Where do FBA "liquidations" go?

If any of you have ever used the liquidation option in FBA, it seems to be handled in a very unusual way. If you liquidate say, 100 units, you’ll get some 1 unit transactions, some cancellations, and some stay pending for a long time. I would think that for liquidations they dump a bunch of crap that’s getting liquidated onto a pallet and sell it in bulk to somebody, so I don’t know why some units would be cancelled as for liquidations you don’t get the option to pick and choose which items you want to take.

So I’m wondering how this program works on the warehouse side, and where these products end up going.

1 Like

I’ve never used it, so taking just a wild guess at it.

I suspect that you are correct, in that a bunch of items get dumped on a pallet. But since your items are spread among dozens or more FCs, could be quite common for a particular FC to have only one or two of your units. Even if they have multiples, they are not always stored in the same place, so possible that they aren’t picked at the same time (I imagine this is very low priority for FC workers), and therefore end up in separate lots.

Not all pallets will get bought; at least not right away. So those might be the ones canceled.

But again, nothing more than a (very slightly) informed WAG.

Yes, I would imagine that a liquidation order is low priority and that busy FCs might take longer to pick them, but I’m not seeing why they would be cancelled. If you’re requesting an item be liquidated, it’s something that likely has something wrong with it and/or is something that won’t sell, so Amazon should want to get those items out of the warehouse at SOME point. Most of the products I’ve sent to liquidations so far were defective in some way which is why I stopped selling that lot of them, so it’s not like I’m going to relist them at any point.

1 Like

I have noticed not all the units of the same items in FBA are able to be liquidated.

I had of 3 units of the same item that were in FC too long, it was showing 3 units that can be removed, but when I chose liquidation, it only showed 2 units available. Maybe some of the fulfillment centers doesn’t do liquation?

I decided just remove all 3 of them instead of liquidation, so can’t tell how the experience would have been.

1 Like

Whatever the details, it is assured that it will be handled in a manner which generates the lowest costs for Amazon.

Certainly, they will not be consolidating your inventory in one location. Nor will they be sacrificing operations which have metrics by which the FC is measured.

I would not surprise me if each FC sets up its own process in coordination with a local liquidator. Costco has had relationships with specific liquidators for each warehouses returns. I used to buy from the liquidator who handled their local warehouses.

I’m assuming each FC dumps all liquidation orders from that FC onto a pallet and sells those pallets in bulk. I understand when it takes a long time to process, as those are low priority, but what I don’t understand are the cancels. They already exclude units up front for various reasons (in a FC that doesn’t process removals, over the maximum quantity accepted, etc), and I doubt a buyer gets to look at the bill of goods up front and say “I don’t want this and I only want 5 of that.” The whole reason why liquidations are cheap is because you either take the whole pallet or none of it, and a lot of the products may be damaged or defective in some way.


FWIW, when I visited the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Robbinsville, NJ pre-pandemic, There were several huge pallets marked for Goodwill, etc. so they must be donating a lot of surplus merchandise locally.

A thrift shop in NYC I used to frequent several years ago always had great discards from Target.

I’m going to assume the stuff headed to goodwill was from disposal orders. Seeing how amazon gives you some “recovery value” for liquidations, I doubt they’d pay you that for stuff that’s going to goodwill. Would also make sense since I think the liquidation option didn’t exist pre-pandemic, it was just liquidations. It could also be products from abandoned seller accounts that stopped paying their storage fees.

Amazon was selling disposed of product to liquidators before the current liquidation program which shares revenue with the sellers.

Most of the product was branded or media products. The volume of private labeled Chinese commodity product appears to have driven the current liquidation program.

I bought branded and media products sourced from Amazon before FBA was created and through the lifetime of FBA. The quality and cost was very attractive way back.

The liquidation option has been around since @ least 11Oct16 (as a now-deprecated Seller Help Content [“SHC”] page titled “Liquidating your inventory” @ https: //sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html/?itemID=201507440) once - and for many years - stated.

That page was deprecated, as you’ve astutely alluded, during the latter stages of the COVID-19 Crisis scare, as was heralded by the 29Sep22 News Headline “Update to automated inventory removals starts October 14 (link, Seller Central)”.

That wasn’t the first shot across our Seller Community’s bows on this subject, to be sure (citational references available on request), but it would appear to me to be the most-dispositive of them.