Brands-Galore at Bangalore’s National Market
A little peak into National Market and what you’re missing if you haven’t been here already
National Market, located centrally in the city, has been extremely popular with Bangalore shoppers. The place may have got everything that one would like to avoid: the littered roads of Majestic, the hustle and bustle of the place, dotted by the street vendors, and the crowded stalls people, that create no less than a stampede-like situation, yet when it comes to getting great deals whether in electronic, accessories or home products, this place is heard-to-match. “The place, I think, is great when it comes to electronic items. I don’t think there will be any other places in the whole of the city that keeps such a wide range of electronic items, and in such an affordable price. The place is simply unbeatable. I buy most of the electronic items from the place,” said Sridhar, a student from a city college.
However, for his friend Nitish, it was mostly the accessories that did the trick. “I love accessories – be it earrings, pendants, or any other kind of leather accessories. I buy most of these items from here. They are cheap, and I get it a very reasonable price,” said Nitish. The long-term-relationship has in fact made the boy share quite a report with a few of the shop keepers, and he feels bargaining is just not a problem for him anymore. Nitish added, “Because I have been buying a lot of these items for such a long time, I easily manage to bargain with the shop keepers here. They know me too, which is why I mostly dictate the prices for the things that I buy here.”
The story just doesn’t end at this. Movie lovers have special reasons to like the place. One can buy DVD’s for as little as Rs. 40, of course the pirated version. But what does it matter; people seem pretty satisfied with the quality, as compared to the pricing. “I obviously can’t afford to buy the original version of a lot of these DVD’s. They are expensive. So, I make do with the DVD’s I get here. If I am lucky, I get the original prints too, and now as I am a regular buyer here, a lot of these shop keepers give me the original version. So, I come here once in a month to buy these DVD’s. I buy them in bulk,” said Naveen Thomas, with a pack of twenty DVD’s he had just bought.
For all things, especially the electronic items made in places like Japan, Thailand, Korea and others, the place is a treasure trove. And what makes it even better, is a lot of these things are unavailable in any other places in the city. And if there are, it has to buy them in double the prices, or even more. Talk about MP’s, iPods, disc man, or any other form of electronic gadgets, the place has it all. “I have bought some 40 phones from this place so far. I am a gadget freak too, which is why I love to come here and see if there are any new things that have come. Most of the things, which are yet to hit the market, come here early. So, I come here and do the rounds at least once in a month. If I stumble upon something new and nice, I buy it. The prices, too, are much lesser than what I get in other places. I have bought all my mobile phones from here so far,” said Aroop Rai, a techie from the city.
The place may not give you the things with papers or a warranty card, but once you start being a regular like Aroop, it’s the shop keeper who becomes the warranty. Shorav Gupta, a software engineer, corroborates: “I don’t get a stamped warranty card with the things I buy from here, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s the shop keeper who gives me the warranty. If there is a problem in the purchase, anytime soon after I buy, he is always ready to rectify. And if he is unable to do that either, he changes the thing for me.” “What more can I ask for?” laughs the man.
For men, there was something else that seem to do the trick: the look alike brands. Jeans, T-shirts, shoes and Jackets, of international brands like Paul Smith, U.C.B., Lee, Levis, GAS, and so forth could be easily found in the market. Needless to say, in half the price, or even lesser. “I buy jeans and shoes from here. T-shirts are also cool, and they are all branded. Quality wise they are as good as any other clothes that are available in the showrooms, just that, there is a huge margin of difference in the prices. I prefer to buy it from here, because I get it in a much lesser price.”
National Market, being the grey market in the city, there are hundreds of people who go to shop there for electronic items, accessories, clothes, shoes and so forth. Over the years, the place has managed to get so much of popularity that it doesn’t even need to advertise on local papers or any other kinds of media. There are no ads or no hoardings that talks about the market, yet hundreds of Bangaloreans throng the place every day.