Walmart has been a household name in the US since before Amazon was a twinkle in Jeff Bezos’s eye. The retail behemoth has adapted to an evolving commerce landscape again and again over the decades — including some major improvements to the Walmart Marketplace.
But how does Walmart stack up to other e-commerce marketplaces in terms of fees and overall viability? We’ve got all the details you need.
- The Benefits of Selling on Walmart
- What Are Walmart Seller Fees?
- Walmart Fulfillment Services Fees
- Comparing Marketplace Fees: Walmart vs. Amazon
- How Do Sellers Get Paid on Walmart?
What Are the Benefits for Walmart Marketplace Sellers?
Amazon might not be invincible, but isn’t likely to lose its #1 title anytime soon. While Walmart Marketplace doesn’t yet have the market share that Amazon does, its low fees are a clear advantage for merchants.
Whether you’re expanding your sales channels as an Amazon seller, or seeking a larger market share for your DTC brand, Walmart deserves strong consideration for your e-commerce channel mix.
Why Walmart? For starters:
- Walmart’s e-commerce revenue increased 90% from pre-Covid to the end of 2022.
- About 220 million customers visit Walmart’s site each week.
- In 2020, Walmart launched its Walmart Fulfillment Services option for sellers.
Despite the perks, there are only around 130,000 third-party sellers on the Walmart Marketplace compared to Amazon’s 1 million+ active sellers — so there is still plenty of opportunity for approved Walmart Marketplace sellers.
However, as with every marketplace, your success depends largely on the cost of selling. Let’s take a closer look at the fees required for selling on Walmart.
What Are Walmart Seller Fees?
Walmart seller fees are your payment to Walmart in exchange for access to their customer base.
Unlike Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, Walmart only charges sellers a fee when they sell a product. This simple pricing structure provides huge benefits for sellers who may be contending with subscription or account fees on other marketplaces.
Walmart does not charge setup, subscription, or monthly account fees. That means if your product doesn’t sell, you pay nothing.
The only fees that Walmart charges sellers are referral fees — that is, a percentage of each sale you make on the marketplace. Referral fees are based on the category of each product listing.
Quick Look: Walmart Referral Fees by Product Category
|Category||Referral Fee Percentage|
|Apparel & Accessories||15%|
|Automotive & Powersports||12%|
|Automotive Electronics||8% for categories including Dash & Backup Cameras, Car Speakers, Power Inverters, Vehicle Tracking Systems, Car Video Monitors, Radar Detectors, Automotive Remote Starters, Anti-Theft Devices & Car Speakerphones|
|Baby||8% for items with a total sales price of $10 or less15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10|
|Beauty||8% for items with a total sales price of $10 or less15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10|
|Camera & Photo||8%|
|Electronics Accessories||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $1008% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $100|
|Grocery||8% for items with a total sales price of $10 or less15% for items with a total sales price greater than $10|
|Health & Personal Care|
|Home & Garden||15%|
|Indoor & Outdoor Furniture||15% on the first $200 / 10% on amounts over $200|
|Industrial & Scientific||12%|
|Jewelry||20% for the portion of the total sales price up to $2505% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $250|
|Luggage & Travel Accessories||15%|
|Office Products||15%, except 8% for Calculators|
|Outdoor Power Tools||15% for items with a total sales price ≤ $5008% for items with a total sales price > $500|
|Outdoors||15%, except 8% for Hunting Trail Monitors|
|Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Ventilation||10%|
|Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses||15%|
|Software & Computer Video Games||15%|
|Tires & Wheels||10%|
|Tools & Home Improvement||15%, except 12% for Base Power Tools|
|Toys & Games||15%|
|Video & DVD||15%|
|Video Game Consoles||8%|
|Watches||15% for the portion of the total sales price up to $1,5003% for the portion of the total sales price greater than $1,500|
Walmart Fulfillment Services Fees
If you’re thinking no fees besides referral fees sounds too good to be true — you’re partially right.
As a Walmart seller, there are no other hidden fees as long as you’re simply selling on Walmart’s marketplace and managing fulfillment yourself. However, if you want to use Walmart Fulfillment Services, it will cost you.
What Are Walmart Fulfillment Services?
There are many benefits to using Walmart Fulfillment Services, including:
- Higher search rankings and Buy Box wins
- Reduced inbound shipping rates
- Outsourced inventory preparation
- Top-tier seller support
- Managed customer service
- Free shipping for customers
These benefits aren’t available to just anyone. Only selected sellers can participate in WFS, which contrasts to the fairly open Fulfillment by Amazon program.
Walmart generally selects experienced sellers to join WFS, so you’ll have to get your feet wet in the marketplace by handling your own fulfillment at first.
Your product must also meet the requirements set by Walmart to qualify for WFS:
- No regulated or perishable items that require temperature control
- Up to 150 lb
- Up to 108″ in length
- Up to 165″ in length + girth
- Must be capable of shipping to Walmart Fulfillment centers within the contiguous US
Fees Associated With Walmart Fulfillment Services
Selected sellers can expect to pay up to four additional Walmart Fulfillment Services fees on top of referral fees:
- Fulfillment fees
- Storage fees
- Return shipping fees
- Disposal & removal fees
Fulfillment fees: The fulfillment fee is based on your product’s shipping weight. It starts at $3.45 for products less than 1 lb. and tops out at $17.55 plus $0.40 for each pound over 51 lb.
