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3 Ways To Remove FBA Inventory

In my last article, I asked "5 questions that will help you decide when to remove FBA inventory.” Once you’ve decided which inventory to remove, you have several options to get it done. You also have to decide whether to have Amazon return your inventory to you or dispose of it.

To get started, you could always use the Recommended Removal Report and let Amazon decide for you which products to return. But if your formula for removing products is different from Amazon's, you have other options.

1. Remove a few products

If you only have a few products that you want to remove from the fulfillment centers, there are some quick options within several of the tabs in the Inventory Planning Dashboard. Most likely the inventory you want to remove will be listed under the Inventory Age tab or the Manage Excess Inventory tab.

Identify the products you want to remove in one of these lists, and from the Edit listing drop-down menu select 'Create Removal Order.' This will open a form to create a removal order request. For one product, this works great. If you have a few more products, use the search field in the form to locate the other products you want to remove. But if you have a dozen or more, you’ll probably find this method tedious.

2. Hand-pick inventory for removal

You can create a removal order from scratch from the Manage Inventory page. Unlike the Inventory Planning lists, this list enables you to check the boxes to the left of your listed products and select 'Create Removal Order' to add them all to the removal order request at once. You can then decide how many you want returned and whether to have Amazon return them to you or dispose of them.

If you have a lot of inventory, it may be difficult to locate all the products you want removed when using the Manage Inventory page. If you filter by 'Status' and 'Products Fulfilled by Amazon,' you might be able to narrow your choices to one page. But if your list spans multiple pages, you’ll only be able to select the products that are listed on the same page. The system won’t remember the boxes you’ve previously checked once you advance to another page.

3. Request removals in bulk

If you sell a lot of products, you should maintain records on them in a spreadsheet on your computer. Otherwise, you can download an Amazon-fulfilled Inventory Report from the Inventory at any time. You can get the report by going to the Inventory drop-down menu and selecting 'Inventory Reports.' Then select 'Amazon-fulfilled Inventory Report' from the drop-down menu and click 'Request.'

Once the report is ready, download it to your desktop. The report will include a list of products you have listed with FBA and the quantity in stock. With this information you can build a file that you can upload to Seller Central to create a removal request.

Finding a link to the template takes a few steps. You have to begin the process for creating a removal order request, but click 'Upload Flat File' in the upper right corner, then click 'Download Template' on the next page. I’ve included a link to the template here: Removal Order Request Flat File.

You’ll still need to go through the same steps above to upload the file. The template provides instructions for building the file and uploading it. Once you’ve uploaded the file you can monitor it in your 'Manage Orders' page of Seller Central.

Return or dispose?

Another choice you’ll need to make as you create a removal order is whether you want to have Amazon return your inventory to you or simply dispose of it. Returns cost more, but the fees are not a huge deterrent. For 50¢ per unit, you can have all your standard-size products shipped back to you. For oversize products, you’ll need to fork out an additional 10¢ per unit. Disposals are considerably less expensive for standard-size products, costing only 15¢ per unit and 30¢ per oversize unit.

If you think you can still make a buck selling your products through some other channel, returning them might be worth the expense. But if you're stuck with a bunch of calendars for 2013, I wouldn’t put much hope in making any money off of them. You know your products and customers. Use your best judgment.

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Avalara Author
Marcus DeHart
Avalara Author Marcus DeHart