Food reseller FBA inventory marked as defective

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/d6f6a4de-da84-4bad-a00b-a1c94ed205cb

Just for reference, I believe this is the ASIN this poster is referring to:
B01N22CM3F

This seems like a risky as hell business to do on Amazon, especially with FBA. Also, remember the granola bar recall? That might be the reason they’re having problems right now as well, if they happened to include those in any of their snack packs. There also seems to be a lot of expired product complaints… Given that a lot of these snacks only have shelf lives of 3 months or so, and how long it takes for FBA to fully receive a shipment, that seems like it could be very problematic.

Also seems to be a lot of dumb customers, primary complaint in the reviews is that the box is bad value… Duh, this company buys a bunch of bulk snack packs from costco, pays people to repackage them, and pays for fulfillment, of course it’s going to be overpriced for what you get.

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$7m a year, 50 employees, and your asking a forum for free help.

:person_facepalming:

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Yikes! I suspect that it’s the (significant) history of complaints and investigations that meant the most recent complaint triggered another investigation.

Plus, the fact that the contents are not always 100% the exact same items likely leads to greater risk of actual investigation with each complaint.

:woman_facepalming: And of course “all units are made unfulfillable”! If a food product has made anyone ill, they are going to pull them all during an investigation, whether online or b&m. You don’t keep serving potentially spoiled or tainted food to more customers while it all gets figured out; you dump it all and start new batches with additional QC in place and fresh supplies, possibly even from completely different suppliers.


ETA: It would be helpful to know what the specific Buyer complaint is and where/how it was made. An NSFE user mentioned recent Amazon reviews or feedback from Buyers about expired product, but online there are also NAD complaints about contents. The complaint might have been raised with Amazon such that we the public and possibly even the Seller don’t have access to it. Looks like @oneida_books is trying to help out.

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And likely packs these bundles on the kitchen table in their home.

We and most others have mice, (and worse) in our home, do they?

Even if they don’t have mice, are they following food safety handling protocols? If so, which ones? Who verifies this for CraveBox, with scheduled and surprise visits? And is there a central packing facility for the “50 employees”?

Although this is a fairly big business they seem pretty unprofessional. They’re just selling rebundled stuff from costco on something that happened to catch on. They’re also running this thing extremely inefficiently. Let’s say they’re doing 50K units / month, that’s 1000 being made per worker which calculates out to about 6 units / hour. That says to me that each worker is just getting a bunch of packs of stuff, and is opening them all and manually picking and packing everything. No automation, no assembly line, no optimization whatsoever.

I missed the part about 50 investigations, but that’s nuts. But it makes sense, substitutions = complaints, expired items due to FBA’s long lead times = complaints, and the disorganization of the operation = things like expired items making it in, or boxes being short filled = complaints.

I don’t think sanitation is much of an issue as these are all prepackaged items with low risk of contamination, but the numerous expired complaints on a food item most definitely is part of the problem here. As far as sanitary conditions go, I’d say someone’s home/warehouse is probably handling things better than an FBA warehouse on average.

I think the bigger issue is they’re letting expired products slip in because workers aren’t checking the dates on 50 different products, more than handling things in an unsanitary way (though I guess that falls into the category of food safety), or sending things into FBA without sufficient remaining shelf life to account for the delay in FBA’s handling.

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Agree with your post. However, one of our “local” customers is a warehouse, manufacturing facility with food items. The entire perimeter is lined with rat boxes.

I will not discuss the interior protections.

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I would think any food facility would have extensive controls to exterminate pests, the rat boxes are probably a good sign, a sign that they care enough to do something about it. It’s impossible to have a building full of food not attract vermin.

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Correct. So true.

Though we have to put on hair nets and body suits before we go into work at the plant or warehouse. So there is that. We also use knifes in our trade, we count how many blades we bring in, and how many we depart with.

And they do have magnetic equipment to sense for that contaminate in the production process.

Just saying we don’t know the protections that this $7M (so called revenue not profits) company with 50 employees has in place.

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Given their business model I can answer that question. None.

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If there is a chance he is using the recalled granola bars then I am super glad Amazon is stepping in and investigating!

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This is just one of their offerings …

Contents included: 2 Airheads, 1 Cheez-it, 1 Chex Mix, 1 Famous Amos, 1 Goldfish, 3 Kirkland Chewy, 2 Tootsie Pops, 1 Nabisco Cookies, 1 Nature Valley Oats & Honey, 1 Peanut Butter Crackers, 1 Pirate’s Booty, 1 Pringles, 2 Rice Krispies, 16 Little Candy, 2 Welch’s Fruit Snacks, 5 Fun Dip, 3 Mott’s, and more.

Then if you check, the brand has multiple boxes on amazon. So I’d say the employees pack more than 6/hr

And clicking the link you provided provides all the R&D (Research and Duplicate) to recreate this business model. The NSFE OP should have just kept quiet.

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Well, their top ASIN shows 30K bought/month, the rest are like 1-2K / month, so I estimated 50K / month total.

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While true, it’s kind of a crappy business model. Lot of labor for what’s not a ton of return, not to mention the fact he’s having policy violation problems now. Not a business model I’d be rushing to knock off.

I’ll even take it a step further. If I was given the right to use their trademark and list under their ASIN, for free (thus getting all the work they put into getting their sales rank for free), I’d take a pass.

I have not had 50 problems lifetime with everything I’ve sold. And that includes Amazon bot listing problems, customer inauthentic or what have you complaints, rights owners complaints, and whatever else. It’s nuts that he’s had 50 investigations due to customer complaints alone.

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Safety issues aside, this does not strike me as a crappy business model if one believes the numbers.

With sales of 7MM and 50 employees that is revenue of $140k per employee which is better than a great many businesses.

There are publicly traded companies that do not meet that revenue per employee number.

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I find it unlikely that CraveBox employs 50 salaried FTEs, though they might certainly employee 50 individuals on part-time/hourly bases.

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That times herald “article” is a paid advertisement by Cravebox.

The news and editorial staff of The Times Herald had no role in this post’s preparation.

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