Problems with Indian ecommerce marketplaces, especially Flipkart

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I had initially signed up with to sell the Satthwa products but unfortunately after endless paperwork and nonsensical rules which Amazon follows (Only in India), I had to give up selling on Amazon.

Then I started selling on Flipkart and till a few days the experience had been good. Satthwa is a Silver level seller on Flipkart which means that we go good business, our returns are next to nothing, our products are loved by those who buy and we ship out almost the same day of the order. Our Metrics is topnotch.

So where is the problem? The problem arises when Flipkart does not think of the sellers as their “customers”. Technically in a marketplace model, we the sellers, sell to the end user and they are our customers. For market places which as Flipkart and Amazon, we the sellers are their customers. If this is the case then the same rules should apply to both set of customers, right? No! They don’t.

Let me elaborate. If a end user who just bought something from Flipkart calls their customer support, their query is handles on priority, customers can even cancel a product on the day it is to be delivered without any cost to them. Where as for a seller, Flipkart take their own sweet time to resolve a query.. if at all they manage to do that. Most of the time, they mark the tickers as resolved after a few days and the seller keeps waiting for the reply.

Today because of some “technical issue” (which is a fancy word for an idiot sitting in front of a computer) one of my listings was blocked and i have been on call since the morning.. whenever i requested to talk to a senior person, i was told they are not available…

My account has been assigned a account manager but what’s the point when the account manager phone always goes unanswered?

Sellers are the backbone for such online marketplaces and we also want to be treated with the same respect as would any customer.

Your local LalaJi goes online with

elala Indian traders website

The Confederation of All India Traders launched on Monday their answer to the likes of Flipkart & Amazon… I don’t know if they were able to comprehend the question but their answer to it was totally WRONG!

For starters their website is called, who in their right mind uses “-” in their domain these days and then go out a .biz extension, this practically ensures that they do not get over 40% of the direct traffic as people will type or

What’s more striking is that even though the website was launched yesterday, it still show coming soon on all products and cities… What’s up with that? This is an online equivalent of doing a “bhoomi poojan” (aka Groundbreaking ceremony). If it’s going to take them 6-8 months to go live, who’s to say that the platform does not become redundant even before it starts?

This seems to be a classics example where they think “Build it and the customers will come”, with such fierce competition from well funded and extremely customer centric startups, what make the CAIT think that their eLala would survive… after all, isn’t this “lala” attitude which has given birth to amazing startups in this space?