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CNBC reports that Amazon has announced the creation of a new program connected to its Fulfillment by Amazon business that is designed to reduce the amount of wasted inventory that is going into landfills.

According to the story, the program, "known as 'FBA Grade and Resell,' will allow third-party businesses on Amazon to resell returned items as 'used' products, Amazon said.  Under the program, returns are automatically routed to Amazon for evaluation. Once the product is received, Amazon decides if it is: 'Used - Like New, Used - Very Good, Used - Good, or Used – Acceptable.'  Sellers then set the price for the item based on its condition."

The program is currently being rolled out in the UK, with plans to bring it to the US before the end of the year, and then to Germany, France, Italy and Spain early next year.

CNBC writes that the program is being introduced "less than two months after British broadcaster ITV reported that Amazon is destroying millions of items of unsold stock at one of its 24 U.K. warehouses every year, including smart TVs, laptops, drones and hairdryers."

“Customer returns are a fact of life for all retailers, and what to do with those products is an industry-wide challenge,” Libby Johnson McKee, a director at Amazon, said in a statement. “These new programs are examples of the steps we’re taking to ensure that products sold on Amazon — whether by us or our small business partners — go to good use and don’t become waste.”

KC's View:

This is a good way to recirculate products into the economy - it is good for vendors and for people who may not have the wherewithal to spend more money on new items.  I'd also like to see ways to get the products that are not being sold as used sent to people in real need or schools with limited resources.  It'd be a great adjunct to this new program, with a strong public interest component - there's no reason to be destroying smart TVs, laptops, drones and hairdryers.