Flipkart curtails returns, hikes commissions

06 Jun 2016


Ecommerce major Flipkart has curtailed its return policy, bringing down the return window from 30 days to 10 days on its top-selling products. Moreover, sellers will have to pay higher commissions from 20 June, which in turn will lead to a hike in prices.

The move comes after India's leading ecommerce player Amazon brought down its return windows from 30 days to 10 days and electronics and some other items could only be exchanged and not returned.

The 30-day return policy was quite unpopular among the sellers as it was their responsibility to pay all the additional charges, including return shipping.

The no-questions-asked return policy followed by ecommerce firms has led to a logistical nightmare and additional operational expenses for sellers on online marketplaces as they have to pay for the return shipping.

This is the reason why revision of return period is likely to attract more sellers to sell their products on Flipkart's platform.

However, the increase in commission to be paid by sellers seems to be an attempt to boost the profit margin.

The revised return policy and the increase in commission is likely to increase the product prices by up to 9 per cent.

The return policy of 10 days will apply on electronics, mobile phones and books, which account for a major part of the overall sales on Flipkart.

On the other hand, the 30-day return policy will remain applicable on categories like clothing, footwear, watches, jewellery, eyewear, fashion accessories and other large appliances.

"The revised structure across shipping, commission and returns will enable sellers to have predictability and better manage their online business," a Flipkart spokesperson told The Economic Times.

"The standardisation has been designed to encourage sellers who offer superior customer experience, and is thus a win-win for both our customers as well as our customer oriented sellers," the spokesperson further added.

Flipkart is also dropping its Zero+ Commission Policy under which it didn't charge any shipping charges from certain groups of sellers, and allowed them to advertise on the platform for a fee.

The company termed the Zero+ Commission Policy as complex and said that the revised policy, in which sellers will have the facility to pass on the shipping cost to customers, will be simple and easy to understand.



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