Last month Snapdeal changed its weight policy yet again. This indecisiveness drew seller criticism. This week (14th July), the marketplace will unleash another wave of change. Hopefully this time round the latest policy tweaks will put its online sellers at ease.
What has Snapdeal revised?
Snapdeal sent the below email to its sellers on Monday to inform them about its seller policy revisions.
Change 1 – Marketing Fees
According to sources Snapdeal has reduced its marketing fees across 120+ product categories. In a statement the ecommerce platform said it will maintain the lowest marketing fees for 300 categories from its existing 600 categories. Sellers selling:
- Electronic and digital products
- FMCG products
- Fashion jewellery
- Women’s fashion
- Kitchen appliances
- Sports and fitness products
Will see a marketing fee reduction raging from 2 to 18% based on their category. On the flipside Snapdeal will increase fees too. For at least 30 categories there will be a 0.5 to 5.5% marginal increase in marketing fees.
Senior Vice President of Snapdeal’s market development, Vishal Chadha said, “We believe reduction in marketing fee will foster growth for our sellers. We have worked closely with our sellers and on the basis their feedback, we have made these policy changes to make them in line with e-commerce industry’s best practices. Reducing returns from the market by ensuring best in class logistics and technology advances is a key focus area for Snapdeal.”
Change 2 – Returns, Refunds and Exchanges
A key trouble area for online sellers is returns and refunds. Many consumers return orders for no apparent reason. The no questions asked policy has been abused by many consumers resulting in seller losses and poor ratings on marketplaces. Sellers have always remarked that it shouldn’t take a consumer 30 days to decide whether or not they want to return a product.
This seems to have finally gotten through to Snapdeal because from the July 14th onwards consumers will have only 7 days to return products purchased from the marketplace. That’s not all, to ensure returns are made for genuine reasons consumers must submit proof!
Snapdeal’s new return policy states, “When a customer places a return request, he/ she is asked to state the reason for placing the return request. The same is conveyed to the seller through an email. If in case seller has any query, seller can use the Seller Panel to raise a query after receiving the returned product.”
When it comes to electronics the company told sellers, “We require a document from the brand/OEM’s service centre confirming that the delivered item was defective. We will carry out a quality check to validate the complaint before processing any request for refund/replacement. Returns/replacements will be accepted for only those items which are found to be faulty/defective.”
The Indian etailer also said it will bare all reverse pickup costs and payment collection. The seller will only bear shipping and packing charges. Reverse shipping charges will also be borne by Snapdeal in case of exchanges or purchase refunds.
Change 3 – Seller Dos and Don’ts
Snapdeal has also simplified the dos and don’ts for the vendors on its platform. Each offence is elaborated through definitions and examples of the same. This will help online sellers stay on the right track and prevent seller account suspensions and other penalties.
Online seller reaction to the changes!
eSellerSuraksha (ESS) president Sanjay Thakur stated, “Today Snapdeal has introduced new Seller policies in which certain changes regarding return policy and commission charges. ESS welcomes this move by Snapdeal. The biggest change is the removal of No Question Asked Policy & fixing 7 days for returns.”
He claimed these changes will reduce irrational returns and fraudulent buyers. ESS revealed that 90% of its members are all for the new policy. At the same time the association also states charging for RTO shipping will sit negatively with most sellers. But all in all this is a step forward.
To online seller Sachin Gala, the policy is unfair in a way. He justified his claim with the following, “Snapdeal will charge shipping fees for products not accept or cancelled by consumers. So in these cases we will be charged without any fault. This is not fair at all as we have to bare shipping charges without us being at fault.”
“Moreover they will also charge packing fees on each and every product irrespective of the transaction. If consumers cancel the order we still have to pay packing charges and now we have to pay shipping charges too,” he further stated.
IOS also spoke with ethnic apparel seller, Jayesh Lakhani, about the policy changes. He believes the new policy will help bring down return rates but Snapdeal needs to do more.
Jayesh said, “There is no solution for wrong product delivery when consumers return products.”
Returning goods on Snapdeal is now a tedious task. Sure it will force buyers to be more careful when purchasing, but it could also force them to shift to other marketplaces with lenient return policies, now couldn’t it?