Open letter from an online seller to other online sellers: “Why should I continue selling on Flipkart?”

Pooja Vishant | Sep 10, 2020

Online marketplaces seemed a silver lining for the woes of retailers whose sales were dipping with the advent of online retail. So when marketplaces allowed retailers to sell through their platforms, everyone wanted this easy way of jumping on to the ecommerce bandwagon. But ..

When there is light, there is shadow.

It didn’t take long for trouble to crop up in paradise. Sellers started feeling the pinch of the step-motherly treatment being meted out to them. But they chose to keep quiet.

Last year many started discussing amongst themselves to find solace with each other’s possible solutions for their problems. But 2016 seems to be different already. Looks like they have decided to voice their issues and get the attention of marketplaces.

(Read our recent articles: Snapdeal sellers retailiate, miffed with etailer’s unjust practices; No genuine reasons for product returns on Flipkart?! Seller woes spelt out)

However, the one thing that doesn’t seem to have changed (a unanimous opinion of online sellers across the various platforms) is that marketplaces are still ignoring the voice of sellers!

Why should I continue my business on Flipkart?

Online seller Yogesh Aggarwal asks his fellow sellers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions in the below letter are solely of the seller.

I want to know why I should continue my business on Flipkart. I have started listing on it recently, and I did get some orders. But 62% orders were CANCELLED due to delay in delivery or Customer Remorse. On checking, I found that most orders were cancelled by buyers due to huge delay in delivery (approx. 10-12 days). No one wants that much delay after placing the order. But how is that my fault when the delay was from Flipkart’s side? Even their pickup (eKart) took 3-4 days in picking up the shipments. I had to make numerous calls or drop emails for the pickup.

Had it been delayed or cancelled from my end, Flipkart would have heavily penalized my account. As per Flipkart policy, if a seller defaults then his account is penalised with twice the commission charges +delivery charges while there is no penalty or reimbursement if Flipkart defaults. This is ridiculous.

They have different benchmarking for themselves and sellers.

Flipkart has given only 2 days SLA but in RTO, the time frame is 30 days. Why that much time for RTO?

I am a precious jewellery dealer, so restocking and taking returns will be difficult, as the invested amount is beyond just hundreds of rupees. Also, they are not disabling the COD, as they themselves don’t know whether the buyer is genuine or fake.

I am confused whether I should process any new order on Flipkart.

I sell across various other marketplaces but I don’t have this return issue with any other. I feel Shopclues is the best followed by Amazon. They have a better pickup & delivery system (in terms of time taken as per SLA) than Flipkart and if there is an order cancellation, they just don’t favor the buyer. They hear sellers also.

Either the COD facility should be disabled or some wallet feature should be installed on Flipkart (and other marketplaces too), where a customer maintains some amount before availing the COD, although the reserved amount can be refundable. If he/she is not satisfied with the quality, then the seller can arrange a replacement. But if the buyer indulges in unfair returns, then the selling fee + seller margin + delivery charges + packing costs etc. would be deducted from that account and reimbursed to all the concerned parties. Just like Shopclues, where approval from the seller is required before a return/refund request is raised from the buyer. Also, Amazon provides the contact number and a link to send email (routed through Amazon) to the buyer for feedback or reasons for returns/refunds. This feature should be provided on all other marketplaces.

This is a win-win situation as the sellers and buyers will not indulge in unfair practices.

Anyone else feel the same as Yogesh? Or Flipkart, you want to take this and give an answer?

About Author

Pooja Vishant

Pooja Vishant

After dwindling with her family business, into travel and hospitality, for more than 3 years, Pooja Vishant found her true love in writing. Happy-go-lucky and cheerful, she loves pink; so pink is the way to go if you want to get into her good books. The Associate Editor keeps track of even a leaf that has moved in the ecommerce world!

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