[Seller interview] “The trick is to do calculated selling on marketplaces!” Seller Mayank shares some secrets


28-year-old Mayank Goyal had been selling baby care products since 2006 through his offline store in Agra called Kids World & Co. Two years ago, his cousin injected the ecommerce bug in him but it took him 2 months to decide that he would start selling online.

Over the years, he had satisfied and happy customers with his products and the quality, so the product category was not in question. His team and he already knew the packing and safety aspects for their products. All that had to be done was start selling online.

“I started selling on Snapdeal and it helped me to understand the working of a marketplace, content sheets, logistics, commissions and the whole process of doing an online business,” shares Mayank.

Has that changed? Does he still find Snapdeal helps him? Or has another marketplace taken the position? Let’s find out from Mayank in this IOS exclusive interview.

(IOS) Do baby care products need special handling?

(Mayank) We follow the motto, “Make baby happy first and then parents.” The colourful products make the little ones happy and we ensure these are non-toxic for their safety, which makes parents happy. We also take special care for the packing as that’s the first thing customers see. We use bubble wrap to protect against damage.

What were your initial challenges?

It was tough understanding the content sheet at first, as it was the main thing between our products and customers. They would get to know about our products based on what we filled in the sheet, so filling the right details is of course very important. Thankfully, our account has never been suspended. But we don’t have control over customer choices and some returns have affected our business and metrics.

Once you managed those, are you happy selling on marketplaces?

I am very happy with the sales I am getting from marketplaces because I follow the golden rule of “Just expect, don’t over expect” for my online business. I am confident of more revenue as our number of orders per month is increasing.

For now, we are present on Snapdeal, Flipkart, Paytm and Shopclues, and Amazon also hopefully in the next few months.

Secret of that?

  • Actually, I still get more returns from my offline channel than online. Online business has a lot of indirect expenses, which sellers may not calculate; hence the profit margins vary. But I always consider these indirect expenses and do business accordingly.

  • I haven’t hired any employees specifically for online.

  • I always have stock and list only those. Procuring after getting orders is not feasible as the items may not be shipped at the stipulated time, which will affect our delivery promise/SLA, thus affecting our metrics.

  • Customer delight is priority so we never compromise on quality, design and delivery.

Best marketplace

best marketplace

What are the challenges ahead?

Payment reconciliation as marketplaces have begun to hold back payments for various reasons.

We have not planned it but in future, we might want to operate through our own website only.

  • Marketplace fees are getting higher by the day.

  • They don’t handle our stock well.

  • We can’t leave our inventory in their warehouses because they charge irrational penalties and hold back inventory, which forces losses for sellers.

 What are the best decisions you have taken for your online business?

  • We chose the product category we were familiar with, baby care products. Having dealt with them for years, we knew the quality and choices we could offer.
  • We don’t send our products to marketplace warehouses.
  • We keep track of all our payments and returns, as we know marketplaces can block our money irrelevant penalties anytime.

“We won’t give up any time soon. But we do practice calculated selling on these marketplaces as we know they can block our money anytime in light of their cash crunches.”

Mayank and his team have a favoured marketplace, but is that because of the absence of difficulties on the platform? Can it be that they have mastered the art of avoiding penalities? Stay tuned for Mayank’s opinions on the changes required in the marketplace – seller equation.

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  1. Not sure about this article.. I have been selling products through Marketplaces and on my own site https://fyne.in , but we have seen the customer returns are huge and even their weight mechanism is pretty wrong.

  2. Malik Reply

    We are a Leather goods brand – ADAMIS selling on a number of Marketplaces including Flipkart, Amazon, Ebay, Snapdeal, Jabong & Myntra.

    Out of all these, the most fair and just from the sellers point of view are Flipkart, Jabong and Myntra.

    At Amazon, we have had an inventory of Rs. 79,000 that is missing from their FBA warehouse. We have put up a claim for the missing inventory with all the proofs, to date we have received only Rs. 10,000 as reimbursement and the remaining amount claim is under “consideration” for the last 90 days since March 2016.

    Recently we are having a terrible time with Snapdeal, wherein the customers are ordering our high value leather products and the returns being sent back to us are cheap, used old products of different brands other than ADAMIS. Snapdeal seller help is not responsive to our complaints, they are refunding the payment to the customer, deducting the payment for the return from our account and to top it, they are also deducting a high Wrong / Faulty product fee from our account. This is completely unfair as we are not getting our original product back, having payment deducted and also being made to pay penalty charges for no fault of ours eventhough we have sent the perfect product to the customer always. The websites are completely favouring the customers, to the extent that they are turning a blind eye to the fraud / cheating customers and always deducting all kinds of payments and high penalty charges only from the sellers. We have had 3 cases on Ebay too, wherein the customer has called for our leather product and sent fake photos of used, old product of theirs saying that they have received it instead of our original product. Ebay has given them the refund without consulting us or giving us a chance to put our case. This to a seller who enjoys a 100% positive feedback score with them and selling with them for the last 4 years.

    In this whole ecommerce eco system, all the policies and systems are loaded completely against the sellers. This needs to change to make things fair for all. Currently it seems as if the marketplaces have a prejudice and pre conceived notion that all the faults and defects are the responsibility of the sellers. One very unfair rule at Snapdeal is in the return of the product. The customer is allowed 7 days to return the product if they do not want. The seller has to wait for a period of 60 days to receive the product from Snapdeal, before which he can not raise a dispute. The time durations are completely unfavourable to sellers. We have to stay without our own product and payment for 60 days after the customer has returned the product. Why so?
    At Snapdeal there is a major nexus at their delivery centre wherein we believe genuine products are being exchanged and either faulty , cheap products are being sent to the customer or sent to the sellers. Upon raising a dispute / query with their Seller help, the resolution is very erratic / random depending on the Seller help executive handling the case. Inspite of giving them all the documentary proof with photographs of the wrong product returns received by the seller, they are not willing to listen to the seller. They are deducting the full payment for the product as well as charging a penalty fee to the seller.

    In the present scenario, there is no relief for the seller, at the end of the day, sellers are only going to lose money after putting in all the efforts. With the high rate of returns, loss of products during returns and high penalty charges, there is hardly any profits to be made by sellers on online marketplaces.

  3. As Mayank said, many of the sellers are looking to operate only from own website in future due to rise of returns, seller fees, penalties levied by marketplaces. from my personal experience i used to sell on marketplaces like Flipkart, amazon since 2 years and we recently started new eCommerce website to showcase our exclusive products and brand building. http://jaipurfashions.gainstores.com

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