Flipkart Sellers Revolt Due To Updated Return Policy Rules; Trade Unions Threaten To Exit
Flipkart has around 90,000 active sellers on their platform; and section among them have revolted against their new policies, especially related to return of products.
In a rare display of unity, two trade unions representing these angry online sellers have threatened to exit Flipkart or remain intentionally inactive to showcase their anger.
Interestingly, before this incident, such trade unions representing online sellers was unheard of.
Bone Of Contention: Updated Return Policy
The primary issue which is bothering a section of online sellers on Flipkart is the new policy on return on products, which was recently announced by them,
As per the new guidelines, the window for returning a product has been reduced to 10 days from 30; and commissions charged on product listings has also been increased, which will force the sellers to charge 8-10% more from customers.
And this will mean low sales volume for these sellers.
If we talk about return policy, then Flipkart will now charge shipping fee as well as a collection fee for all returned products. Earlier, in case the seller was at fault, a nominal fee of 1% was charged, which was easily absorbed by the sellers.
Higher commission charges for product listing, expensive return policy and frequent changes to their policies have angered these sellers, and they have exit anytime now.
After Amazon stopped their world-famous quick 30-day return policy, Flipkart had to respond; but it seems that their sellers aren’t impressed.
Trade Unions Strike Back Against Flipkart
One of the trade unions, which calls themselves ESellerSuraksha have around 1000 members.
Sanjay Thakur, a spokesperson for this trade union said, “The changes on return shipping policy will impact sellers heavily. Flipkart used to charge a fee from sellers only if we were at fault, which would be less than 1% of the order (value). Now, Flipkart will deduct shipping charges and collection fees from sellers (in case of returns), which will be huge since return percentage ranges from 8% to 10% (deliveries) in most of the categories.”
Considering the fact that product return costs 1.5 times of the actual shipping fee, sellers are now scared about diminishing returns (pun intended)
In fact, this particular trade union conducted a survey in which 300 e-sellers from their Union participated and found that 98% of them thought that Flipkart’s new policy will “kill sellers,” while 57% shared that they shall “rethink” about doing business with Flipkart.
42%+ admitted that they will increase retail price by 15-20% and force the customer to spend more in order to balance Flipkart’s flip-flops.
Another trade union, called as All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) have 1000 members as their patrons, and they have said that 300 of them have already decided to quit Flipkart due to the recent policy changes.
One senior member of AIOVA said, “Due to the new policy, sellers are now forced to increase prices by around 10% and will also charge shipping fees to customers,”
Flipkart has responded by saying, “Our returns policy and process continues to be the best and the easiest in the industry,” The spokesperson for Flipkart justified reducing the window of return, as she said that it was “aimed at ensuring a more seamless experience for both sellers and customers to ensure quicker arrangement of products and timely replacement.”
Last year, delivery boys of Flipkart and Myntra had revolved against them, for providing pathetic working conditions. At that time, MNS had offered support to these disgruntled employees.