After Amazon India, Flipkart has also updated its return policy for its top selling products. Earlier the return period was 30 days which has now been cut to 10 days. Starting June 20, sellers on the e-commerce site will also have to pay higher commissions for product exchange, which will ultimately result in increased cost to customers.
Earlier Amazon India had updated its returns policy for mobiles in February. Later, the policy was extended to other electronics such as tablets, PCs, cameras, camera lenses and more. As per Amazon India’s return policy, customers will only be able to get the device replaced within 10 days if it is damaged during transit or defective.
Most e-commerce companies stick to no question asked return policy, which has added addtional expenses for sellers as they have to bear the returns shipping cost. With a decrease in return period, the company aims to solve some of the concerns of the sellers.
The previous 30-day returns policy didn’t go well with sellers as they felt that a lot of customers were taking undue advantage of the policy. With the new policy, sellers can have better predictability to understand the needs of its customers.
Due to the change in the policy, price of the products on flipkart are expected to rise by nine percent. The new return policy will be applicable on categories such as books, mobile phones and electronics. However, the 30-day return policy will still remain for other categories such as large appliances, watches, eyewear, jewellery and fashion accessories and footwear. “The impact of this change should come into effect from July,” Flipkart said in a communication to sellers.
“The revised structure across shipping, commission and returns will enable sellers to have predictability and better manage their online business. 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. Our commission and fee structure remains competitive and in many categories better than other marketplaces. Flipkart is closely working with all our sellers to ensure a smooth transition,” a Flipkart spokesperson told ET.
The company is also discontinuing its Zero+ Commission Policy where it stopped charging commission for certain sellers, instead asking them to advertise on the platform by paying a certain amount of fee. The policy had also barred sellers from charging any shipping fees to customers. The new revised policy will now allow sellers to pass on the shipping costs to their customers.
However, even if sellers are allowed to pass on shipping costs to customers, they will still have to bear the cost of reverse logistics if the buyer requests for a return. In case of Amazon India, the tweaked returns policy only allows them to return the product and get a replacement, not the refund.