It isn’t easy these days to stumble upon a juicy bit of news that has the potential to become a scoop. But last night as I searched for a typewriter, I realised I was in for a major surprise. I could smell a scoop when I failed to get sane answers on Flipkart, Amazon, and Infibeam. No, I didn’t try other sites because I was already laughing at seeing all the ‘typewriter mousepads’, ‘laptop decals’, miniature paper-craft typewriters, laptop sleeves with a picture of a typewriter, typewriter fine-art prints, books on typewriters… and everything in the world with a typewriter printed except the typewriter itself.
Yes, the world of online buying or the world that we love so much has had a massive memory loss and doesn’t remember the good old typewriter now.
This was the point when I simply logged on to Quikr to see if the real world of buyers and sellers still remember the typewriter… and to my surprise, they do. Yes, I found page after page full of people wanting to sell all sorts of typewriters and I was soon lost in a world where I could distinctly hear the clickety-clack or the tap-tap of a Remington or a Brother or even the good old Godrej. There were the portables and the massive ones, the manuals and the electronic typewriters… there was a virtual museum of typewriters there and I instantly fell in love with Quikr.
I told Specky, ‘Now this is one site that we must bookmark. It features typewriters too!’ Specky looked at me as one looks at any 57 year old with the thought, ‘Age is catching up fast.’ But she politely smiled and replied, ‘Sure, do message me the url.’ Come on now… I thought, and simply swivelled my laptop in her direction and said, ‘Look at the url and remember to log on.’
Specky tapped a few times on her laptop and then said, ‘Well, the registration process is quite simple. Just fill in all details and then authenticate your email or your phone number. I like such simple things. Anything more complex is so irritating.’ So the site doesn’t want to know your biography or your likes and dislikes or doesn’t coerce you into revealing your list of friends… and this is one thing I did like as well.
And remember, Quikr also has typewriters listed and I love it for this one fact. Of course, there are a whole lot of other products too and for the ease of sellers as well as buyers they have divided them into a number of categories. So from cars and bikes to mobiles and tablets, from pets to home, from electronics to real estate… and I was surprised to see even matrimonial, jobs, learning, and entertainment listed!
It was Specky who discovered that even matrimonial featured on Quikr. She said, ‘Listen let us see what sort of grooms and brides they list in Delhi.’ And very soon we were lost in a tsunami of handsome boys, homely girls, and caring life partners from all over the country… there were people who mentioned caste, others who were concerned about manglik, and yet others who were open about their son or daughter being a divorcee or wanting a second marriage for some reason or the other. And we were actually fascinated to be jumping from people selling iPods to people searching for a groom or a bride! But this wasn’t the end of surprises for us… there was more and even this was discovered by Specky, my wife. She pointed out to ‘wedding planners’ and said, ‘Wow! Even wedding planners are listed here.’
I must point out here that the five things I liked about this site are:
- Registration process is simple.
- Products are divided in categories and you can find even typewriters here!
- Sellers are listed by cities… and even an area-wise classification is found.
- The communication with a seller or a buyer is easy and through SMS, email, as well as phone. You get in touch directly with the seller or buyer.
- Quikr helpdesk or customer support jumps in and helps you get the right responses.
Specky, as usual, went deep into the site and came up with the weirdest queries that I have ever heard of. She asked me these questions:
Is the site too heavy with so many photographs that people in smaller cities or those who don’t have a broadband connection or a 3G network cannot access?
How will I know if the ad placed on Quikr is new or too old to be true?
Will I be able to access this site on my smartphone?
Well, I simply showed her the right columns on the web-page and told her, ‘You have the option of seeing photo-less ads. So those who have a slow connection can always opt for this view and then have a nice lengthy telephonic discussion with the seller.’ I also showed her the way one could actually opt to see the placed in the last 24 hours or later… so one knows how long the seller has been struggling to find the right buyer. ‘And finally,’ I said, ‘the site app is available for iOS as well as Android platforms.
‘Aha!’ she said, ‘I love the fact that I can be travelling and looking for the right deal. I mean if I am in Lucknow tomorrow, I can always browse and reach out for the right doctor, salon, resort, driver, or even a repairman in the city. I love this… and I can do this search without having to open my laptop!’
‘Yes, and do remind me to try out the car rental from Quikr some day,’ I said.
I know we are living in an age of a glut of information and all of it is impossible to carry in your memory… so we do have our own brand of memory loss at times. But Quikr is attempting to help people like me by storing all vital information that can be accessed at the right time without having to carry loads of reference books all the time. The information available here is almost equivalent to the sort you get on the yellow pages, travelogues, and deal sites combined. I was able to access even a travel agent willing to book a tatkal railway ticket for me… and then there was this guy willing to send me a tiffin if that was the sort of meal I wanted to have… and for those who need, even tax consultants can be found here. I was, in fact, forced to ask, ‘Is Quikr some kind of all-in-one solution to all our woes and problems?’ It does appear to be just that and this is one reason why I spent days browsing through its pages. The browse was indeed like going through a captivating novel. The writer in me found a million ideas for new plots even as I read the information that sellers and buyers were giving.
And then I finally asked myself, ‘Where do I go and search if I want a gadget or a device that has no TV tuner, no USB interface, no wifi, no XTML browser, no polyphonic ringtones, no WAP, no memory slot, no camera, no MP3 player, no Java, no infrared, no GSM, no GPS software, no expansion slots, no docking, and no email. Come on I just want a simple click-clack old-world machine that will help me type out my story idea in the way I was accustomed to many years ago. Where do I go and search for a typewriter?’
And I have the answer now. Quikr.
Some pictures to tell you about the process on Quikr:
29 October 2014