The lifecycle of an Amazon return doesn’t end when the item goes back to one of our facilities. In fact, through a partnership with Good360, a nonprofit that helps facilitate the donation of unsellable goods to those who need them most, donations have impacted 11 million lives, including 6.9 million people in 2021 alone, in communities across the U.S. and recently Canada.*

In Bakersfield, California, the nonprofit CityServe and its local partners helped more than 20,000 people after receiving donations from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, including one family who spent over a year living in three different homeless shelters. The single mother and her three children found stable housing and furnished their new home with items donated by Amazon.

In Clayton County, Georgia, a two-day distribution event was held through the charity Helping Hands End Hunger for students and families to give out assorted essential goods. The event helped more than 300 people in a county where 18.6% of residents live below the poverty line, which is higher than the national average.

These are just a few of the stories showing the impact of the donated products, out of more than 100 million returns and overstock units worldwide.

“This donation milestone would not be possible without our network of Return Center associates. Our associates go above and beyond every day to help make the return process easy for customers while also ensuring the opportunity to rehome the products being returned,” said Glenn Ramsdell, Amazon’s director of worldwide returns and recommerce.

An employee behind our donations

Amazon donates 100 million returned items to nonprofits

One of the employees helping facilitate those donations is Yamanah Bluitt, a quality process assistant at an Amazon Return Center. Bluitt started her career with Amazon eight years ago as a warehouse associate in a fulfillment center and then transferred to the Indianapolis Return Center when it opened. She is one of four associates who launched the site’s donation process and now leads the team, which has grown to 44 employees. Bluitt said giving back is something that comes naturally to her and makes her daily work fulfilling.

“Knowing I am making an impact on the community I grew up in is what motivates me,” said Bluitt.

“I see the good Amazon is doing and know this is just the start of what we will be able to accomplish through the donation program.”

Bluitt, who has been instrumental in the behind-the-scenes work associated with Amazon’s donation process, recently had the chance to visit a charity benefiting from her and her team’s efforts.

The process behind Amazon returns

Every item returned to Amazon is carefully inspected through a rigorous process by our trained associates. If an item meets our high standards to be resold as new, it’s re-listed for sale. If items are unable to be resold, they could be donated to charities around the world.

FBA Liquidations and FBA Grade and Resell programs are Amazon’s next steps in helping to build a circular economy.

While this process has always been in place for items shipped and sold by Amazon, it expanded in 2019 and Amazon introduced FBA Donations. The program allows sellers to choose whether they’d like their eligible excess and returned products to be given to charitable organizations. Donated items have included household appliances, tools, school supplies, children’s items, and clothing.

Learn more about giving Amazon returns a second life.

*Data received from Good360