How To Resolve Stranded Inventory on Amazon

Stranded Inventory can be a pain, and lead to you making a loss on an item. We show you how to deal with it.

How To Resolve Stranded Inventory on Amazon

Practical Steps to Prevent and Resolve Amazon FBA Stranded Inventory Issues

As an experienced Amazon FBA seller, I've faced my fair share of challenges. One of the most common, yet overlooked issues is stranded inventory. It's those pesky items that, for one reason or another, just won't sell. They sit in Amazon's warehouses, racking up storage fees and tying up your capital.

Sounds familiar? Well, you're not alone. Stranded inventory is a common headache for many Amazon FBA sellers. But don't worry, there's a strategy to tackle this issue head-on. In this article, I'll share my tried and tested methods to effectively deal with stranded inventory, helping you to free up space, reduce costs, and maximise your profits.

So, whether you're new to the world of FBA or a seasoned seller, stick around. I'm confident that you'll find these insights valuable in handling your Amazon inventory. Let's dive in, shall we?

Oh and if you aren't aware of what we do, we are experts in this field and developed an application to help you overcome issues such as stranded inventory.

Understanding Stranded Inventory on Amazon FBA

To uncover the most effective strategies for handling stranded inventory, we first need to dig deeper into what it exactly means on Amazon FBA. In the lexicon of Amazon FBA, stranded inventory is a term for listed products that aren't available for purchase. This status might be due to a variety of reasons such as a listing error, a mismatch in product details, or invalid pricing information.

But it isn't as simple as it sounds. Just imagine, you've invested your hard-earned money, your time, and energy into sourcing a product. You've done your due diligence, carefully checked the demand and competition, and you've sent your stock to Amazon's warehouse. But for some reason, your hot selling item is now in the dreaded stranded mode.

As the clock ticks, each day of your inventory being stranded is draining your resources. Not only are your products unavailable for purchase, but the additional charges incurred for maintaining these items in Amazon's warehouse are also piling up. More than just storage costs, you're dealing with the capital tied up in the inventory, potential long term storage fees, and the additional costs of reconciling the issue.

Now that we've got a clearer picture of what stranded inventory is, we need to understand the reasons for its existence. Stranded inventory may crop up due to sync issues between Amazon and your own system. Other triggers could be changes in Amazon's guidelines or requirements or issues with product categorisation.

But don't despair. Knowing what causes stranded inventory is half the battle won. In the following sections, I'll guide you through effective strategies that can help you manage, reduce, and potentially avoid stranded inventory on Amazon FBA. These pointers will not only free up space but also help you catch any issues early, cut costs, and maximise your profits in the long run.

The Impact of Stranded Inventory on Your Business

Stranded inventory is a growing concern within the Amazon FBA seller community. It's not just about its direct implications like wasting resources and tying up capital. Its impact on your business can run much deeper.

Let's take a look at the main ways stranded inventory can affect your e-commerce operation.

Wasted Storage Space and Costs

The first immediate effect of stranded inventory on your business is wasted storage space. If your inventory is stranded, it remains in Amazon's warehouse - but not for free. You're still on the hook for storage fees. The longer it sits unsold, the more you pay. Keep in mind, Amazon imposes long-term storage fees for units stored for more than 365 days.

To illustrate this, here's a simple example. Let's say you've 100 units of a product stranded in Amazon's warehouse. If you're paying $0.75 per cubic foot per month and each unit takes up 0.0064 cubic foot, your storage costs add up over time.

Here's a table that shows how much it would cost you over a span of 12 months:

| Months | Total Storage Cost (£0.75/unit/month) | | --- | --- | | 1 | £4.8 | | 6 | £28.8 | | 12 | £57.6 |

Reputation and Search Rank Damage

Another critical impact of stranded inventory is the potential damage to your seller reputation and product search ranking. Amazon's algorithm favors sellers with a good inventory turnover ratio. If too many of your products are stranded and not moving, the algorithm may push you lower in search results, resulting in lost sales opportunities.

Moreover, it may also harm your seller reputation if customers see that a product is listed but not available.

Distracted Focus

When you're dealing with stranded inventory, much of your time and resources get channelized towards solving this issue. Instead, you could have been utilizing this time improving your product selection, marketing strategies, or customer service.

In the next section, we'll explore practical strategies to manage and reduce stranded inventory. Rest assured, with the right practices, it's perfectly feasible to turn the tide and make stranded inventory a thing of the past.

Identifying the Reasons for Stranded Inventory

Any discussion around solving a problem needs to start at its roots. To tackle stranded inventory, we've got to delve into why it occurs in the first place. Usually, there are three main reasons contributing to stranded inventory on Amazon FBA.

