Tuesday 12 April 2016

Snapdeal sellers speak – Incorrect shipping charges eating away earnings

IndianOnlineSeller has extensively reported how marketplaces’ easy return policy is troubling online sellers. If you missed out, then click HERE, HERE or HERE to read some of our reports about the effect of unfair returns.
If returns and COD wasn’t enough, there’s another troublemaker on the loose that is giving sellers nightmares. We are talking about Wrong Shipping Charges.

Helpless Snapdeal Seller’s letter

A seller ABC (name withheld on request) reached out to IOS. He sells apparels for men women & kids along with travel and utility bags on Snapdeal from the past 4 years.
In his mail, he wrote,
“Snapdeal charging the logistic cost unethically. Most of the sellers facing same issue. Products coming under their first slab (less than 500gm) and they are charging the amount for their 3rd slab (1000-1500 gms) as 148 rs. And if we talk about the volumetric weight of the product, the product can be put in even coin pocket of the jeans.”

Problem Decoded

Here’s a table as an example to understand what the issue really is:
snapdeal chart
Seller ABC has faced this wrong logistics cost issue several times starting from the year 2014 but earlier it used to get resolved/rectified after raising request. But from the last 3 months, the issue is not getting resolved.Seller ABC has faced this wrong logistics cost issue several times starting from the year 2014 but earlier it used to get resolved/rectified after raising request. But from the last 3 months, the issue is not getting resolved.As you can see in the above table, the logistics cost is meant for heavier/bigger products but is wrongly levied on Slab 1 (lightweight) products. The result? Net payable is less than 50% of the SP.
He says,
“The same case we have faced several times from 2014. They change the Logistic Cost without informing the seller, but previously the case was bit different. In this type of case when we raised the request they always asked for the sheet with their format to fill revised dimensions and weight. And as we shared the sheet they revised the cost. But from last 3 Months we are continuously raising the request but they are not ready to revise the cost.”

Is he is the only one?

No, he is not. Almost all sellers we spoke to confessed that at some point, Snapdeal altered the shipping cost without informing them. Only after, they notice the error and write to their account managers or help desk, is it rolled back. And in some cases, it is never refunded.
Check reactions of few Snapdeal sellers in the comments section on unfair penalties & shipping charges:
Image 3_Snapdeal_Shipping Charges 3Image 2_Snapdeal_Shipping Charges 2
Image 1_Snapdeal_Shipping Charges
Shalini Singh, another seller shares,
“They (Snapdeal) have charged high logistic on many of the consignment. But on regular complaints and follow-ups they reimbursed the wrongly charged logistics for apprx 70% of the cases.”
“We deal with home and kitchen appliances and personal care electronics. We have faced shipping charges issues in all categories. Like for example – actual weight of the product is 500 grams and should be charged Rs. 50 plus tax. But Snapdeal has charged for 4500 grams Rs. 370 plus tax”, says Ankith Jain.

There are problems but it’s resolved too, it could have been worse – according to some

When ABC wrote to Snapdeal’s seller help-desk, this is the reply he got,
“We would like to inform you that as per our internal team, we would like to inform you that the weight need not to be change. The weights which are updated are correct. So, we request you to process all the orders.”
That why it still remains unsettled.
But some sellers have had a better luck like Jain whose issues gets resolved quickly. He also believes that problems are part of any business and sellers should use a proper channel to get solutions to their problems.
“There are issues here and there always. I personally believe that there is no business without issues. I have heard many complaints of sellers in social media that they don’t get any solution. But I think if we go by proper way or channel it’s solved,” asserts Jain.
He adds,
“At least at Snapdeal they show logistic cost on seller panel. But in Flipkart it is totally hidden. They (Flipkart) also change huge charges sometimes. According to me sellers are not so educated about this charges. There are many sellers who think their selling price is their net seller payable. And after they get payments they realize and lodge a complaint and it is not solved.”

Type of fulfillment plays an important role in the quality of seller service?

Out interaction with sellers revealed one thing – the quality of support service differed from seller to seller. For some, their grievances were resolved within 24 hours and some have been waiting for over 6 months to get more than a standard automated robotic reply.
Like this seller spells out:
Snapdeal Seller Support
Snapdeal Seller Support
On probing further, it came on surface that Snapdeal Plus sellers get a preferential treatment. For example – ABC who is a Snapdeal OneShip seller and fulfills 1800-2000 orders per month (on an average) is waiting from 3 months. Whereas, for Ankit Jain who is a SD+ seller, errors are corrected within 12 hours.
Jain agrees,
“As of now company is mainly focusing on SD plus sellers. Now you may ask why? SD plus sellers are almost all big sellers They can give best pricing and quantity required to SD plus and they have trust that SD plus all orders will be dispatched timely as inventory is stored in the warehouse. Hence, they support us.”

Seller, please educate yourself and stay alert

Whether it takes 1 day or 3 months to roll back wrong charges, what’s strange is that why such incidents are happening at the first place? Above we discussed about shipping & logistics cost. But many sellers have also complained how Snapdeal suddenly started deducting ‘special packaging’ charges and removed it only after sellers complained about it. Therefore, a seller naïve enough to not notice it will easily end up paying more than he earnss.
Here’s one case of this special packing charges:
Image 5_Snapdeal Packing Charges
Ankit Jain too noticed it and mailed us this image along with below message:
Snapdeal Packing Charges
Snapdeal Packing Charges
“From today SD plus has started special packing charges which are very heavily charged. If I sell this purifier, my net seller payable is negative. This is charged for big or large products, which requires special packing. After I raised issue in morning, it was corrected within 1 hour. They had charged 18000. Now it is corrected to 200. This charges is charged for the service which is not at all provided. There is no speciall packing happening at SD plus,” Jain confirmed.
Technical error or deliberate mistake? Not clear. So Dear Sellers, keep your eyes & ears open. Follow these steps:
  • Constantly keep track of your seller panel
  • Keep screenshots, product images & packaging dimensions/weight as proof
  • Remember that shipping charges is calculated on the basis of volumetric weight & dimensions of your product AFTER it is packed. Outer packaging not inner box/bag
  • Write to the support desk as a mail trail is more accountable than a verbal promise (unless recorded)
  • Voice out your views on seller forums and communities
As for Snapdeal, we hope that the marketplace addresses concern of sellers directly since they form the backbone of on an online business. Senior managers of the seller management team should also work on improving seller support service & training account managers.
Sellers, what do you think? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments below.

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