It all started in the month of November’15, me and my partner were exploring the ever growing field of E-Commerce in India. We carved out a few ideas and starting researching on a few niches, and eventually settled on an idea of starting an E-Commerce store for Auto Car Accessories, mainly because this niche still lacks the dedicated stores and also because we wanted to run a store on for profit basis rather than on a model that leaks more than what it intakes.
So we started with small vendors and got pretty good response, people we excited to hear about something new, something fresh and they were happy to get on board with us, we even bagged a few big players and by the end of the month of June’16, we had more than 20 vendor on board in a span of one month since we started the operations.
We were quiet happy with the type of response that we were getting, but then things started going south, mot of our vendors started demanding payments upfront before shipping the product, they needed a guarantee on the reason on the reason of return, a few even asked to stop. And this all happened within a span of 8-10 days, it took another 2 days for us to plan out the counter arguments and to come up with a whole new plan.
Once everything was done and sorted, we sat with the vendors to understand what the hell actually happened and that too with every one of them. And we heard some statements that day:
- So, it all started when they started tallying their books; most of them have received less form the marketplaces than what they projected.
- Almost all of them paid higher cost for packaging and stupidly higher for the returns.
- Askmebazaar.com crashed and that was the it for most of them.
- One of the giants raised the commission and made branded packaging mandatory.
- And then I read this; http://indianonlineseller.com/2016/09/penny-pincher-snapdeals-strategy-to-save-funds-reject-seller-claims-keep-stock/
- For our major vendors, the main issue was the release of the payments, most of them had something between 20-30 lacs stuck in the marketplaces.
So, the question is , till when can we rely on huge discounts and drive sales, rather than going for profit and quality? Why suck money from the vendors’ pocket, where its the consumer that should pay for the product?
Also, as most of the seller associations going against them, I don’t understand when will they listen to them, why spoil the market for other if you can’t hold your end of the bargain.