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Ikea goods have found their way to marketplaces and third-party sites in India although the Swedish retailer has no formal partnerships with such platforms or businesses as it sells online only in select cities through its own e-commerce platform.

Ikea’s growing popularity and demand are prompting marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart to sell a range of products through third-party sellers. The retailer’s storage containers, pot and pans and clocks, among others, are also present on independent e-retail sites such as Home Brigade.

Ikea, which operates two stores in India and allows online deliveries in some cities, said its model does not encourage such businesses. In many cases, the retailer’s products are being sold at a higher price, which is not aligned to the country’s regulations.

“India is a large country of entrepreneurs and it is next to impossible to address the range of business models where businesses find it advantageous to sell Ikea products online due to high demand and love for these across Indian cities. Having said that, our model does not encourage or support such businesses," said Kavitha Rao, country commercial manager, Ikea India. She said Ikea believes that Indian consumers are smart and will understand the affordability of Ikea products and services when purchased directly from the company instead of other sellers.

“We can see that a lot of the platforms and sellers with their own websites are offering the Ikea range at prohibitively high prices, often even higher than the maximum retail price on products, which is not aligned to legal metrology regulations to protect Indian consumers. We would only encourage consumers to be more aware," she said.

Ikea has two stores, one each in Hyderabad and Navi Mumbai, with plans to open stores in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. In addition, the company delivers online orders in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.

Ikea prefers to create affordable solutions rather than sell an individual product, Rao said. “This is not possible through third party platforms. We do not have a partnership with any of these platforms or businesses."

In an emailed response to queries, Home Brigade said that “after a great deal of careful consideration, we are in process of closing e-commerce operations of our company’s website." It did not provide any specific information on Ikea to Mint. “We don’t require sellers to prove brand authorization and sellers are free to source their products at their discretion, as long as the products are genuine," said an Amazon India spokesperson.

Legal experts said while traders are prohibited from selling fakes online, re-sellers or importers can sell if the products are not “misrepresented". Ikea’s Rao said, “in the cities where we have a presence, we offer our products and services at transparent prices published on the website. We do work together with service providers as Indian consumers have a high need for services."

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