Those who are still indecisive might quit now or will be shown the door by the etailer, thanks to the two new updates announced by the ecommerce leader on 17 June 2016.
Unclaimed brands without Trademark Certificate will be delisted
In its mail to sellers, Flipkart informed that unclaimed brands would be live only till June 30 on its platform. Sellers will have to apply for trademark certificate if they wish to continue selling unclaimed brands of sarees and dress materials.
“We have disabled multi-tagging for Sarees and Dress Material on Flipkart and have made it mandatory for all brands and labels selling in these verticals to have a Trade Mark Certificate. Basis your past performance on quality metrics, we would like to offer you an opportunity to apply for Trademark Certificate(s) for unclaimed brand(s) (brands with no Trademark Certificate submitted on Flipkart) selling on Flipkart, and also being sold by you,” informed Flipkart.
The last date to apply for or submit the Trademark Certificate is 30 June 2016 and those who fail to do so will be delisted.
The marketplace also added a disclaimer, “Please note that Flipkart is not responsible if these brands already have an existing Trademark Certificate. In case of any dispute for brand ownership, we will accept the Trademark Certificate that was first applied for, based on the date on the Trademark Certificate document.”
It is definitely a good step to combat brand infringement and fake listings. As a seller even with valid copyright certificate has to suffer on online marketplaces given that few people create fake listings and copy brand logo/products like this Amazon seller who had shared his ordeal with IOS.
This move by Flipkart will help to get rid of unauthorized sellers, at least in sarees and dress material verticals. However, the marketplace will lose several merchants as not all have TMCs or know how to apply for one. Moreover, 2 weeks is less time, isn’t it?
Gears up for Fashion Sale in June despite DIPP’s stern warning
While other marketplaces are lying low, Flipkart managed to host a 3-day mega sale in May.
The etailer is now gearing for a 3-day Flipkart Fashion Sale to be held from June 24th to June 26th.
“Flipkart Fashion Sale is back (June – August). First Spike Sale: June 24, 25, 26. Opt-in to offers and enjoy a huge surge in additional sales,” notified Flipkart to its sellers via an email.
Flipkart urged the merchants to participate in this event by promising that it will be heavily promoted across print, television, digital and social media.
What caught our attention though in the ecommerce company’s mail, are the two lines written in a tiny font. Flipkart wrote,
“The campaign call out for Lifestyle Offer on Sale Days is a minimum 50% off on MRP. Please edit your Flipkart Selling Price accordingly to be part of our campaign.”
If this is not influencing price of the product, then what is? Isn’t this a direct violation of the FDI guidelines instructed by DIPP? And how will sellers give 50% discount, pay the gazillion marketplace charges and still make some profit?
Any Flipkart seller happy?
A large number of sellers have threatened to quit Flipkart after 20th June. Will they actually do it is something we’ll know only after the new policies are implemented.
Few will be kicked out after 30th June when unclaimed brands will be delisted. Few others might voluntarily leave if the etailer continues to host mega sale events that call for minimum 50% off on MRP.
Question is how will Flipkart continue to function if they keep burdening sellers and push them away? Can a marketplace exist without sellers? Other marketplaces like Amazon have already started taking advantage of this situation. International ecommerce players like Alibaba are all set to enter and will take aggressive approach to on-board sellers. So how will Flipkart compete without a strong army of online sellers?