Saturday, June 6, 2015

Flipkart 'caught' offering fake discount

One of the biggest reasons consumers are flocking from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce websites is the substantial discounts that the latter offer. However, a Flipkart product listing has cast some doubts over these discounts that e-tailers offer.

A photo posted on Flipkart's Facebook page by Kolkata-based Mani Sankar Sen shows a pair of wedges that is selling on the website for Rs 399, down from their original price of Rs 799.

However, a closer look at the product's image on the listing page shows that the pair of wedges were priced at Rs 399 only by the manufacturer.

While posting the image on Flipkart's Facebook page, Sen wrote:

Dear Flipkart Team... Whenever we think of online shopping, we definitely check your site first for the product availability. You have built huge brand value in India. But these incidents damage customers' trust factor, as well as your brand value. Please see the picture attached...

In response, Flipkart said: "Sorry about this Mani. Checking on this... will have this rectified at the earliest."

However, the poster boy of Indian e-commerce received a lot of flak from users, who wrote comments like:

Yash Chaudhari: What more we can expect from #Flipkart, due to this they are #Giant in Indian eCommerce business.

Shivakiran Boppana: What will u rectify... will you now add 799 tag to this..... LOL

Amit Sharma: This is not about One product many product are listed like this, even same product with different MRPs and selling price

Interestingly, one Facebook user posted in comments:

All they did now is they Photoshopped the image and removed the MRP, while keeping the same 50% off 'fake' offer.

The product listing page has since been removed by Flipkart from its website.

TOI has reached out to Flipkart for a statement.

A Flipkart spokesperson told TOI Tech:

"Flipkart is a marketplace which helps sellers connect with customers across the country. We have investigated the incident and after receiving the full report we have suspended the sellers. Flipkart adopts a zero tolerance policy towards any instances where the seller has sold a product above the MRP stated on the label. When found in violation of our policy, sellers are suspended and further blacklisted. Flipkart takes utmost care in ensuring that product information on the marketplace is not misleading and for this, we rely on our sellers to share correct information with us."

E-commerce companies have banked heavily on discounts to lure buyers to their websites, even though many experts say that these discounts are not sustainable in the long run and will dry up soon.

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