Info-tech

Flipkart's 'launch offer' on Chetan Bhagat's new novel

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 16, 2018

Actor Kangana Ranaut with author Chetan Bhagat during the launch of his new book 'One Indian Girl' in Mumbai on Saturday. -- PTI

In what is being seen as ambush marketing, e-commerce giant Flipkart took on its competitor, Amazon, by giving customers the chance to buy popular author Chetan Bhagat’s new novel, One Indian Girl, for a mere Re 1 on its site on the day of its launch on Saturday, even though Amazon has exclusive rights over the book and is selling it for Rs 116.

In its blog, Flipkart stories, the e-commerce company said it would never let its customers down, “particularly if they love books.’’ “Amazin’ how good things happen to Flipkart customers who wait! At Flipkart, we never let our customers down, particularly if they love books. Especially our Chetan Bhagat fans. “Just for today, October 1, every customer that bought a book from our extensive Flipkart Assured books collection could buy the brand new bestseller from Chetan Bhagat, One Indian Girl, for just ₹1. That’s right. On the very day of its launch. “

The twitterati was quick to react to the face-off between the two e-commerce giants. A reader, Sharmila Ganguly tweeted: Friend: How r Chetan Bhagat Books? Give me honest review. Me: Flipkart is selling his books for Re 1. Is there other review u need?

Another person, going by the name Ved, commented that even Re 1 is too pricey for the novel by Bhagat, considered one of the most prolific and highly successful authors in the country. Another, too, felt that that buying the book for Re 1 was wasteful.

Amazon did not respond to a questionnaire sent in this regard.

Both Amazon and Flipkart have been trying to outdo the other at bagging exclusive rights for Bhagat’s novels.

In August 2014, Flipkart brought out a full-page ad in leading dailies saying that Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend was exclusively available on its site. But Amazon managed to get copies of the book and started hawking them on its website too.

Not, to be cowed down, Flipkart immediately sent a legal notice to Amazon for violating its exclusive rights. It went one step further by returning the favour when it started selling another popular author, Amish Tripathi’s Scion of Ikshvaku even though Amazon held exclusive rights to sell the book on its platform. Publisher Westland filed a case against Flipkart but is learnt to have later withdrawn it.

With both Flipkart and Amazon set to battle it out with their respective annual sales events during the course of the week, customers can hope to see a lot more action as a lot more than wresting a bigger market share is at stake.

Published on October 02, 2016

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