You’ve decided to sell your products on Walmart.com. You’ve done your research and understand how to sell on Walmart Marketplace. Now comes the big question: “If I’m just selling on Walmart Marketplace, what is Walmart’s merchandising fee?”
The good news is Walmart Marketplace seller fees have an advantage over other sites like Amazon. There is no annual fee. Also, there is no product listing fee. Instead, Walmart simply charges suppliers with a referral fee for each item sold.
How is a referral fee different from an annual fee or a product listing fee? The Walmart Marketplace referral fee is simply a percentage of your item’s selling price (based on category). Walmart Marketplace fees are only applied when your items are sold; not bad for getting to use Walmart’s large platform and customer base for your product!
Walmart Marketplace Fees at a Glance
Walmart Marketplace selling fees are percentages that vary by category. Depending on what category your item falls into determines the referral fee you will be charged when your item sells.
As of 2020, percentage rates by Walmart category are as follows:
|Product Category||Referral Fee Percentage|
|Apparel & Accessories||15%|
|Automotive & Powersports||12%|
|Camera & Photo||8%|
|Furniture & Decor||15%|
|Health & Personal Care||15%|
|Home & Garden||15%|
|Luggage & Travel Accessories||15%|
|Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses||15%|
|Software & Computer Video Games||15%|
|Tires & Wheels||10%|
|Tools & Home Improvement||15%|
|Toys & Games||15%|
|Video & DVD||15%|
|Video Game Consoles||8%|
Again, the Walmart Marketplace referral fee is only applied to the individual item once the item sells. For example, a jewelry supplier may list a ring that sells for $100. After the ring sells, Walmart would charge the supplier a $20 referral fee based on the 20% category rate from the chart above.
The Walmart category breakout seems clear enough, but some items can be questionable (ex: is a watch jewelry or an apparel accessory?). If you have questions about how your item should be listed, contact the Walmart.com advisory team at 8th & Walton.
Understanding Walmart Marketplace Referral Fees Upfront
While you don’t have to worry about hidden costs from selling on Walmart Marketplace, early calculations of the referral fees are essential. Walmart does a lot for Marketplace sellers in terms of tools, site promotion, and exposure, but one large expense and responsibility still falls on the Marketplace seller: fulfillment.
Calculate Fulfillment Costs with Referral Fee
Once your customer places an order on Walmart.com, it is up to you to ship your own product. Walmart does not offer an internal fulfillment program for Marketplace sellers. To maintain high quality service and customer satisfaction, Walmart will also not pay the Marketplace seller until after the product is shipped.
With fulfillment falling solely on the Walmart Marketplace seller, it is important to calculate the Walmart referral fee when also determining fulfillment costs.
Keep Your Product Price Consistent Across All Websites
If you’re selling your items on other sites, make sure your price is consistent with what you’re charging at Walmart.com. Marketplace sellers that mark up their items’ prices to compensate for Walmart’s referral fees are in danger of violating Walmart’s policy. If Walmart discovers the policy has been violated, your items will be taken off Walmart.com.
For example, let’s consider a Walmart Marketplace supplier that sells men’s shirts. This supplier lists their shirts on both Walmart.com and Amazon.com. To compensate for the 15% Walmart Marketplace referral fee, the supplier charges more for shirts sold on Walmart.com. Will Walmart find out?
Absolutely. The company has rules and systems in place to maintain low price integrity for its customers. In fact, Walmart’s automatic price monitoring system can determine a discrepancy in pricing across online retailers. If pricing violations occur, your products can be automatically removed. Your items will be taken off of Walmart.com if:
- A Walmart.com customer can purchase your item (listed by you) on a competing website for a lower cost, including shipping fees, or
- A Walmart.com customer can purchase the item on a competing website for a significantly lower cost, including shipping fees, even it is listed by another supplier
When products get removed from Walmart.com for pricing violations, the Walmart Marketplace seller is notified. In the Seller Center tool, there is a Manage Items Report section listing the violation. At that point, the seller can correct the issue to get the items republished.
While Walmart does not discourage suppliers from selling products on multiple retail websites, the company maintains low-price dedication to its customers. If you’re pricing your items to compensate for Walmart’s Marketplace referral fees, just ensure the pricing is consistent on all sites you list your items.
Are Walmart Marketplace Referral Fees Worth it?
The short answer is YES! For starters, the absence of an annual fee guarantees you only pay Walmart if your products are selling.
Then you have to take into consideration Walmart’s tremendous site traffic. Walmart.com is reported to receive over 100 million unique visits each month. Your referral fee is getting your item exposure in online searches on Walmart’s massive platform. Whether a search on Walmart.com or an organic search from Google, your item can be ranked alongside the national brands as an equal alternative for a nominal selling fee.
Support from Walmart in promotion and tools is also a key factor. For promotion, Walmart is constantly driving customers to Walmart.com through its apps, additional services, and marketing of wider selection. With more customers taking advantage of Walmart’s Pickup and Delivery services, growing site traffic gets your product in front of new potential customers.
When it comes to tools for Marketplace sellers, Walmart goes to great lengths to set you up for success. You’ll receive access to reports, scorecards, and dashboards to give you insight on your customer, your performance and fulfillment insights. Again, Walmart is providing the Marketplace seller a tremendous amount of data for the referral fee.
How Walmart Marketplace Sellers Get Paid
Now that you understand how you’ll be paying Walmart for its platform use and tools, the next question is, “How does Walmart pay the Marketplace seller?”
To pay its sellers, Walmart uses Payoneer (payoneer.com) to process payments on Walmart Marketplace. If you already have a Payoneer account, you can link to Walmart directly during your setup process. If you don’t have an existing account, it will be better NOT to set one up prior to registering on Walmart Marketplace. Here’s why:
Once you’re accepted to sell on the Walmart Marketplace, you have access to the Seller Center. In the Seller Center, you can begin the registration process for a new Payoneer account. By beginning this registration process new from the Seller Center, there will be no Payoneer fees for any money transfers to you from Walmart.
If you were to create the Payoneer account first then link to Walmart Marketplace, there is a fee automatically attached to money transfers. You can contact Payoneer’s support team for a refund, but you would need to do it each time you have a transaction. Best practice: register for Payoneer from the Seller Center to save time and money!
Sales Tax on Walmart Marketplace
If you are selling items on Walmart Marketplace, it is your responsibility to understand, collect, and remit sales tax for each item you sell. How you indicate sales tax in your Marketplace listing is at your discretion. You may list the sales tax separate from your item price or incorporate it into the price.
To keep up to date with Walmart’s tax requirements and changes to policies, reference the Marketplace Retailer Information Page.
Marketplace Referral Fees Small Price for Big Goals
What is your goal for listing your items on Walmart’s Marketplace? Is it to expand your assortment to a wider customer base? Or do you have a larger goal of being in Walmart’s brick-and-mortar stores one day and want to start building your relationship online? Walmart desires to work with suppliers at all levels in their retail journey, and the tools unlocked from listing on the Walmart Marketplace benefit all.
If you still have questions about Walmart Marketplace fees, item setup, selling on Walmart.com, or other e-commerce issues, we’re here to help! Your experts at 8th & Walton support small and medium-size Walmart suppliers to improve their online presence and to build a better partnership with their Walmart merchant team. To find out how we can support your business, click here to set up an appointment with one of our e-commerce experts.