How Flipkart Is Unethically Manipulating Products Price To Psychologically Affect Customers’ Buying Decisions Using Discount Strategy During Big Billion Day Sales
Well, the festive season is approaching, and with it comes the biggest sale of the year that has consumers running around breathless to buy essentials and indulgencies at excessively discounted prices- The Big Billion day sale.
These platforms say consumer is the king. After all, they’re offering you a Rs 3000 watch for Rs 300 and branded shoes that you’ve wanted for the longest time at 80 per cent discount. But are we really the kings when they fool us into buying something that’s actually much more inflated than their actual price? Or are we really the kings when they put these big discount numbers not on the actual price of the product but on the prices much higher than they deal with on everyday basis.
Well, I guess, the billion in the name of The Big Billion Day stands for the billions in revenue that these e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon earn by fooling consumers into psychologically buying something in the name of discount, when, in reality, it is just a much bigger overestimation of the actual price.
These are really big statements to make, but we haven’t come empty handed, for there are evidences behind each of these claims and the seller tactics that we’re trying to pin here. Let’s start by talking about the prices of some categories that fetch Flipkart the most revenue during these Big Billion Day sale days.
The crazy sale of electric items during this time is evidently showed in the revenues fetched by the company during this sale period. While consumers are lured in with the apparent 70-80 per cent discount on these trendy electronic items, they actually end up losing in these sales than saving any penny on their purchase.
Don’t believe us? Well, maybe this evidence below would help.
The price comparison chart above shows how Flipkart changed the price of Samsung Galaxy F62 in the span of 3 days from Sep 29 to Oct 2, by increasing the amount from Rs 17,999 to Rs 23,999. This comes as we move closer to the Big Billion Day sale, which shows that the site has been changing the price on its own website to an artificially hiked price in lieu of giving large discounts on it, when actually, it is just giving discount on that inflated price.
We are about 9 hours away from the beginning of 2021’s largest sale- Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale. The screenshot below attests the price of Samsung Galaxy F62 at Rs 23,999, discounted from Rs 29,999.
While the image above apparently claims a saving of Rs 6,000 on the purchase of this item, well, the reality begs to differ by a significant margin.
Find below the image of the same phone, same device- Samsung Galaxy F62, not from Flipkart this time, but from the Samsung’s own website, showing the actual price of the item, which was the rise on website 3 days ago too.
Evident on top right of the screen in big bold letters can be seen an amount of Rs 17,999, a whopping Rs 5000 difference from the one Flipkart shows on the exact same date, apparently after a Rs 6000 discount.
This shows that Flipkart has been increasing the prices of its own items in lieu of the Big Billion Day sale. As the sale approaches, they would put up a big discount on this highly jacked up price, only to bring it back to its actual price, if not more.
This gives consumers a sense of discount and saving, and they are manipulated into purchasing the product thinking they are gaining from the purchase, when, in reality, it really is just a discount on the price Flipkart has itself decided, which is very highly inflated.
The irony in this conversation laughs right in the face of the consumer, for they purchase the item hurriedly in these over-hyped and exaggerated sales when actually they are being hoaxed into paying a much larger price for the very same item.
If you’ve been waiting around for these Big Billion Day sales to buy any electronic items that you’ve been willing to get for a long time now, you’re not alone, because we’ve all been there.
Putting on these high discount numbers on overly inflated MRP of these items is their way to psychologically coax the consumer into buying these items at the so-proclaimed sweet deals, which turn out to be losses, if not anything more.
The only one gaining from the Big Billion Dollar sale is the e-commerce giant Flipkart that apparently is profiteering in billions by fooling the consumers.
And well, electronics are not the only item they are selling at these excessively large prices, for consumer items, that count for the second largest revenue source for Flipkart during these sale periods, also sell a large number of items on these inflated prices.
Unlike Flipkart, you don’t need to take us on our word because we come bearing proofs of it all.
While the above screenshot from one of Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale shows that you’re purchasing the Surf excel 4 kg washing powder for Rs 546 at a discount, the actual price printed right on the back of the item iterate a different story. Here, see for yourself-
As can be seen from the price printed on the packet, the actual cost of the product is Rs 464, as opposed to the Rs 599 claimed by the e-commerce giant. This means that even at a discount that the platform offers, you’re purchasing the item for more than what it actually costs.
And this is not the case with one product, the story continues for a wide range of products in one category, and across a large number of categories too.
Flipkart, in the name of The Big Billion Day sale is not only looting the consumer by inflating the actual prices and then giving discounts on these false prices, but is also allegedly engaging in predatory pricing with their deep discount sales.
So, actually, it is these e-commerce giants that are filling in their pockets at the expense of the common people’s hard earned money and their psychological stimuli to buy in the name of the large discounts on the artificially hiked prices.
While you may actually catch a good deal for a few products, it is imperative that you cross check these discounts and the actual prices because more often than not, they are way more hiked than the original. And this is not the case with just local products, even branded ones like the Samsung phone shown above can have prices artificially hiked to fool people like you and me into buying these items, and eventually incurring losses.
It’s time that we see these companies for what they actually are- businessmen. With large publicities and marketing campaigns, we actually start to believe that they are offering these large margins to the people, when, in reality, they are just fooling us into purchasing their items and creating an over-exaggerated hype to unethically psychologically manipulate us into spending on both essentials and luxuries.
We Are Also Brining Some Previous Issues, Cases & Controversies Flipkart Has been Involved In Past
“Flipkart sparked a massive row after one of its service executives told a customer that the company cannot deliver goods in Nagaland because it does not “deliver outside India”. The response from the executive received a lot of criticism, following which the company had to apologise. The Flipkart support page on Facebook was questioned on why the company doesn’t deliver in Nagaland and why it treats states in the north-east differently. “We still didn’t get independence and we are still a part of India.
Treat all states equally areeh!,” the user said in a comment. To this, the company support replied: “Sorry to hear that. We appreciate your interest in shopping with us. However, sellers do not provide our services outside India.”
The company then apologised for their reply that received massive backlash from social media users. “We are extremely sorry about the inadvertent error earlier. We strive to ensure serviceability across the nation, including regions in Nagaland. We are happy to connect with you and provide currently available options.”
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Last year, CCI had ordered an investigation based on allegations by the trade body Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh that Amazon and Flipkart had entered into exclusive sales agreements with smartphone makers to sell certain phones through a small number of preferred sellers.
The Mahasangh also alleged that Amazon and Flipkart had given preferential treatment to certain sellers by giving them higher search rankings, and offering to pay for part of the discount that such sellers would offer during key sales periods such as Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Prime Day.
The CCI noted that arrangements between smartphone brands and online platforms leading to a few sellers selling certain phones exclusively on a single platform, coupled with alleged links between the platforms and these sellers, merited an investigation.