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Sat July 29 2017 18:37:33

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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We noted a year ago that Walmart was opening up its marketplace to third-party sellers gradually, but until earlier this year, it apparently limited the program to US sellers only. 

This week, Reuters (article via CNBC) said Walmart began inviting overseas sellers to sell on its marketplace in February, citing "sources with knowledge of the matter." The article reported that Walmart was recruiting vendors in China, the UK, and Canada because its online site offers fewer items compared to Amazon. "Previously, it only allowed U.S. based sellers on the marketplace site, sources said."

The Reuters article came a day after Walmart announced a "Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing," and the news wire hinted at some hypocrisy on the part of the retailer - though it also noted that the decision "comes out of necessity" because consumers want items that are not manufactured within the United States.

Walmart's new roadmap proposes 10 policy actions "to address major barriers to US manufacturing growth, help recapture an estimated $300 billion in production of consumer goods, and create an estimated 1.5 million US jobs."

I'm guessing a good number of online sellers don't have a problem with marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart inviting online sellers from other countries to list on their marketplaces as they likewise invite US sellers to list internationally. The problem for sellers generally comes when there's a perception that these large marketplaces give preferential treatment to international sellers over domestic sellers. 

Reuters spoke to some US sellers for their point of view - one seller said he supported free trade and was open to competition, but said "it would help U.S.-based vendors if Wal-Mart could label "Made in USA" items listed on its website."

What do you think of the challenge of competing with overseas sellers, and do any of the big marketplaces have policies that benefit or disadvantage domestic sellers?

Update - To put things in context, here's an article from last year about Amazon helping to ship goods from China.




Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 29 19:19:38 2017

We could care less. As mostly a middle class family with many members we always shop the cheapest stores. Don't care if the stuff comes from the US or anyother country as its tough to put food on the table for 14 people sometimes. Cheaper doesn't always equate to poor merchandise. Sometimes the crap that cost twice a much originally came from some foreign country only to be sold by some seller at a higher price.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 29 20:01:49 2017

There is no way US sellers can compete with China, India or other overseas sellers when it comes to manufactured goods.  Most of the US factories closed years ago and even with President Trump's initiatives, I doubt they are coming back anytime soon.

I'm all for a free market and firmly believe in Capitalism as the system that creates the greatest wealth for the most number of people.  However, what we seem to have is a Government that ends up picking winners and losers by giving the Chinese and others an unfair advantage with such things as E-packet.

Why should American taxpayers subsidize cutthroat Chinese sellers when it comes to being able to mail their packages for less than half what it costs us?  

Also- the Government needs to bring an anti-trust lawsuit against Amazon ASAP.  Jeff Bezos has created a monopoly that is destroying hundreds of thousands of US businesses.  There can be no real competition with Amazon the way it is now and Bezos needs to pay his fair share of INCOME TAX along with Bill Gates, Zuckerberg and the rest of the billionaires boys club.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Jul 29 21:21:50 2017

Oh, right, it's the government behind ePacket.  Wake up.  The rich control the government, the same billionaires that don't pay their taxes and "somehow" don't get prosecuted under anti-trust law, so don't pass the buck for them.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Sun Jul 30 10:07:00 2017

When a country has a population 4-5 times greater than the US,  there is no problem finding folks who are willing to work for very low wages. And for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Though this is modern-day slavery, these companies have no problem finding workers for their sweatshops. This is coupled with the fact that there is hardly any environmental protection (by allowing waste products into the atmosphere and water supplies).

Because there are not any regulations, the factories can produce items for next to nothing. If the goods are made in the USA, they would have to be priced so high that consumers would not purchase them, because of minimum wage standards, OSHA, and laws which are in place to help protect the environment. These costs must somehow be passed along.

The e-packet program was created so Americans can buy items from China for next to nothing, which must, in some way, stimulate the economies of both countries. Fine. But it also affects the US businesses which sell these goods.

Since Asians have been allowed to sell online in the USA, while the items have been inexpensive, there has been a lot of unfortunate circumstances.

How about the Chinese ''sellers'' recently on Amazon who listed popular items at deep discounts just for the purpose of scamming people and/ or data mining? And they did it many times, with American sounding names, no less!

Or the multitude of duplicate listings on eBay, which they claim will be stopped (but so far have not proven this)?? Or the items which list the city and state as ''USA, USA'' that are shipped from China??

Again, there are four times the amount of people in China alone than the US. By sheer numbers alone, this creates an advantage. And there are also many who have less than honest intentions.

This places American sellers at a disadvantage, because their listings take up server space that can be used to offer unique and interesting items.

While Wal-Mart claims to want to help the American economy by creating more jobs, well, I will believe it when I see it. Seems that they intend to do the same as eBay by favoring Asian sellers.  

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 00:31:52 2017

Walmart sells nothing I do and vice versa, so it matters little to me who sells what on walmart.com

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 10:43:54 2017

Why would walmart allow china to sell through them ? The same people who supply walmart will now be u Der cutting g their prices with cheap shipping lol

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 31 10:46:51 2017

The government utilizing it's power to give advantages is not free market. Regulating competition is not free market.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 1 10:34:15 2017

Get rid of the epacket agreement, bring on the competition.  Competition, if equal, is good.  But giving one side a HUGE advantage over the other is not good.  usps is supposedly redoing that agt soon, so let's hope that they wake up.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 05:59:18 2017

Is Walmart going to show where the item is shipping from like Ebay?  Then I'm all for this.  AMZ doesn't let you know where the item is shipping from, and I got caught with a Korean shipment that took one month to deliver.

Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers   Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 2 06:00:39 2017

Does anybody know - if you return an item to China or India, does the seller pay for postage?  I think this is going to be problematic if the buyer buys from overseas and wants to return it at the seller's cost.



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