In the past there have been repeated media reports that Amazon has been destroying a large part of the unsold goods for a long time. Amazon now wants to become more sustainable in dealing with returns.
• Amazon donates returned goods
• Programs for third-party providers are intended to make the handling of returns more sustainable
• Returned or used goods are resold
On the blog of the online mail order company Amazon mediates that it is well aware of its responsibility to the environment. That is why the company is striving to become CO2-neutral in all areas by 2040. A large part of becoming more sustainable is dealing with returns. The mail order company has various options for giving returns a “second life”. According to the company’s own statements, disposing of and recycling goods is the last route the company takes and is only taken if it can no longer be used for hygienic reasons or due to damage. Most recently, Amazon’s waste of resources was exposed in Scotland .
Some returns are donated
Amazon has been working with the charitable organization innatura since 2013. This organization has set itself the task of collecting donations in kind and distributing them to non-profit organizations. Innatura also arranges donations in kind for Amazon. In 2020, Amazon, in cooperation with innatura, according to the company’s blog, donated in kind to more than 1,000 organizations that reached around 500,000 people in need. In addition, 1.5 million single and large packs were distributed to local food banks in Germany.
Two third party return resale programs
Two new programs are also intended to offer a solution for handling returns for goods from third-party suppliers. According to Amazon, over 20,000 German companies take advantage of the “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) program. The entire logistics process is handled by Amazon for the third-party providers. In connection with this program, there are now two solutions that make the handling of returns more sustainable: “With a first program, sales partners can now sell returns and unsold stocks at a profit to buyers of residual items. […] With a second program Third-party providers also sell returns directly to Amazon customers. ” The returned goods are rated by Amazon in four categories: “Used – like new”, “Used – very good”, ”
Amazon Outlet and Warehouse
Another option for reselling returned goods for third parties is the Amazon outlet shop. Here they can resell the goods to customers and receive around 30 to 60 percent of the original price in return. If third-party providers do not use the solutions for reselling the returned goods, they will receive the products back from Amazon. In addition, returned Amazon products are resold via Amazon Warehouse. These are checked in advance and then sold around 20 percent below the original price. In some special cases, the product can even be offered up to 80 percent cheaper. In 2020, according to Amazon, customers bought over ten million opened or used products.