Amazon is making it easier for FBA clients to send unwanted inventory to charities
Amazon is introducing a Fulfilled by Amazon Donations program that will send unwanted stock in its warehouses to charities instead of trashing them, reports CNBC.
According to a CBS News report, a single Amazon warehouse thew away 293,000 products in nine months.
A documentary also reported that Amazon threw away 3 million TVs in 2018.
Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, is a service that lets third party sellers ship stock to Amazon warehouses and have Amazon handle picking, packing and shipping the items.
The program works for both sellers on Amazon or other services — and Amazon charges a fee for storing and handling the fulfillment of products.
While many of the items Amazon previously trashed were returns or defective items, it could also include brand new stock that simply didn’t sell.
It’s often cheaper to simply dispose of the items than to have them shipped back to the seller — under the current model, Amazon charges sellers 50 cents per item, plus shipping or freight fees to send unused stock back under its “removal” service.
That compares to 15 cents per item for “disposal.”
Currently, Amazon may put usable merchandise merchants have requested for disposal up for sale as a Warehouse Deal, donate it or even include it in a liquidation auction.
Unsafe or unusable merchandise will typically be destroyed and sent into the waste stream.
Starting Sept. 1, 2019, the donation option will become the default option for FBA customers, with the service initially only available in the U.S. and United Kingdom.
Sellers can opt out of the program, however.
Although Amazon will still charge merchants for processing the donation of items, the idea is that to make the option more appealing.
It’s also worth noting that damaged, unsafe or unusable products may still be routed to the waste stream since it naturally doesn’t make sense for these items to end up in anyone’s hands — even charities.
Amazon says it will work with partners in both the U.S. and U.K. to help distribute unwanted products.