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Since 2009, Walmart Marketplace has allowed the huge box store to provide millions of shopping options to online customers. You can get an awesome deal, but there’s still a high chance you can get a fake product based on the December report from The Counterfeit Report that notes Walmart, among other retailers with third-party sellers, are “flooded with counterfeit, replica and fraudulent products.”
That’s why Slickdeals is breaking down everything you need to know about before you shop to help you have the best experience possible with Walmart third-party sellers.

What Is the Walmart Marketplace?

shopping walmart online
Credit: Walmart

Walmart Marketplace allows third-party sellers to sell items alongside Walmart’s first-party listings, much like Amazon or eBay. Becoming a third-party seller on Walmart is as simple as becoming a seller on Newegg and Wish.
The benefit to purchasing from a third-party seller is that they may offer pricing that is competitive with Walmart’s listed price. And if an item goes out of stock from the big retailer, a third-party seller can step in to fulfill the listing.

Are Walmart Third-Party Sellers Legit?

Just like any online marketplace, Walmart’s Marketplace is full of legitimate and excellent third-party sellers, as well as some bad apples. While Walmart does have anti-counterfeit measures in place, it is still possible to get fake products as we mentioned earlier.
Make sure to do your research and use your common sense with our tips below!

Tips on Avoiding Walmart Marketplace Scams

walmart website
Credit: Unsplash

1. Don’t Fall Victim to Price-Gouging

This is one of the biggest things to look out for with third-party sellers. Many times when an item sells out at the retail price, third-party sellers are quick to list their items for double, if not triple the price. This price gouging can be hard to spot, especially since we have just come from a year of supply shortages where prices everywhere seem inflated.

  • Solution: Before buying from a third-party seller on Walmart, do a quick web search of the item you want. Is it cheaper at another store or on Amazon?

2. Do Extra Research on Discontinued Products

If a product is no longer being produced, find out if this is a permanent move from the company or if the specific product is being marketed under a different look or name. You don’t want to find yourself paying extra for an older model just because it appears to be out of stock elsewhere.

  • Solution: Even for retired items that are hard to find, it’s still best to shop around for the best price. Amazon’s third-party sellers or eBay may offer better deals, and all three platforms offer about the same level of buyer protection.

3. Beware of Fake Reviews

As a savvy shopper, you might’ve run across a great deal on a product but noticed something fishy about the seller’s reviews. They either all sound similar in their wording and vernacular, or there’s a ton of 5-stars in a specific/short timeframe. This can usually mean the third-party seller paid for fake reviews to bolster their products.

  • Solution: Use Fakespot, an online tool where you can copy and paste the link of the Walmart Marketplace product to determine the legitimacy of the reviews. It won’t be 100% accurate, but it’ll give you a score to help you make a decision.

A reputable seller will have a wide range of reviews to base your judgment on. Take the time to read negative reviews and average-star-rated reviews to get a better idea of whether they’re an untrustworthy seller or if buyers are just unhappy in general with products or return policies.

4. Don’t Wait for Extra-Long Shipping Times

walmart shipping boxes on conveyor
Credit: Walmart

Sometimes, a new third-party seller will notify you that your product will arrive several weeks later than what you’d normally expect from an online purchase. This may be because it gives the seller time to get their payments released from Walmart without running into future complaints about fake or missing items.

  • Solution: If a third-party seller originates from your country but still notes that it’ll take over a month to get you your in-stock item, it raises a red flag. So, look elsewhere for the items you need with the normal shipping times.

5. Opt for the Pro Seller Status

Walmart marks seller accounts Pro Seller status if the third-party seller provides the following:

  • Quality service
  • Consistent delivery times
  • Free in-store or online returns

Ideally, look for sellers with this mark beside their name to get the best possible experience. Avoid new seller accounts or those without reviews.

6. Inspect Counterfeit Items

While Walmart has pledged to fight against the overwhelming wave of counterfeit goods, the fact remains that there are still fake items out there. That’s why you need to inspect your products to ensure you haven’t been duped.

  • Solution: Avoid shopping for high-end brands on Walmart’s Marketplace. Stick to more reputable retailers or buy directly from the manufacturer.

Common counterfeit items include:

  • Popular brands like Yeti, Uggs, Apple and more
  • Brand name shoes and clothes
  • Skincare products can be easily faked and resold

Here is a basic checklist to see if your order is genuine:

  1. First, go to the manufacturer’s website and compare the product online with the one you got.
  2. Check if there are design differences, like with the logo or packaging.
  3. Read the product description or packaging to see if there are spelling errors.
  4. Spot the product dimensions and materials to make sure it lines up with your item.
  5. Note any big price differences.

If anything above sticks out to you, then start your return process as soon as possible to get your hard-earned money back.

Help! My Walmart Marketplace Seller is Not Responsive to My Messages

Walmart requires sellers to respond to customer emails within 24 hours, but many of the negative reviews we saw for bad sellers complained about the lack of communication and unanswered emails.
If you’ve tried to get in contact with your seller but have been met with silence, contact customer service at 1-800-925-6278 (1-800-WALMART). 

  • According to their help page, Walmart tracks and keeps emails between their sellers and customers, and reviews them to resolve any potential disputes.

Can You Return Walmart Marketplace Items?

All sellers do have a minimum return window they will need to follow:

  • This minimum window is 14 days for electronics and luxury items, and 30 days for other items.
    • Marketplace items that are considered hazardous materials have special rules for returns.

Not every Walmart third-party seller abides by the same return policy, though. When you click on “additional sellers” from a Walmart listing, you can see the different sellers and price points. From there, you can also find out a third-party seller’s return policy. You want to note the following questions:

  • Can I return this to a physical Walmart store?
  • How long is my return window?
  • Will I have to pay a restocking fee?

According to Walmart’s help articles, Walmart has a Marketplace Promise in place to protect customers from shady sellers.
As the buyer, you are protected in the following situations:

  • Delivery Delays: If three or more days have passed since the estimated delivery date
  • Wrong Items: If your item was not the right one and the seller denies a return request.
  • Delayed Refund: If your item was returned with trackable shipping and you have not received your refund within 48 hours
  • Extra Shipping Costs: Deductions were taken for the cost of return shipping fees and the return was at the fault of the seller.

Bottom Line: Is Buying from Walmart Third-Party Sellers Right for You?

Shopping with Walmart’s third-party sellers is protected, and as long as you follow our tips, you should have a good buying experience. Spend a few extra minutes checking out a seller’s profile before committing to the cheapest third-party price. For many of the items we researched, Walmart did not have the cheapest third-party price, and it is just as easy to shop Amazon and eBay’s third-party sellers.
And a final word for the wise, if you wouldn’t normally buy a particular brand or luxury item at Walmart, then perhaps don’t buy it through Walmart’s Marketplace either.

Don’t miss our guide on how to save money at Walmart. And if you’re looking for the best discount on a product, be sure to set a Deal Alert. We’ll let you know whenever a new deal hits the stores.
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Ashley Eneriz

I am a lifestyle and personal finance writer based in SoCal and have been a freelance writer since way before working remotely was the new norm. Being a wife and a mom to three young awesome kids, I have made it a regular habit to check out Slickdeals (even before joining the SD content team) to help fill up my pantry and gift closet for 50-70% off retail prices. As a family of five, we go through snacks, gifts, and toilet paper at an alarming rate, so I love a good deal and am also not afraid to dig through a thrift store to score incredible finds. When not writing about amazing deals to help people save and cool things on sale, I am taking care of my three girls, homeschooling, or stuck with my nose in a book. Sometimes, at the same time.