No genuine reasons for product returns on Flipkart?! Seller woes spelt out

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A ‘No questions asked’ return policy can be considered as one of the game-changers of the Indian ecommerce industry. In working towards customer loyalty (although we can’t help wondering if it really does translate into customer loyalty?!), online sellers have had to bear the brunt of liberal marketplace policies when the return policy and associated process came to question.

In an earlier interview to IOS, seller Dipti Singla shared the woes of many a seller of how this encouraged customers to take advantage of it. For example, she mentioned instances of how customers wear a certain dress for a party and then place a return request the next day!

More recently, a seller (name withheld on request) wrote to us about the returns issue faced on Flipkart. Through this article, we are trying to bring some facts to light, which if Flipkart takes into consideration, could prove beneficial for them and the merchants on their platform.

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Time to upgrade returns panel?

The seller wrote, “The issue is regarding returns and refunds. For the past few months, we observed that customers are sending products back with Quality issue as the reason, although it’s pretty obvious that they did not like the product.”

Other reasons given are “Small size” or “Not as expected”. Can the vague and sometimes not relevant reasons be the fault of customers? Maybe not, as is clear from the image of Flipkart’s return panel below:

FK returns panel

Obviously, every seller would want to bring down his returns rate for which he would need to understand and analyse the patterns and contributing reasons. But with generic reasons like the above, his returns metrics get affected which translate into financial loss.

Eventually, these products would either get blocked out of the race or the backend by the Flipkart team.

To give more options or not ..

Amazon’s return panel gives customers more options to justify their reason to return products. These include no longer needed, Better price available etc., which are reasons pointing to change of mind from customer. These do not translate into faults of the sellers, thus their ratings remain unaffected.

amazon return

In stark contrast to this is Flipkart’s return panel, where the available options point to fault of seller and only him. There itself Flipkart loses out on brownie points from the sellers:

  • Flipkart is making it clear that customer is always right, no matter what the stand of the seller is.
  • Seller doesn’t have the chance to improve or better his products as the data (meaning reasons for returns) may not be correct or clear.

comparison

Sellers’ questions ..

And we feel they are right with their questions.

r1

“I am not satisfied” can not be categorized under quality issue. Maybe the customer did not like the product and wants to return it, but it need not be due to quality.

 r2

In this case, customer does not like the size or the size does not meet his requirement. The size of the product is mentioned in the description/specifications about the product. So, when the problem is compatibility with customer’s requirement, it is unfair that the ratings get affected terming it as a quality issue.

r3

Quality not as expected is subjective to a person’s choice. If the product is fine and is not defective, it should not be marked as a Quality issue.r4How is “I do not like the product” a quality issue?

It is clear from the above that return cases under reasons of quality could be with vague reasons, which affect the health of products and in turn, the account. When prices are slashed during promotions, these figures may spike up causing bigger holes in sellers’ pockets.

Is Flipkart listening to sellers?

Apparently not. This is what another seller(name withheld on request) had to say:

seller request

What we have mentioned here are just a few instances of how seller ratings get affected. With multiple options to choose from, customers inevitably look at seller ratings before opting for their purchases. Isn’t it time online marketplaces pay heed to the voice of sellers and make the simple change of giving genuine reasons as options for returns?

Have you faced similar instances? Share your experience in the comments below. Someone might have found a way to work around it that could help you as well.

 

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29 Comments

  1. Gargi Reply

    We were in the pilot batch of flipkart and started selling on flipkart since april 2013 till date. We were doing a business of 60-8-lacs per month only on fipkart; However few months have been really and and now we have calculated that w have had a total loss of around 15lacs only cause of flipkart returns as their return policy is pathetic and over the above even if return is created the customer gets full refund before the item reaches back to the seller. and as per us around 70% only items comes back rest of them are lost in transit or the items will be missing form the box. We are on the verge on quitting flipkart ; have lodged loads of complaints but no one is doing anything about it and therefore we are now planning to go for legal proceedings. Also if any flipkart is reading this; please check each and every order id that you ship from your manifest and see the status of the payment and return.

    • Hi Gargi this is Anek here we have a new online website coming up next month and we have worked on all the terms and conditions which favours both buyers and sellers.We ll more than happy to work with you.

    • brands shoppe Reply

      flipkart seems to be run by a bunch of fools, who do not know even their basis business management. i seriously wonder how it became leading eCommerce giant. Mr Sachin needs to go back to amazon job in Seattle. its a torture dealing and selling on flipkart.

  2. Shobhit Gupta Reply

    Flipkart usually says they don’t hard account suspension policies like Amazon , but they must understand that a genuine quality product seller don’t have any problem in hard policies , but the policies must be genuine.

