Have you ever wondered why your Amazon inventory shows as “reserved”?

In short, it means one of three things:

  1. A customer has placed an order for this product
  2. Stock is being transferred between fulfillment centers
  3. Stock is being received by fulfillment centers

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into each of these reasons so you can fully understand how reserved status on Amazon FBA affects your business.


Grow an Amazon FBA business without making costly mistakes

free amazon fba checklist

What does reserved status mean on Amazon FBA?

Basically, when your FBA inventory is reserved, it means that the inventory is not available for sale at that moment.

There are a few different reasons why your inventory may become reserved.

It doesn’t mean that the seller no longer owns the inventory—it just means that Amazon is temporarily holding it.

Why are my items ‘Reserved’ on Amazon?

If you go into your inventory page inside Seller Central and see something like this:

reserved status on Amazon FBA

There are three main causes:

1. Customer orders

One reason why your FBA inventory might be reserved is because of a pending customer order.

This means that a customer has placed an order for one of your products, and Amazon is holding the inventory until the order is processed.

This ensures that the product is available and won’t be sold to anyone else during that time.

Once the order is processed, it will be given a future ship date. Once the product ships to the customer, the reserved inventory will be released.

If the customer cancels their order before the product ships from a fulfillment center, the reserved units will be added back to sellable inventory levels.

2. FC transfer

Another reason for reserved status is when Amazon is transferring some of your inventory from one fulfillment center to several other fulfillment centers.

Amazon regularly moves inventory throughout its network of fulfillment centers to maintain its fast shipping times that customers love.


3. FC processing

Many sellers will often see that their inventory is Reserved FC processing when restocking Amazon inventory.

This means that Amazon is currently in the process of receiving and scanning your products at their fulfillment center.

With Reserved FC processing, other units may be required for additional processing entailing verification of item dimensions, authenticity, and weight. If any issues are found, additional investigation may be required.

This usually takes a couple of business days to complete.

However, once the Amazon Fulfillment Center processing is done and the order has been processed and shipped, the inventory will be released into your stock levels.

Now that we understand the different Amazon reserved inventory statuses as well as the reasons behind them let’s talk about how they can affect your business.


A step-by-step blueprint for building a brand you own

100+ interactive lessons to help you launch your profitable eCommerce business on Amazon & beyond.

amazon fba training course

How does Amazon reserved inventory affect your business?

Generally speaking, having some of your inventory reserved by Amazon shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your business if you are able to manage your Amazon reserved inventory levels well.

However, failure to do so can potentially affect:

1. Product ranking

Your product’s ranking on Amazon is partially based on how quickly you are able to fulfill customer orders.

If you have a lot of inventory that is “reserved” and not available for immediate fulfillment, it can impact your product detail page conversion rates as customers may be put off by long shipping times.

Lower conversion rates can signal to Amazon that your product may not be as desirable, and therefore, a reserved quantity of products could cause a decrease in organic ranking.

2. Customer satisfaction rating

Another way that having a lot of reserved inventory can impact your business is by affecting your customer satisfaction rating.

If you have a lot of pending orders because the inventory is “reserved,” it can lead to delays in shipping times, which can impact customer satisfaction.

3. Sales

Of course, having a lot of inventory that is “reserved” can also impact your sales because it means that you have less inventory available for purchase.

This can lead to a decrease in customer orders, lost sales, and potentially lower profits.

What should you do about reserved units?

For the most part, you don’t need to do anything about reserved inventory.

It’s just a normal part of the Amazon FBA process, and there’s not much you can do to prevent it.

However, by learning good inventory management principles and forecasting stock levels accurately, you can help avoid running out of stock.


Final thoughts

Inventory management on Amazon FBA can be a bit of a challenge, especially with Amazon reserved inventory.

Many Amazon sellers like you experience this, and although there’s nothing much you can do with reserved inventory itself, it’s important to be aware of the potential problems that can arise from having products on reserve.

By tracking it and making sure you have enough available inventory, you can minimize its impact on your Amazon business.

If you want to learn more about the strategies for managing your Amazon inventory effectively and growing a thriving Amazon FBA business, check out our membership options inside Brand Builder University.

Ben Donovan


Ben Donovan
Ben is the founder of Brand Builder University and has a passion for helping normal everyday people create financial freedom by building successful eCommerce businesses. He lives in Manchester, UK with his wife and 2 children and loves to play sport and watch continual re-runs of The Office (US version, obviously).


Your step-by-step Amazon FBA startup companion.

FBA Checklist example