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  • Laura Monk

Should I use Walmart Fulfillment Services?

Walmart is currently offering new sellers considerable discounts to sign up to its fulfillment service - so is it worth it for you?

Anybody that submits at application for the programme before May 30th, 2022, will be offered 50 percent off commission rates, 10 percent off fulfillment fees, and free storage during your first 90 days as a seller.

But what is Walmart Fullfillment Services (or WFS) and how does it compare to Amazon’s programmes? Laura Monk, senior case handler at Thompson and Holt, is an experienced online seller who outlines the key details surrounding WFS.

Monk explained: “Walmart Fullfillment Services is relatively new and at present, only used by an estimated 30 percent of Walmart Sellers. But that figure could be about to rise with the incentives they have offered to new sellers.

“Much like Amazon’s FBA, WFS takes care of inventory storage, order fulfillment, returns, and even customer service for Walmart sellers. It allows Walmart Marketplace sellers to focus on other areas of their business while having Walmart’s extensive fulfillment network handle picking, packing, and shipping out orders.

“Walmart has no doubt looked at the success of Amazon’s FBA and many elements are very similar, but what it does allow to do is allow online sellers to diversify their businesses and use a new outlet for potential sales.

“Among the positives of WFS is the two-day free shipping service within the US, although it should be noted that it is not guaranteed during the peak months between September to January. You can though use Walmart’s storage centres all year round, and your product will be shipped out directly from them.

“One of the main positives of selling through Walmart is the amount of trust and respect that the brand has in America. That has come through years of operating as a physical shop retailer, but they are now the second largest online shopping provider behind Amazon. When your product is shipped by WFS, it will arrive at the customer in Walmart-branding packaging.

“Walmart will also handle any customer service issues that arise from using WFS, and they have made being better than Amazon on this front a key area of their business.

“But there are negatives as well. Unlike Amazon FBA, there is no option to ship over for other marketplaces when you use WFS, and there is no international shipping either. There is also a strict criteria for selling that limits objects of certain size and wait, and prevents you from selling perishable or regulated products.

“But, there is no doubt that WFS can be beneficial for certain sellers, and if that applies to you, then now is a good time to start and utilise the offers they currently have in place. Take your time to research exactly how Walmart’s scheme works, and be aware that you have to apply to be part of the programme, as opposed to Amazon, when any seller can just create a shipment to send there.

“Read through the exact terms and conditions for the fees involved - which are noticeably different to Amazon - and use Walmart’s pricing calculator to help you make informed decisions.

“If you’re looking to expand your online business into new US markets and sell small and lightweight products, but don’t have the time or resources to fulfil those orders yourself, then WFS could fit the bill for you. If you decide that it is, test out a few products first and see how you progress, keeping a detailed record of costs and returns.”

If you have found yourself suspended while selling on Walmart, contact Thompson and Holt for a free LiveChat to get your Seller business back online as quickly as possible.

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