More and more users are finding that the return policy for major e-retailers like Snapdeal is hardening (check the brand Facebook page for feedback).
Why it is difficult to Return Products?
The easy returns are just a marketing gimmick now. There were times I used to buy products without ever thinking of the return policy and returning them was a piece of cake, but things have changed a lot for the majority of e-retailers. One needs to be a bit careful and do research before purchasing.
Recently Snapdeal updated their return policy for electronics, and they have made it mandatory that you need to get the appliance checked and verified by the brand service center before it is returned.
You cannot return an item to the e-commerce companies until unless there is some defect in the product.
In case of Snapdeal, you need to visit the service center and get the product examined and got a certificate that the product has some issue, after which Snapdeal will arrange for verification and pick-up. I had experienced it.
You can read more about the Snapdeal Return Policy Here.
Why did I bought the online product Snapdeal, as I don’t have the time to go and shop for it in a store. Not always for the cheap 20 bucks discount, I may not want to waste my full day visiting the service center and taking off from my day job.
Amazon and Flipkart still have a lighter stand on a return when compared to Snapdeal in my experience.
If you don’t like the product or it does not work as you intended it to be, it is going to be very difficult to return the product to the company.
It is a similar case with the brick and mortar business.
The Positive Side
The move is intended to protect the sellers on the e-commerce platforms who have been at a loss due to fraudulent returns when customers don’t like a product and only want to return it. The packaging gets opened, and sellers have to accept back the used products and at times not in the original state they were shipped.
Though this has been painful for sellers as it is difficult to get a replacement for these products from Brand. The harder return policy will help sellers to reduce losses entirely. It creates a big hassle for the customer to run to a service center and get confirmation about the defective product.
But this is to be blamed to customers who misused the easy returns not alone the e-commerce companies for hardening the stand.
It is a very tightrope walk for the e-commerce companies, on one side the customers get annoyed if they are not getting easy returns, and if they provide it, sellers are at a significant loss.
Customers buy products on trust alone and without physically checking the product before paying for it. While in physical retail you can easily check the product thoroughly before making the payment to the retailer.
Easy Returns are Catch 22 for Online Marketplaces Like Snapdeal
The Easy Returns are a Myth
Easy returns are Catch 22 situation, if the companies allow for easy returns they tend to lose the sellers (who are duped by many customers for shipping back products with no defects) and if they don’t want they lose business from customers.
A lesser return window of 10 days instead of 30 days policy for Flipkart as well as Amazon also add up to the hardening of return policy on the online platforms. But still, it is much better to waste a full day and go and find a service center.
Online sales are great, incredibly convenient, cut the middleman profits out and give buyers the best products at a much lower price but on the other side, buyers would also want protection and easy returns for continued repetitive purchases.
A perfect balance between sellers and buyers interest is a significant development area for the e-commerce giants, and we are sure they would be able to get the immaculate balance soon.
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