Amazon is the largest and most significant online retailer in the world. As the deliveries of Amazon have sped up, sellers have noticed a considerable change. Since the shipment speed has increased, so has Amazon’s use of a distribution center fulfillment model. So basically, now inventory is in a “back-ordered” state on Amazon.

It has become common that the inventory on Amazon gets transferred to other fulfillment centers as soon as it’s off the delivery truck. This means that the products spend more time in the ‘Reserved’ position for sellers.

However, the back-ordered FBA inventory has caused several misconceptions among the Amazon sellers!

What causes inventory to be back-ordered on Amazon?

FBA inventory becomes ‘back-ordered’ when Amazon transfers your products from one fulfillment center to another.

Plenty of sellers are confused and disturbed about back-ordered inventory. The question arises that when Amazon sends all of their inventory to one warehouse, why do they quickly transfer it to other fulfillment centers?

Amazon usually does this to get products as close to buyers as possible. So it’s a good thing for Amazon users.

Another benefit is that Amazon handles all the transfers on their end hence making their customers happy and satisfied about their service.

Facts about back-ordered FBA inventory on Amazon

Here are 3 facts that dispel the misconceptions about the back-ordered FBA inventory on Amazon.

1. Back-ordered items are not out of stock – really!

There is a difference between the back-order inventory and the listing that gets out of stock on Amazon.

Many buyers and sellers misunderstand messages such as “This item is in stock on Feb. 14” or “due in stock on Feb. 14” on the product page of Amazon. This makes a lot of sellers and buyers confused and they start thinking that the inventory is “out of stock”.

However, in reality the inventory is very much in stock but it is now classified as back-ordered inventory which means it isn’t available for the customer’s quick shipment due to the fact that Amazon is shifting the inventory.

But, inbound inventory is different from back-ordered inventory. Once your inbound list gets out of stock, customers can’t purchase it!

Any time you see your inventory being mentioned as back-ordered, it means that Amazon Fulfillment Center has received your shipment but it is in the process of transferring these products to other fulfillment centers therefore the products will be available at a later date.

2. Back-ordered offers are available to buyers

The fact is that even though an item is back-ordered, it can still be listed for sale. You may see your inventory on the “Reserved column” and think it I not available for purchase but not so. This inventory is listed on Amazon for purchase.

Good thing is that Amazon is not going to penalize its sellers by moving their inventory to inactive status while transferring it. Unfortunately, the buyer may skip you since your merchandise is not ‘in stock’ or readily available.

3. Back-ordered offers can win the Buy Box

No one can completely decode the mysteries behind Amazon’s Buy Box. But this is something we should know that the back-ordered products can qualify to win the Buy Box.

Again, Amazon does not penalize their sellers for their inventory transfer around Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Amazon sellers with much in-stock inventory are put off when a back-ordered offer is in the Buy Box.

Amazon says they try to make it as fair as possible. But it might not be easy to understand this unless you’re the seller with the back-ordered inventory!


Hopefully, this article was useful and has helped you to know the facts about back-ordered inventory. It happens to almost all Amazon sellers, so there is no need to worry if your list becomes back-ordered.

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