• Why talk to only Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal? We need help too, online vendors tell PMO

    Sellers on online marketplaces have written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) demanding regulations to safeguard their rights and help resolve their issues with ecommerce giants that claim all the credit for the online shopping boom in recent years, largely on the back of deep discounting.

    “We are not being called for discussion by your (government) agencies. But you are calling Bansals and Bahls of the world,” said the petition by All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), referring to Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal of Flipkart and Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal.

    The PMO has forwarded the petition to the ecommerce section of the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) under the communications and IT ministry.

    The petition and the action taken by the PMO have been put on the grievance redressal portal of the department of administrative reforms and public grievances.

    Sellers on online marketplaces have been complaining that they are being penalised because buyers are increasingly returning merchandise, adding to their operational costs.

    Marketplaces are not sharing logistics costs or returning commissions in case a customer opens the package and then returns the item, some online vendors said on condition of anonymity. They have also been complaining of pending payments and increased charges for advertising on ecommerce portals.

    “Our biggest problem is that companies force us to use their logistics services and warehouses. They also charge us wrongly for weight of the products. The companies also disclose our strategic discount pricing to other sellers, which spoils the chances of increased sales,” said a seller who requested not to be named.

    Top online marketplaces Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal did not respond to ET’s email seeking their comment as of press time Tuesday.

    The vendors association in its petition to the PMO said that despite several requests to meet various government departments, none of them have agreed to hear their problems. “We want to seek your time for an appointment and educate you on why you should have an ecommerce ministry and a regulatory body for ecommerce just like IRDA, SEBI, RBI, etc.,” it said.

    AIOVA is a group of 500 medium- to large sellers on various online marketplaces with turnovers up to Rs 100 crore. “We have been requesting the big ecomm companies to meet us and help in resolving issues. However, they take very little interest in our problems,” said an AIOVA official. Bradley Pinion Womens Jersey

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