Amazon destroys up to 200,000 items of unsold stock per week at its Dunfermline warehouse

jsilva

Posts: 131   +1
Staff
In brief: Have you ever wondered what Amazon does with all the unsold stock stashed in their warehouses? According to the company, most stock is resold, donated, and recycled, while only a small part is destroyed. However, a new report claims that the biggest online retailer is destroying up to 200,000 items per week at its Dunfermline warehouse alone.

In an investigation led by ITV News, the outlet shared a video with footage recorded inside Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse showing consumer electronics, jewelry, books, packages of face masks, and more being flagged for destruction. Regardless if they are new or returned, items flagged to be destroyed are sent to the "destruction zone" of the warehouse.

During an interview before the publication of the investigation, John Boumphrey, VP country manager UK at Amazon, said that the amount of items destroyed is "extremely small." The company also stated that nothing is sent to landfills, and as a "last resort," the goods are sent to energy recovery.

On the other hand, there's a former Amazon employee stating that the weekly target of destroyed items was about 130,000 from which about half is new, and the other half are returned products. In certain weeks, the number of items marked to be destroyed can even reach 200,000 items.

The news outlet also had access to a leaked document detailing the number of items flagged for destruction and donation during one week of April. While 124,000 items were destroyed, only 28,000 items were donated to a charity.

"There's no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed: Dyson fans, Hoovers, the occasional MacBook and iPad; the other day, 20,000 COVID (face) masks still in their wrappers," Amazon's ex-employee said.

The reason behind the shocking item disposal is due to how Amazon works as a reseller. Vendors may choose Amazon to stash their products in warehouses at a cost that increases depending on how long they are stored. As costs increase, it eventually becomes cheaper to destroy the items instead of having them stored.

UK's prime minister Boris Johnson and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng promised the case will be investigated.

Masthead credit: Dunfermline Press

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BoowieBear

Posts: 22   +32
This is standard practice in the retail industry. They do everything possible to extract value out of these items but at some point the only option is destruction. Resale agreements, liability and other reasons prevent them from just giving it away. I hate to see it, but understand it.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,430   +2,762
TechSpot Elite
This is standard practice in the retail industry. They do everything possible to extract value out of these items but at some point the only option is destruction. Resale agreements, liability and other reasons prevent them from just giving it away. I hate to see it, but understand it.
Yup, and it's one of those consumerism things that the consumers would rather be ignorant about...
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,711   +5,617
Over a million brand-new cars is destroyed every year, because dealers are not allowed to sell them for less, according to the contract with the manufacturer. That makes you sick as well.
 
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EClyde

Posts: 2,403   +946
Here we go...everyone telling someone else what to do with their junk. It's not right. It's theirs not yours
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 833   +635
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ET3D

Posts: 1,756   +401
As costs increase, it eventually becomes cheaper to destroy the items instead of having them stored.

The article implies that it's the vendor's choice, and that's not true. I worked for a company that had products destroyed. I don't remember the exact details of the communications with Amazon, but far as I remember the option for destruction was suggested by Amazon, and because communication with Amazon can be problematic, that's what ended up happening. It wasn't what the company wanted to happen.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 368   +289
That's criminal incompetence and wastefulness.

No different than decade+ ago Canada duping hundred thousands tones of wheat grain into the Atlantic instead sending it to place where people would use it. This civilization better be replaced soon. No hope.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 434   +581
Why do you think your favourite brand has amazing trade in deals? Consumerism doesn't work if we keep what we buy until it breaks.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 185   +124
Everything about Amazon disgusts me, especially Jeff.
Why? If you bought something you no longer needed and didn't want to sell it to anyone who can tell you what to do with something that's yours? I've had nothing but great experiences doing business with Amazon and their customer service has been great in nearly every instance.
 
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Bobbydpue

Posts: 185   +124
https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-advice/how-many-cars-are-there-in-the-world-70629

Last question near the bottom :)

And it’s way more than a million...
"How many cars are destroyed each year?

Another short answer? Not enough. Global figures are hard to come by, but it's estimated some 12 million cars are destroyed each year in America, while around eight million cars are scrapped in Europe. In the USA alone, that means five million more cars are sold than destroyed each year."

I don't see where the outrage is. What's wrong with recycling cars that have reached the end of their useful lives?
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 185   +124
That's criminal incompetence and wastefulness.

No different than decade+ ago Canada duping hundred thousands tones of wheat grain into the Atlantic instead sending it to place where people would use it. This civilization better be replaced soon. No hope.
What is the process of duping wheat?

I think you should actually read full article rather than just headlines. The dumping of wheat by Canada wasn't into the Atlantic is was into the US Market below market value. The only historical instance of wheat dumping into the ocean I could find was in India. A large donation of wheat from the US was mishandled on its way to port and it had became unfit for human consumption and was dumped into the ocean.
 

Freddie159

Posts: 87   +54
So enforce other terms by law. It's not rocket science.

Exactly just resell them to 3rd party people who buy stuff in a crate at wholesale prices and then resell them...no warranty, no liability from Amazon just unwanted stuff. Amazon all of a sudden looks better in the eyes of the public and we the public get to decide what to do with the stuff. Sure some of it isn't worth a nickel but the gem in the box makes it all worth while.
 

pelopidas

Posts: 23   +36
Exactly just resell them to 3rd party people who buy stuff in a crate at wholesale prices and then resell them...no warranty, no liability from Amazon just unwanted stuff. Amazon all of a sudden looks better in the eyes of the public and we the public get to decide what to do with the stuff. Sure some of it isn't worth a nickel but the gem in the box makes it all worth while.
Majority of this does not belong to Amazon. This is others peoples stuff. Amazon can’t just take it. But the sellers on Amazon don’t want this stuff back either because it is for the most part unsellable crap. If you know anything about selling on Amazon you would know that everything sells and it has to be a special kind of useless and undesirable not to sell. So what Amazon is doing is what the sellers would be doing if they wanted Amazon to ship their items back to them. Throwing it away. Except that all the fuel and etc that is required to ship every item back to the seller is being saved.
 

whateversa

Posts: 42   +52
Here we go...everyone telling someone else what to do with their junk. It's not right. It's theirs not yours
The environmental impact of having produced something that just gets destroyed makes no sense. It's not just theirs. Its like an offence against the planet. Example: many solar panels cannot even make up in their life span for the CO2 emissions produced during their manufacturing. Not to mention other hazardous chemicals used, waste and air toxins from the production of just about anything. Everything should be used efficiently. If I was a dictator, I would execute people for being inefficient. Want a bumper sticker on your car? Wasteful! Execute! Did not reuse a shopping bag? Flogging and then execution.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 248   +231
Everything about Amazon disgusts me, especially Jeff.
Objectively, this practice is not limited to Amazon. Pretty sure a lot of retail companies do that. Its just because of the size of retailers like Amazon, therefore, it seems like the value of wasted items is very high.