Fix stranded inventory to save on costs and protect the IPI score
Running an Amazon business is challenging.
Whether you sell through FBM or FBA, Seller or Vendor, many things can go wrong.
From inventory management to customer relationships, an Amazon business requires technical skills and constant attention to avoid numerous pitfalls.
In E-commerce, inventory management makes the difference and can distinguish a successful business from one that closes a few years later.
Stranded inventory units can damage your performance metrics as a seller or vendor. They cause extra costs and impact your IPI score.
Many reasons can cause stranded inventory, and when it happens it is better to act quickly.
Sometimes it happens because of a listing problem, other times because a code has changed, or a product becomes restricted.
Occasionally, stranded inventory may happen because of a customer return and a listing error.
What is Amazon stranded inventory?
Inventory in a fulfillment center without an active Amazon offer becomes stranded.
Product listings occasionally go offline on Amazon, and customers can’t purchase the product.
Most of the time, this problem is fixable in a reasonable amount of time.
Other times, you have to spend more time or contact the Seller Support team to fix the error.
Do not confuse stranded with Amazon unfulfillable inventory: you can sell stranded units as long as you fix the issues.
But you can’t sell unfulfillable inventory.
Do I have to pay for the stranded units?
Although Amazon can’t sell your units because stranded, you still have to pay the monthly storage fees.
There are even extra fees such as overage and long-term storage to consider.
Does it affect the Inventory Performance Index?
Yes. It does.
Stranded units hurt your inventory performance index.
Your IPI score will be negatively affected by unsellable stored units.
If the IPI score drops below 400 points, your storage space will be limited.
Stranded units impact your performance and wallet, but it is easy to get rid of them.
How to check stranded inventory?
Amazon will notify you as soon as you have stranded inventory.
Don’t leave that notification aside, and deal with it. But more importantly, check twice a week if there is any.
Log in to Seller Central, click on inventory management, and fix stranded inventory.
Here, you have stranded products, reasons, and two buttons.
One button to fix the problem (follow the instructions) and a button to place a removal order and have the units shipped back to you.
What causes stranded inventory error?
Any inventory in a fulfillment center needs an active listing on Amazon.
Without a listing, nobody can buy that product.
If a listing has a problem, it goes offline. At this point, the stored unit becomes stranded.
Sometimes, you’ll see that in-transit units appear as stranded in Seller Central.
The stranded status for the in-transit units should go away as soon as these are in stock, especially if you are under the Amazon In-Stock Head Start program.
However, many other reasons can raise the stranded status for Amazon FBA sellers.
Here are some of them.
You close a product listing for a specific problem.
You might not find a solution right away. You set a reminder but forget about it because you have too many things to do.
If you don’t fix the problem, the listing will stay offline. You will pay to have these stranded, unsellable units stored in one of the many Amazon fulfillment centers.
Stranded is different than unfulfillable, and there is no reason to wait more than a couple of seconds before applying the appropriate solution.
If you can only see the inventory error message on SC and have no clue about it, contact the seller support team.
A customer makes a purchase.
After the sale, you suspend or delete the listing.
The customer has a problem and makes a return. The returned units are not automatically associated with the listings. Therefore, these units become stranded inventory.
In this case, reassigning units to the appropriate listing requires the Amazon seller support team to be done.
Prevention is the best weapon against stranded inventory. However, we have many other solutions for this common problem.
Your product has serious problems, so Amazon restricts its sale.
This happens when you upload a product without proper documentation. The product becomes hazmat, and you need to upload test results for safety.
In this case, there is no magic button to click or problem to fix in no time.
Contact the Seller Support team and follow their instructions.
It happens a lot.
You upload a listing and only find out later that a photo, a detail, and any piece of information are incorrect or need editing.
Therefore, the listing goes offline, and the inventory becomes stranded.
When you are ready to fix the listing, take some time to perform keyword research and optimize for ranking and profit.
How to fix stranded inventory?
How to solve stranded inventory?
First, check the error message from the system. You can reactivate a listing by fixing its problem or issue a removal order.
FBA removal order fees are charged per single item. Each product has a specific cost depending on the size and category.
An Amazon removal order may take up to 90 days until shipped.
Bulk Fix Stranded Inventory
Are you looking for a quick way to fix stranded inventory?
Use the inventory loader file to fix all the stranded units at once.
The bulk fix stranded inventory report includes listings with fulfillable inventory and a potential solution.
Choose the right marketplace and download the report. Fix the listings by updating the information. Save the report and create a backup copy.
Upload it by clicking on Add Products via Upload page under Inventory.
It may not fix all the listings, as some need other solutions. In this case, contact Seller Central support to help you.
How to avoid stranded inventory?
Running an Amazon business requires multitasking capabilities.
It is common for vendors and sellers to momentarily set aside one or more tasks, even when assisted by a VA.
However, inventory management can be tricky, as it requires knowledge of the world of shipping and distribution.
Stranded units receive this status for many reasons, quite often, sometimes even due to being temporarily out of stock.
While in some ways, it is impossible to avoid the inventory error appearing on certain occasions, prevention starts with a solid and well-articulated inventory management strategy.
You need to have a thorough knowledge of all your products and the know-how to enter them into the Amazon database with all the necessary and correct information.
- You need to know if the products are immediately sellable before they arrive in the fulfillment center.
- If you need special certificates and other authorizations to sell, it is better to get them before sending the stock to the fulfillment center.
- Add all the info, as they are essential for the algorithm, the internal system, and the customers.
- It is better to replenish the correct number of units using Amazon inventory recommendations to avoid going out of stock.
Are you in the habit of closing your listing?
Don’t delete a listing if unsure about it, and reactivate it before shipping any stock.
Chat with support and request other possible solutions.
Amazon Automatic Solutions
FBA sellers have 30 days to fix any stranded unit. Fix the errors or issue a removal order.
But there is another solution. You can have Amazon automatically fix your stranded inventory by editing the automatic settings.
Unlike in the past, now Amazon can automatically remove units from the fulfillment center after 30 days of inactivity. If sellers do not change the automatic settings, they risk losing all of their inventory due to a default setting. Goodbye money.
By visiting the Fix Stranded page, you can easily change the automatic actions.
There are two setting options:
- Automatic Relist
- Automatic Removal
In the first case, Amazon reactivates the stranded listings after the period set by the seller.
With the automatic removal option, inventory that has been unsaleable for longer gets removed from the Amazon storage center, following the time set by the seller.
The destruction/removal option offered is helpful for all those products that have become unsaleable by Amazon.
If a customer has received a damaged product for any reason and makes a return, that unit can be part of a removal order and resold on other channels if undamaged or repairable.
Are you looking for a team of experts to help you?
Huppyz is more than a team of virtual assistants.
We are specialized account managers, business managers, and AMZ experts. We onboard clients to dedicate 100% of our time.
Even under pressure, we generate improvements, fix marketing strategies, and inventory management performance.
We move digital mountains to make real businesses more successful with our Amazon FBA management service.
Contact us to schedule a call and chat about your business struggles with us.
Fixing minor errors at an affordable rate is our way to meet new clients.
A little hand from us so you can continue your Amazon business journey with profit.