Loading...

You have your products lying in Amazon fulfillment centers

You are paying their storage fees. 

But… 

You’re still unable to sell them due to “stranded inventory." 

There are very few things more frustrating for an Amazon seller than coming across a stranded inventory debacle. A stranded inventory doesn’t just put a screeching halt to your sales and balloons your overheads. It can also put a dent in your Inventory Performance Index. 

Therefore, sellers need to be proactive in fixing the stranded inventory issue the moment it raises its head. If you're also facing this issue and trying to get around it, you've landed at the right place. 

This post will discuss in detail how you can fix this issue. We will also walk you through why it happens in the first place and how you can prevent your inventory from getting stranded in the vast storage space of Amazon. 

What Does Stranded Inventory Mean on Amazon?

Before delving into causes of stranded inventory and fixing them, it is important to understand the issue inside out i.e. what essentially “stranded inventory” means on Amazon.

Amazon calls an inventory “stranded” when it gets stuck in an Amazon warehouse from where it neither moves forward (to customers) nor moves backward (to sellers).

So, standard inventory basically means you have your products stored in an Amazon fulfillment center. However, the respective listings for those products remain inactive. In other words, you can’t make sales despite having sufficient inventory.

An inventory can become “stranded” for various reasons, and we will discuss them in the next section. 

Unfulfillable vs. Stranded Inventory

Before moving forward, it is also essential to talk about another similar inventory management issue called “unfulfillable inventory”. Often, both these terms are interchangeably used to describe the same problem. In many cases, unfulfillable inventory and stranded inventory imply the same thing. 

However, it is important to remember that unfulfillable inventory is primarily all those products that can't be sold because they are damaged, have missing parts, expired, or involve any other fundamental issue. On the other hand, stranded inventory can be caused due to product issues as well as listing errors and mistakes (missing SKUs, incomplete listing information, category restrictions, etc). 

One significant difference between unfulfillable and stranded inventory is also the status of the listing. In unfulfillable inventory, the listing remains active. However, stranded inventory means the listing is no longer active i.e. customers can’t even place an order.

Why My Product/Inventory Is Stranded on Amazon? 

Inventory can get stranded on Amazon due to various reasons. Amazon notifies you about stranded inventory via email. You can also check it yourself on the Seller Central dashboard in the “Manage Inventory” section. If you have any stranded inventory issue, a tab “Fix stranded inventory” will appear on the manage inventory page. 

When you click on the “Fix stranded inventory” button, you can see the stranded product's name, ASIN, and SKU and why it is stranded in the column “Stranded reason”. You will find the cause of stranding from the long list of reasons mentioned below. 

31 Reasons Your Inventory Gets Stranded on Amazon

  1. B2B Restricted
  2. Blocked Listing
  3. Deleted Listing
  4. Discontinued Listing
  5. Expired Product
  6. Food Safety Investigation
  7. Future Listing Sell Date
  8. Inventory Error
  9. Inventory Under Review 
  10. Item Discontinued 
  11. Item Merged
  12. Item Restricted
  13. Listing Closed 
  14. Listing Closed and Inventory Error: 
  15. Listing Error: 
  16. Merchant Fulfilled
  17. Miscategorized ASIN
  18. Missing Price 
  19. Missing SKU
  20. Packaging Issue
  21. Please Review for Quality Issues
  22. Potential Logo and Trademark Misuse
  23. Product Recall 
  24. Product Safety Investigation 
  25. Product Update Required 
  26. Qualification Required (Brand) or (Category
  27. Restricted ASIN
  28. Restricted Product ASIN
  29. Restricted Program
  30. Under Hazmat Review
  31. Unexpected Inventory Received 

Why Is It Important to Fix Stranded Inventory as Quickly as Possible?

You need to fix the stranded inventory issue as soon as possible for the following reasons.

  • Stranded inventory remains unavailable for sale. However, it still occupies space in Amazon fulfillment centers and increases your storage expenses with mounting monthly storage, long-term storage, and storage overage fees.
  • Stranded inventory also decreases your points on Inventory Performance Index (IPI). As a result, Amazon will limit the available storage space for your account if the IPI drops below 400 (IPI range: 1-1000).
  • Stranded inventory means an inactive listing, which means no sales and revenue for the given period.

