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Walmart Gives a Boost to Marketplace Sellers

Walmart Marketplace In-store returns

Walmart Marketplace In-store returnsWalmart is giving a boost to marketplace sellers beginning in November. Scott Hilton, Chief Revenue Officer for Walmart eCommerce US, announced the news on the Walmart blog this morning.

“We’re working with our marketplace sellers to make millions of items available for free two-day shipping without a membership fee and simplifying the returns process for items purchased from marketplace sellers, including launching the ability to facilitate returns of these items at any one of our 4,700 stores,” Hilton wrote.

Walmart is working with hundreds of “high-performing marketplace sellers” to make millions of their items available for free two-day shipping. Note that Walmart makes free two-day shipping available on orders over $35.

And starting in mid-November, here’s how in-store returns will work for marketplace orders:

– The customer packages the product for return;
– The customer brings the item to the Services desk at any of our Walmart stores;
– We will facilitate the return by shipping the item back to the seller and the customer will receive the refund from the seller.

We’ve got some question in to Walmart, such as who will pay for the return shipping to the seller and how many third-party sellers are active on Walmart Marketplace.

Hilton said in his post that a great product return experience is a top contributor to overall customer satisfaction and repeat purchases. The company is currently rolling out the ability for customers to log in to Walmart, print out a return label and ship back to the seller. And in-store returns will roll out next month. He noted that 140 million customers shop Walmart stores weekly, adding that 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store.

Update 10/23/18: A Walmart spokesperson told us in-store returns will be available for eligible items. “We’re working with sellers now and expect millions of items to be available for in-store returns.”

As to who picks up the tab for the cost of shipping the item back to the seller, she said: “Return shipping fees vary by seller and by reason for the return. The important point here is that the return policy for sellers isn’t changing; we’re making it easier and more seamless to facilitate the return.”

Walmart offers 75 million items in total – it does not break out its own items versus marketplace items. It expect “millions of additional items” to become eligible for free two-day shipping.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “Walmart Gives a Boost to Marketplace Sellers”

  1. Just like everywhere else the sellers are stuck with the return shipping costs.

    On top of that screwing Walmart allows the customer to go online and print out a return shipping label HOWEVER they are only set up for FedEx or UPS.. SO.. what I can have sent back with a tracking number through USPS for $2.66 will now cost almost $7 through either FedEx or UPS when the customer wants to return something and we are stuck paying for it…….

    Walmart Gives Marketplace Sellers a Boost?????????? Yeah.. a straight out kick in the butt harder than any of the Marketplaces….

    THAT’s the only boost were getting…..

  2. The one thing that stands out in this story: “The customer packages the product for return….” (which is confirmed by the photo showing an item being received by Customer Service in a plain brown box). So what’s to stop a liar buyer from putting something other than the item they received in that box? What protection is there for the seller?

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