shutterstock_170427065Walmart’s Marketplace is constantly looking to add valuable suppliers to its network. If you are lucky, you might receive an invitation to join their Marketplace.  Marketplace enables small businesses to reach a projected 80 million consumers.  In addition to a major audience reach, small businesses can sell their products alongside Walmart and other major retailers.  With such a strong reach, solid reputation, and diverse mix of products, selling on Marketplace seems like a good fit.  So, how does a brand sell on Marketplace?




 Unlike marketplaces such as Etsy or eBay, Walmart’s Marketplace requires a little more than an e-mail and password.  To join the 500+ retailers currently selling on the Marketplace, a brand must go through a short application process.  First, a brand will request an invitation from Walmart to sell on their Marketplace.  Then, once an invitation has been accepted, the prospective seller will be required to complete a standard application.  Upon receipt of the application, Walmart will review the brand to see if it will be a good fit for the Marketplace.


Walmart then carefully reviews each applicant interested in selling on their Marketplace.  As a major retailer, they want to protect their name and reputation.  Walmart will look at other places a brand sells such as Amazon and eBay. While there are many indicators they will look at, there are a few that stand out.  Customer feedback on any sales outlet will be something under scrutiny.  If a brand receives a great deal of negative feedback, that might be a liability for Walmart.  Conversely, a lot of positive feedback would make for a coveted seller.

In addition to feedback, a brand’s product catalog will be evaluated.  They will review the items in the catalog and then determine whether they are a reseller or a brand owner. While both are allowed, brand owners are more desirable. Walmart will consider where a brand’s products are in the retail life cycle.  In addition, they will check how well a seller meets consumer demand and review its return policy.


A few weeks after a brand has submitted their application to sell, they will know if they are approved.  After approval, Walmart will send an agreement that will need to be in place before items can be uploaded.  Now the fun begins!   After the agreement has been received, it is time to start uploading the product list. 


After registering and signing, it is time for a brand to list their products.  This is the lengthiest part of the process.  In all, there are about 20 steps in the entire process.  The first few steps include creating a login and setting up the brand’s account.  Upon completion, the category in which they are selling will be selected.  Picking the correct category is crucial. The brand will then be able to download an excel sheet that corresponds to that category.  The sheet will have all the fields pertinent to uploading products to the Marketplace.  The sheet will include mandatory and optional information for each product.  Each excel sheet can handle roughly 2,000 products.

Once the excel sheet has been filled out and saved, the next step is to upload the file to the new items portion of the brand’s account.  Now the items will be uploaded into the seller’s inventory. This is done through another excel template.  There is also the option of bulk updating or per item.  Once the inventory has been loaded into the template and made live, it is go time.  The brand is in business.


On occasion, a brand might sell an item that is also offered by Walmart or another retailer.  In this case, the “buy box” comes into play.  A “buy box” is the box in a product description that gives the price of a retailer and what other sellers are offering.  To “win” at the buy box, a seller will want to have the lowest price including shipping and handling costs.

There are also many plugins that can help with inventory management and fulfillment.  Plugins are important because Walmart requires its Marketplace sellers to fulfill their orders themselves.  Having an inventory management program in place is recommended as it provides ease to the fulfillment process and keeps excellent tabs on inventory.


So, how does a brand get paid once transactions have gone through and orders have been sent out?  When a seller signs their agreement, they know their selling period.  At the end of the period, a report is generated detailing all sales and payment information.  Becoming a seller on Walmart’s Marketplace will extend a brand’s reach, yield increasing sales and profits, and create opportunities for growth.


Sharon Shichor is the CEO of Eighteen Knowledge Group LLC, your solution and knowledge base for brand building and getting your products in the hands of consumers. With over 15 years of wholesale-retail experience, she speaks the language of Walmart fluently.

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