December 6, 2021

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Getting Started on Walmart Marketplace: What You Need To Know

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Is there anyone who hasn’t heard about Walmart? Every fourth American visits the Walmart website each month. The company started its journey in 1962 in Arkansas as the store that would offer products at low prices and “make customers’ lives better.” Founded by Sam Walton, also known as “Mr. Sam,” the company was incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law on October 31, 1969.

Decades into its success, the well-known brick-and-mortar company decided to launch Walmart Marketplace in 2009. This rollout enabled third-party sellers to list and sell their products on Walmart’s website. Its massive growth over the years has made it one of the three top marketplaces in the United States. 

So, if you are a seller considering putting up your products on Walmart Marketplace, here’s a quick overview of some best practices, costs, fees and shipping options:

How To Start Selling on Walmart Marketplace

Selling on Walmart means arranging a partnership with Walmart. With this partnership, your product listings will become visible to more than 100 million monthly visitors of the Walmart website. 

Walmart strives to build relationships with sellers with an excellent reputation, high-level customer service and a proven track record of delivering customer satisfaction. Unlike other marketplaces, Walmart doesn’t allow the sale of used products. To check products prohibited from being sold on Walmart, check Walmart’s Marketplace Prohibited Products Policy

If your products are not part of the list, follow the steps below to get started.

The first step is completing the Request to Sell Application. The application should not take more than 15 mins to fill out. Before starting, make sure you have the following documentation and information ready: 

  • US Business Tax ID
  • W9 or W8 and EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury
  • Walmart Integration Method

You will need a planned integration method for your product catalog. You will provide information on primary product categories, catalog size and related information (e.g., total SKUs you will be selling on Walmart.com initially with verified UPC information and used vs. refurbished).

Walmart usually approves or declines requests within 14 business days. In case of approval, you’ll acknowledge the Retailer Agreement and then start the onboarding process. 

After that, you will get an invitation to sign up and register on Seller Center, a place where you will integrate your products, manage inventory, shipments, returns and customer service, as well as check for your seller profile performances. 

Your items will look like any other items listed on Walmart, except they will include your company info, shipping, return policy and contact information. 

Costs, Fees, Payout and Shipping Options

With Walmart, there are no setup, subscription or monthly fees. A referral/commission fee is deducted once a sale occurs on its website, and that is everything about basic fees. Percentages vary based on category, but the range is usually between 8 percent and 15 percent. Since you have fees only in case of having sales, everyone will agree this is a great option.

Walmart usually processes payouts to sellers automatically to their US Bank account every two weeks. However, there is a seven-day payment cycle for some sellers though. 

When we speak about shipping options, it is essential to know that you can’t use shipping services from other marketplaces, including FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). 

You can fulfill Walmart orders using your warehouses/third-party shipping services or apply to Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). Sellers approved for WFS send their inventory to Walmart Fulfillment Centers. And that’s it! Similar to Amazon, Walmart will take care of storing, selecting and shipping your orders. 

How Much Does WFS Cost? What Are the Requirements for Application?

You don’t want oversized items because Walmart fees for “special oversize tier” items are super high. You want to have dimensions as per WFS maximum package weight and size requirements: 

  1. Maximum weight of 30 lbs
  2. Maximum dimensions of 25 x 20 x 14 inches

Fulfillment fees depending on the weight of the item:

  1. If weight is less than or equal to 2lbs, a fee is $4.95
  2. If weight is less than or equal to 3 lbs, a fee is $5.45
  3. If weight is less than or equal to 4 lbs, and up to 20 lbs, a fee is $5.75 + $0.40 for every additional lb
  4. For weights above 20 lbs and up to 30 lbs, add $3.00 to the above fees

Storage fees depending on the period of the year. According to that, we have fees for: 

  • January – September (Q1 – Q3), fees are $0.75/cubic foot per month.
  • October – December (Q4), fees are $0.75/cubic foot per month for items stored less than 30 days. Add $1.50/cubic foot per month (total: $2.25/cubic foot per month) for items stored for more than 30 days

These best practices and overviews should make your decision to start selling on Walmart much easier. 

Ultimately, to be a great seller on Walmart Marketplace, don’t forget to maintain: 

  1. Low Cancellation Rate: This is the percentage of canceled orders after receiving an order from Walmart. Low cancellation rate means maintaining this number below 2 percent in a 14-day period.
  2. High On-Time Delivery Rate: On-Time Delivery Rate is the percentage of orders that shipped or received shipping confirmation by the expected shipment date. High On-Time Delivery Date means maintaining this rate higher than 99 percent.
  3. Low Return Rate: Having a low number of returns is crucial for any Walmart Seller. A high number of returns will cost you money and time and it will affect your order defect rate.
  4. Valid Tracking Rate: Tracking Rate is a percentage of the orders with valid tracking information on or by the expected delivery date. Valid tracking rate also should be above 99 percent.

All of these metrics combined are parts of the Order Defect Rate (ODR), which is required to be lower than 2 percent in a 90-day period. 

Conclusion

If you are considering selling your product on Walmart Marketplace, make sure you have product dimensions as required, consider all costs you will have, and that you can provide a great experience to the customers.

As mentioned before, Walmart wants to build a community of sellers with a great reputation. A high on-time delivery rate with a low number of returns is one of the top KPIs that every seller needs to keep in mind. Happy selling on Walmart!

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