By Sneha Nisha, Vendo Customer Service Manager
Part of your Amazon strategy should be to safeguard your seller account by meticulously reviewing it for errors. If not, chances are you are leaving money on the table.
How Does Amazon Owe You Money?
As you know, Amazon performs millions and millions of transactions every day. Throughout the process of selling on Amazon, goods are shipped to FBA, goods are shipped from FBA the customer, and there are also internal transfers of goods between Amazon warehouses. Through these various processes, there is a possibility that goods are lost or damaged.
Usually there is an automatic process that is triggered when Amazon is at fault or when they lose or damage your product. In theory, Amazon is supposed to actively provide refund or reimbursements but usually that’s not the case. Odds are if you are a larger brand, mistakes will happen. You must go into your account and perform maintenance to make sure that none of your inventory has been damaged, misplaced, or destroyed. If you catch a discrepancy in your inventory, you must receive credit to your seller account for the identified mistake. Below we outline Amazon’s latest reimbursement policies.
Opportunities for Reimbursement
- Issues with Inbound Shipments – Inventory is missing from shipments arriving to Amazon FC or lost in-transit by Amazon’s logistics service.
- Lost and Missing Inventory – Units lost in the Amazon warehouse.
- Damaged Inventory – Units damaged within an Amazon FC after the inbound process is completed.
- Customer Return Issues – Amazon issues a refund but inventory has not been received back at the warehouse.
- Destroyed Inventory – Amazon might destroy inventory without your explicit permission.
- Overcharged or Incorrect FBA fees – Ensure that you are not overcharged for incorrect unit weight or dimensions, as well as incorrect Amazon FBA fees.
- Order Quantity Errors – At times there might be issues with processing order quantities. Sometimes a customer receives three items when they only paid for two. Most customers will not ship back the extra.
Important Note: You must submit claims for items missing from shipments sent to Amazon fulfillment centers within 9-months. All other claims for lost or damaged inventory must be submitted within 18 months of the date of loss or damage.
What is NOT covered by Amazon FBA reimbursement policy?
- FBA prohibited products.
- Products that don’t adhere to FBA inventory requirements.
- Restricted products lost or damaged during removal order processing.
- Defective products or items lost or damaged by customers, distributors, or sellers.
- Expired items
- Defective items that arrive at the fulfillment center damaged
- Small parcel items shipped using Amazon partnered carriers that are damaged due to inadequate packaging
Important: Always follow Amazon’s FBA inventory requirements for listing, preparing, and sending your FBA inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers
Best Practices for an Efficient Reimbursement Process
Reimbursements will appear in your account 3 – 5 days after the reimbursement has been approved. You need to make sure that you are checking that all reimbursements have been received. Never assume that they will just come through automatically.
There are many third-party software’s that claim to get you money back from Amazon FBA. But you want to approach your Amazon reimbursement claims with caution. Simple mistakes can result in your Amazon seller account getting shut down. The most important thing you should NOT do is use an automated FBA reimbursement tool. Amazon policy prohibits using automated tools to open cases. In addition, opening too many cases at once can result in account suspension.
Managing your inventory properly and staying on top of it is an Amazon strategy that will help boost sales in 2020. Focus on decreasing inventory errors like mis-picks, mis-ships, and out-of-stocks. Having too much inventory could lead to high storage fees, both short and long term. And having too little could mean you miss out on major sales opportunities.
Perhaps you sell on other ecommerce channels like Walmart.com, but in the case that Amazon sales account for the bulk of your revenue, FBA fee reimbursements can help maximize the likeliness that you are paying Amazon no more than you should, and that you are protecting your profit margins in every way possible.
Need help with reimbursements and basic account management? Vendo has a team and pipelines in place that are set to help you grow and recover money right away! Protecting your account and your hard-earned profits is a must. Contact Us.