Flipkart's Big Billion Day sale snafu leaves several buyers disappointed

While the Flipkart Big Billion Day sale was getting a lot of mention across social media sites today for the huge discounts on offer, a certain section of online buyers claimed that Flipkart had allegedly increased the price on products and was offering discounts on these marked up prices. According to this piece, Flipkart had suddenly marked up the prices of certain non-tech products just today.

Price comparison chart showing how Flipkart has raised the pricing today. Image: Mission Sharing Knowledge

Price comparison chart showing how Flipkart allegedly raised the pricing on one product today. Image: Mission Sharing Knowledge

A more detailed thread on Reddit India threw up a lot of instances of people, who have been regulars on Flipkart, claiming that prices on certain products are even higher than that seen on regular days. For instance, Reddit user rahultheinvader claimed that this book , which was priced at Rs 400 before Oct 6th, had suddenly shot up to Rs 599. A quick search on other e-commerce sites gives you lower prices. In another instance, another user dsarin, claimed that the iPad Mini (16GB, Wifi) pricing hovered around Rs 17,000 since the last month, but was showing as Rs 21,000 today. Snapdeal is offering iPad Mini (16GB, Wifi) for around Rs 14,999.

Another example showing a higher pricing is that of the Seagate Backup Plus 1TB external drive which is shown to be selling for Rs 7,199 and this drive is a generation older. Since the launch price of the latest generation Seagate Backup Plus was around Rs 6,000,  it is strange to see the older and expensive version of the drive even present as part of the Big Billion Day sale.

HP 10 3G tablet product page showing it as Out of Stock, when on the homepage there is no such indication

HP 10 3G tablet product page showing it as Out of Stock, when on the homepage there is no such indication

Out of Stock! was another message that was showing up all over the place. We saw this HP Tab 10 3G, under Limited Stock sale, which was being offered at a Rs 10,000 discount, but when we went to the actual product page, it said that the product was out of stock. There was no indication of the product being out of stock on the home page itself, which would clearly prevent users from unnecessarily clicking on it.

Another strange instance was when the products page was showing a discounted price, but when you hit on Shop Now, you still saw the product selling at the original price. Allow us to show you a pictorial instance of Lenovo A7-30 which came with a Rs 5,000 discount.


Lenovo A7-30 discounted listing under the Electronics section

Flipkart 3

When you click on Shop Now, you are taken to the product page of Lenovo A7-30, which is still showing the original price of Rs 10,499 with a Coming Soon! message


Scrolling down on the Lenovo A7-30 product page, shows this comparison chart with an active Buy Now button, clicking which you get the Out of Stock pop-up

Why use a Coming Soon text beside the product and have a Buy Now button below which will show Out of Stock notification?

Items with around 90 per cent discounts, naturally sold within minutes of the start of the sale. For instance, the Samsung Tab2 which originally comes for around Rs 13,900 was priced at Rs 1,390. A Reddit user named panditji_reloaded had this to say, "Logged in to buy Galaxy Tab2 at 1300 bucks at 8 AM, sold out at 8:01 :-(" Another Reddit user, aayush_1543 said, "They're showing Lumia 525 sold out, I was at Flipkart at ~8:05, didn't see it until it came on as "sold out". 90% off on a phone worth 8k? Yeah right. Wasn't as old as say Galaxy Tab 2."

According to an Economic Times report, the sale is effectively over for today. Flipkart is not a new comer to flash sales, as we have already seen in the past with the Xiaomi Mi 3 sale days. Having majority of the products under sale out of stock within hours of the start of the sale does not really add any feathers to Flipkart's cap. Hopefully things will be better tomorrow. With the Amazon Diwali Dhamaka sale slated to begin on October 10th, consumers are in for a treat as far as online shopping goes.

Disclaimer: Homeshop18 which is in competition with Flipkart, is owned by Network18, which also owns Firstpost.

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