    A genuine seller knows that if he delivers a good product then they will never get suspended , whereas account suspension is an issues for sellers which are not service oriented and quality product providers.

    A genuine seller only concerns about genuine reviews , ratings , returns and refunds policies .

  3. We totally agree with instance shared,. We are suffering the same issue. How “Not fitting on my gas Stove” can be Misshipment?

    More over consumer cancellation issue on Flipkart is more than compared to any other E commerce Portal. Due to cancellations we have to bear cost of Packaging, manpower and other efforts. Flipkart’s Branded Packing bag Costs us Rs 11/- on an average. If any product come back to us due to consumer cancellation we have to bare loss of minimum Rs 11/- as That poly bag is of no use again.

    Thank you for giving us a platform to share our concerns.

  4. Sameer Malik Reply

    One of the thing that you have not mentioned is that for every customer return seller have to pay, now they have kept the 3 options so that they would not have to pay, but the seller will bear all the cost

  5. Gargi Reply

    So I left my feedback and comments and you deleted the same; can I know the reason? did I use profanity?

    • vishal kapoor Reply

      Hi,
      gargi . I’ve read some comments & I’ve found some lacking of issues.
      I’ve got a lot return and the return I’ve got was intentionally damaged by the customer Or Cus. Has returned me used product of the same which I’ve delivered to them, the keep the new1 and return their junk to us.
      another issue is that we have to bear all logistics charges as well as return charges and cancellation charges too.
      we have only 2 days to inform them regarding dispute. I mean wtf these sites are doing with sellerS.
      we have to waste our packaging manpower logistics and many more shipment gone lost.
      it’s a serious issue and all companies have make in concerns.

  6. Shyam Sundar Reply

    I am agreeing with the matter discussed here. Flipkart’s all the process are worst. They don’t care about seller at all. Each and every day flipkart seller are facing issues like, weight issue, products lost in transit, fake updates from EKL about product delivered, products lost in transit information not sent to seller. Also seller Support team are uneducated and worst fellows. Sellers who are having black money only they can run business in flipkart. Otherwise sellers will not sustain in flipkart. Also for the issue mentioned above, flipkart debit payment. Now a days they don’t have control on their service

  7. Pankaj Reply

    There is almost 50% returns evenly distributed between Customer Return and Courier Return. Customer returns have big cost associated with it like Market Place Fee etc. With courier return you only loose out on packing costs, labour costs and damages if any . The only logic and reason i see is that FK benefit, is its valuations!! as its directly dependent on total sales value (GMV) which does not takes into consideration returns and refunds. So its not a genuine buy…. the products are just moving in their pipeline (their own logistics ). this has put genuine sellers under lot of pressure financially and large number of sellers are leaving… however FK may not be affected as they have equally large number of sellers joining them…AND YOU GUYS ARE WORRIED ABOUT RATINGS!!!! 🙂

  8. Jayanta Ganguli Reply

    Yes, please pass on the message to Flipkart, discreetly.
    Faced the same situation…..am new to Online Business….this is a rude shock to me.Flipkart Customer is sending back product with Main Reason “Customer Remorse” and Sub-Reason “Customer Does Not Want”.Also want to highlight that Flipkart COD Orders do not have Customer Contact Numbers so we cannot talk to them to understand their issue first hand before return takes place, and this is further complicated when ,even if the COD order is APPROVED by Flipkart, in many cases their Logistics Partner are not able to deliver the product and eventually coming back to us.Thank God we are still on Manual Billing it could have been a nightmare with Billing Softwares.
    Thanks.

  9. Nadeem Reply

    Friends, I am new seller on Flipkart, and I am victim of their so called best customer service, customer ordered branded phone cover, and we sent same, after receiving cover customer raised return saying it is not fitting, so far it is normal, but once return arrived to our warehouse, we found it had been replaced with counterfeit item(duplicate) by customer, escalated same to Flipkart by their seller protection case, but till now no response received, My start with Flipkart is not encouraging, they can sell everything from their in house store WS retails and accept returns without any reason, but for GOD sake dont put seller in to loss because of your blind faith policy in customers…
    Bye Bye Flipkart

  10. James Reply

    Dear Friends !
    Flipkart actually is not a seller freindly marketplace ….most of their policies are against sellers.. even they placed bogus orders to show their high nos of orders to their competitors.
    For example..A seller received a order for their product and the seller processed the same within specified SLA…some days later the same order returned mentioned on it “Incomplete Delivery Address” .. my question is that ….how flipkart can place a order without verifying the buyer’s credentials…they never mention buyers contact details.