That means if you sell a product that’s at the very top of the WFS weight limit (150 lb.), your fulfillment fee could be as high as $57.15 per product.
You’ll also pay additional fulfillment fees for products that fall into these categories:
- Apparel or hazmat items (add $0.50 to the base fulfillment fee)
- Items that retail for less than $10 (add $1.00 to the base fee)
- Oversize items (add anywhere from $3.00 – $25.00 to the base fee)
Storage fees: The storage fee is based on your product’s size and the length of time it sits in Walmart’s warehouse. Storage fees also vary by seasonality, as warehouse space comes at a premium during the high-volume holiday months.
For items stored fewer than 365 days, the storage fee is $0.75 per cubic foot per month in January to September. In October to December, the fee is $0.75 for the first month, and $2.25 per month after.
You can also be charged additional “problem inventory” fees if Walmart must return a product to you due to a missing or incorrect label or poly bag.
Return shipping fees: The return shipping fee is based on the weight of the product the customer is returning. For returns identified as Walmart at fault — e.g., lost in transit, unable to deliver, wrong item received — Walmart covers the return shipping fee.
For all other returns, the seller is responsible for the fee.
Here are some examples of the return fees sellers are responsible for:
- Wrong size
- Poor quality
- Missing parts
- Not as described
- Defective product
- Bought somewhere else
- Found lower price
For these return reasons and more, sellers can expect to pay fees ranging from $4.70 for products less than 1 lb. to $17.55+ for heavier items.Disposal & removal fees: Inventory can be disposed of or shipped back to you for a per-unit fee. For products less than 2 lb. the disposal fee is $0.35. For products 3 – 150 lb, the disposal fee is $0.35 plus $0.20 for each lb. over 2 lb. If Walmart is shipping the products back to you, add $0.40 per lb.
Comparing Marketplace Fees: Walmart vs. Amazon
If Amazon has been your go-to marketplace as a seller, you might be wondering: Is it worth it to sell on Walmart too? The truth is, it depends.
Expanding to Walmart will take extra work. As with every Walmart store, there is high pressure to offer competitive pricing, which could cut into your profit margin if you’re not careful. However, it can also be a great move for your multichannel sales strategy.
For sellers handling their own fulfillment, Walmart’s fee structure will be a breath of fresh air compared to the labyrinth of fees and capacity limits you’ve been navigating on Amazon.
In addition to having fewer fees, Walmart also tends to have lower fees: Walmart’s referral fees range from 3-15% while Amazon’s referral fees range from 8-20% (with some outliers).
And if you’re planning on using managed fulfillment services, WFS is a strong contender to FBA — at least for US-based sellers. However, international sellers will generally find Amazon’s FBA requirements and costs much more tolerable than Walmart’s.
How Do Sellers Get Paid on Walmart?
If you’re ready to take the plunge and start selling on Walmart, there are a few details you need to know regarding how you’ll be getting paid.
Walmart Sales Tax
The laws around collecting sales tax for online sellers vary by state. A landmark case in 2018 granted states the power to set their own sales tax thresholds for out-of-state sellers, creating confusion for retailers. Today, most states have these state-by-state laws — known as economic nexus legislation.
Most states also have marketplace facilitator laws. These laws require marketplace facilitators — like Walmart — to collect sales tax on their sellers’ transactions when needed. This is great news for you as it eases the burden of a potentially complicated process.
However, marketplace facilitator laws typically only apply when you hit a state’s nexus threshold and if you only sell through one channel. Otherwise, marketplace facilitators are off the hook and you’re responsible for your own sales tax collection.
Since most sellers have a multichannel presence, you’ll likely need to hang onto your sales tax permit for the states where you do business.
Here are a few tips for understanding sales tax collection:
- Know the economic nexus thresholds for each state you sell in.
- Regularly review past sales to see if you’ve triggered any new thresholds (or are getting close).
- Keep your sales tax permits up-to-date in all relevant states.
If you’re not sure when or where to collect sales tax, always consult your accounting or tax professional.
The Walmart Payout Process
Getting paid out by Walmart is also a fairly transparent process. Most accounts are paid bi-weekly via the payment processor sellers select during the account setup process (Payoneer, Hyperwallet, or PingPong for China, Hong Kong, and India).
There are no extra processing fees for receiving payments via ACH. However, choosing a different payment method offered by your processor can result in fees not covered by Walmart.
A few other payment caveats to note:
- New Walmart seller account holders face a payment hold of up to 14 days until they’ve established a credible history.
- International sellers also face a hold until history is established.
- Payments may be temporarily suspended if your account is flagged for risk factors like high refunds, decline in sales, low on-time delivery, and missing tax documentation.
Walmart offers a payments dashboard with statements, reports, transactions, and more. For sellers accustomed to the Amazon payment schedule, this will likely feel like a familiar setup.
Expand into the Walmart Marketplace and Beyond
With transparent fees, managed fulfillment, and a less-crowded seller landscape, Walmart can be an excellent addition to your e-commerce business.
If you’re ready to grow your business and start selling on Walmart, SellersFi can help. Our complete suite of flexible e-commerce funding solutions gives you the financial tools you need to build inventory, boost your marketing efforts, and expand with confidence.