Amazon is introducing two new programmes to resolve its epidemic issues with returned items. The new Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) programmes will theoretically make it easier for businesses using Amazon as a fulfilment platform to process and resell returned products, as well as to overstock products without fear of destruction.
Amazon’s New Fulfilment Programs Aim to Reduce Shocking Levels of Waste
Shocking revelations found that the e-commerce giant is destroying tens of millions of items per year rather than restocking and reselling them, with the cost of destruction lower than processing and reselling.
After British TV network ITV found that a single Amazon warehouse was destroying up to 130,000 items per week, sometimes including high-end tech such as MacBooks, smart TVs, and tablets, pressure was piling on the retailer to reduce the disgusting levels of waste.
The official Amazon announcement puts into place new steps to help both Amazon and its fulfilment partners to drastically cut the levels of waste uncovered.
Fulfilment by Amazon introduces a new “FBA Grade and Resell” tool. Those using Amazon for fulfilment can grade returns on quality, then make them available for resale through their platform. Returned items can use one of four grades and the seller can then set a custom price for the resale.
Another change comes to how Amazon will handle overstocking or liquidations. The “FBA Liquidations” tool provides a way for sellers to recover costs from returned or liquidated inventory. Previously, Amazon would send any stock of this nature back to the seller, or it would enter Amazon’s FBA Donation program.
Now, sellers have a chance of recovering at least some cost by selling their overstock through Amazon’s wholesale resale channels.
Will the Fulfilment by Amazon Programs Actually Reduce Waste?
If you’re reading this with an eyebrow raised, we don’t blame you. Amazon has a long and open history of monumental waste, despite what the front-facing PR messages and shiny waste reduction schemes want you to see.
Speaking to Business Insider, an Amazon source said:
We are working toward a goal of zero product disposal and our priority is to resell, donate to charitable organisations, or recycle any unsold products. No items are sent to landfill in the UK. As a last resort, we will send items to energy recovery, but we’re working hard to drive the number of times this happens down to zero
However, this isn’t the first time Amazon warehouse destruction policies have been exposed, with previous reports from Germany, the UK, the US, and more, with other reports of sellers have their inventories liquidated with little warning.
Until there is serious, provable change, moves like these only further issues with Big Tech, especially with issues like greenwashing.
Amazon is launching an initiative called Fulfillment by Amazon Donations, which will donate unwanted items to charity.
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