  11. now flipkart started manipulating sellers by charging heavy weights , so that only company can earn money and sellers cant even get their cost back . If 20 – 25 sellers come together from each state and starts their products selling portal then there will be chances to earn profits as well as customer satisfaction .

    • Kusum Goel Reply

      Yes now from last 4 to 5 months flipkart is charging heavy shipping fees. Heavy Weights and even they are not ready to reverse the charges.Even sellers are not getting there Product price from flipkart. It is worst experience working with flipkart these days. My 100 of orders payment due to weight is pending on flipkart but they are not ready to reverse them These days they are doing fraud with the service name Zero Commision. If anybody have any solution please let me know.

  12. yes Flipkar is not a platform of earning money for sure.

    50% returns COD customer returns and a long wait for return products.

    almost we did 6 month business an avearage of 5 crore and still we are in losses we still keep getting return thought we have stopped our business with them 2 months back.

    Flipkart, Paytm, Amazon all are in losses because they trust that they can make money in India market trusting Indian buyer for genuine reason.

    Here policy mean misuse and advantage means killing other person so dont waste time concentrate in local market which is far better.

    We sell 1000 in flipkart we get 500 returns and we sell 700 in local market we have 2 return. so funda is same better work hard and make your local market strong

    NK

  13. Rajshekar Reply

    I do agree, Flipkart has probably worst return policy!
    orders get cancelled because their own logistics sucks! they can’t handle huge flow of orders.
    i have orders “UPCOMING” which were order 3 days ago. by the time they reach customer it will take 7 more days, eventually customer rejects the delivery and products get returned.

    Coming the return policy, i completely agree with the article, there are so many negatives for sellers and continue to do so, every one will be affected!

  14. Yogesh Reply

    Hi,

    I am precious jewellery seller and most of the products I sold online on Flipkart are returned due to customer order cancellation or customer remorse. When I checked the orders, I found that in allmost all cases, due to huge delay in delivering the shipment, customer cancelled the order. Is it our fault if the order is delayed?

    If a seller delays or cancels the order, he will be charged twice the commision+fee+delivery charges. What if flipkart itself defaults? No questions and no action. This is utter non-sense. Either the COD facility should be disabled or some wallet feature should be installed on flipkart, where a customer maintains some amount. If he/she is not satisfied with the quality, then a replacement can be arranged by the seller, but if the buyer indulge in unfair returns, then the selling fee+seller margin+delivery charges+packing costs etc deducted from that account and reimbursed to all the concerned parties. This is a win-win situation as the sellers and buyers will not indulge in unfair practices.

  15. jitendra agarwal Reply

    flipkart service is very worst for last 30 days
    i have many trouble for listing team
    from last 30 days listing team is not tacking any action for any issue for vendor
    my issue is
    i have many inventory is my footwear inventory panel
    but on web page of http://WWW.FLIPKART.COM
    its shown out of order
    no one is tacking care in flipkart
    the team is only mail, mail and mail
    but issue is 000000000

  16. Mukul Singh Reply

    Why are Flipkart’s returns high?

    They charge for one return more than once.
    Yes, All of us do not have time to check each and every order or say we don’t have accurate methods to track all deliveries and returns.

    What Flipkart does is simple to understand from the fact that they show returns for almost all reasons. Courier return is the best as it doesn’t explain reasons.

    They then move forward to charge us for these returns.
    Every payment to us reflects negative charges under “Returned” although it is not returned to us and this happens more than twice for one order.
    I keep checking all the transactions and have found this multiple times and since then have stopped selling on Flipkart. Please let us get together and file a complaint in supreme court as this is a national matter and bring Flipkart down to bottom by forcing it to pay us for the losses.

    WE ALREADY HAVE A HUGE GROUP ON WHATSAPP . PLEASE JOIN “SUEAMAZON.IN” ON WHATSAPP NO. 9033350222. WE ARE A GROUP OF ALMOST 400 PEOPLE AND WANT TO GROW IT FURTHER.

    Congress created companies to bring the natives of this country down. These websites who flourished during their time are doing their work.

  17. Mukul Singh Reply

    You can directly email to RBI and rbi@gov.co.in as they are the ones who create rules for all online shopping websites.

  18. Why are e commerce returns high?
    There is a simple reason. The return rate is only by customer is 15% – 20%. But ecommerce companies are using its funds to destroy local market. They wants to earn profits in monopoly. So if you wont let them earn atleast they need.The local shopkeepers are large in numbers would pull you back, does not matter how advanced techniques ecommerce companies have adopted.

  19. Sudeep Reply

    Sabse bekar website haibflipkart…..phone order kiya tha…9 din je baad aara hai

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