Last month, Amazon came under fire for an investigation that revealed millions of destroyed products every week. In an ITV report, it was revealed that the retailer's warehouses have dedicated destruction zones to take care of unsold or returned goods. Destroyed goods included TVs, PlayStations, phones, books and more.
Amazon announces two new programs
After the investigation released, Amazon has decided to work to fix the massive backlash it received. In an effort to cut down on mass waste, the retailer is working to repurpose unsold and returned goods and make them more appealing to customers.
Firstly, returned goods will be resold at a higher rate through the company's new FBA Grade and Resell initiative. Products that appear to be usable will be graded on a condition system. The condition of the item will reflect its price.
Secondly, Amazon is also opening an FBA Liquidations initiative to handle unsold items that would otherwise be chucked out. This new program will help third-party sellers recover their unsold products at a reduced cost. Previously, the large cost of recovering stock from Amazon's warehouses wasn't efficient for smaller businesses.
The company admits its shortcomings
While the two new programs are good improvements, a company as large as Amazon should've had them established already. FBA Liquidations and Grade and Resell are being pushed as the company's “commitment to both sellers and sustainability.” In reality, that commitment is newfound amid controversy.
Director of Amazon WW Returns, Libby Johnson McKee explained:
“Customer returns are a fact of life for all retailers, and what to do with those products is an industry-wide challenge. These new programmes 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. Along with existing programmes like FBA Donations, we hope these help build a circular economy and reduce our impact on the planet. And we’re excited that these programmes will also help the businesses selling on Amazon reduce costs and grow their businesses—it’s a win for our partners, customers, and communities.”
These new programs are already available in the US, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. It will start in the UK later this month.