(By Nikhil Pahwa & Vikas SN)

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Update 2: Snapdeal has shared the following statement with Medianama:

At Snapdeal.com, we take utmost care to list products only by those sellers who have the required authorization to sell these products. Customers can rest assured that all the products including Nikon products which are available on Snapdeal.com are genuine. We at Snapdeal.com, are constantly striving to deliver the highest level of shopping experience to our customers.

Update: Flipkart has shared the following statement with Medianama:

While we cannot comment on specifics, we can assure customers buying Nikon products on Flipkart.com that the products are genuine. Customers will not be affected and will continue to enjoy the warranty and services as before.

Earlier: Nikon India has issued a statement saying that Flipkart and Snapdeal are not its authorized partners/dealers:

“Please note that Flipkart (Flipkart Internet Private Limited) and Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Private Limited ) are not our authorized partner/dealer in India for Nikon Products.”

We’re not sure of the implications of being an authorized partner or dealer and we are still awaiting a response from Flipkart and Snapdeal.

As a consumer however, the only reason one would go to an authorized partner or dealer, would be if there are concerns around the authenticity of products, or if there are implications in terms of Nikon honoring warranties. If that is addressed correctly, then we feel it doesn’t matter whether an online store is an authorized partner or not.

Also, do consumers really care in a price sensitive market like India, where e-commerce companies and offline retailers keep trying to undercut each other in terms of pricing with discounts and special vouchers on various products?

Another point worth noting is that Flipkart and Snapdeal are now marketplaces, which means that much like eBay, sellers use their platforms to sell products to consumers. Flipkart and Snapdeal are not ‘partners’ or ‘dealers’ themselves, but the sellers on their platform might be. Hence, does it really matter whether the marketplace is an authorized partner for these products, when the seller can be authorized or unauthorized.