|Sat July 29 2017 18:37:33|
Opening the Door to Overseas Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
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.