My customer received an expired products from my FBA inventory


#1

My customer received an expired products from my FBA inventory. Why would Amazon send my expired product to a customer?

According to Amazon’s Policy, A product that has an expiration date may be listed with FBA as long as the unit is lot-controlled and the remaining shelf life is greater than 90 days from the time of receipt by Amazon. Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date will be removed for disposal by Amazon.

Then why would Amazon send my product to a customer if it is Expired and Unfulfillable? The customer contacted me many times and was very furious. Also I thought if it is an FBA, we are not responsible for customer service? This is the negative feedback:

"I was very disappointed to pay twice as much for this product than the grocery store…but then it arrived expired. And the sad part was there was an EXTRA LARGE expiration date sticker stuck right on the bottle, clear as day. It’s making me think twice about ordering “food” on Amazon. "


#2

I recently was on the receiving end of expired product from an FBA seller too. I was angry at the seller, because I had thought FBA sellers were responsible for recalling or disposing of expired products. I’ve never sold via FBA, so maybe I’m mistaken. I didn’t think amazon took it upon themselves to check sellers’ inventory.

Amazon struck out my feedback for that seller. I am sure they’ll strike yours too because you are FBA.

Barb


#3

I am replaying to MA, but, this reply to all who said “your job is to keep tabs on exp. dates” for FBA inventory…
FBA has many positive things, but this one is a downfall of FBA.
Seller does not have control which item is going to be send to a buyer; it appears that FBA does not employ FIFO; there is no place in our inventory to put lot# and for warehouse to keep inventory by specific lot#(and subsequently, exp. date).
If a seller has a constant supply of a specific item, that seller would not let FBA inventory go to 0 and, with everything mentioned above, seller has no way of knowing if few items of that SKU passed the exp. date.
If any of you with “your job to keep tabs on exp. date” has a solution (real solution) how to keep tabs on inventory with exp. date that is in FBA warehouse, please, share with the rest of us.


#4

It’s not Amazon’s job to keep tabs on your expiration dates. That’s your job.


#5

But apparently it is Amazon FBA’s job to take responsibility and strike the negative feedback out if buyer dares to complain.


#6

But, if you constantly send supply of the same SKU, how do you know if you have few items that pass/close to exp. date?
Let’s say I grow and sell apples. Every month I sell around 100 apples. I send those 100 apples once a month although I may still have around 10-15 apples left in FBA inventory from previous month. Exp. date on apples is 120 days (4 month).
So, how do you know at the end of June (just a random month) that those 15 apples in your inventory from a batch that was sent in May and not in January or February (those apples would be expired right now)?
Is there report that I can run showing how many units were sold from each and specific shipment I sent to FBA?


#7

As a seller of items with expiration dates, it is the sellers responsibility to keep tabs on their stock. It concerns me that Amazon doesn’t double check dates sent to customers. I label mist units with large font expiration stickers. I also note each item on my listing page so I know when to request disposal for unsold items that near expirations.

Also the 90 day rule isn’t really 90 days. There is the reasonable use math that goes into it. So sometimes an item has to come down around 150 days depending on servings listed on the package. If reasonable use is 220 days for example, I must pull those items or else risk suspension.


#8

Amazon FBA policy makes it sound like Amazon takes care of it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200339730

Food and beverage products (or units containing food or beverage) and products sensitive to temperatures will only be accepted if they meet the following requirements:
• A product that has an expiration date may be listed with FBA as long as the unit is lot-controlled and the remaining shelf life is greater than 90 days from the time of receipt by Amazon.
Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date will be removed for disposal by Amazon.
◦ Units subject to disposal will not be available for return.
◦ Some products would need to be received earlier than 90 days. For example: a daily supplement that had 240 tablets, the remaining shelf life would be 240 days or greater, however the same supplement with only 180 tablets would have a remaining shelf life of 180 days or greater.

Is this not the case?
We do not do any FBA so don’t know first-hand, however, reading this policy it sure seems that Amazon would remove and dispose of expiring products.


#9

yes, they struck it out.


#10

We use FBA to sell items with expiration dates that we mfg (non food items) and we have the opposite problem. Amazon often sends back cases of our unit claiming they are expired (when in fact they are looking at a production date) for example:
Date of Mfg: 09/20/15
Exp date: 09/20/19
Come the beginning of November, we get back 2 or 3 cases all marked EXPIRED.

I believe Amazon does keep up with expiration dates, it just takes a little while


#11

I do not have many products requiring exp. date; but on those that required I do not put mfg. date for the specific reason you described. My lots# have mfg. date in them, but it is coded. So, I can say by looking at lot# when it was manufactured, what components went into that product, what line it was filled on…but no easily readable mfg. date.
However, I do not know if food industry is allowed not to put mfg date on a product.
I, too, believe that warehouses keep an eye on exp. date, but we all can make mistake (see OP and Barb’s post). So, I would be very happy if there would be a tool in FBA inventory to see if any units are about to expire.


#12

There is another potential solution (even if it is less than optimal) which is to allow the occasional stock out. You know how many units of an item you are selling and Amazon provides reports that estimate how many days to sell the remaining stock. Time your next shipment to arrive a day or two after the expected stock out date.


#13

Which does not mean you will not suffer as a result of expired inventory

Feedback on Amazon is meaningless, so they strike out just about every negative FB on FBA.

The do, however, employ bots to identify FBA sellers who need corrective discipline.

Amazon does not rotate your stock or pull expired items.

Therefore it is the seller’s responsibility to ship quantities to FBA which do not exceed the shelf life of the items. If necessary recalling existing inventory before shipping additional inventory

For many reasons, FBA is not appropriate for slow moving inventory. Just another example.


#14

Before I send my products to Amazon warehouse, I always uploade all the information, including the expiration date. I also put a large font sticker for expiration date. Amazon can detect the expiration date on their end and automatically the products will be unfulillable if it’s expiring in 90 days or so…and can be requested to send them back or discard them. I had unfulfillable products before and the reason was expired, so I requested to send them back to me, and when the products arrived, they will be expiring in less than 3 months… I am just wondering why a certain product was sent to customer even though it is unfulfillable.


#15

The can but they don’t.

A robot picks your item Once picked it goes into a box and is shipped.

Assuming there is any intelligence in an Amazon warehouse is asking for trouble.


#16

Explain just how the seller is to do that if the merchandise is in a FBA warehouse?

Before shipping they can make a record and watch the dates weekly but still if they have many of the same product with different expiration dates a seller would have no control over which one Amazon pulls to ship.

So how can a seller keep tabs when in FBA warehouse?


#17

A ROBOT? Last video I saw on FBA warehouse it was humans who pulled orders. When did that change?


#18

I let it run very low then send in the new batch under different SKU.

When the new batch arrives, I recall the remaining few.

Hope this helps. But I’ve been called names here for being too cautious.

I’ve been known to do that with non-expiring plush toys also, because the polybags start “expiring” as they keep trucking the products among various warehouses.

Of course, lately the six-months and twelve-months storage fees put expiration dates on plush toys also.


#19

Meet Amazon’s busiest employee – the Kiva robot

As consumers buy more from the Internet’s largest retailer, it keeps up by outfitting warehouses with robots that work at speeds humans can’t.


#20

Very interesting indeed and goes to show how advanced some of Amazon warehouses are.

Thanks for the link.