FBA
5 min read

Understanding Amazon Stranded Inventories

Written by
Vanessa Hung
Published on
February 9, 2024

When managing your Amazon business, it's essential to understand the intricacies of inventory management, especially when it comes to stranded inventory. Stranded inventory can be a significant hurdle, potentially impacting your profitability and operational efficiency.

Every Amazon seller must know what stranded inventory is and how to deal with it. Here you will find the basics of this concept.

What Is Stranded Inventory?

According to Amazon, “Stranded inventory is an inventory at a fulfillment center that does not have an active offer on Amazon.”

In other words, your product is hidden in the back of the store, and shoppers can’t see it or buy it.

Or, in some cases, your product is in the middle of the sea, and nobody knows.

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And if this wasn’t stressful enough, that time is costing you money in storage fees, potential sales loss, and less cash flow during the stranded period. Stranded inventory also affects the IPI (Inventory Performance Index) and can limit your storage space in FBA.

Amazon gives sellers 30 days from the day it gets stranded to resolve the problem until it is removed or disposed from Amazon’s Fulfilment Center. It requires active action to find the main cause and fixing the problem.

In the Fix Stranded Inventory dashboard, you have all the product SKU or ASIN information and the hints to solve the issue. Necessary fields (hints) to check: the date of stranded, stranded reason, and quantities. This information will help you understand the cause, the time you have to resolve it, and the affected quantities.

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Top Reasons for Stranded Inventory

  1. Merchant Fulfilled (DG info required) — This happens to all ASINs that require FBA dangerous goods (DG) review process. You need to fill a form to let Amazon know what kind of products they have in their warehouse.
  2. Pricing errors — Too high or too low prices can trigger an alert and get your ASINs stranded. It can be easily fixed by changing your listing’s minimum and maximum price. However, sometimes this is not enough. #Tip: Amazon stands for fair and lower prices, so try to price your products accordingly to the Buy Box and marketplace.
  3. Listing errors — This is when your listing has a mismatch of information. For example, the ASIN is not connected to an SKU in your inventory, the listing was deleted from your inventory, or listing quality issue. Review your listing and verify that all information is correct.
  4. Suspended listing — This can happen for several reasons. It can be that your listing requires more information (description, images, bullet points, etc.) or that Amazon suspended your listing (e.g., poor voice of the customer performance). In this case, you need to review all the possible causes and address them.

There are many other reasons why your listings can go to stranded inventory, such as brand restrictions, expired products, item discontinued, listing closed, restricted ASINs, or incomplete listing.

So next time you see some stranded inventory, don’t panic! Just find the clues of the root cause and get to work. Most cases can be resolved without help from Seller Support, but if you need, open a case and explain your issue.

Conclusion

Understanding how to manage stranded inventory is crucial for maintaining a healthy Amazon marketplace presence. By addressing the issues promptly and efficiently, sellers can minimize the financial impact and keep their businesses running smoothly. If there are any more questions or concerns regarding stranded inventory or other aspects of selling on Amazon, remember that resources like Seller Support and seller forums are available to help guide you through the process.

FAQs on Amazon Stranded Inventory

What happens if stranded inventory is not resolved within 30 days?

If stranded inventory is not resolved within 30 days, Amazon may choose to dispose of or return the inventory to the seller, which could lead to additional costs and the loss of your products. Amazon's policy requires action within a specified timeframe to maintain efficient operation of their fulfillment centers.

How does stranded inventory impact my product's ranking on Amazon?

Stranded inventory can negatively affect your product's ranking because it is not available for sale, resulting in lower sales velocity, which is a key metric in Amazon's ranking algorithm. Amazon's search algorithm favors products with higher sales and customer engagement, so unavailable inventory can reduce visibility and ranking.

Is it possible to prevent inventory from becoming stranded?

Preventing inventory from becoming stranded involves regularly monitoring your listings for errors, staying compliant with Amazon’s policies, and ensuring accurate pricing and inventory levels. Proactive monitoring and compliance can address issues before they lead to stranded inventory.

How do storage fees apply to stranded inventory on Amazon?

Amazon continues to charge storage fees for stranded inventory as it occupies space in their fulfillment centers, which can increase costs for sellers. Amazon's fee structure includes charges for the storage of items, irrespective of their sales status.

Can all types of inventory become stranded, or are there exceptions?

All types of inventory can become stranded, with exceptions being few and typically related to items not permitted in FBA or subject to certain restrictions. Stranding can occur due to a variety of listing or compliance issues that affect any type of inventory.

What should I do if I cannot fix stranded inventory by myself?

If you cannot resolve the issue yourself, you should contact Amazon Seller Support for assistance, providing detailed information about the problem. Sometimes issues may be complex or technical, requiring Amazon's intervention to resolve.

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