How to Start a Profitable New Business Selling on the Walmart Marketplace

By Carol J. Dunlop


Walmart's Online Marketplace (regularly misspelled wal mart marketplace for some reason) enables third-party sellers to offer products which compliment existing first-party products and services in the Walmart Marketplace. Over 100 million unique Walmart.com monthly visitors (source: comScore) are virtually waiting to be exposed to your products. With thousands of categories from fashion to consumer electronics, Walmart Marketplace offers an effective selling platform for all types of sellers. Walmart Seller Central is expected to grow by 79% by 2024.

Are you interested in joining Walmart's Marketplace as a Marketplace seller? This post breaks down the information you need to know about how to apply, how to sell, and how to manage it all.


What is Walmart Marketplace?

walmart Marketplace

Walmart Marketplace is curated from third party sellers, showcasing a variety of high-performance items that complement items offered on Walmart.com. The retailer's audience includes more than 120 million monthly users. Walmart continues to target even bigger audiences who are looking for ecommerce services that offer competitive pricing. By joining the community of marketplace sellers, you can increase your product's awareness as well as conversions.

Why Sell on Walmart Marketplace?

With a website that's easy to navigate, looks professional and offers a product catalog that contains comprehensive listing details, the Walmart Marketplace is the place for sellers right now. If you're not quite convinced, here are a few reasons to check it out and join the community of The Walmart 3rd party vendors.

No Monthly Fee for Sellers

Unlike Amazon seller central, Walmart marketplace sellers pay no fees for setup or subscriptions. And there are no hidden expenses.

You will pay a reasonable referral fee of 6 to 15 percent (based on the product you want to sell). However, there isn't a monthly fee to be a seller. Which is perfect for the marketplace sellers who are tired of paying monthly fees on top of selling fees.

You only pay for what you sell, and the referrals are collected from the completed purchase. Their referral fees are based on the category that the product is listed under. You can see more about how their referral fees work here.

Price Control in Your Hands

You are in control of how much you make from sales, because you set your prices on your products. That's right, Walmart doesn't control how much you charge. For new sellers, this is great news.

Less Competition

Walmart is very selective in choosing who can be a seller on the site. Amazon may offer a bigger audience, but you'll have fewer sellers to compete with as a Walmart Marketplace seller. And less competition overall. Which means, it will be your opportunity to get more customers.

Build Your Brand

Lesser-known brands can benefit from being sellers on Walmart.com. Being a Walmart Marketplace seller gets you in front of one of the largest audiences in the world.

Thanks to Walmart's pro seller return policy, you are under a lot less undue pressure compared to the other marketplaces, like Amazon.

Walmart com marketplace return is a good thing, not a bad thing. 

Even if a consumer might not regularly purchase from you, being part of the Walmart Marketplace instills added trust.

walmart fulfillment service

Walmart Fulfillment Services

A critical prerequisite to getting your Walmart Marketplace application accepted is the availability of a reliable supply system. Walmart customers can expect delivery within two to three days. You are prohibited from using fulfillment services provided by other marketplaces such as Amazon. No problem. Get your goods shipped with WFS - WalMart Fulfillment Service.

Walmart also handles the customer service and return orders for you. This allows sellers to spend more time promoting products instead of focusing on handling the customers themselves. If you have questions, you may contact a customer care representative at the Walmart Fulfillment Center.

WFS calculator

You can calculate your fulfillment fees for using WFS before you actually sign on with them by using their WFS calculator.

Personalized Account Management

Walmart connects each individual online seller with WFS fulfillment experts to help you develop customized recommendations. This helps to make the back and forth correspondence easier.

Guaranteed 2-day Free Shipping and Free Returns

By using WFS fulfillment, your customers are eligible to get free shipping for two days, just like with Amazon FBA. Walmart can deliver orders from your customers to the store within two hours. Customer satisfaction is very important to Walmart, so they've set up a a return policy that is consistent across the board. You can learn more in their Seller Help section about returns.

