Marketplace sellers on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have to face the problem of returning the products from customers. The problem has reached to a scale when more than 1000 sellers have formed an e-Seller Suraksha Forum to safeguard their interests.
They feel that they are being penalized for the buyers’ behaviour of denying the ordered product. In this case, the brunt of operational expenses is being borne out by sellers which is bleeding them badly.
The problem has reached to a proportion from where it has started threatening the very existence of many vendors.
Amazon, leading e-commerce player in India, says, “We have best in class support teams for sellers and most of this happening because of the unawareness from the part of the sellers. Snapdeal, on the other hand, says, “If sellers’ products are genuine, they don’t have to bear the cost of logistics.”
Sellers blame that, apart from Flipkart, no other e-commerce company is sharing the logistics cost or returning our commission. A large number of vendors have anonymously written to Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos to look into the matter. But, the company has no clue on how to deal with the issue.
This rising trend is the new bone of contention between marketplace companies and sellers. This is resulting in the decline of bargain deals. Even if the customers chose to return the product, they still have to pay them commission and bear the logistics cost. Even the customer care teams forces to comply with the terms and conditions of users, otherwise their accounts are suspended.
According to sellers, return rates in certain categories have even increased to 50 percent. Such a high level of return rate has made the lives of vendors difficult as their margins are dwindling.
Arvind Singhal, a consultant and advisor in Technopak, says, “The return rate has increased and it may go further. It’s also because many non-serious buyers are ordering on marketplace platforms for the sake of fun. This strange trend is being mainly witnessed in certain specified pockets of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state in Northern India. ”
Gopal Pillai, Director Seller Services Amazon, however, refutes the charge, “We don’t see any such trends and it will be difficult to comment. We don’t have such numbers.”
Almost all of the marketplace companies are denying to accept the problem. They are unanimously of the view that the return rate is not that much high as being pointed out and It’s much lower than the industry average.
Snapdeal, another prominent e-commerce company in India, even refutes the charge by saying that the return figures have come down because of tighter monetary controls and technology related upgrades.
Companies are also of the view that many issues are also due to unawareness of sellers about the e-commerce platforms. Amazon has launched Sellers University to educate them about the detailed processes. There are more than 500+ videos in Hindi, English and Tamil.
The reality is that these companies have no clue what is actually going on. Both sellers and e-commerce companies are trying to prove their points with their own set of numbers, but they don’t know how to solve this problem. They have even identified areas in Uttar Pradesh where the problem is more serious. They have put these areas on the blacklist, but they do know this is not a credible solution.