Up until now, the company was offering a 30-day return policy for these categories. According to reports, the company suspected that some customers were ordering products, using and returning them. Sellers on the platform have been informed that the return period has been reduced to 10 days.
This is reportedly the first time such a major decision on a customer-oriented policy has been made at Flipkart after Walmart took over the e-commerce marketplace in 2018. After smartphones and large appliances, Flipkart receives a chunk of revenue from fashion. This is also possibly the category that yields the highest margins for the sellers on Flipkart and other e-commerce platforms as well.
Rival Amazon continues to offer a 30-day return policy, but Amazon too allows only 10 days for customers to return products in smartphones and consumer electronics categories. Interestingly, Flipkart had followed the 30-day return policy only for lifestyle and clothing. The rest of the categories are already in the 10-day return period.
The fact that Flipkart considered the sudden spike in returns as frauds is evident from the communication to the sellers on its platform. It said: “To reduce these fraudulent activities and to save you from such fraud buyers, the return/replacement policy for the below list of verticals is being changed from 30 days to 10 days.”
Jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, coats and thermals were listed as the items returned frequently.
Flipkart has reiterated in its official reaction to the development that its objective is to protect its sellers.