Do you know what happens to your inventory when it’s stuck in Amazon Fulfillment Centers?
If not, then you should consider Amazon’s stranded inventory solutions. With Amazon’s practical strategies, companies can protect themselves against costly losses and ensure their products reach customers on time.
In this article, we’ll discuss how Amazon offers practical solutions for stranded inventory issues so businesses can maintain a steady supply of goods without worrying about delays or lost inventory.
What is Amazon Stranded Inventory and How Does it Affect Businesses
Amazon Stranded Inventory refers to the held inventories in an Amazon fulfillment center that are unavailable for sale due to its non-associated active offer. Amazon will notify the Amazon FBA businesses about their stranded inventory list through the following:
- Fix stranded inventory page in the Manage Inventory page
- Notification section in Inventory dashboard
Stranded inventory can create a financial drag on your business as its value decreases and can lead to a loss of profit. Therefore, it is essential that companies proactively identify the risk of affected items by resolving the issues as much as possible.
FBA stranded inventory could also affect your business at Amazon; not resolving any stranded issues would lead to a decrease in your IPI or Inventory Performance Index score and your restock limit or storage space in the Amazon warehouse.
Where to Find Stranded Inventory reports?
A report provides an easy way to locate any inventory stored that may need to be noticed when ordering new products so that you can be confident in the accuracy of your amazon store’s stock. To check your stranded inventory report, Amazon has two ways to find them:
To your seller central account, hover over to the inventory -> choose Inventory Planning, -> then click on the Fix Stranded Inventory in the Notifications tab. This page will show a list of stranded SKUS and why they are stranded.
Another way to check your Amazon stranded inventory is:
Seller Central Homepage -> Click on Reports -> find and click on fulfillment by Amazon -> on the left, you can find the stranded inventory, which you can download as a CSV or text file.
Why is it important to check your Amazon Stranded Inventory?
Stranded inventory is a common problem for businesses selling their goods on marketplaces on Amazon. If a product isn’t sold in the timeframe allocated, storage fees often accumulate, which can quickly add up if not addressed. It can negatively impact your ability to profit and even put you out of business if you mismanage.
Stranded inventories on Amazon will lead to multiple storage fees when not monitored and resolved. Amazon will continue to charge monthly storage fees and various expenses such as FBA long-term storage fees and inventory overage fees. To ensure stored items stay intact, you must check your inventory timely.
Reasons why your inventory becomes stranded and how to avoid or fix it?
Amazon provided a complete list of reasons your inventory becomes stranded in Amazon Seller Central. Generally, common causes are deleting an FBA listing, closed and inventory errors, changing the “Fulfilled by Amazon” to “Fulfilled by Merchant,” listing error, and system errors.
However, there are several ways to avoid and fix stranded Inventory on Amazon and remain your listing active and available to sell in Amazon marketplaces.
Closing or Deleting a Listing
Avoid closing or deleting an active listing when your inventory is sold. Then, in customer returns and lost inventory in fulfillment centers, these items will still have an active offer and will not be stranded.
Bulk Uploading of Templates
In the bulk upload template, if the quantity column is filled, the listing will be changed from “Fulfilled by Amazon” to Fulfilled by Merchant,”- which can automatically cause your inventory to get stranded.
In addition to that, if the field “Is this product a battery or does it require batteries?” in the bulk upload template is empty – this can cause your inventory to strand in some categories.
Do not create multiple offers for a single Product or Listing.
When creating a new listing or revising, ASIN, SKU, and condition values should be duplicated in those in the stranded inventory list. In addition, vital information such as brand, category, and listing price should be included.
The listing error could also lead to your inventory being stranded when your inventory in your FBA shipment does not have an associated ASIN. For example, a Listing error happened when a listing for your Inventory or FBA shipments was deleted. It could easily be fixed, but you may need to contact Amazon selling partner support to help resolve the issue.
Amazon will suppress or strand your inventory when the price you set falls below the minimum price or above the maximum price versus your previous price. Therefore, putting maximum and minimum prices per SKU would help maintain a good inventory status on Amazon.
