DellDell has joined the bandwagon of manufacturers warning shoppers against buying its laptops and tablets from e-commerce websites. It has put up a warning against e-commerce website Snapdeal on its website and has asked people to buy from CompuIndia instead.

The warning is as follows:

– Snapdeal.com is not a Dell authorized reseller and Snapdeal.com is not authorized to make any representation for and on behalf of Dell products, benefits and entitlements.
– Dell products purchased from / on Snapdeal.com shall be entirely at your own risk , cost and consequences.
– Dell may not honor any representations, benefits, entitlements made on Dell products by /or Snapdeal.com.

It is not clear what Snapdeal did to provoke such a response from Dell. We have mailed Snapdeal asking for more details. A Dell spokesperson stated that the warning was new, but refused to state why the warning was put up now.

Update: Snapdeal’s response

“Snapdeal.com is an online marketplace where authorized sellers list their products on the platform.  We take utmost care to list products only by those sellers who have the necessary authorization to sell these products. These authorized sellers already selling offline are the ones listed on our site and are selling Dell products online through our platform. Customers can be rest assured that all the products including Dell products which are available on Snapdeal.com are genuine and eligible for warranty. Further, being an online marketplace, the pricing decision solely lies with the seller listing the products.”

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Not the first time: Toshiba and Lenovo had also put up notices against e-commerce websites earlier this year, but this is the first time a manufacturer has singled out an e-commerce company.

A bunch of retailers from Bangalore had raised concerns of predatory pricing by e-commerce companies in November last year, however it needs to be remembered that Snapdeal is a marketplace. So it’s not clear if Dell is against the pricing and warranty policy of one seller who may have been under cutting price on the site. It is also worth noting that many of these retailers were against e-commerce websites due to FDI policies and a lot of them signed up as sellers on eBay last month. eBay is one of the biggest investors in Snapdeal and is supposedly planning to acquire the Indian e-commerce company.

Nikon had also posted a similar warning in September last year. Flipkart and Snapdeal had responded then by saying that they list only genuine products and assured that warranty on the product will not be affected. The same should be the case with this notice too. Does that mean, this is just a small move to keep the brick and mortar sellers happy, since in our opinion, it really doesn’t matter whether an online store is an authorized partner or not as long as the warranties are honored.