How to Fix Standard Inventory: A Step by Step Guide

You have multiple options to fix stranded inventory in different scenarios. For instance, you may sometimes have to remove the inventory and list your product with new stock. Then, you may have to file a case and reach out to Seller Support in some instances. If you win your case, you can relist your stranded inventory. 

What you have to do with these measures will vary from case to case, and we will discuss it in the next section.

First, let’s see how you can initiate the procedure of fixing stranded inventory on your Seller Central dashboard. 

As mentioned earlier, you will receive an email or performance notification regarding the stranded inventory. Also, you can see it yourself on Seller Central through the following steps.

  • Go to the Manage FBA Inventory section from the dashboard. 

  • A new tab will appear on the horizontal menu bar with the title Fix stranded inventory (number of stranded ASINs) if you have any stranded inventory.
C:\Users\Rathore\Documents\Feb 22\How to fix stranded inventory on Amazon\02.PNG

  • Click on the Fix stranded inventory tab to find out the ASIN/SKU for which the corresponding stock is stranded. You can see the stranded inventory entry along with SKU, ASIN, FNSKU, and other details. You can also see the Stranded reason column. Moreover, the last drop-down column (encircled with green) gives you the actions you can perform to fix the stranded inventory. In the below example, the stranded reason is the listing error, and the provided fixing solution is to create a remove order to list it again after resolving the issue.
C:\Users\Rathore\Documents\Feb 22\How to fix stranded inventory on Amazon\03.png
  • However, creating an order removal order may not be the best option to fix stranded inventory. It will remove the inventory from the fulfillment center and dispatch it back to you or dispose of it. So, if you don't get any other option to fix the stranded inventory, you can always get in touch with the Seller Support team for further assistance. If you float the cursor over the cause given in the Stranded reason column, you will see Amazon suggesting the same.
C:\Users\Rathore\Documents\Feb 22\How to fix stranded inventory on Amazon\04.PNG

Opening a New Case with Seller Support to Fix Stranded Inventory

You may have to contact Seller Support to fix stranded inventory in many cases. You may succeed in troubleshooting the problem with their assistance. For that, you will have to open and submit a new case from your Seller Central. 

Follow the below steps to open a new case with Amazon to sort out stranded inventory.

  • Click on the Help on the top right corner of the main page of the Seller Central dashboard.
  • Scroll down the Help page, locate the Need More Help section, and click on the Get support button below it.
  • Proceed while clicking on Selling on Amazon

  • Describe your issue, i.e. inventory is stranded due to the given reason (e.g., stranded due to listing error). Then inform them you want to fix the problem and resume the listing to its active status. The Seller Support team will take up your issue, and soon you will be on your way to getting your stranded inventory back.

Make the Most of Automatic Action Settings

If you look at the Fix stranded inventory page, you can locate the Edit Automatic-action button on the top of the page.

C:\Users\Rathore\Documents\Feb 22\How to fix stranded inventory on Amazon\09.PNG

When you click on the Edit automatic-action settings button, you will see two sections: Automatic fixes and Automatic removal. If you enable the Automatic fixes option, it will automatically fix your stranded inventory and relist your listing if the stranded is happened due to “closed listing”, “item discontinued”, “listing closed and inventory error”, and “merchant fulfilled”. 

The Automatic removal setting section lets you choose the removal method and the cutoff time for the automatic removal. 

Here, you will find removal method options for different stranded inventory scenarios. You can either pick “return unit to me” or dispose of units. Then, you also need to select the cutoff time for the initiation of the automatic removal. If you want to get your inventory back instead of Amazon doing it with whatever it pleases, check this section and check the “return units to me” the moment you find out about the stranded inventory issue. 

How Do I Relist a Standard Item on Amazon?

In many cases, you will have to relist a listing after revising its details or resolving any other stranding-related issue. Therefore, it is essential to know how to relist a stranded item back on Amazon.

Once you get the go-ahead to relist an item after the resolution of stranded inventory, execute the following steps.

