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Local and national suppliers from across the country work closely with Wal-Mart to provide customers a variety of products at affordable prices. As a result, vendors who want to sell their products in Wal-Mart stores must meet several requirements. With the right amount of preparation you can meet the standards that Wal-Mart has set for their suppliers and sell your product in their stores. Follow the instructions below to become a Wal-Mart vendor.
Do your research. Wal-Mart sells millions of products, so your product must be competitively priced and offer Wal-Mart customers something that other products don’t have. Research the other products that Wal-Mart currently sells and compare them to your product. Consider pricing, production costs and product placement.
Contact Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to obtain an identification number or update your company’s financial information. Your company’s financial information will need to be submitted to D&B so that company can evaluate it and issue a Supplier Evaluation Report (SER) and a D-U-N-S number that will be used to identify your company. Wal-Mart requires that the SER include a risk rating and that all information be updated with D&B for any company that wants to be considered as a vendor. The link to Dun & Bradstreet’s website is in the resource section of this article.
Obtain a Universal Product Code. The products sold by Wal-Mart all have a UPC bar code on them; if accepted, your product must have a bar code as well. In order to create a UPC bar code for your product, you must sign up for a Partner Connections membership with the Uniform Code Council’s GS1 US. The membership will allow you to create a bar code for your product online. During the vendor approval process, Wal-Mart will request a copy of your membership letter from UCC that includes your product’s UPC. Visit the GS1 US website found in the resource section of this article to apply for membership.
Complete your proposal packet. You will need to fill out an online product submission (OPS) on Wal-Mart's website, walmartstores.com. The OPS is a questionnaire that allows you to provide Wal-Mart with detailed information about your product and company. You must fill out this questionnaire online using Internet Explorer. Be prepared to submit a picture of your product, the product’s UPC number and a federal tax ID number.
Submit additional information to a Wal-Mart buyer. If the information provided on the OPS is approved, you will be contacted by a Wal-Mart buyer. The buyer will request that you fill out a second questionnaire and use your credit card number to purchase and attach a Supplier Evaluation Report from D&B to this questionnaire. The buyer may also request that you meet with him in person or mail in a product sample.
Receive your password and ID to Retail Link and complete the approval process. The buyer will be emailing you the links, instructions and any additional information that you need to complete the process. After your company’s information is submitted and approved by the buyer, you will be signing in to Wal-Mart’s computer information system known as Retail Link using your assigned ID and password to complete the vendor agreements and check on your approval status. During this time, you will be asked to submit a certificate of liability insurance. Upon approval, you will receive a nine digit vendor number that you and the buyer will use to set up a product file. The product file will allow buyers to submit product orders.
Victoria Robles graduated from Kaplan University with a degree in Paralegal Studies in 2007. She also earned her associate degree in business from Champlain College in 2002. Robles is a former job coach with three years of experience in editing real estate marketing materials and writing resumes for job seekers at her local workforce center.