to use CashKaro but if you do use it, it helps tiny bit to help defray cost of hosting this site 🙂

California Dreamin’!!

Tiny Lot is becoming a lot more tinier. We are moving to San Francisco. Soon.

Lot of questions that we have been asked since we announced it to our group of friends and at work.

Didn’t we just move to India?

Do we hate Hyderabad?

Do we love US more than India?

Why San Francisco and not Redmond?

For the record, we don’t hate Hyderabad or our life here. Infact, Vipul and I think there is no other city in India we could have moved to and have a good life. We can afford a large house fairly close to work; have a cook/maid/driver and can go to any good restaurant/pub in less than half an hour. The city is mostly safe. A luxury by Mumbai or Delhi standards. Sure the weather is a challenge in April, May and October but with most of days being spent cooped up in air conditioned office it barely makes a difference.

Then why leave this all and move?

We moved here to be closer to family. Both sets of parents visited us fairly often when we first moved. But over time they visit only if Varun is not well or if we need help. They don’t really want to uproot their lives and move here. Also, due to our fast paced work schedule, we barely get much time to spend with them when they are here. Even when we visit them, Vipul is glued to the phone/email/laptop.

Also,we miss US – the open parks and gardens, libraries, museums, trails etc. I know lot of people who miss these aspects of life in US. They get hang of everything else – products, traffic, commute, social commitments, dressing etc but this is something we reminisce about.

But most importantly, we are expecting another baby and I want to deliver the baby in US.

Varun had a natural un-medicated birth with the aid of midwives. It was a wonderful birthing experience  (as far as birth stories go) and I want the same again. I don’t want to go with traditional OB model but go with midwives. Certified trained midwives operating out of a hospital is not possible here. Plus the rate of Caesarean birth is very high.

The care offered by midwives in my first pregnancy is incomparable to what I am getting here now. The hygiene level, the empathy, the long wait times for appointments, scans etc is not up to the par.

Why SF and not Redmond?

We were actually all set to move to Redmond. We both had offers from our teams. We reached out to our midwives and set an appointment with them. We had started looking for a house. We knew which daycare to send Varun too.

Everything was lined up, when Vipul got an offer that he could not resist from Sony.

Luckily Sony offers a comprehensive relocation package on par with Microsoft.

So, here we are off to Sunny California.

Excited!

We are very excited to move to SF.

New city, old friends, new challenges.

Cant wait to be there!

Ganpati Bappa Morya!!

Ganpati 2013

It was Ganesh Chaturthi on Monday…and we celebrated like every year.

Festive spirit, decorations, perfume of garlands and incense sticks and offerings of flowers, fruits and sweets marked the day.
In the evening we participated in prayers with rest of the folks in our complex.

For next 5 days, we will join them in evening prayers. The communal spirit, the decorations and festive atmosphere is novel and welcome change after the day at work.

A few pictures of Ganesh from our home….

Hope you enjoy this glimpse in our rituals as much as do!

Ganehs2

Ganpati home setup

Aarti thali

Kalaash

Travel Tales From Nilgiris – Coonoor Sightseeing

The day after our trip to see the fantastic views from Upper Bhavani lake, we took it easy and spent the morning taking in the sights around Coonoor: Dolphins Nose and Lambs Rock. They are all in the same area almost along the same road and can be pretty much covered in a morning.

The morning was clear and we wanted to make the most of the sunshine.We drove out after breakfast.

Dolphins Nose
A long winding road out of Coonoor, through thick sholas and road-side tea gardens, led us straight up to Dolphins Nose. The verdant hills beckoned us. It was green from the tea gardens, thick sholas, silver oak trees and even moss and grass thanks to recent rains.

We saw Law falls from here and Coimbatore plains below. Do pay for the use of telescope as the guy will show you a native tribal hut camouflaged to human eye. Be ware of monkeys – they are aggressive and will snatch food from your hand. I bought passion fruits at the vendor and the monkeys started following me waiting to see if I will feed it to them.I ran to the car to store them while we wandered around.

Terraced tea gardens

Law Falls

Monkey eating human food

Sholas and tea gardens

Harvesting Tea
Around here, we saw a lot of folks harvesting tea. They were all super busy in their work, but allowed us to take turn harvesting a few leaving and posing for pictures. It is backbreaking work ; plucking the leaves, filling in sacks, hauling them to trucks. I don’t think I will take my morning cuppa so lightly. Its hard work!

Harvest time

Harvest time 2

Next to Lambs Rock

Playing in tea garden

Lambs Rock
We drove down to Lamb’s Rock which is also known as shooting point. The views here were more or less the same as that of Dolphins nose and as it was more crowded we didn’t stick around for too long. We could have easily skipped it.

View from Lambs Rock

Private tea estate near lambs rocsk

Needlecraft
There is another place we could have skipped in Coonoor -Needlecraft. Advertised all over Coonoor as the place for hand-embroidered linen,we wanted to check it out for gifts. This place is run by two snooty women who don’t give a damn about customer service and sales. They are probably doing this out of boredom with no real need for selling their wares. The embroidery is beautiful but not extraordinary or worth the steep price.

Their garden is exquisite. Rambling country style-in full bloom.I could have spent the day there if only the owners were more co-operative. The kids were antsy by now wanting to play again.

We headed back to the resort for lunch and for an afternoon of Spa-time. If you stay at Taj resort in Coonoor, don’t miss the spa. Getting a shirodhara massage on a cold rainy afternoon next to a roaring fireplace is an indulgence you cannot afford to miss in India. Am sure you are gonna love it!

Stay tuned for more travel tales from Nilgiris. What to shop, what else can you see, flowers…