7 E-commerce Jargons You Must Know before Shopping Online

What’s an online marketplace? What does it mean when the product in an online store has a “refurbished” tag?

If you’re a newbie in the online shopping world, chances are you’re not familiar with some of the online shopping jargons used by online stores in India.

Knowledge of the popular e-commerce parlance is crucial to making an informed buying decision.  Take a look at the following online shopping phrases and see how they can shape your experience of buying online.

Online Marketplace  vs. Vendor-specific Retail Stores

Would you prefer online marketplaces over vender specific retail stores? To answer this question, you need to understand the differences and more importantly, understand the scope and operation of an online marketplace in the first place.

Online marketplace is basically an e-commerce website where product and inventory information is provided by multiple third-party sellers. However, the transactions are processed by the marketplace operator. When you buy a product on an online marketplace, your transaction will be processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailor/seller.

Tradus.com and HomeShop18 are some of the popular marketplaces in India. Similarly, Jabong and Yebhi are vendor-specific retail stores i.e, they do everything from selling products to processing transactions to fulfilling orders to shipping items to the customer address. Usually, unlike online marketplaces, vendor-specific online stores sell only specific product items. Therefore, they are able to offer great value for money, great deals, quick shipping and a happy shopping experience.


Many online stores in India advertise a certain product to be available on pre-order. What does it mean?

When you pre-order a specific product, you basically agree to pay in full in advance and the online store will ship you the product as soon as it’s available on their store for sale. Understandably, products available for pre-order can cost you more because of their demand and novelty factor in the market.

For example, when Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.0 was available for pre-order on Flipkark.com back in 2011, it was priced around Rs. 36,500. However, just after a month of its launch in India, all leading online retail stores offered it for Rs. 34,000 to 35,000.


Sometimes online stores may promote a product as “Refurbished” and sell it for less than its original market price. Why would they sell it short? Here’s why.

Refurbished products are products that have been returned by the customer for various reasons including malfunction. When a product is returned for such reasons, the manufacture looks into the issue related to the returned product, fixes it completely, tests it for other potential issues and then puts it back on sale online.

You may come across many refurbished products on eBay.in.

The difference between a Refurbished product item and a “used” product item is while the Refurbished products may be unused customer returns that are essentially “new” items; the “used” products may be defective and have no warranty.


Freebie is a jargon for FREE gift which is offered as a complimentary product along with the main product. A freebie can either be shipped to the customer along with the main product or can be given a coupon code which can be redeemed at a later state. For example, Samsung Grand smartphone comes with a premium Sennheiser Stereo Headset.


Fulfilment Staff from Myntra.com at Bangalore. They ship orders in less than hour in select areas of Bangalore and New Delhi


When a product is “fulfilled” by certain online store themselves, it means they take care of the processing of your order from the moment you place it until it’s delivered to you.

Product fulfilment is a huge deal in itself and sellers in the online marketplaces often outsource this process to a dedicated fulfilment service. However, not all fulfilment companies are born equal.

When you buy a product from an online store or marketplace, check the reputation of the company that fulfils your order.

Amazon.in and Myntra.com are among the leading fulfilment service providers in India.

COD (Cash on Delivery)

Abbreviation for Cash on Delivery. If a product at an online store is available for COD, it means you can pay for it when it’s delivered at your doorstep. While some sellers offer this service for free to enhance customer satisfaction, others collect a small fee for it.

Here’s a caution for the cagey customers!

Tradus.com has many sellers that offer your COD for a small fee which is added to the price of your order during check out. While shopping around and adding products to your cart, make sure you pay attention to the amount they charge per COD.


Shipping is basically the process of packing your order and sending it to you via courier. This process has assumed critical proportion in the e-commerce industry since online stores want to live up to their promises of making delivery to their customers as quick as possible.

Since this largely comes under the fulfilment services, many unsuspecting buyers won’t know about this while shopping online in India. However, having some knowledge of this may help you make an informed decision while choosing from the myriad of sellers in an online marketplace.

Hope the list has been helpful to you in decoding the online shopping jargons. If you find this useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.