Hobbyist Tool Sellers Go Online



Bosch is pushing online sales

Expect more and more hobbyist hand and power tools to be available online in the near future as companies begin pushing online sales. As a first, the Indian subsidiary of the German toolmaker Bosch has tied up with the popular Indian online retailer Flipkart to market some of its products online.

Currently, Bosch is only offering a small subset of its product range on Flipkart.com. The emphasis is on DIY or hobby tools made by three Bosch companies: Bosch Power Tools, Dremel and Skil. 

My hope is that Bosch will ultimately offer its industry tools and accessories online as well, though this could take some time.

Bosch has also setting up deals with other major online sellers such as infibeam.com and amazon.in apart from Flipkart. 

The good news is that Bosch has got extremely encouraging response from online buyers. “The response has been awesome”, said Pranab Talukdar, Bosch Power Tools in charge of online sales. “We sold over one rupees crore worth of tools in the initial offering and clearly there is a market out there.”

By marketing its tools directly on Internet retail sites, Bosch is able to offer significant discounts on its products. At this time, the discount is about 20 per cent. This is less than the 30 to 35 per cent many dealers offer on some top selling items. But even 20 per cent is terrific for thousands of customers who do not have access to dealers and have been paying MRP values on their purchases.

This trend once started can only intensify. As more and more online retailers get into the game, discounts will hopefully increase, thereby helping Indian consumers.

Already online dealers such as the popular tool reseller machpowertools.com appear to have lowered their rates to match or better those offered by Bosch on Flipkart.

A major problem online sellers face in India is poor awareness of hobbyist tools and lack of a DIY culture. 

“We face a problem in properly categorising our tools on Indian online retail sites because they do not have a section specifically devoted to tools”, explains Bosch’s Talukdar. In contrast, Western online retailers like amazon.com have dedicated sections on “Tools & Home Improvement” to cater to the vast DIY and hobbyist sector.

Bosch is the first toolmaker in India to push the concept of DIY and home improvement in India. It has started a showroom aimed at this segment in Bangalore and plans to put up more such centres in other cities.

Bosch stall at the IITF Delhi
That there is ample interest in DIY and home improvement in India was demonstrated at the recent India International Trade Fair (IITF) held in New Delhi in late November where Bosch had put up a stall. 

Crowds thronged to the “Home, Hobby and Garden” stall Bosch had put up. Visitors were not only able to see tools and accessories available but were also try out some of them. 

Crowd at Bosch Stall
With tradespeople like plumbers and carpenters getting difficult to get hold of or trust, more and more urban Indians are prepared to do a bit of house improvement themselves. Among them some are destined to take up woodworking and other hobbies. 

One can only hope that tool companies in India will quickly take Bosch’s lead and push for online expansion. A vibrant online market would be a heaven sent for the Indian hobbyist.

Indranil Banerjie
11 December 2013

Comments

  1. This is a really awesome blog.
    The way you've detailed your process with pics and specs is really beautiful. This kind of meticulous, detail-oriented approach is something I've rarely seen in India. Great source of info for people who're experimenting by themselves(like me).Please do continue writing.

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  2. To "The Rat": Many thanks for your remarks. Plan to continue this blog as long as I can.

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  3. This is good news. I hope they expand their diy offerings in the near future

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  4. Initially I bught some tools online from flipkart ans amazon.in but than I realized that they are placing order on some other companies. So I homed in on machpowertools.com Its chennai based and do free shipping,They serve you better and one can find find most of requirenents of hobbiest and DIY. Bosch India website is lousy and the instructional manual are useless. I download manuals online and before using the tools, watch videos on youtube. They are very helpful.
    This is first time , I have come across blog by Mr Banerjie and find them practical in Indian scenario. Thanks and keep it up.
    Col Amitabh

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  5. Hello Mr. Banerji,
    I come across Skil 3386 portable band saw and looked really affordable (atleast in USA where this ans other brands are sold). I liked the tool but these are not available in India. Inquired with Caple.in but even they do not sell these .. I hope to see this afforsable tool launched at affordable prices !

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    Replies
    1. Yes, there are many desirable tools that unfortunately are not available in India. I too hope the situation changes.

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