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Consumers ignore warnings by electronic majors about buying goods online

E-tailers say they have seen little impact on sales of electronic goods

Anita Babu  |  Bengaluru 

The growing online user base seems to have largely ignored warnings by consumer electronic majors against purchases from e-commerce websites. According to e-retail companies, there has been little impact on the sales of electronic goods after the warnings.

On the contrary, a majority of the sales of firms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon come from electronic goods.

In the case of Flipkart, sales from the mobile category has grown more than 500 per cent year-on-year. Amazon, too, shares a similar story. The consumer electronics segment is among the top-performing ones in terms of volumes as well as sales for the e-commerce giant. According to the company, sales from consumer electronics grew more than three times during the recently held ‘Online Shopping Dhamaka’ hosted during the festival month.

The growing popularity of electronics online had recently prompted such as Lenovo, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Asus and Nikon to come out with advisories for buyers, warning them against purchases made through online retailers, who may not be authorised dealers. Leading watch brand Casio is the latest to join the fray. In order to dissuade consumers from buying online, brands have said that they might not honour warranties on products sold through e-commerce stores and marketplaces.

According to estimates, Flipkart is already the largest mobile phone retailer in the country, counting online and offline stores. A Nielsen Book Scan Report pegs Flipkart’s book sales share at 45-50 per cent of the organised retail market. In an earlier interview, its chief executive officer and co-founder Sachin Bansal said that the company is aiming to do the same in electronics.

The deep discounts being offered by e-retailers have begun to hurt traditional retailers of these products leading to such advisories. Online companies, on the other hand, have been justifying sale of products by them, saying it’s all legal and authorised.

They also claim to be taking adequate steps to solve the menace of counterfeit products being sold online.

According to a Snapdeal spokesperson, apart from sensitising the sellers and dealers on the issue, they conduct periodic workshops and awareness sessions.

“The sellers are regularly appraised of the strict actions that will be taken if found violating Snapdeal's policy on counterfeit products.”

In case of violations, upon being adequately notified, Snapdeal takes down such listings in accordance with the company’s rules and polices. “We also work with various brands to delist any sellers who have been credibly identified by such brands as selling fake products,” added the Snapdeal spokesperson.

First Published: Sat, January 24 2015. 22:49 IST