  • Click on Manage FBA inventory from the Inventory Drop-down menu of Seller Central Dashboard.
  • Locate the listing that involves stranded inventory and click on the drop-down menu given on the extreme right on it. 
  • Click on the Relist and move to the next page.
  • Review and update offer details of the listing and click Save 

Make sure that you only perform those steps on an inactive or closed listing. After saving the update offer details, your listing will get relisted within 15 minutes if there is no other issue with it.

31 Reasons Your Inventory Gets Stranded on Amazon and Ways to Fix It

In the earlier section, we've listed the reasons behind stranded inventory. Now, with the knowledge of listing and opening a case with Selling Partner Support, let’s expand on those reasons and their fixes.

  1. B2B Restricted: The product(s) involving stranded inventory are only approved for B2B sale. 

Fix: Create a removal order and delete the listing. Next time, make sure the product you chose to list on Amazon is approved for the B2C sale.

  1. Blocked Listing: If you see “blocked listing” in the Stranded reason column, it means the given product is not approved to sell due to safety, quality, or intellectual property issues. Amazon will notify you of the exact reason via email and performance notifications on the Seller Central.

Fix: Create a removal order and delete the listing or open a case if you believe your inventory is eligible for listing and sale and there is some sort of misapprehension on Amazon’s part.

  1. Deleted Listing: A listing deleted for any reason (accidental or intentional) can make the corresponding inventory stranded.

Fix: Create a new listing with the exact details to recoup the inventory and reactivate the listing.

  1. Discontinued Listing: A listing getting discontinued for any reason can also result in stranded inventory.

Fix: Create a new listing with the same ASIN and SKU as mentioned in your FBA inventory file.

  1. Expired Product: If this appears in the reason column, the product has moved past its printed expiration date in the fulfillment center and thus can’t be put up for sale.

Fix: Create a removal order and delete the listing. Next time, pick inventory that doesn’t have a very close expiration date.

  1. Food Safety Investigation: Your edible inventory can get stranded if the relevant safety testing and compliance documents don’t satisfy Amazon’s terms and conditions. 

Fix: Open the case and submit the product safety testing and compliance documents that the brand owner or manufacturer approves. If the presented proof convinces Amazon, you will be allowed to relist the inventory.

  1. Future Listing Sell Date: If you have set the Offer start date of your listing to any future date, the corresponding inventory can get stranded for the time being. 

Fix: Choose Edit from the extreme right drop-down menu of the Listing and revise the offer start date.

  1. Inventory Error: If you see this cause in the stranded reason column, it could mean a couple of things: First, the inventory is still under review. Second, it is present in a fulfillment center that doesn’t handle direct shipment to consumers. Third, the inventory has some missing listing information. You may have to contact Selling Partner Support to understand the exact reason behind this type of stranding. 

Fix: Review and update the listing to see if it fixes the error. Otherwise, open a case with Amazon Selling Partner Support.

  1. Inventory Under Review: This cause of stranded inventory means your stock is under customer service review. You may have to check the Case Log for further information. 

Fix: Wait for Amazon’s notification after the review. If you’re not allowed to relist the item, you will have to remove the inventory and delete the listing.

  1. Item Discontinued: If the stranded reason column shows “Item discontinued”, it implies that the given ASIN has been discontinued due to a significant defect/damage or due to any violation of Amazon’s FBA policy. 

Fix: You will have to remove the inventory and delete the order. After that, replenish your inventory with items free of defects and damages and create a new listing. 

  1. Item Merged: Inventory can also get stranded in Amazon fulfillment centers if the given product ASIN has been merged with another ASIN. 

Fix: Get in touch with Selling Partner Support and tell them about this issue. After rectifying the problem, they may ask you to relist the listing. 

  1. Item Restricted: You will see this reason of stranded inventory when the given products fall into the restricted category for any reason. The Selling Support team can further guide you on the reason behind the restriction.

Fix: If you think restriction is a misunderstanding, open a case. Otherwise, remove the inventory and delete the listing.

  1. Listing Closed: This reason for stranded inventory appears when the end date for the given listing has passed, or it has been closed due to any other reason. 

Fix: Troubleshooting the stranded inventory is quite simple in this case. Select Relist from the extreme right drop-down menu of the corresponding ASIN to revive the listing.

  1. Listing Closed and Inventory Error: This stranding reason occurs when two things happen simultaneously i.e. inventory error occurs due to any of the three reasons mentioned above and the listing has been closed. 

