Story of the humble 1 Rupee Coin: Cash on Delivery

COD Order Value: Rs. 199/-

Conversation with delivery boy:

Me: “Ek rupiya nahi hai to wapas le jao”

Him: “Ok, Sir”

*delivery boy leaves*

We ignore the paisa value of orders, payments, bills and everything else, but ever wondered where all that paisa goes?

Story of the humble 1 Rupee Coin is not new to us, we have been accepting toffees and whatnot instead of the ‘change’ at kirana shops, at the panwadis and virtually everywhere else. Paytm and all other e-wallets are supposedly driven by this fact that their product solves this problem among others, at least they say so in their advertisements. Satyavachan. Agreed. But the problem here is not that we are willing to accept the toffee or let go of the unloved 1 Rupee Coin, the issues here are service and question of liability (I love this word).

Delivering Cash on Delivery orders, is a service you are providing as a carrier and somebody is paying for that service, directly the seller and indirectly us and in most cases the investors who have invested in marketplaces :p

So are we as a customer liable to pay 199 change to be able to receive our order? To emphasize on the gravity of the situation it comprises of these denominations 1×100+1×50+4×10+1×5+2×2 so thats 6 notes and 3 coins, and this is best case scenario given that the customer has all these denominations.

Can someone answer what can solve this problem?

Absolutely correct, the humble one rupee coin.

I will accept that the carrier (courier company) has no legal liability to provide me the customer with change, and I can also very easily let it go. BUT #beingbaniya, “Mujhe to ek rupiya chahiye”. What now? Whose loss?

Let’s do some maths: Rs. 50 product cost + Rs. 20 marketplace charge/payment gateway/other charge + Rs. 30 delivery charge *and brace yourself* Rs. 50 COD charge (yes that’s what most carriers charge for a COD order, Rs. 30 on the lower side), here I am giving seller the luxury of 25% margin which is not actually the case, margins on selling goods online are generally much lesser (depending on category).

Now, if I refuse to accept this order, there is also a Return to Origin/Seller charge involved and COD charge will still be charged. Paying Rs. 30-60 COD charge kills the seller, its simply not feasible, which is why marketplaces are footing this bill for now. Like, you have started seeing delivery charges, you will also start seeing COD charges sooner than later as funds dry up and for a sustainable tomorrow.

Customer loses, seller loses, marketplace loses, carrier wins! Ding Ding Ding.

So, calling all online shoppers to join the revolution, place COD orders and refuse to accept them if change is not provided, if enough of us can do this, and marketplaces see a sharp rise in COD returns (which is already very high at almost 20-30% of COD orders), they might force carriers to force delivery personnel to carry change and make sure no order returns due to this. Let’s take this pledge to empower the Re. 1 coin :p

But on a serious note, let’s assume everyday 10,00,000 orders are placed online and roughly 40% are COD then we are collectively & effectively letting go of Rs. 4,00,000 per day which sums up to be 14 crore 60 lakhs per year. Where does all this money go? To the delivery boys. I have nothing against them earning Rs. 1000/- a month more than their salary given that they get no holiday whatsoever. Amazon Transport Service was operational on 26th January, Imagine.

And this is just the case when order value is, 1 rupee less than nearest 0 figure. What if order value is Rs. 191/- you don’t have a 1 rupee coin and delivery person will obviously never admit he has Rs. 9 change. Now, you can make all permutation and combinations.

Let your imaginations run wild 😀




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