A Seller’s Guide to Walmart Suspension

July 21, 2022
Written by Ken Zhou
walmart suspension

Walmart is a giant retail force. It’s second to Amazon as America’s biggest e-commerce retailer. Their online arm, Walmart Marketplace, offers a more diverse range of products than their brick-and-mortar stores. As of writing, more than 130 million shoppers flock to the website, which can encourage sellers to give the platform a try.

Applying as a Walmart Marketplace seller can be a bit challenging because of the meticulous process. However, the payoff is worth the time and effort as you expand your business’ reach to a new audience. That said, sellers have rules to follow when selling on the platform. Failure to observe Walmart’s Performance and Policy Standards results in consequences, such as suspension. 

Walmart suspension” is something every seller dreads. But, if you’ve experienced it, please know there’s a resolution to this problem. This article will teach you how to recover from and manage such situations to prepare yourself for a possible encounter.

Why Does a Walmart Suspension Happen?

Suspensions are fairly common in Walmart, but that normalcy doesn’t make it less stressful. Does the platform work together with sellers in resolving issues? Yes. However, there are instances where they’re left with no choice but to suspend seller accounts when violations and issues persist.

There are four primary grounds for Walmart account suspension. Let’s tackle each one in depth.

#1: Seller performance fails to meet Walmart standards

Sellers are responsible for meeting Walmart’s performance standards. So keep an eye on these four metrics:

Return rate

A seller’s return rate is the percentage of customer order returns due to seller fault. Return causes may include item damage and wrong order. The rate shouldn’t exceed 6% within 90 days.

Cancellation rate

Going by its name, the cancellation rate is the percentage of seller-initiated order cancellations after receipt of orders from Walmart. Sellers should keep the rate below 2% within 14 days.

On-time delivery rate

This rate determines the percentage of orders delivered during or before the expected delivery date (EDD). Keep your account in Walmart’s good graces by keeping this rate above 95% within 14 days.

Valid tracking rate

Sellers should provide valid tracking information and delivery scan during or before the EDD. This rate should be above 99% in 14 days. 

Exceptions

Walmart acknowledges situations that are beyond sellers’ control. Sellers will be pardoned if they provide sufficient evidence that proves that such situations were behind their failure to meet standards. 

If you receive a warning and believe that the infraction isn’t your fault, you can make your case by submitting the following details:

  • Valid reason/s for issue
  • Sufficient evidence/proof
  • The period when the issue occurred
  • Total number of orders affected by the issue

We recommend checking your Seller Scorecard frequently to keep track of your performance. You can access it by clicking the Performance option of your Seller Center account’s Analytics tab.

#2: Marketplace Retail Agreement was violated/breached

Walmart Marketplace expects sellers to follow the terms stated in their Marketplace Retail Agreement upon signing up for the platform. The Agreement ensures you won’t sell used, fake, and unauthorized items. It also enumerates the processes you’ll be responsible for. It’s a legally binding contract once you sign it, so pay attention to its content to stay out of trouble.

#3: Trust and Safety Standards were violated

The Trust and Safety Standards protect sellers from harmful or offensive materials. These are the three violations you should never commit:

Offensive material

This category covers listings and items that are deemed offensive to shoppers. This includes products encouraging discrimination and violence and items containing explicit content.

Intellectual property

This violation occurs when sellers don’t cite the original creators of their listed paintings and other products. Unauthorized product distribution falls under this category as well.

Regulatory compliance

Items that pose risks to product and food safety regulations belong to this category. These items can include prescription drugs and untested and uncertified baby products.

#4: Operational standards weren’t met

Walmart Marketplace sellers should efficiently run and maintain their operations. Meeting the platform's operational standards includes giving helpful customer service and ensuring quick order shipment. Pay extra attention to these two areas to gauge Walmart’s expectations:

Customer service

Sellers must be transparent and precise with delivering information to customers to keep them updated on their purchases. They should also be responsive to their queries while complying with Walmart standard changes as they happen.

Respect and equality

Sellers shouldn’t engage in forced and underaged labor practices, nor should they exhibit discriminatory behavior towards any individual. They should also maintain a safe working environment for workers/employees.

walmart suspension

How Does Walmart's Suspension Process Work?

When sellers commit a violation, Walmart initially sends sellers a warning before giving a suspension. Then, they’ll state the grounds for their warning and provide extra recommendations or requirements, giving sellers a chance to improve. 

Walmart’s suspension process is just as meticulous as their seller application process. First, a team of experts will monitor seller performances through Walmart Partner Performance Review. Then, after thorough deliberations, they’ll communicate their decision to sellers as soon as possible.

When they suspend a seller, they’ll send them a notice and the earliest date for an account reinstatement appeal. We’ll explain that process in the next section.

How Can Sellers Appeal Walmart Suspensions?

Yes, a Walmart suspension appeal is possible. However, do note that this is only applicable to sellers that haven’t violated their Trust and Safety Standards. Reinstate your account by following these steps:

1. Review your performance and spot areas for improvement

Pinpoint the areas that contributed to your violation/infraction. You can consult an expert for this step since there are areas that may be difficult to analyze. Don’t forget to document your analysis—you’ll need it for the next step. 

2. Create an action plan

Apply the takeaways from your analysis and turn them into an actionable plan. It should state the problem, cause, and solution/s. Your plan should emphasize that while you continue to sell on Walmart Marketplace, excellence will be your priority.  

3. Send your plan to Walmart

Log in to your Seller Center account and go to Support. Next, click Partner Account/Profile and choose the Appealing Account Suspension option. Once there, attach your plan and submit it. 

It’ll take Walmart two days to review your plan and make a decision. Then, should your account be reinstated, they’ll give you guidelines for strict compliance, along with steps to take your account back to good standing.

4. Maintain your progress

The work doesn’t stop at reinstatement. Walmart expects sellers to stick to their action plans and improve their performances.

How Can You Avoid Walmart Suspensions?

We know how stressful seller account suspensions can be. Keep suspensions at bay by considering this simple yet sometimes overlooked tip: understand their terms.

There’s a reason why people often remind each other to “read the fine print” when signing contracts. And in a place as big as Walmart, this advice becomes all the more important. Simply reading terms and policies isn’t enough; sellers should understand them if they want to keep their businesses alive.

Final Thoughts

The last thing you want is to have your Walmart account suspended. Avoid setting yourself in such a position by taking cues from this article’s points. Even if you display great behavior on the platform, this remains an important lesson to learn.

Are you having difficulty handling account management by yourself? Let Seller Interactive help! Our team’s years of e-commerce experience will guide you through your journey to a new reputable platform. Reach out by emailing [email protected] to get started.

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