Fix: Get in touch with the Selling Partner Support team if simple relisting doesn't bring the listing back to life.

  1. Listing Error: Your inventory gets stranded due to a “listing error” when the given stock is not connected to any Active ASIN. 

Fix: You will need to contact the Selling Partner Support team to resolve the issue. If there is no listing or inventory issue at your end, you will eventually be allowed to relist the inventory.

  1. Merchant Fulfilled: If you have accidentally set the fulfillment option to “Fulfillment by Merchant”, your inventory can get stranded and won’t be available for sale as an FBA listing. 

Fix: Click on the extreme right drop-down menu, select “Change to FBA” and save the setting. 

  1. Miscategorized ASIN: Your inventory will get stranded if you have categorized your product in the wrong category. For instance, if you have categorized baby diapers in the “baby care” sub-category instead of the “diapering” sub-category, your inventory can get stranded due to “miscategorized ASIN”.

Fix: You can fix this issue by re-uploading the inventory file template with the correct category if your inventory is sold under Amazon Brand Registry. Get in touch with the Seller Support team if you find this rectification confusing. 

  1. Missing Price: If you have forgotten to mention the item's price on its listing on Seller Central, the inventory will get stranded and won't be available for fulfillment until you update the price.

Fix: Select the Edit button from the extreme right drop-down menu and add a price in the price column.

  1. Missing SKU: This cause of stranded inventory turns up in the reason column when the SKU of the given product doesn't match with the corresponding ASIN. It can happen due to the change in UPC or ASIN of the given product.

Fix: Relist the listing and see if it goes live after a couple of minutes. Otherwise, open a case with Amazon.

  1. Packaging Issue: If your listing doesn’t get certified for Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging that aims to reduce waste disposal, your inventory can get stranded.

Fix: You won’t have any other option but to create a removal order for the given ASIN/SKU and delete the listing.

  1. Please Review for Quality Issues: From pricing errors to problems with uploaded product images, listing quality issues can occur for various reasons and get the relevant inventory stranded. 

Fix: You should review all the details of your listing. Then, if needed, edit the listing and save the updated version to see if it goes live. If the issue persists, contact the Seller Support team.

  1. Potential Logo and Trademark Misuse: If the product detail page images face trademark issues in light of Amazon's Intellectual Property Policy, then your inventory will get stuck in the fulfillment center. 

Fix: Review the visual content you have used on the product detail page. If there is any infringing image, remove it and save the updated listing. If you believe there is no logo or trademark use and your own the full intellectual property rights of the used images, escalate your issue to the Seller Support team.

  1. Product Recall: If your product has been flagged as a recalled item, its inventory will get stranded, and the listing will go offline. 

Fix: Remove the inventory, delete the listing and then get the new stock along with the letter of compliance from the manufacturer/brand owner. Read further about Amazon guidelines for cases where sellers’ inventory involves recalled products.

  1. Product Safety Investigation: Your inventory can get stranded in fulfillment centers if the product is under an ongoing safety investigation. 

Fix: You will need to get product safety testing and compliance documents from the manufacturer/brand owner and submit it to Amazon after opening the case. 

  1. Product Update Required: If your listing needs an update other than price and quantity details, you will see this cause in the reason column for your stuck ASIN. 

Fix: You may have to fill in any blank field on the listing page. First, edit the listing and save the updated version. If it doesn’t solve the problem, delete the inactive listing and create a new one with the same SKU and ASIN.

  1. Qualification Required (Brand) or (Category): If you need to get approval to sell a particular brand or category, you will see “Qualification required” either with “Brand” or “Category” in the parenthesis in the reason column. Until the respective approval, your inventory will remain stranded.

Fix: Click on the Edit from the extreme right drop-down menu to see if the “Request approval” button is available. Click on it and wait for Amazon’s response. If there is no Request approval button on the edit page, you won’t have any other option but to create a removal order and delete the listing.

  1. Restricted ASIN: If this is the reason behind stranded inventory, it can mean multiple things: product quality issues, intellectual property infringement, safety concerns. You will receive an email or performance notification telling you the precise reason the ASIN has been restricted.

