Online Marketplaces Causing Seller Woes!
Sellers! Are online marketplaces treating you bad? Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? You probably do because just when you thought everyone was getting along your marketplace crossed you. How do you feel about that?
The truth is you are not the only one. And picking your bone with the man (person in charge) isn’t always easy. So we at Browntape decided to a bit of digging, to see what were the most common complaints sellers had about the marketplaces they use.
Common Seller Complaints about Marketplaces
Product returns were enabled to encourage people to shop online. Since consumers cannot physically touch, feel or see the products online, they are at a disadvantage. To make sure they do not feel cheated, online sellers agree to take back products and provide full refunds. Some also cover shipping costs. But the tables have turned because buyers take advantage of facility. Online consumers tend to use the products and return them. Some return broken or damaged goods. While others send back the wrong product.
Alright, so you cannot blame the buyer for the mix ups and broken merchandise. Most send their purchases back with the hope that it will reach the seller in one piece. So who’s to be blamed for rough handling and wrong returns? You can say the marketplace. Especially if you use their logistical services for reverse shipping. They need to handle products carefully and ensure they collect the correct items when returned. According to our sources sellers say high returns usually occur with cash on delivery products and quick selling items.
Snapdeal, Flipkart, Paytm, Shopclues, Limeroad and Rediff all provide their sellers with logistics. Amazon does too but only if the selected delivery pin code is serviceable by easyship. By this we understand most sellers have delivery services readily available. But what happens when products are not picked up on time? The seller’s reputation is affected. This could mean loss of repeat customers and the chances of people informing potential shoppers to take their business elsewhere.
Delayed pickups are a common issue marketplace sellers face. This is mainly due to holdups on the marketplace end, despite the seller’s products being ready. As a result the delivery period increases.
Reverse pickup problem
With the sellers on Amazon, it’s the lack of reverse shipment that makes them cringe. It appears misleading. Everyone knows Amazon provides easy returns. But in reality, reverse pickups must be provided by the merchant. If you rely on the marketplace to deliver your products you may not have the means to pick up the returned products. This again affects your online seller credibility.
An online seller’s earnings reduce when the commissions charged are more. The commission charged on logistics is high so are the charges on running promotions. Some marketplaces tend to promote fast moving items without notifying sellers. And as a result they hike up commission rates. More commission means lower earnings so you can kiss those profits goodbye because they will be spent on paying your marketplace.
Cost of returns
Once a product is returned, the value of the sale is equal to zero. So you would think! But marketplaces charge sellers for every return made. After paying return charges, sellers have a negative balance. Returns lead to more than lost income, they are additional expenses.
Before you run for the hills, you need to know there are some remedies for online sellers. Marketplaces are willing to provide recourse to those in need of it.
Complaining is good. But whenever you do complain make sure you complain to the right people. Online marketplaces are ready to hear out you out. And if you feel their course of action was insufficient, you can definitely raise the same issue again.
This is a solution for those sellers whose goods have been returned on account of quality or size. Make it your mission to provide detailed descriptions about your products. Don’t forget to upload clear and sharp images of your products. This way in case a product is returned for the reasons of quality or size, you can let the marketplace know you are not at fault. With all your product details clearly specified, you can request repayment of the amount charged by the marketplace for the returned product.
Marketplaces are taking steps to improve the seller experience on their ecommerce platform. In our last post we spoke about a couple of instances where marketplaces have beefed up their attempts to take down fraudulent buyers and sellers. Lately, Paytm introduced its SEED project. This Speedy Efficient Effective Delivery system is meant to help speed up product delivery. With pickups starting at 11 a.m., sellers have the previous day to ready their orders.
Despite the complaints, marketplace selling is still a necessity. The brand gives you better market exposure. And a level of ease you’d lack as an offline seller. Just make sure to spread out risks, by engaging more than one marketplace. And when it comes to managing them, you can acquire ecommerce assistance by getting in touch with the experts at Browntape. We are India’s leading ecommerce solutions experts, and we are always happy to help!