Several hundred sellers on the e-commerce marketplace Flipkart are on a virtual strike on Monday to protest against the company’s revised commission fee and sales return policy. Sellers have decided not to process any Flipkart orders and are also campaigning on twitter under #OnlineDharna and #SellerQuitFlipkart hashtags.
Flipkart, which has over 75,000 sellers on its platform, recently increased the commission it charges from the sellers, which they say was hiked by 10-40% for various categories.
Commenting on the impact, the independent, eSeller Suraksha posted on its blog saying, “As per the calculations,we need to increase our selling price on Flipkart by at least 20-25% to make sure we’re not at loss. This is in addition to the shipping charges from customer. Majority of our members responded saying that they will be quitting Flipkart since it will no longer be profitable to sell on Flipkart.”
Soon after Flipkart sent out this notification two weeks ago, the sellers on the platform expressed unhappiness and in a counter move, to cash in on the opportunity, its competitor Amazon India decreased the commission rates for various categories by 2-7%.
According to a recent Neilsen report, Amazon tops the chart as the most preferred e-commerce websites among the sellers. It is followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal.
With cut throat competition, both the companies have been trying to woo customers and at the same time extracting more from the sellers on the platform. But the sellers want to be taken into consideration and be consulted before these companies implement any major policy charges related to seller.
A spokesperson from All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) said, “We are against protest and dharnas. But, many sellers have to incur loss or lose out on sales, with the changed in commission rates and shipping charges. All we are asking the marketplace is to talk to us before implementing changes and that we should not be taken for granted.
Flipkart Internet had posted a net loss of Rs 1096 crore against a net revenue of Rs 772 crore in FY15.
Flipkart spokesperson reacted to the FE report by saying, “The number of active listings from our sellers as well as number of units sold has seen an increase. We have received a positive response to our new policy from an overwhelming majority of our 90,000 sellers. We are confident that the new policy will not only help sellers to boost their business but also empower them to improve on quality and grow a loyal base of customers in the long run. We are working closely with our sellers to ensure a smooth transition.”