Fix: If you think there is any misunderstanding, you can open the case to get your listing reinstated. But if there is a genuine reason behind the restriction, remove the inventory and delete the listing. 

  1. Restricted Product ASIN: This is different from the reasons mentioned above. If you see “Restricted Product ASIN” instead of “Restricted ASIN”, it means Amazon finds that particular item in violation of its Restricted Product policies. 

Fix: You need to open a case if you think the given inventory doesn’t violate Amazon’s restricted product policy. You will also have to submit documents that substantiate your claim.  

  1. Restricted Program: If an item can't be sold due to a program-level restriction, it can also lead to stranded inventory.

Fix: You will have to remove the inventory and delete the listing. 

  1. Under Hazmat Review: If your product has gone under hazmat review, the respective inventory will no longer be available, and the corresponding listing will go offline.

Fix: Wait for the review. If the review declares the inventory as "dangerous goods," and you are sure that’s not the case, open the case with the Selling Partner Support.

  1. Unexpected Inventory Received: If you see this popping up in the stranded reason column, it means that you don’t have a relevant listing for the given inventory. Amazon treats such unlisted inventory as “unexpected inventory”. 

Fix: You will have to create a new listing to get this stranded inventory back for sale. Also, talk to Seller Support for further clarification.  

How to Prevent Standard Inventory Issue on Amazon?

Preventing inventory from getting stranded in the first place is certainly better than trying to fix it later on. You need to check a couple of boxes to make sure your inventory doesn’t get stranded on Amazon.

  • Before listing an item, always do thorough research so that your inventory doesn’t fall into the restricted category, item, and brand criteria. 
  • Always double-check the details that you mention on the product listing page. Make sure nothing is in violation of Amazon’s listing rules.
  • Make sure what you send to Amazon’s fulfillment center is in complete synergy with what you have jotted down on your FBA shipping plan.
  • If you set maximum and minimum prices on your listing, make sure the current listing price is between those limits. Your inventory can get stranded if your listing price goes below the minimum or above the maximum price. 
  • Even if you have gone out of stock, don’t delete the listing at the very moment. By doing so, any customer returns and lost inventory will get stranded.

FAQs

Before rounding off the article, let's answer some more frequently asked questions regarding fixing stranded inventory on Amazon.

How Do I Fix Stranded Inventory in Amazon Listing Error?

You will need to open a case with Amazon Selling Partner Support to fix the issue. Once the issue is resolved, you can relist your inactive listing and get the stranded inventory back on sale.

How Do I Fix Restricted ASIN on Amazon?

If your inventory is stranded due to restricted ASIN, click select Edit from the extreme right drop-down menu on the corresponding inactive listing, locate the “Provide evidence ASIN is compliant” link, and submit the relevant documents. If Amazon accepts your provided evidence, you will be able to relist your restricted ASIN and corresponding stranded inventory.

Where Can I Find Stranded Inventory?

You can check your Performance Notifications on the Seller Central to see if Amazon has sent you a message regarding stranded inventory. If you have any stranded inventory, the “Fix stranded inventory” button will also appear on the Manage Inventory page of the Inventory section. Click on that button to see the stranded ASIN(s).

Final Words

We hope that the above-detailed discussion helps you sort out your stranded inventory woes. You may have to review and revise your listing information or open a case with Amazon Selling Partner Support to rescue your stranded inventory. After those corrections and reconciliations, you will eventually get your listing and your inventory back in the active supply chain.

Want to learn how to deal with stranded inventory and other bottlenecks of selling on Amazon? 

Join ZonGuru’s weekly live training where ace sellers and Amazon experts share valuable insights and untangle thorny knots surrounding selling on Amazon. You can attend the training in real-time as well as listen to its recorded sessions. 

Signing up for this valuable training doesn’t cost you anything. Also, it comes with another complimentary package i.e. complete ZonGuru seller toolkit for one week! 

No items found.

Share this Article

Get Started

Start Using ZonGuru

Discover opportunities. Maximize your sales. Grow your Amazon business!

Hottest Amazon Products

Searching for a product? Access the ultimate product guide here!

Hottest Amazon ProductsDownload eBook

Million Dollar Product Challenge

Watch this 4 part series covering the latest data-driven methods.

Million Dollar Product ChallengeTake on the Challenge