Gionee Becomes Yet Another Company To Caution Consumers Against Buying Online!
This is now getting all too common; Brands advising consumers that they should buy their products online at their own risk. Gionee, one of the youngest mobile brand in India, has become yet another company to caution customers against purchasing Gionee devices from various online platforms.
While they have not named any particular website, Gionee’s India head Arvind R Vohra told PTI, “One, these e-commerce sites are discounting prices below what other retail stores would sell at. After that, if the customer faces any issues post purchase, they turn them away saying its a brand issue. This is hurting our brand.”
Vohra has also clarified that Gionee does not have any direct arrangement with any e-commerce portals in India and as of now they sell online only through company’s own e-store and offline through their registered distributors. Gionee currently has over 20,000 retail touch points across India.
In response to this, spokesperson of Flipkart has stated that they completely stand behind quality and warranty associated with every product that is listed on Flipkart.
Snapdeal too assured that all products including Gionee devices listed on their site are genuine and fully eligible for warranty.
The Real Problem
It is interesting to note that Snapdeal and Flipkart are both marketplaces, and do not sell the products directly. Both of them in their statements have mentioned that third party sellers, who sell Gionee devices are authorized dealers/distributors, who also sell their devices offline. The prices offered online are decided by these sellers and not by Flipkart or Snapdeal.
So, while it completely right that ecommerce platforms offer “very low predatory prices”, it is not Flipkart or Snapdeal to be blamed, but the third party sellers on these platforms, in this case, Gionee distributors.
This is not the first time a brand has cautioned about buying online. Previously Lenovo, Toshiba, Nikon and NetGear have officially cautioned consumers that Flipkart, Snapdeal and others are not their authorized resellers and consumers may face difficulty getting warranty on their products.
In our view E-Commerce websites are not at fault here – The third party sellers who are listing these products are!
While the ecommerce platforms need to make sure that products listed on their websites are from authorized dealers only, it is latter’s responsibility to make sure warranty is offered to online customers.
Brands need to tell their distributors & dealers that they should not sell through online channels, and if they do so, they are responsible for the warranty and after sales support.