Home > Sell On Amazon > Selling Through Sears Marketplace

Selling Through Sears Marketplace

In most of my posts I’ve talked about selling on Amazon or EBay, since they’re by far the largest online marketplaces available.  Today I’m going to talk about my experiences selling through the Sears Marketplace.

Sears has modeled their program on Amazon’s, which is what made me decide to try it out.  Most importantly to me, they have a ‘Fulfillment By Sears’ program similar to Amazon’s ‘Fulfillment By Amazon’, where third party retailers send their merchandise to a Sears warehouse, and Sears directly handles shipping products to end customers.  The Sears marketplace has significant traffic, and Sears itself certainly has the resources to implement a program similar to Amazon’s.  Selling on Sears sounded like a good opportunity.

Unfortunately, even though Sears’ program is similar to Amazon’s, their execution is not.

When I need to communicate with Amazon I open a help ticket and send them a note with whatever I need to talk to them about.  Usually in much less than a day, but always within a day, they reply.  If they’re not able to answer my question immediately, they send me a note about once every 2 or 3 days to let me know they’re still working on the problem.  When they resolve the issue they close the ticket, but I can easily re-open the ticket if the problem isn’t completely resolved on the Amazon seller portal.

With Sears, I open a help ticket and send them a note.  Other than an auto-response that is sent immediately, there is no specific time frame in which they will answer, not even an acknowledgement that they’re aware of the ticket.  I’ve waited up to two weeks before pinging them just to see if there is any length of time after which they will respond, even if it’s just an acknowledgement, but it doesn’t appear there is any such maximum time.

After filling out the initial help ticket on the Sears seller portal, all future communication on the help ticket is through email (responding to their auto-responder email or a subsequent email from them), not through the Sears seller portal.  Unfortunately, they tend to close help tickets even if the issue isn’t actually resolved.  If I reply to an email from them on a ticket after they’ve closed it, the email is auto-rejected, with instructions to open a new ticket.  A single problem can easily end up with quite a few help tickets.

In terms of how your products are presented to the customer when there are multiple third party retailers, Amazon awards one retailer the ‘Buy Box’ on the product details page (giving them a huge advantage), and all other retailers are listed in price order (low to high) on a separate page.  Amazon does make it conspicuous that there are other retailers with a higher price offering the same product.  Even though most sales probably go to the seller with the lowest price, some buyers do go with a retailer asking a slightly higher price if their seller feedback rating is significantly better.

On the Sears marketplace, it is difficult to find any retailer other than the one with the lowest price.  When I first started selling on Sears it took me quite a while to find some of my products.  I understand making the lowest priced retailer more conspicuous, but Sears has taken it too far.  There are other factors that are also important to customers, and offers from other retailers should be more obvious.

My biggest disappointment with Sears though was their Fulfillment By Sears service.  With Amazon’s FBA, I’ve had remarkably little trouble with merchandise ‘disappearing’ (though sometimes 1 item from a large shipment ends up being ‘unavailable for measurement’ indefinitely, literally forever).  With Sears, my first shipment to their warehouse was 10 watches.  They acknowledged receiving all 10, but only 7 showed up in my inventory.  30% of my inventory simply disappeared.  I filed a help ticket immediately of course, but even now, about 6 weeks later, they are still trying to determine where my missing inventory is.  As you can probably guess from my comments above, their communication with me on this has been problematic.  They never voluntarily contact me about this issue, I’ve had to keep opening new tickets to ask for status, as they keep marking each ticket as ‘closed’ even though they haven’t located any of the missing merchandise.

Sears obviously wants to copy Amazon’s success in working with third party retailers, and they’re certainly capable of it.  It’s unfortunate their execution is nothing like Amazon’s.  If things improve in working with Sears I’ll create a new post with the good news.

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For those of you who sell on Amazon, here’s my list of 300 potential products for you to sell on Amazon.  Take a look!

 

 

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  1. Mike
    June 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I have sold on all of your above referenced platforms. Sears has potential, but yes, they have a horrible back end. Their stores also are completely disconnected from the online, so if a customer has an issue and they go to the store, the Sears employees have no clue at what to do.

    Sears also has no idea how to deal with its vendors. They gave me an order with an address in California, to which I shipped. Customer contacted me (after the item was delivered) ad said I shipped it to the wrong address. I of course said I did not, that this is what Sears provided me. Now over a week since the item has been delivered, Sears contacts me and wants me to try and get the item and ship to the new address.

    On a side note, Sears online customers are not the brightest crowd either.

