How to sell on Walmart

Expose your business to millions of customers through this retail giant’s marketplace.

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Walmart offers an opportunity for you to get your items in front of 100 million unique online visitors to the retailer’s site. But selling through the Walmart Marketplace can be a full-time job between managing your inventory and meeting pricing and shipping standards.

What can I sell on Walmart?

Like the retail stores that dot the country, Walmart Marketplace covers thousands of items across categories that include:

    • Automotive and powersports
    • Baby
    • Beauty
    • Books
    • Camera and photo
    • Cell phones
    • Consumer electronics
    • Electronics accessories
    • Furniture and decor
    • Gourmet food
    • Grocery
    • Health and personal care
    • Home and garden
    • Jewelry
    • Kitchen
    • Luggage and travel accessories
    • Major appliances
    • Music
    • Musical instruments
    • Office products
    • Outdoors
    • Personal computers
    • Pet supplies
    • Shoes, handbags and sunglasses
    • Software and computer video games
    • Sporting goods
    • Tires and wheels
    • Tools and home improvement
    • Toys and games
    • Video and DVD
    • Video games and consoles
    • Watches
  • In addition to generic categories, you can offer your items through Walmart’s niche stores, like Jet.com, Moosejaw.com and Shoes.com.

    How much does it cost to sell on Walmart?

    You’ll pay no setup, monthly or subscription fees to sell on Walmart. Instead, the marketplace deducts a referral fee after a sale processes on its site. Sellers are also responsible for shipping costs.

    Hot tip: Categorize your goods appropriately, so that you don’t get charged a higher referral fee than necessary.

    Referral fees by category

    CategoryFee
    Apparel and accessories15%
    Automotive and powersports12%
    Baby15%
    Beauty15%
    Books15%
    Camera and photo8%
    Cell phones8%
    Consumer electronics8%
    Electronics accessories15%
    Furniture and decor15%
    Gourmet food15%
    Grocery15%
    Health and personal care15%
    Home and garden15%
    Jewelry20%
    Kitchen15%
    Luggage and travel accessories15%
    Major appliances8%
    Music15%
    Musical instruments12%
    Office products15%
    Outdoors15%
    Personal computers6%
    Pet supplies15%
    Shoes, handbags and sunglasses 15%
    Software and computer video games15%
    Sporting goods15%
    Tires and wheels10%
    Tools and home improvement15%
    Toys and games15%
    Video and DVD15%
    Video game consoles8%
    Video games15%
    Watches15%
    Everything else15%

    Let’s crunch the numbers

    Naomi sells items on the Walmart Marketplace in two categories: sporting goods and jewelry. She sells a fishing pole for $132 and an emerald necklace for $350, both including shipping costs.

    Here are the fees that Naomi pays:

    ItemWalmart referral feeTotal fee based on purchase
    Fishing pole15%$19.80
    Emerald necklace20%$70

    In total, Naomi loses $89.80 on her total sale of $482 — roughly 18.7% of her sale. Her total net profit is $392.20.

    Is selling on Walmart worth it?

    You can sell nearly anything on the Walmart Marketplace as long as it is new and has a UPC code (exceptions apply for items like jewelry). When you combine this wide array of items with their huge customer base, selling on Walmart can be worth it.

    Walmart’s e-commerce platform is growing, but it has a ways to go before it can directly compete with Amazon. Becoming a Walmart seller now pits you against less competition than you’d potentially face on Amazon.

    Pros

    • No setup fees. Experiment with selling on Walmart without paying a dime.
    • Household name. Linking to your products on Walmart offers customers a sense of security.
    • In-store returns. Customers can return items to Walmart stores instead of shipping them back to you, saving you money.

    Cons

    • Lower margins. Walmart emphasizes competitive pricing, so you’ll have to keep your prices low. This, plus their moderately high fees will lead to lower profits for your business.
    • Order fulfillment. You have to ship your own order or use a third party fulfillment business. Sellers can be punished by Walmart for making shipping errors, so using a Walmart integrated shipping partner may be best.
    • Lack of seller support. Some sellers have complained about only having email support and the inability to get Walmart representatives on the phone to resolve issues.

    How to start selling on Walmart

    To get started as a Walmart Marketplace seller, sign up as a seller and then wait for approval:

    1. Visit the Walmart Marketplace website and click Apply.
    2. Create your account with a username and password.
    3. Sign the Walmart Retailer Agreement, and click Submit and Continue.
    4. Enter your company’s details, and click Save and Continue.
    5. Complete your tax details, and click Save and Continue.
    6. Sign up for a Payoneer account for future payments by clicking Create an Account.
    7. Set your rates and other shipping details.
    8. Set your prices, test your items and submit your information for your approval email.

