How to Sell on Walmart Marketplace and Avoid Getting Suspended

July 25, 2022
Written by Nicasio Co III
Walmart.com page shown on a computer monitor

Whether you have already started your ecommerce business elsewhere or just started it out on Walmart, you want to keep your business up and running anytime. This way, your business operations will not be impeded, your brand awareness will increase over time, and you will attract more customers, which translates into higher sales. 

However, new sellers often receive account suspension notifications from marketplace operators because of violating simple rules. While having a suspended account mostly happens to rookie sellers because of unfamiliarity, it is not an excuse to be exempted from rules and not know them in the first place. 

So if you want to sell in the Walmart marketplace and thrive, it would be best to know the best practices and guidelines for avoiding account suspensions. This article will enumerate why some sellers get suspended accounts and how you can avoid it yourself. 

What Is Walmart Marketplace, and What Are the Benefits of Selling on This Platform?

Like Amazon and eBay, the Walmart Marketplace is an online marketplace that allows third-party sellers to list and sell their products on Walmart.com alongside the retail giant’s own inventory. It is open to sellers of all sizes, but it has stricter guidelines in accepting third-party sellers to ensure orders in the marketplace and provide the best products and services to the shoppers.

For sellers, one of the biggest advantages of selling on Walmart Marketplace is the size of Walmart’s customer base. With over 380 site visitors per month, Walmart.com gives sellers access to a vast audience and loyal customer base. In addition, Walmart Marketplace offers very competitive and reasonable listing fees and seller commissions, which can be as low as 6%. Lastly, Walmart Marketplace provides sellers with various shipping options, including free two-day shipping on orders over $35, which can entice your potential customers. 

Why Are Some Sellers Getting Suspended While Selling on Walmart.com?

As a Walmart.com seller, you may have noticed some of your fellow marketplace sellers having suspended accounts or have seen them ask about this on seller forums. While this may be confusing and frustrating, especially to new sellers, you must understand that Walmart has strict rules that all sellers must follow.

Here are some reasons why Walmart marketplace sellers get suspended from selling on the platform:

1. Failure to Perform According to Standards

Sellers must abide by the following Seller Performance Standards that Walmart has set. Otherwise, they will be suspended from selling on the marketplace.

• The Order Defect Rate (ODR) must be less than 2% over a 90-day period.

The number of orders with at least one defect divided by the total number of orders placed during the same period gives you your order defect rate. Some defects include seller-initiated cancellations, inaccurate or damaged items, late deliveries, and customer complaints from ratings and feedback. But even if some orders have multiple issues, Walmart only counts one defect per order.

• The On-time Shipment Rate must be higher than 99%.

This is the percentage or rate of orders delivered on time or ahead of the expected delivery date (EDD). But for orders with multiple shipments, sellers are expected to deliver them completely by the EDD.

• The Valid Tracking Rate must be more than 99%.

This means that sellers must always provide the customers with tracking details within 24 hours of shipment and delivery scans on or before the EDD.

2. Non-compliance with Marketplace Retailer Agreement

After setting up a Walmart seller account, all third-party sellers, including you, must agree to the terms and conditions set on the Marketplace Retailer Agreement. In this agreement, you will promise not to engage in any blackhat practices and always follow Walmart’s Terms and Conditions.

Furthermore, you will declare not to sell any fake, used, or prohibited goods on Walmart.com. And along with product content guidelines, the document also describes the procedures you are accountable for, like order fulfillment and inventory management.

Lastly, you must constantly check the quality of your product listings, especially whenever Walmart releases updates on its marketplace policies and requirements. Otherwise, you will face the consequences of non-compliance, one of which is account suspension that can last for weeks, months, or forever.

3. Violation of Trust and Safety Standards

Besides the Marketplace Retailer Agreement, you must also uphold the Walmart Trust and Safety Standards to avoid having your account suspended. Here are the standards you must follow:

• Regulatory compliance

A seller violates this standard when they list a product on Walmart.com that is prohibited or potentially poses a risk to product and food safety regulations. These items include prescription medications, gambling or surveillance equipment, and untested or uncertified baby products.

