Following the discovery that Amazon in the UK was destroying stock of returned goods rather than reselling them, the company has announced changes to the way it deals with returned and unsold products. In an official statement, the company reported that it is setting up two programs for businesses that use the retail giant’s infrastructure.
As noted by ITV News, FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) Grade and Resell, and FBA Liquidations, will allow third-party sellers to list returned inventory on their product pages.
With the former, when a product is returned to Amazon, the company will assess its condition and then reinstate it as a used product; sellers will be able to set the price based on the grades Amazon distributes, and those sellers will be able to control much of the process themselves.
FBA settlements, meanwhile, allow sellers to ship returned or excess products to wholesalers directly from Amazon’s logistics warehouses. They will then be able to connect with Amazon’s wholesale resale partners and try to “recoup a portion of their inventory cost.”
The announcement comes shortly after a controversial report by ITV News that truckloads of brand new products were headed for destruction. An anonymous tipster told reporters at the time that the destruction process wouldn’t even spare premium products like MacBooks and, despite what’s going on these months, sealed COVID masks.
As The Hill explained, the report raised resentments in the United Kingdom, with Labour MPs clamoring for an explanation of what happened. At the time, Amazon stated that “no items are sent to the landfill,” but as a last resort, some were destined for “energy recovery.”
Libby Johnson McKee, director of Amazon Returns, ReCommerce and Sustainability, said the new initiatives are an example of how Amazon is trying to “ensure that products sold on Amazon […] go to waste and don’t become waste.”
McKee added that the new policies will help reduce costs and help companies that use Amazon’s order fulfillment platform grow their businesses. The new programs are currently available in the US and other European nations, but will arrive in the UK in August.
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