Firstly, mismatched details. This situation happens when the details of your product do not match Amazon's catalogue. Amazon's system runs like clockwork and inconsistencies can cause the product to be disassociated from the inventory.

Then, we have the problem of overselling. Despite the efficiency of Amazon's platform, there may be instances when more orders are accepted than can be fulfilled - causing items to be listed as 'stranded'.

Finally, it's worth mentioning account suspension. If an Amazon FBA account is suspended for any reason, the listed inventory will automatically be classified as stranded.

Here are the three vital reasons for stranded inventory:

| Reasons | Description | | --- | --- | | Mismatched Details | Product details don't align with Amazon's catalogue | | Overselling | Excessive orders beyond fulfilling capacity | | Account Suspension | The listing inventory becomes stranded due to account deactivation |

By recognising these potential pitfalls, we as sellers can be more proactive and steer clear of stranding our inventory. We can then focus on what's most important - flourishing our business.

Prevention Strategies for Stranded Inventory

When we talk about staying one step ahead of the game, being proactive is the first strategy that comes to my mind. Indeed, the adage of 'prevention is better than cure' holds remarkably true in the context of stranded inventory on Amazon FBA.

You'll be happy to know that quite a few practical steps can be taken to halt inventory stranding before it becomes a problem. Let's dive straight into it.

Ensuring Accurate Details

The first obstacle you do not want to encounter is consequently due to mismatched product details. It's critical to have every detail about the product on point, from SKU, UPC, EAN to accurate product description. There's no denying that the devil is in the details. So it's worth investing effort maintaining the accuracy of product details to prevent inventory issues.

Better Inventory Management

Next, we have overselling as another root cause of stranded inventory. Believe me, no one desires to sell products they don't have. To avert this pitfall, one needs to cultivate the practice of monitoring inventory levels consistently. Effective stock monitoring is key in preventing the selling of nonexistent stock.

Regular Account Health Monitoring

Last but not least, an unexpected account suspension can strand your entire inventory. Hence, it's prudent to keep tabs on your account health regularly. Familiarise yourself with Amazon's selling policies, ensure you're complying and above all, be responsive to the performance notifications.

By recognising these potential pitfalls and implementing these prevention strategies, the frequency of dealing with stranded inventory can be significantly reduced. In the volatile and dynamic world of Amazon selling, being proactive isn't just a strategy; I'd say, it's a best practice.

Resolving Stranded Inventory Issues

Moving to the practical aspect of resolving stranded inventory that might have hit already, there are some reliable methods I'd like to share. Amazon provides basic tools for dealing with stranded inventory which, when used efficiently, can have quite remarkable results.

Living in the age of digital commerce, we've come to realise the importance of automated responses. Amazon offers a tool for automated removals. The function of this tool is in its name: it automates the removal process for your stranded inventory. This may include return to the seller, disposal, or even liquidation in some instances. For setting auto-removal, you will have to choose an inventory removal setting that works best for you under 'Fulfilment by Amazon' in the 'Settings' tab. Be mindful of the costs associated.

Another way to resolve stranded inventory issues involves manually creation of removal orders. While I've found this process to be more time-consuming, it does provide more control over how each unit is handled. Check the 'Inventory age' and 'Remove inventory' options under the 'Inventory' tab in seller central.

Remember, the algorithm is not perfect and misinterpretations can occur. If there's a mismatch between the product's condition and its description on Amazon's platform - it may result in an item becoming stranded. So, it's crucial to ensure that your product listings align with Amazon's product detail pages.

It's also essential to monitor sales velocity. Regular monitoring and interaction with Amazon's Seller Central dashboard can aid in identifying which stock is not moving and why. This way you can make informed decisions about your inventory's future.

Use markdown to visualise data in an effective way:

| Tool | Description | | --- | --- | | Automated responses | Amazon tool for removal process automation | | Manual creation of removal orders | More control but time-consuming | | Algorithm check | Ensure the product listings align with Amazon's detail pages | | Sales velocity monitoring | Helps in identifying non-moving stock and make decisions |


So, we've delved into the nitty-gritty of dealing with stranded inventory on Amazon FBA. It's clear that prevention is the best cure. By being proactive, ensuring accurate product details and managing inventory effectively, we can sidestep the issue of stranded inventory. Regularly monitoring account health is another crucial step that shouldn't be overlooked.

But, if we do find ourselves with stranded inventory, there's no need to panic. Amazon's automated removal tool and the option to manually create removal orders can come to our rescue. Keeping an eye on sales velocity and ensuring that product listings align with Amazon's detail pages will also go a long way in making informed decisions about inventory.

Remember, it's all about staying on top of things. With the right strategies in place, dealing with stranded inventory can become a manageable part of your Amazon FBA journey.