Amazon launches ‘Seller Flex’ to cover in-transit product damages & woo online sellers?

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After leaving a sour taste in its sellers’ mouths with a hike in commissions, Amazon India is doing a bit of damage control. The etailer will increase its –

And, now its latest attempt to woo online sellers is offering them a coverage for damages caused during order transit.

What does Seller Flex promise?

Product damages during transit are a severe pain point in Indian online retail. Sellers often experience losses due to damages and until now needed to file claims with regards to in-transit product damages.  This programme is likely to reduce the impact of this recurring issue. The allowance Amazon promises online sellers through its Seller Flex programme will be a fixed percentage of the selling price of every unit shipped.

An Amazon spokesperson stated, “We have introduced damage allowance in ‘Seller Flex’ for certain categories as part of our endeavour to continue providing a good seller experience on this channel.”

Allowance will be given to sellers selling via the Seller Flex programme. The allowance will be offered on products like –

  • Shoes
  • Apparel
  • Watches
  • Luggage

The Seller Flex program duplicates Amazon’s warehousing practices with regards to quality control, inventory management, packaging and shipping at the facilities owned by third-party sellers. It is expected to reduce the cost of sending inventory from seller warehouses to Amazon’s.

In an email to online sellers, Amazon said, “We would like to inform you about the upcoming changes to Seller Flex Lost and Damaged Inventory Reimbursement Policy, which will be effective May 14, 2017, onwards for all units fulfilled using the Seller Flex programme.”

Sellers approve

It is a positive change by Amazon say the 2,000 sellers at the All India Vendor’s Association and they feel they can obtain maximum benefit from it.

A spokesperson for the group said, “Such policies define Amazon’s reformist approach to seller experience and is very positive to boost seller trust on the platform. This eliminates all the hassles which sellers used to face to claim reimbursement on time. We hope this policy is started for general sellers as well. Other marketplaces should follow suit,”

This move by Amazon comes just before the Great India Sale, where it will be offering 100 million products to consumers. Seller cooperation is key for the etailer to take down its rival, Flipkart. So, Amazon is leaving nothing to chance.

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