• Offensive product

A seller violates this standard by selling products considered offensive to customers, promoting discrimination or violence, or displaying profanity or nudity.

• Intellectual property

A seller violates this standard when they sell items that do not acknowledge the creator or intellectual property owner, which signals that you do not have the right to sell the item.

4. Violation of Walmart Pricing Standards

Walmart is known for its marketing strategy called “Every Day Low Prices” (EDLP). Therefore, as a third-party seller on Walmart.com, you must ensure that your prices are aligned with Walmart’s guidelines and guarantee to offer affordable items to its customers.

Even though some pricing violations result in delisting your SKU, Walmart may suspend your account for glaring violations and several infractions. Therefore, you must take note of the following rules when pricing your products:

  • Price Parity: According to this rule, Walmart will unpublish a product listing if a buyer can save money by buying the same product from the same seller in the same variation from a competitor’s website, including shipping fees. Therefore, you must ensure that your prices are similar across all channels or marketplaces you use.
  • Price Leadership: According to this rule, Walmart will unpublish a product listing if customers can tremendously save money by buying the item from a competitor’s website, including shipping costs. However, note that this regulation only covers products of the same kind and color. Also, it does not cover pricing for goods sold during sales, promotions, and clearances.

5. Failure to Meet Operational Standards

Lastly, your operations must always be at the highest level as a Walmart marketplace seller. This involves ensuring Walmart shoppers receive their orders on time, offering high-quality and commendable customer service, and processing returns and refunds within the given time frame. Otherwise, your seller account will be suspended, which can affect your business in various ways.

exclamation point surrounded by red paper

Tips for Sellers to Follow to Avoid Getting Suspended on the Walmart Marketplace

Now that you know what prompts Walmart to suspend your account, you must follow all the rules they have set to avoid account suspension. Below are some tips to help you stay in good standing with Walmart and continue growing your business:

  1. Be familiar with Walmart’s policies and comply with them all the time. Ensure that you have thoroughly read and understood all the terms and policies before you start selling on Walmart.com. 
  2. Keep up with any changes or updates that Walmart releases regarding its policies. This way, you can make the necessary adjustments in your store and continue adhering to all marketplace rules.
  3. Only sell products in good condition and meet Walmart’s quality standards. Do not offer products that violate Walmart’s trust and safety standards, especially those that are prohibited, dangerous, offensive, and with stolen intellectual property. 
  4. Ensure that your product descriptions are accurate and complete to avoid misleading Walmart shoppers, which can result in multiple product returns. Also, it would be best that you provide accurate images, pricing information, and delivery terms to help your customers make informed decisions.
  5. Price your items competitively, but you must comply with Walmart’s pricing standards to prevent your product listings from being unpublished and avoid suspensions.
  6. Keep your buyer satisfaction rating high. It can be possible by promptly responding to customer inquiries and resolving any issues that may arise.
  7. Be sure to ship your orders and provide valid tracking details on time. Your customers must receive their orders within the EDD to maintain a 99% and above on-time shipment rate.
  8. If you are still confused about all the policies and guidelines you need to remember, it would be best to consult a Walmart account manager who is an expert in this field. They are constantly updated with the latest policies, so you can trust them to guide you in running your business on Walmart.com.

Bottom Line

Learning how to become a Walmart marketplace seller does not only involve knowing the application process and requirements but also knowing how to avoid account suspensions. Many Walmart sellers become suspended from selling on the marketplace by failing to perform according to standards, comply with the Marketplace Retailer Agreement, and meet operational standards. Moreover, some violate the Trust and Safety standards and Walmart Pricing standards.

However, you can prevent account suspensions by being familiar with the terms and guidelines, keeping up-to-date with the policies, only selling products allowed on Walmart, and providing accurate product descriptions. Additionally, you must price your items accordingly, respond to your customers immediately, ship their orders in time, and consult a Walmart account manager from reputable companies like Seller Interactive.

If you are interested in knowing more about Seller Interactive’s Walmart account management services, email [email protected] or call 1-800-820-3746.

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