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Amazon’s Renewed Program Turns Returned and Refurbished Products Into Profits

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Amazon developed the Renewed Merchants Program to allow Amazon eCommerce sellers to offer like-new, refurbished, pre-owned, or open-box products. These products come with the “Amazon Renewed Guarantee,” and are marketed as “tested and inspected” to ameliorate customer doubts regarding quality.

This article will discuss what Amazon’s Renewed Program is, will define refurbished and renewed products and provide information on how you can qualify to sell in the Renewed Program.

What is the Amazon Renewed Program?

Products sold on Amazon Renewed come from trusted sellers who test and inspect the items before selling them. Not only does Amazon’s Renewed Program offer another potentially lucrative income stream for sellers but is also great for buyers. Items sold through this program are offered at a discounted price point while still being high-quality. 

Approved refurbished products pass through an extensive quality control process. Thus, sellers need to apply and qualify to sell Renewed products. There are several rules to follow and performance metrics to understand before you apply. 

What is a Refurbished Product?

A refurbished product sold on Amazon is a product that has been returned to the original manufacturer or a third party for analysis and reconditioning. They are then labeled as “refurbished.” This label ensures that what customers purchase is reliable and as good as new without the brand-new price tag.

Refurbished products must meet specific standards for functionality as well as offer full-disclosure regarding the condition of the item. The standards and condition requirements are:

  • Internal parts such as batteries, buttons, touchscreens and USB ports must be fully functional.
  • The condition of the item’s exterior does not show signs of wear which include but are not limited to scratches, dents, or cracks.

Adhering to the quality control measures requires extensive testing for all components. Amazon quality control includes testing key features used by customers, such as screen resolution, audio and battery life.

What Is the Difference Between Refurbished and Renewed on Amazon?

Within the Amazon Renewed program, you can find two types of second-hand items: Refurbished and Renewed.

Renewed refers to a used product that has been tested, and any non-working parts are replaced with entirely new parts. Refurbished products, on the other hand, are also tested and inspected, and any non-functional parts are repaired, or replaced by other working but previously used parts.

The differences are slight, and the condition of either product should essentially be the same – working like new!

Products sold in the Amazon Renewed Program are returned items that have been inspected by third-party companies. These companies are authorized by Amazon to ensure that what is advertised by the seller is accurate.

How Reliable are Amazon Renewed Products?

As previously mentioned, Renewed products must meet certain criteria to be sold on Amazon Renewed; this ensures that what customers are purchasing is reliable and as good as new without the price tag attached, thanks to extensive testing. 

However, what is being sold as Renewed on Amazon is only certified to be in good working order without any damage or physical flaws within reason. For example, if an item is cosmetically flawed, such as showing scratches and dents, it may be recertified to appear new, but will not pass inspection if damages cause internal components not to work correctly.

For any other major defects such as faulty batteries or what makes an item what it is, the product will not be resaleable on Amazon Renewed without first replacing what’s broken with working parts.

Is Renewed Lucrative?

For eCommerce companies that are looking to sell what are typically considered “used” or second-hand items, Amazon Renewed is a great option. You can offer refurbished/ returned products at a higher price point on Amazon than on other platforms and customers have the reassurance of Amazon’s 90-day return policy.

To be considered for a Renewed Merchant account your products must match the condition of other Renewed products and need to pass an inspection by a third-party supplier.

Next, let’s discuss the steps you should take to sell Renewed on Amazon:

Become an Amazon Seller

The first step in selling Renewed items is to join the Amazon Marketplace. To do so, you’ll need a professional seller account. You can apply for a Professional Seller Account online from the Amazon Merchant Seller Central Portal.

You’ll also need identification information and a valid credit card to be charged what it costs to sell on the platform when applying for an Amazon termed Professional Seller Account.

After establishing your Amazon Seller account, you must meet the Renewed selling criteria:

  • Sellers must purchase a minimum of $50,000 in refurbished products within 90 days of submitting their application.
  • Sellers must have sold at least 500 units of refurbished products to Amazon during the same period of 90 days.
  • Sellers must provide a 90-day warranty on all their refurbished products.
  • Products cannot be damaged, defective, counterfeit, or Amazon deems as “unsalvageable” in condition before being recertified to appear new and sold by a Renewed Merchant account holder.
  • If your products don’t provide a manufacturer’s warranty, your brand will need permission before selling on Amazon Renewed.
  • If your brand sells Apple products, you’ll need to apply for a special license before selling on Amazon Renewed.

If your products meet all the above criteria, you can submit your application for a Renewed Merchant account online from the Amazon Seller Central Portal.

Before you apply, you will want to have the following:

  • A comprehensive inventory of what you offer for sale.
  • A fully-stocked inventory on hand so that your products can be shipped quickly. 
  • The ability to process returns as needed.

You’ll also need all your current product listings reviewed by Amazon’s specialists before they are approved.

Apply For Amazon Renewed

Once you’ve met the criteria, you can apply to become a Renewed Merchant account holder.

At this step, you will be required to provide your business name, legal business address, phone number, and email address for contact purposes. You’ll also need to provide a Tax ID number or what’s referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you get from the IRS.

After you apply, Amazon will review your application and let you know if it’s been accepted within five working days.

After being accepted, list your products using their Amazon Marketplace ID. You can find it by logging into the Amazon Seller Central Portal and clicking on Inventory > Manage Inventory. The number will be displayed at the top of the page menu bar.

To create a listing, go to Selling on Amazon > Add a Product. Your Amazon Marketplace ID will be what’s called a Vendor ID number in what’s referred to as what Amazon calls an ASIN (Amazon Standard Item Number).

You will need to enter what you are selling in a UPC product number format. At this point, you will have a Master Listing, which you can use as a template for future Renewed product listings.

After listing, press the Save and Finish button, and voila!

Pros of Amazon Renewed

Amazon’s high seller standard keeps Renewed competition low, meaning they only want the best of what’s offered for sale. This high standard means you will have less competition selling refurbished products than you will with new products. 

Through Amazon Renewed, customers can enjoy lower prices. Buyers that participate in Amazon Renewed are looking to save what they can. This helps sellers provide affordable products while maximizing profits on new competitive products.

Cons of Amazon Renewed

One of the most common concerns expressed with refurbished, factory recertified, used, or open box items are what they will do to a brand’s image.

When what you’re selling looks like a previous buyer returned it before getting refurbished and recertified to be sold again, it can affect the image of what you’re trying to portray or what it means to be the best in what you sell. It’s something that all eCommerce sellers should consider before selling refurbished items.

Potential issues could result from how Amazon organizes Amazon Renewed products in search results. Refurbished products appear together with new products among all those returned in a search on Amazon. Therefore, it may be difficult for your refurbished item to stand out, and customers could be confused if they do not see differentiation between products.


Amazon Renewed program can be an excellent way for eCommerce sellers to increase revenue selling items that typically have been returned by customers to be recertified and sold again. Investigate how adding a line of used products could impact customer perception of your business and be prepared however to meet Amazon’s standards for quality.

About the author


Othmane Sghir

Othmane Sghir is the CEO and co-founder of DataHawk, an eCommerce Business Management Platform empowering Brands, Retailers, and Agencies since 2017. DataHawk’s suite of software analytics catapults eCommerce sellers to success through artificial intelligence-driven optimization, product research, market analysis, finance, and advertising tools.