I’ve seen tonnes of negative reviews of matrimonial sites. The more people spend on them, the more disappointed they feel. How do I know this, you ask? Because a lot of these people come to M.B.A. after they’ve tried out pretty much everything available in the market. Before people can shell more money on me, I start by dispelling a few myths and try to set the right expectations before we begin a longer term engagement.
I realised that this information is gold, and I’d happy to freely distribute this to every single person out there who is either already on these apps or is considering getting on them. While matrimonial sites are a great place to start your search, here are top 5 things you should know before you get a paid membership, so you don’t hate on the product or service for the wrong reasons:
You do not get access to more profiles
While services like Elite Matrimony or VIP Shaadi may give you access to an exclusive database (let’s say 30% of your leads), mid-tier (assisted and select) or basic packages (gold/diamond/premium) do not give you access to more profiles.
The members you see as a free member on these platforms is what you get access to even as a paid member, unless of course your matches have selected options such as “show my profile only to premium members”.
Getting a basic paid membership that is in the Rs. 1500-Rs.8000 (for 3 months) range allows you to access contact information of a certain number of matches (150-200) and allows you to use in-app chat without any restrictions. Some of these packages even promise to “highlight” your profile in searches.
But the one thing you will not get from a basic package is access to new profiles.
Different matrimonial sites work for different profiles
Just because your neighbour found a match on Bharatmatrimony does not mean you’ll find a match on the same website. Your profile could do better on Shaadi or Jeevansathi. There is only one way to find out – trial and error. While these websites have profiles from all over the world, the databases tend to represent the demographic where these companies are headquartered.
Not just that, there is a lot more that goes into why a certain website may work better for you. Best way to figure out which one works for you is by signing up on all of the big ones at once, and watching the performance for a couple of months before you upgrade to a paid membership on one of them.
There are heavy discounts on prices
These websites run heavy discounts on their paid membership packages. The discounts range from 15%-85% on some of these websites, and they are usually a function of how likely you are to continue staying on these websites. The more illiquid your profile is, the higher the discount you will be offered. If you’re awesome, then no discount for you.
But hey, you can always bargain your way through this if you’ve the time or patience to chat up some customer support person. That way, these guys have quite a bit of leeway in terms of giving away discounts which makes for a great customer experience.
You get what you pay for
You could go to the most enthusiastic aunty in your family, but she’ll probably introduce you to a handful of people. Relevant or not depends really on how well the aunty knows you or how well connected she is. If you say “No” to 2-3 in a row, she won’t come back to you with a 4th prospect. She has no incentive to do so.
She doesn’t charge you any money because she has no skin in the game, rather she doesn’t want any. She won’t put her credibility at stake for you. There are no boundaries with her – whether that’s a good or a bad thing is hard to say.
On the other hand, a matrimonial website charges you say 6K, gives you access to their entire database without hovering over your neck until you make a decision. Okay well, they do hover until you’ve bought a paid membership, but there are ways to avoid the spam.
Assisted or VIP services are priced higher not because you’ll get access to more people, they’re essentially saving you the trouble of rummaging through these platforms on your own. They’re charging you for your time saved. This is a level of service you will never get with 6K, because there are tens of thousands of people like you on this platform.
So, it’s important that you understand what service will be most valuable for you and know exactly what you are paying for.
They won’t make to order
It doesn’t matter if you could quote a 100 examples of awesome men and women you know in your life, but there is a reason why you and I are talking about them – either they’re taken or not interested in you.
Matrimonial websites are social discovery platforms. People get discovered, they don’t get manufactured. If you aren’t having any luck finding matches on these apps for a few years, despite your best attempts, it’s most likely because the person you are looking for doesn’t exist on these platforms, or would never be here. You only have to choose from the ones that are “readily available”.
A common complaint I hear from a lot of women is this: “Most cool men are on dating apps, and not matrimonial apps. But the problem is they don’t want to commit or settle down. On the other hand, men on matrimonial apps are too eager, but damn boring.
Well, that’s life, isn’t it?