Amazon has announced a programme which will allow sellers to donate unsold or returned goods to charities, after media reports highlighted how many goods were destroyed by the company annually.
While it started life as an online bookseller, Amazon has branched out considerably: The company now makes a large portion of its revenue from its cloud computing platforms, while its retail arm has branched out into selling everything from fresh food to garden sheds and even brought its brand to the brick-and-mortar high street. The company also allows third-party sellers to list items for sale on what it calls the Amazon Marketplace, which can either be sold directly from the third-party or shipped in bulk to an Amazon warehouse under the Fulfilment by Amazon programme.
Fulfilment by Amazon, however, has come under fire following media reports claiming millions of unsold products are destroyed by Amazon each year, with a correspondingly high environmental impact. Amazon's answer: A new programme which makes it easier for third-party sellers to donate unsold inventory to charity, instead of having it destroyed when written off the books.
'We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities,' claims Alice Shobe, director of the Amazon in the Community division of the company. 'We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfilment services.'
Under Fulfilled by Amazon Donations, also known as FBA Donations, third-party sellers who use Amazon's warehousing and fulfilment services will have access to the same charitable donation system as Amazon in the Community has previously used to dispose of excess Amazon-owned stock, both new unsold and open-box returns. The programme will launch this September, Amazon has confirmed, starting in the US and UK; the company has not yet announced a timescale for bringing it to additional countries. It has, however, named three of the UK charities that will be receiving the goods: Newlife, the Salvation Army, and Barnado's.
January 24 2020 | 12:00