Marketplace Seller vs. Walmart Supplier

It's essentially easier for third party sellers to become approved suppliers for Walmart Marketplace than to be a supplier for Walmart. Because a supplier has more overlapping relationships, Walmart holds them to higher standards before approval and during the partnership.

Unlike Walmart Marketplace sellers, suppliers get approval on the basis of brand recognition, sales, and alignment with Walmart values. But a sellerwalmart can take control of their prices, customer care, and speed of shipping, thus ensuring a positive customer experience for their clients. Also, you will enjoy a quicker onboarding process.

WMP application

How to Sell on Walmart Marketplace

You're probably asking yourself, "how do I get approved to sell at walmart?" 

Here are the basics of selling products in the Walmart Marketplace. First, potential sellers must apply and be approved to sell on Walmart.com. You will need the following items in order to apply.

  • US Business Tax ID (SSN not accepted)
  • W9 or W8 along with your EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury that verifies your US business address or place of physical operations
  • Address or place of physical operations
  • US Business or corporate address
  • Planned integration method for your product catalog (bulk upload, API, solution provider)
  • 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 etc.)

The Registration Process

The application process to get started on Walmart Marketplace takes 10-15 minutes, if you have obtained all necessary documents. During the process, you may contact Walmart Marketplace for a quick turnaround and to help fill in the gaps in your application.

After submitting your application you you are able to use their Check your Status feature to stay updated on your acceptance for your Walmart seller account. It's set up to give you real-time updates during the review process.

Once you are approved as a seller you will receive a link to register your business. You will then need to set your business up on the site.

  1. Create your Walmart Seller Center account.
  2. Provide DUNS info along with your business tax ID.
  3. Fill out a W-9 along with the other tax information. Required data: your name, business address and Taxpayer identification number.
  4. Set up payment information and provide your bank account details. Walmart sends payouts every two weeks for all sales made within the previous timeframe. Walmart partners with Payoneer.com and Hyperwallet. Only Payoneer is available on the sales page for Walmart sellers whose tax classification is EIW-8.
  5. Set up your shipping information including shipping charges. You can choose the shipping model, the delivery method, or the location you want to ship to. Standard shipping methods are Standard, Express or Next Day. Once shipping setup is complete, it's easy to dig deep into the strategy with Walmart Marketplace's customizable template templates.

Sign the Walmart Retailer Agreement

Next you will need to sign the Walmart Retailer Agreement that every Marketplace vendor is required to signed. These documents contain conditions that the seller must accept in order to start selling on Walmart Marketplace.

Best Practices for Selling on Walmart Marketplace

Walmart.com offers several tools that help sellers achieve ecommerce success. Once you get your new product ready to sell on Walmart Marketplace, you will be able to optimize the catalog performance to increase the revenue you generate.

Product Research

Although Jungle Scout specifically covers Amazon research, you can use these tools to help you understand which products are selling at Walmart. Use product database or opportunity search to locate items selling at Amazon and to search for the product on Walmart.com. If other Walmart Marketplace sellers have offered those items with high review counts (60 or greater), it might indicate they have sold on Walmart. Walmart offers another product in the seller center, known as Growth Opportunities. It allows retailers to search Walmart's most popular products for new and upcoming items.

Keyword Research

The keywords that customers use to search for products on Walmart.com are similar to the ones they use to search on Amazon. Customers are no longer changing their search from market to market. This is a good reason for using the Keyword Scout program. Another great and free tool is Google Keyword Planner. Create your keywords for your Walmart listing. Make sure you use those keywords in the description. No keyword stuffing, your list needs to be clear and easily understandable.

listing quality dashboard

Listing Optimization

Your marketplace or ecommerce success depends on sales. Just because you offer resale products doesn't mean they will sell. Your listing may not have an optimized search engine ranking if your customers aren't searching for it. Take your time in crafting your product titles so you can enhance their discoverability.

