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Walmart No Longer Lets Sellers Charge Restocking Fees

Walmart No Longer Lets Sellers Charge Restocking Fees

Walmart revised its returns policy on its Marketplace, and a seller told us that what concerns him the most is the following: “No Restocking fees may be applied.”

Previously sellers could charge a restocking fee for any reason, not to exceed 20% of the item’s price.

Note that last fall, Walmart began allowing customers to return Marketplace items to local stores. Interestingly that was after Amazon set up a test pilot with Kohl’s in 2017 to allow customers to return Amazon goods to Kohl’s stores; in April, Amazon rolled out the returns policy to all Kohl’s stores.

And last fall, Walmart began allowing Marketplace sellers to use the company’s Returns Shipping Service that offers special discounted shipping rates.

Walmart Marketplace’s new policy updates take effect on July 31st, and include changes regarding return shipping fees and refunds as well.

See the new Returns policy on the Seller Help section of the Walmart website.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

4 thoughts on “Walmart No Longer Lets Sellers Charge Restocking Fees”

  1. The problem with the new returns policy is not the removal of restocking fees. The major problems with the new returns policy is the fact that Walmart.com will now be issuing refunds as soon as the customer returns the product to the store or right when the return shipping carrier marks it as received. Does anyone actually think that in store Walmart employees are going to carefully examine returns to see if they are in the same condition or even do the bare minimum of matching up serial numbers. This is going to be a haven for scammers. Walmart.com needs to be focusing on their broken website (you cannot even update quantity or create an item in their portal), training customer service reps (who make international eBay reps look like Mensa candidates), and actually coming up with phone support for sellers when currently the only option is to open a case and then wait two days for a response from an untrained rep that 90% of the time is just a link to their “Knowledge Base.” Because of Walmart’s physical presence across the US, they had a chance to make a dent in Amazon’s dominance but the alienation of their sellers and the lack of basic functionality has multiple sellers running for the hills. All this and I haven’t even mentioned the dreaded “Customer Care Refunds.” These refunds are when Walmart.com decides to steal your money from your account for such egregious issues such as not answering the phone at 2:00AM on a Tuesday morning when they call or refusing to refund a customer when the tracking shows delivered and signed for but the “valued mutual customer” claims they did not receive it. My company has been teetering on the edge of leaving for a few months now but have been just profitable enough not to (we’ve been on Walmart since the beginning). This return policy starting on July 31st will be the last straw and I will be closing our account the day before, that is if their broken system actually allows me to.

    1. Wow, this is music to my ears. I felt alone there for a bit. We have over 500,000 skus on Walmart. I have been with them since day 1 and on and off since. We simply can’t keep up with opening disputes and cases that really never go in our favor. Their return and refund policy and dispute process is seriously flawed. We have lost thousands and thousands of dollars because of Walmart reps just refunding Customers that never returned the item back. Sellers aren’t even notified that they are blindly refunding customers on their word. It’s absurd and ridiculous. And these dispute decisions are remarkable,
      They are just the most ridiculous replies we have ever read. Denied for the most absurd reasons, like our verbiage or response time which is under 24hours. It’s a complete mess there. It makes us have so much more appreciation for our amazon business.
      . It’s a sad story and now with not be able to charge restocking fees, it may be lights out for us again at Walmart.

  2. Yikes, as a newly approved seller this is scary stuff. tfb12 is right on the money too on how poorly their system works, basic functionality (like editing price and quantity) doesn’t work consistently and the system as a whole is constantly generating errors and is essentially unstable. We’ve decided to stop investing our time listing SKU’s until we see evidence of a more stable and functional system (btw we tried messaging their support about the problems we were having but that system crashed too lol). The other big problem I’ve found just starting out with them is the product listing ID’s that you have to match your products too (kind of like Amazon) have had bulk resellers (i.e., bulk dropshippers) apparently appropriated them in large numbers with multi-quantity listings essentially killing off those product ID’s as usable for sellers (Amazon also has this issue). No one is going on Walmart marketplace to buy 24 locks or 36 pocket combs. You also have a lot of product listings that are just flat our either incorrect in their descriptions or so vague in their descriptions that they are essentially unusable for us sellers. I was excited about this new opportunity to try selling on Walmart but after seeing it first-hand it’s given me serious pause whether I want to continue, I was really shocked how bad their system appears and we’re going to hold off listing more than we have already until we see some substantial functionality and stability improvements (who wants to list if you can’t consistenly edit price and quantity?). We want to be selling and fulfilling orders, not constantly fighting their buggy unstable seller platform.

  3. A customer ordered a $16 pair of goggles from us on Walmart, then made a return request after receiving because he found them a few cents cheaper on another site. New policy = Walmart refunds in full. I get stuck for the outbound and inbound shipping costs, materials to ship, and personnel costs, all because Walmart decided holding a customer accountable for their buying decisions is bad business. Pass. I disabled all my company’s listings and will not re-open shop on Walmart.com until the Return policy changes in sellers’ favor. I just hope Amazon doesn’t decide this kind of policy is a good idea and follow suit…

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