    • June 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Mike,

      I’m looking at smaller marketplaces to sell on, Bonanza looks promising. If you’ve tried any other marketplaces I’d like your opinion of them.

      Thanks!

  2. Jp
    July 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I have worked so hard uploading a large order to have it sold through Sears….but no where can I find an address for their warehouse, nor do they have cheap shipping as does Amazon. I am so frustrated with Sears marketplace that I may give up completely trying to use them.

    • July 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Jp,

      You should see on your Sears Marketplace account a place to print the bill of lading for the shipment you created, the address of their warehouse will be on there.

      You’re correct that Sears does not allow you to use their heavily discounted UPS service to send your merchandise to their warehouse the way Amazon does. The cost of shipping to the Sears warehouse is much higher than shipping to an Amazon warehouse.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that, for now at least, Sears’ fulfillment service isn’t ready, and it’s best to only sell through Sears items that you can ship yourself (or have a third-party service provider ship for you).

      Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  3. CE
    July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Hi. I just started selling on sears and I’m having a hell of a time with their upload system. I stated uploading items and it says to wait 72 hours before it appears on the site, after that time not even 10% of my upload was there. Now their email system is not working. I have no email, no phone, nothing to get in touch with anyone. I thinking of closing this account before they start charging the monthly access.

    • July 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Hi CE,

      Your experience is similar to mine, and from talking to other people theirs as well. It’s unfortunate, because Sears gets enough traffic to make it a good third-party platform, if they invest what’s required to make it successful. I hope they decide to do so.

  4. December 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Hey! Has anyone tried to get approved to sell apparel on amazon? I have applied three times only to keep getting rejected. they have many restrictions but I have followed all of them in terms of image requirements but I can’t seem to get in. I’m having a really hard time. Anyone have any tips?

    • December 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Did they give a reason for rejecting you? I know they sometimes stop accepting new sellers in a category if they think it’s getting too crowded.

  5. Aaron
    December 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I heard Sears Marketplace is much better now. Has anyone tried very recently ?

  6. Ken
    December 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    anyone know how to reset sears marketplace password ?? my problem is I can not login and also the email address I have given to sears when my account was opened I can’t open my google email account also. Any one has any phone number or any info on situation like this. I have hard time contacting sears.
    Thanks

  7. April 11, 2013 at 6:58 am

    does anyone know if you can have more than 1 account with sears marketplace?

  8. October 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Here’s my experience. After becoming a Sears Marketplace Seller it immediately became apparent of the dysfunction of the system. I agree with jdhpa above regarding the help ticket program. Long sotry short, I closed my seller account a month ago, removed all of my inventory, got an acknowledgement from Sears that my account was closed and yet all of my products are still on Sears.com and I actually received an order on a Sears.com non-existant product. Terrible online selling location. Stick to E-Bay and Amazon. PS: still waiting for a response on my help ticket.

  9. Karen
    March 14, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Hello,
    Can anyone give pointers on how to get approved to sell on Sears Marketplace? Applied and got denied 🙂 Currently sell on other Marketplaces.

  10. Jeremy
    May 21, 2014 at 11:07 am

    IMO sears marketplace is terrible. The process to add products is extremely cumbersome. The tracking DOES NOT WORK so you can’t determine which if your products are getting high page views and no conversions and might need description changes or price changes, no way to determine products getting low page views and maybe need better keywords in the title. Of course, it doesn’t really matter what you name your products because your customers won’t be able to find them. Type in the exact title of a product that you have in your Sears products as a retailer and you would expect that product to at least appear on the first page right… not on Sears. You will get many pages of products that don’t even contain the words typed into the search bar in the title or description. The Sears marketplace is a joke right now compared to Amazon, Overstock, eBay, Wish, etc., etc.

  11. Andrew
    July 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

    we started selling on Sears 90 days ago. We sold over 30 orders so far but Sears has never made any effort to pay us for the product we sold.

    They outsourced their customer service team in India so you can not expect any customer service care at all! They rarely answer their phone numbers, they do everything they can to make everything impossible for you and we are still waiting to get paid 90 days after. We submitted a change of address (since we moved to a new building) as well as change of bank information into our account. They asked us to send a lot of paperwork with our signature for changing the bank information, address etc and so we did with no results. We sent the same information over 6 times so far. Then they switched us to the paper check payment system only to tell us a few days after that they were unable to update our address into their system.

    It has been 90 days now and we have yet to get paid for the product we sold. TOTALLY BAD EXPERIENCE. They do everything impossible so they will never pay you. Bad customer service, Bad practice, Poor support. Stay away!

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