GPS sting reveals many Amazon Canada returns end up in trash

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I have bought a few things from Amazon Warehouse myself, a few movies, a video game, a really nice mid-century style TV stand was my most recent purchase. All of them were in somewhat rough condition package-wise but the items themselves were in great condition. I would be weary of getting used/returned clothing but everything else i haven’t had any issues with.

I’ve always had a strong suspicion that unpurchased returns end up being trashed but isn’t there also a lively market for people buying bulk lots of returns from different stores and then refurbishing and reselling them?


I wonder if they trashed the backpack because they looked in it and there was some kind of bomb looking thing in it? (sigh)

Return Open Credit is a really nasty job for some lines of clothing because you wouldn’t believe what some people do to clothing before returning it. I’ve not worked the line myself, but I know people who have. Some of the more common problems involve heavily soiled clothing, clothing with feces, clothing with sexual fluids, and so on. The company in question divided the returns into several categories: Clothing that could be sold as new (generally in package with no hint of being worn or tried on), more expensive items that could be cleaned and resold as new, clothing that would be sold to a remarketer who would clean and sell, and clothing that would be dumped.

I would understand if Amazon didn’t believe this was worth their while for certain categories.

I would also understand - with meaning no disrespect to the employees working Return Open Credit - it is a tough job and I give them a lot of credit; I wouldn’t want to do it- if under pressure a ROC associate would make a call too conservatively and trash something that could be recovered. Particularly if they are needing to hit a quota and it is easier to trash something out.


Uh… what if they search the pockets and zippers and be like - “What the fuck is this?”

“No idea. Maybe an computer modem card? Throw it away.”

And then the bag goes to Cargo Largo or possibly back on the shelf, and the tracker to the landfill.

I mean really - isn’t this a bit more likely or at least possible?


How does this compare with other online retailers?

And why is this described as a “sting”? Is it a “gotcha” moment?

Is it surprising that some returned items get thrown out and we don’t have any visibility on how they make these decisions?


There is! I bought a very decent Magic Chef microwave and passable mini-fridge at a steep discount in Tijuana from a store that specifically resells pallet items that were likely bought for pennies at the border.


I presume there is some sort of mandatory recycling law. But as Mister44 pointed out this would likely result in disassembly and the gps tracker eventually ending up in landfill.


I watched the episode, I didn’t think of that. I did wonder if the item went to another customer, what they’d think about the device.

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The Southeast has numerous stores which sell Amazon returns purchased in bulk at auctions. Usual technique is $5 the first and second days with successive price cuts down to a dollar the final day. Canada is short of jobs and I find it incomprehensible that Amazon is not auctioning returns to these entrepreneurs.

My finds have included a great laptop cooler fan, an incomplete food fermentation kit, and several excellent books, all on Dollar Day. Look up these stores to see if you have one in your area.

Some secondhand stores will not accept backpacks because they may contain drug residue. This could be the situation with Amazon.

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