Similar to Amazon, Walmart now offers a Listing Quality Dashboard which gives insight into the areas where you can improve your listing. Walmart Marketplace has developed and analyzed dozens of listings using multifactor analysis. In percentages, this score can range from 1 to 99 and is displayed on each item and in each catalog, for each seller. The list comprises three main elements: content & discovery, offering, rating & reviews, and post sales.

WFS unpublished-items

Check the Health of Your Listings

The Unpublished Items Dashboard allows sellers to review unpublished items to see where they are missing opportunities for sales. Using this dashboard, professional sellers can view published items in detail. The dashboard lists reasons why the item was unpublished, such as “Premium Image missing” error. It will also show you if the item infringes on intellectual property, has a regulatory compliance issue, and/or if the item is deemed offensive. The dashboard shows the number of items affected plus their "unpublished" value.

Customize Your Shipping Templates

When it comes to shipping to multiple countries, the easiest method for managing it is to use shipping templates. A newly launched product available from on Walmart Seller Central provides sellers with the ability to design and build customized shipping templates. These shipping templates include customized configurations, flexible transport time, delivery regions in the United States, and reports. You can create a West Coast Shipping template in walamrt seller central, select Two-Day delivery and assign certain SKUs to that template.

Use Expedited Shipping Options

The rapid delivery options offered by Walmart Marketplace make selling easier. Using the Shipping Configurator, you have many options to select the best fit for your business. Items within your catalog which are capable of delivering within two days will receive attention-getting free two-day delivery labels. This increases the win rate and drives more sales.

WFS setting-by-match

How to Upload and Manage Your Listings

You can upload or update a listing easily by using the bulk upload tool. You are then able to choose between Setting by Match or complete item specification using the tool. Setting by Match makes it easy to match your goods to the descriptions and images in the system, making the process go faster for item setup. Check out the QuickStart guide that goes through the entire Setting by Match process.

Start by logging into your seller center account and click “Add New Items.” This brings you to the Item Create page.

step
1

Item Identifier

Next, you'll need to enter your Item Identifier. This is your product’s GTIN, ISBN, or UPC, which is unique to each product. The system checks to see if that product has been set up by another seller or supplier. 

  • Product Match: Click “Yes, this is it.” The required attributes will auto-populate.

  • No Match: Click “Not my product.” You will then need to fill in the necessary information. 

step
2

Product’s Name

Now, you will need to enter your product’s name and choose the category listing. Set your product's name, which is limited to 50–75 characters.

step
3

Additional Attributes

Fill in the additional attributes required for each product. These include: SKU, Description, and Brand. The description should have a minimum of 150 words.

step 4

Key Features (Highlights)

Next, you can fill in your products product’s Key Features (Highlights). These are short phrases with keywords listed in bullet-point format. You can have up to 10 bullets with 80 characters each, including spaces.

step
5

Product Image(s)

Add your product images by clicking “Add Images” and then click “Select Image Files” from the drop-down menu. Choose the primary image that
will appear when customers search and click “Set as Primary” under
the Actions column.

step
6

Offer Tab and Submitting

After your images are uploaded, click the “Offer” tab and fill in the following information: price, shipping weight, product tax codes, etc.

Finally, click Submit.

Allow up to 24 hours for your product to appear on Walmart Marketplace.

Ready to Sell on Walmart Marketplace?

The seller center is quickly becoming one of the places that online shoppers turn to for making and placing their online orders. If you're thinking about what it would be like to sell on Walmart, then now is the time to try it out. You can come on as a third-party seller and look at it as a way of expanding your business and your offerings.

Let us know in the comments if you are read to take the plunge.

About the author

Carol J. Dunlop is a 5X Best-selling author for her book. Carol is known as “The Online WOW! Strategist.” She teaches entrepreneurs to convert marketing into money using their WOW! Website to attract the clients they need to live the life they want.

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  1. This sounds a like a great new way to sell online – especially partnering with Walmart. I buy from Walmart all the time and I trust it. So this is something that i will look in to. First step is the EIN number, not SSN.

  2. I got denied for walmart. Ima a amz seller for 1 year with llc. Any advice what to do next

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