Online Retail, the buzz which is still the hot served topic in the market, triggered by the “Big Billion Day” sale by Flip kart about a month ago. The day where some excited shoppers got 70 percent off on their pretty dress they always wanted or the big TV for 90 percent discount which cost a fortune a day before. This day also marked the wrath of many shoppers who could not get their desired products, some could not order while others did not get a delivery. Then a series of complaints against the website followed which was accompanied by a “Sorry for the Inconvenience” mail sitting at almost every individual’s mailbox that are registered for the website or somewhat by mistake had typed their mail address into the website. There were legal complaints for faking inflated prices and also selling products suspected to be purchased from the grey market.
Among all these debatable situations, there rise two very important and conflicting questions on the buyer and seller side. On the seller side, whether there is a high need for regulation framework and the unfair price competition should end and on the buyer side, should these online retail prices be removed which makes many products and services available to the masses which otherwise would have been impossible. Online shoppers are already getting the privilege of lower prices but there should be a regulation based on commodity so that they are not cheated out of their money. For instance, one purchases a book for INR 500 which is available for INR 3000 in the regular market. We see minimal damage here but take the instance, where a person buys INR 50,000 TV, finds it faulty, the source of purchase refuses to replace it and he spends another INR 10,000 to INR 20,000 repairing it. The baseline of the heavy discounts by these online shopping websites lies in the fact that there is no warehouse and showroom costing involved in the prices. But if the product is from grey market, then the issues like faulty parts, no warranty period services crop up viciously. Hence there is a need to strike out the balance between lucrative offers and regulation framework.
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