Amazon to sell returned items as part of waste-reduction plans

midian182

Posts: 7,148   +63
Staff member
What just happened? Amazon has announced plans to cut waste by making it easier for third-party businesses to resell customer-returned items or overstock inventory on the platform. The move comes after the retail giant was heavily criticized for destroying up to 200,000 items per week at its Dunfermline warehouse in Scotland.

Amazon has introduced two new Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) programs that it says will give more products a second life. The first of these, called FBA Grade and Resell, gives third-party selling partners the option to sell returned products on Amazon as "used" items, with the price based on the product's condition as evaluated by Amazon (Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable). The program is available now in the UK and will come to the US by year-end.

The second program, FBA Liquidations, lets sellers recover a portion of their inventory cost from their returned or overstock items by reselling them through Amazon’s bulk resale partners. The program is live in the US, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and comes to the UK in August.

"Customer returns are a fact of life for all retailers, and what to do with those products is an industry-wide challenge," said Libby Johnson McKee, a director at Amazon. "These new programs are examples of the steps we're taking to ensure that products sold on Amazon — whether by us or our small business partners — go to good use and don't become waste."

The programs' announcement comes a few weeks after UK broadcaster ITV News shared footage recorded inside Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse showing consumer electronics, jewelry, books, packages of face masks, and more being set aside for destruction. Both new and returned items flagged to be destroyed were reportedly sent to the "destruction zone" of the warehouse.

A former Amazon worker claimed that the weekly target of destroyed items is about 130,000, half of which are new and half returned, though this could sometimes reach 200,000. "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," the ex-employee said.

Greenpeace was one of the environmental organizations to criticize Amazon's apparent wastefulness. The group said the investigation showed Amazon "works within a business model built on greed and speed."

Masthead credit: Dunfermline Press

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Achaios

Posts: 207   +560
So lemme get this straight, they tell us there is a "semiconductor shortage" that leads to a GPU and CPU shortage but when a laptop or a prebuilt desktop PC or CPU or GPU doesn't sell they send it to the landfill thus adding more fuel to the "global GPU shortage".

Did I get this right?

QUOTE
Undercover filming from inside Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse reveals the sheer scale of the waste: Smart TVs, laptops, drones, hairdryers, top of the range headphones, computer drives, books galore, thousands of sealed face masks – all sorted into boxes marked “destroy”.
UNQUOTE

Remember the "HDD & SDD shortage" that "drove prices upward"? Looks like the landfills need more "computer drives".
 

RaXoR

Posts: 222   +159
My concern with this is that it will be exploited by shady businesses selling broken returns or returns missing content. This will be a **** show to put it in layman's terms.
 

RagePizza

Posts: 10   +34
Amazon actually do this now under their 'warehouse deals' section. These are the goods that have been damaged in the warehouse and cannot be sold at full price (usually cosmetic damage to packaging but don't trust that 100%).

I think the issue is that Amazon is not accurate in describing HOW the item is damaged correctly enough for the consumer to make an accurate judgement on whether or not to risk the purchase. The issue for Amazon is that documenting damaged goods more accurately takes time which equals more costs.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Amazon actually do this now under their 'warehouse deals' section. These are the goods that have been damaged in the warehouse and cannot be sold at full price (usually cosmetic damage to packaging but don't trust that 100%).

I think the issue is that Amazon is not accurate in describing HOW the item is damaged correctly enough for the consumer to make an accurate judgement on whether or not to risk the purchase. The issue for Amazon is that documenting damaged goods more accurately takes time which equals more costs.

I remember buying open box items from newegg back in the day, before they turned evil and was surprised to receive items that were practically new, only thing I was able to notice was that the box was indeed open.

Maybe the same thing would happen with Amazon.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,699   +1,775
I hope less fortunate countries are given the opportunity to take advantage of this, and I'm not talking about Playstations.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,699   +1,775
This will be a **** show to put it in layman's terms.
Def could be. I hope it isn't. I seen a video on what happens to Amazon returns. You don't even need a good reason to return anything and return shipping is free. It's already way out of hand.
 

eforce

Posts: 450   +572
How this situation happened in the first place is beyond me, they could have even just given them to charities...
 

BadThad

Posts: 640   +690
Return policies are far too lenient. In many countries once you walk out the door, it's yours, there are no returns. Americans are spoiled with return policies and they take full advantage of them and create tons of problems for retailers.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
It doesn't stop any of it reaching landfill.
Only delays it.
By how long is dependant if the item in question works or not and if so for how long?
Most the stuff they have been caught throwing is probably cheap Chinese stuff.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Return policies are far too lenient. In many countries once you walk out the door, it's yours, there are no returns. Americans are spoiled with return policies and they take full advantage of them and create tons of problems for retailers.
As someone that has experienced both side of the coin, I am sorry to say this, but as a customer, I prefer the current American way.

Granted, I do agree that many do abuse that option.

Personally, I will only return something if is trully broken or shows as something thats used even though it was labeled as new.

I just received a Bluetooth speaker that its supposed to be new in a white box, no manual and a resealable bag.

No way in hell that I will accept that. Only way that I will keep it is if I get a discount AND its not broken or faulty.
 

RaXoR

Posts: 222   +159
Return policies are far too lenient. In many countries once you walk out the door, it's yours, there are no returns. Americans are spoiled with return policies and they take full advantage of them and create tons of problems for retailers.
Clearly the article is referring to a warehouse located in Scotland. Yes Amazon is an American company but you are making a blanket statement as if this is only happening in the US...