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Selling on Walmart Marketplace: is it Really Worth the Effort?

By Matthew Ferguson

Walmart marketplace? Like the wild west. Running your own webstore? Like raising a baby pig. Matthew Ferguson explains.

Selling on Walmart Marketplace: is it Really Worth the Effort?

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Jazva

Funny yet informative post Matthew! Developing a great website shopping experience definitely takes more time and investment, but sellers will have more control over the brand experience and customer relationship. Some perks include data collection for remarketing and personalization, upselling and buy-online-pick-up-in-store services. Selling on Walmart isn’t always ideal either. Certain categories sell better than others on specific marketplaces. Customer satisfaction has been a problem on Walmart Marketplace, too. The average rating for the top 100 sellers on the platform is 3.9 out of 5, compared to the top 100 sellers on Amazon and eBay, which average a near-perfect 4.9… Read more »

Matthew Ferguson

Replying to Jazva

Very true Jazva, very good valid points. If I had a point, which is itself debatable, it would be merely to highlight the vast long term project a website truly is, as oppose to a Marketplace where the marketing is done for you. I have worked with sellers who, upon launching a website, then wonder why no one is buying from it 3 days later… and they are being serious. A website is important, but no small task to grow. Walmart, as is the case with most marketplaces, is a lighter touch. Less time and effort to see some returns… Read more »

DaveP

That article was funny as hell. What a great comparison; I heard OPEN SHOP NOW. Walmart may be the wild west but Amazon is where the millions of credit cards live and trust Prime.
Thanks, DaveP

Matthew Ferguson

Replying to DaveP

Indeed Dave, Amazon is monolithic right now. I’m guessing that’s where the bulk of your revenue resides on marketplaces?

DaveP

Replying to Matthew Ferguson

I would like to see someone seriously challenge that monolith. My FBA fees are insane!

Matthew Ferguson

Replying to DaveP

Have you applied for SFP? Might help, depending on your variables. FBA, after warehousing, boxing, shipping and staff, is increasingly competitive.

Out of curiosity, what do you sell?

DaveP

Replying to Matthew Ferguson

I sell home and garden items under mrdirtfarmer.com and on AMZ. I’m not familiar with SFP, what’s that?
DaveP

Matthew Ferguson

Stands for Seller Fulfilled Prime. You need to be eligible to apply, but basically you get to keep warehousing in-house and still get ‘Prime’. An Amazon courier service will show up at your door step each morning to pick up the orders. You can’t mess up though! You may not be eligible sadly.

Webretailer did a nice piece on it: https://www.webretailer.com/b/amazon-seller-fulfilled-prime-guide/

Appeagle did a good one too: http://blog.appeagle.com/amazon-seller-fulfilled-prime

John

As an e-commerce retailer I can say that selling on Walmart is a disaster! We are very successful on Amazon and Ebay. We were originally invited to sell on Walmart’s Marketplace before they opened it to everyone. The user interface is terrible and you cannot create listings unless you upload them from a spreadsheet. Clunky and not user friendly. Once you list you items their “sales inhibitors” go to work. Their special algorithm compares your products to products that are not remotely the same. Selling a manufacturers product that has many models at different pricing levels or different colors? Forget… Read more »

Matthew Ferguson

Replying to John

So… you’re a fan? Sorry! I am sincerely sorry to hear about the pain John. The unpublished topic is a true thorn for many sellers, especially when you want to bundle things. Excellent detail shared about lumping shipping into price. It seems unrealistic that as they grow, that functionality will continue. I don’t see how they can control it properly at scale, when clearly its a mess now. It is sadly still the wild west. All marketplaces that survive start up go through a maturation phase. I don’t know if you ever sold on the early Amazon or eBay, but… Read more »

Jason

Replying to John

“:Walmart forces you to include shipping and then unpublishes you if your price on another site adds in shipping separately – even when the combined price is higher.” That is my concern. We are also selling at other sites with shipping cost separately. If they unpublished listing just based on the price, it will be disaster.

Crystal

Replying to John

Thanks for your advice and insight, I feel like running now.

K Sheets

What about items that are not currently in their “catalog” can you create new item listings?

MJ

I am selling on Walmart and I am getting sales but dealing with the listings is not very easy. They constantly take them off for odd reasons then put them back on whenever they feel like it. You can not call into customer service it is all done by email so I email them everyday about something. Very frustrated.

James

Hello Matthew,, Really enjoyed the article and a lot of good points made also in the comments section pros and cons.. One of the best things I like about selling on Walmart is NO Chinese at this time.. There may be some domestic Chinese wholesalers but I have not seen no overseas merchants and what I have understood Walmart is only taking domestic sellers “at this time”. The Chinese can really put the slam Bam to some of your products even though it takes three weeks to three months to get it. Good luck to all you guys may your… Read more »

Matthew

Replying to James

Hi James, Thank you for the praise! too kind. Yes… Globalization is going to push positives and negatives until the laws and buyer mind set mature with the technology and inter-connectivity of systems and markets. In the end, you will always have buyers who will wait 3 extra weeks to save 5 dollars, and buyers willing to spend a little more to get it in a day or two. Walmart eventually will open up their market, so your best option is to focus on what you can control and position yourself ready for the trends the markets will always adopt.… Read more »

Sean

We do alot of custom made to order items and have been looking into other markets as well but so far ebay we sell the most then our website, then etsy. was looking into walmart.com but does not look like a fit for us. Amazon fee’s are so high for what we make we just stay away from there selling platform which is sad since there the biggest. Anyone have any other sites they would recommend selling on?

But Really enjoyed the article but love reading all the comments as well

Juan Solano

Selling on Walmart is the worse experience a seller can have. It takes time to publish listing and if you do they can be unpublished anytime. There is no phone for customer servide and they never help you just close your ticket with some lame excuse. Walmart can issue a Refund on your behalf for no valid reason even after 2 months. They suck we sell there because we need to but as soon as we can we will leave.

klaudia whetstone

Replying to Juan Solano

THis is very true, I am disgusted selling on this platform. No support, mismatches, no confirmations, partner support replie to your case like 1 moth later RUN!!!!! HORRIBLE seller experience!!!!! AMAZON PEOPLE ONLY!!!!! Do not waste time on WALMART until they rebuilt their whole database ….wasting time

Jim Costner

I just started a facebook group for walmart sellers forums. If you are interested join and lets share tactics.

The group is named ” Walmart Sellers Forum ” Search on Facebook

No gimmicks or selling nothing. I am just trying to get people to have a good conversation on walmart selling.

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