Flipkart tightens returns policy on rising frauds, Retail News, ET Retail
Flipkart has communicated the change to its merchants selling these goods. This is the first such change in its returns policy with a direct impact on consumers under the new parent Walmart. Fashion is one of the top three categories driving its gross sales alongside smartphones and large appliances. In terms of margins, fashion offers the highest for e-tailers, including Flipkart.
Broadly, lifestyle and clothing were the only verticals allowing for a 30-day return or replacement on Flipkart according to its website. All the other categories allow only a 10-day period following a change in policy during 2016-17.
It is suspected that consumers, at a staggering pace, might have ordered new winter clothes and other products and then returned it weeks later after using it, pushing Flipkart to make this change in its policy, people aware of the matter said. The high rate of returns ends up adding to operating costs for both e-commerce companies and their sellers.
This is the first time Flipkart is making such changes in the fashion and lifestyle segment, one of the merchants who sells on Flipkart said. “Typically 15-20% of orders placed during an average business day are returned or replaced. This time, it must be much higher that Flipkart has spotted the trend and made this move,” this person added.
In comparison, Amazon continues to offer a 30-day return period for fashion and lifestyle products here, according to its website. Amazon too has a 10-day window for returns in segments like consumer electronics and smartphones.
“To reduce these fraudulent activities and to save you from such fraud buyers, the return/replacement policy for the below list of verticals is being changed from 30 days to 10 days,” Flipkart has told merchants. TOI has reviewed the communication. “Also note that this change has been done to protect your interest and to save you from fraudulent returns,” it added. Jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, coats and thermals are some of the categories that will come under the new policy.
A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the development. “To ensure that we continue to protect the interests of lakhs of sellers, especially small businesses, on our platform, we have altered the time frame of our return/replacement policy for certain lifestyle categories in line with industry best practices. This will minimise the possibilities of misuse and also drive greater efficiencies that will eventually help our sellers and bring a wide and affordable selection of products to millions of customers on our platform,” the spokesperson said.