      How to price your items

      True to its reputation for low prices, Walmart expects marketplace sellers to provide competitive prices according to two main principles:

      1. Prices are competitive with other online retailers.
      2. Prices shift with market trends.

      Items that aren’t competitive to these standards are subject to removal — what Walmart calls automatic unpublishing.

      To maintain these two principles, you’re required to manage:

      • Your overhead. Walmart posts its referral fee schedule, making it easy to work backward when nailing down your bottom line.
      • A shifting market. Keep your eye on holiday deals, specials and other competitors dropping prices so that you can match yours accordingly.
      • Your inventory. More than just knowing what you have for sale, you must know the acceptable range for your items and prepare to shift prices at any time.

      Compare e-commerce platforms

      If you want to be able to sell on more than just Walmart, an e-commerce platform can help you build your own store and sell through multiple channels.

      Updated April 7th, 2020
      Name Product Products Prices start at Hosting
      Shopify
      Payment processing
      Website builder
      Inventory tracking
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      $29/mo
      Hosted
      Shopify offers both e-commerce and in-person POS systems designed to help you build a new online store from the ground up.
      BigCommerce
      Payment processing
      Website builder
      Inventory tracking
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      $29.95/mo
      Hosted
      BigCommerce is an all-in-one e-commerce platform created to help you sell more.
      3dcart
      Website builder
      Inventory tracking
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      $19/mo
      Hosted
      Helps businesses build online storefronts while offering a variety of service tiers bundled for businesses large or small
      Square E-commerce
      Payment processing
      Website builder
      Inventory tracking
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      $0/mo + processing fees of 2.9% + 30¢
      Hosted
      Easy-to-use online store builder lets you create beautiful layouts to help drive business
      X-cart
      Website builder
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      $0
      Self-hosted
      X-Cart is an e-commerce platform that can handle your store as it grows to an enterprise-level business.
      Shopify Plus
      Payment processing
      Website builder
      Inventory tracking
      Shopping cart software
      Shipping software
      Varies
      Hosted
      A customizable solution for enterprise-level e-commerce stores.
      loading

      Compare up to 4 providers

      What type of payments does Walmart accept?

      Walmart accepts standard payment options that include:

      • American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa
      • Walmart MoneyCard
      • Walmart MasterCard
      • Walmart Gift Cards
      • PayPal
      • Chase Pay
      • Amex Express Checkout
      • Affirm installment financing
      Walmart pays its sellers through Payoneer every other week for all shipped orders. To get paid, you must sign up for a Payoneer account.

      How to get paid by international buyers

      Our research didn’t turn up details for international buyers. Rather, it appears that sellers are limited to residents of the US and its territories:

      • 50 states and Washington, DC
      • Puerto Rico
      • US Virgin Islands
      • American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
      • APO/FPO military addresses

      International sellers must prove their businesses and warehouses are registered in the US.

      How to ship items on Walmart

      The order cutoff time, fulfillment lag time and transit time determines an item’s expected delivery date.

      Walmart offers two shipping options for marketplace sellers:

      • Shipping yourself. You have a predetermined amount of time after a purchase to get that item in the mail under Walmart’s specific packing and shipping requirements. Depending on where you’re located, it could be cheaper to use a fulfillment service.
      • Full-service solution. Walmart partners with dozens of providers that can help you get your orders to customers on time.

      How can I market my Walmart products?

      Select from free and paid options to improve traffic for your Walmart products.

      Free

      • Optimize your listing. Walmart allows for a lot of product information. Take the time to completely fill out the product title, description, images and appropriate tags.
      • Provide outstanding support. Great ratings on your items can lead to more purchases. Handle every return and customer question with grace and tact.

      Paid

      • Free two-day shipping. Compete directly with Amazon Prime with expedited delivery, and increase the likelihood that a buyer will purchase your item. Walmart requires that you’ve been a seller for at least 90 days or fulfilled 100 or more orders, have an on-time shipping and deliver rate over 95%, have a valid tracking rate of over 95%, have a cancellation rate lower than 1.5% and offer a generous returns policy to sign up.
      • Sign up for performance ads. Walmart Performance Ads is the company’s pay-per-click advertising solution available to sellers. The program requires a $1,000 minimum monthly spend commitment with a $100 daily cap.
      • Advertise outside of Walmart. Run your own ads on Facebook, Google and elsewhere to drive traffic to your Walmart products.

      What to watch out for when selling with Walmart

      A couple important drawbacks to keep in mind when choosing Walmart include:

      • Restricted to US buyers. If you sell on Walmart, you’re limited to a US audience.
      • High fees. Fees ranging from 6% to 20% can eat into your profits.
      • New items only. Walmart doesn’t allow used items and limits refurbished items to specific categories.
      • Price matching. Competitive pricing is required or your risk the removal of your item from the listing.

      Stay up to date with Walmart’s seller rules, and frequently check your seller’s account dashboard for flagged items.

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