Brand Qualification or Approval
Selling in Amazon marketplaces requires Amazon approval from the brand. Acquiring or getting authorization from amazon could avoid your inventory getting stranded. Thus, it is a must to get your product approved before selling.
Amazon sometimes restricts ASINs for reasons such as intellectual property, misuse of trademarks, or poor product quality that need further testing. In this case, you must contact the Amazon seller support team and seek help to resolve the issue.
Your listing could be suspended or suppressed when some critical information is missing. Always meet Amazon’s requirements and provide information like images, bullet points, and age restrictions.
Amazon will mark expired products as stranded inventory. Therefore, these expired items should be removed from the warehouse by following the removal method.
How to fix stranded inventory?
Stranded inventory on Amazon is an issue that sellers have been dealing with for quite some time. Fortunately, Amazon offers a few strategies to help Amazon sellers resolve this problem. Among them are creating removal orders, deleting the listing, updating the listing, and relisting or bulk-fixing stranded inventory.
By actively monitoring the inventory and exploring amazon’s various resolution methods, amazon sellers can manage their stranded inventory and be better prepared to increase productivity and drive more sales on amazon.
Create Removal Order for Stranded Inventory
Creating removal orders and deleting listings in the Manage Inventory tab applies to listings with issues such as B2B Restricted, block listing, expired product, item discontinued, missing SKU, etc.
To create a removal order, go to inventory -> click Manage FBA Inventory, -> Search the ASIN that needs removal -> then clicks the drop-down menu Edit, -> choose to create a removal order.
To delete ASIN from Manage Inventory, go to inventory -> click Manage inventory ->Search the ASIN -> then click the drop-down menu beside Edit -> choose delete product and listing.
Create a new Listing for Stranded Inventory.
Issues like deleted and discontinued listings, missing SKUs, and unexpected inventory received that causes your inventory to strand can be resolved by creating a new listing with the same ASIN and SKU as the inventory.
To create a new listing, go to Catalog and click Add products.
- Click add a product listed on Amazon, and search for it using its name or ASIN.
- To create a new product listing, click “I’m adding a product not sold on Amazon.”
Relist Stranded Inventory
Stranded inventory on Amazon due to closed listings, missing SKUs, inventory errors, and product and food safety investigations are subject to relist to resolve the stranded issue. Amazon could also automatically relist stranded inventory when you set the setting in your seller central account.
To manually relist a listing, go to the notification section in Seller Central Dashboard and click Fix Stranded Inventory -> tick the box for the selected SKU -> Click on the Action drop-down and choose 1-click relist
Edit and Update Listing
Some stranded inventories must edit the listing and update the required attributes to resolve the listing error and sell again. For example, stranded inventory due to future listing sell dates, missing prices or pricing errors, inventory errors, and revising for quality issues are some that need to edit.
To edit a listing, go to inventory -> click Manage FBA Inventory -> Search the ASIN -> then click Edit.
To update a listing, go to Catalog and choose to Add products via upload -> choose a template that suits the update needed in your listing -> Click on the marketplace that you want to update the listing -> find the product category of the ASIN -> click on the select category -> click on Generate Template.
Fill in all necessary attributes to update the listing.
Contact seller support
One way to fix an Amazon stranded inventory is to Contact seller support. Stranded inventory for listings with item merged, listing errors, and restricted product ASIN issues can easily be fixed by seller support.
To contact the seller support team, hover your mouse to the upper right corner and click “HELP” -> Find and click “Get support” -> select “Selling on Amazon.”
You can reach Amazon seller support through email, chat, or call.
Change to “Fulfill by Amazon”
The listing tag as Merchant fulfilled or Merchant fulfilled (DG info required) will automatically turn its inventory stranded. To resolve the issue change the “Fulfill by Merchant” to “Fulfill by Amazon.”
Go to inventory -> click Manage FBA Inventory -> Search the ASIN -> then click the drop-down beside Edit -> choose “Change to Fulfill by Amazon.”
Change product category
Product miscategorization could also strand your inventory. You can change the category of your single product by contacting seller support or modifying the category in bulk by adding products via bulk upload.
Intellectual Property Policy
The reason for intellectual property violations such as potential logo misuse or trademark misuse (self-reinstate) is also causing a stranded inventory of your items.
Request for approval
Amazon does not approve some products; thus, selling is not allowed resulting in the inventory to strand. To get approval, go to inventory -> click Manage FBA Inventory -> Search the ASIN -> then click the drop-down beside Edit -> choose “Request for Approval.”
To look up hazmat issues with your product, click on the icon menu, select Reports, choose Fulfillment then click the Dangerous Goods (DG) status)
The reports will show any SKU with hazmat issues. Contact seller support and try resolving the issue to save the inventory from being stranded.
Bulk fix stranded inventory.
If you have plenty of listings with stranded inventory, another way to resolve the issue is to fix it in bulk. Here’s how you can do the bulk fix stranded Inventory
Visit Bulk Fix Stranded Inventory and click on Request Download.
- When the report is ready, click the Bulk Fix Stranded Inventory on the top of the page title and open the report in the bottom left corner.
- Fill in the missing attributes, such as Price, ASIN, SKU, and Condition.
Removal Order Fees on Amazon
On Amazon, nothing comes in and out for free. That said, you will pay removal order fees when you create a removal order in your seller account.
What are the values used to calculate the removal fee?
Amazon has identified two values to calculate the removal fee.
Product size tier
Product size tiers are the packaged items’ unit weight, product dimensions, and dimensional weight. To determine your product’s size tier, use the Monthly Storage Fees report from Amazon to see the size tier.
- Rate cards
To determine which rate card applies to your item, use the rate card below from Amazon to identify the size tier.
For products that require special handling, use the Oversize and special handling items rate card.
The shipping weight is the weight of an item to be shipped for an order. It is calculated or determined based on the items’ physical or dimensional weight, depending on which size tier and whichever is greater.
Automatic Action Settings in Amazon
In the past, stranded inventory will be classified as “Unsellable,” and Amazon would notify the seller account immediately to create a removal order for unsellable inventory. However, Amazon has now taken a step forward with the introduction of its Automatic Action Setting; when inventory is stranded for 30 days, Amazon will automatically remove or dispose of unsellable inventories in its FBA warehouse.
Another advantage of this new feature is that seller accounts can schedule a mid-month inventory cleanup, and removal orders can be actioned automatically instead of manually. As a result, it creates efficiency for sellers and improved accuracy with large quantity items hitting their expiration date or shelf life. Ultimately, Automatic Action Settings result in improved inventory management and increased profits for seller accounts on Amazon.
Sellers must stay on top of their inventory and resolve any issues as soon as possible to avoid getting stranded inventory frequently and any potential effect on Amazon’s inventory performance. Using the strategies outlined in this article, such as changing product categories or requesting approval from Amazon, ensure your inventory remains active and profitable.
Additionally, taking advantage of Automatic Action Settings offered by Amazon can help streamline your inventory management process and keep profits up. With these tips in mind, you will have no problem managing your inventory effectively and keeping a steady sales flow through your marketplace!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Stranded Inventory on Amazon?
Amazon Stranded Inventory refers to the held inventories in an Amazon fulfillment center that are unavailable for sale due to its non-associated active offer.
What can sellers do with stranded inventory?
Sellers have several options for dealing with stranded inventory, including relisting the product, reducing the price, or disposing of the product. Amazon also offers a removal order service, which allows sellers to remove their inventory from Amazon’s warehouses and have it shipped back to the seller.
What are the consequences of stranded inventory for sellers?
Stranded inventory can have significant consequences for sellers, including storage fees, lost revenue, and decreased visibility in search results. It can also impact a seller’s account health and lead to suspension if the issue is not addressed promptly.