Money Back: Top 3 Amazon FBA Reimbursement Opportunities
$5,000…$85,000…$200,000…How much does Amazon FBA owe you? If you’re not safeguarding your seller account by meticulously reviewing for errors, then the amount is higher than you might think.
Regardless of the number, there’s a good chance that your potential reimbursements are caused by the following three issues.
As you might know, Amazon makes mistakes that cost you money due to the sheer amount of sales taking place on their platform every minute of every day. The odds are that mistakes will happen. Problems range from miscalculated and misappropriated weight/dimension fees to product removal orders that were never received.
However, not all Amazon reimbursement cases are equally likely to occur. Here are the three issues that pop up the most often and together account for the most in refunds.
1. Customer return not returned to inventory
The return report inside of Seller Central is where you’ll find the status and reason for any customer return. This is where you’ll be able to keep an eye on the controversial Amazon policy that allows customers to receive money back for a return before actually mailing back the item.
Most of the time, customers DO return the product as they’re supposed to. And, more often than not, the product is in a good condition and suitable to be sold again.
That means that the majority of the time, your return report will show “Unit Returned to Inventory” for each line.
Due to volume, this common outcome leads to a common error: sometimes the unit that Amazon reports as “returned to inventory” is not actually in your inventory, making this issue our top most common reimbursement error.
The costs of this error add up quick. When you’re working with very tight margins or sell a high-priced product, you can’t afford to lose inventory.
Reviewing for this issue, is complicated, however, because returns (and the reimbursements that Amazon may award in their own time) can happen over a span of months.
2. Damaged or lost inventory was never reimbursed to seller
The second most common FBA reimbursement case is when sellers don’t receive a reimbursement (or replacement items) for inventory that has been lost or damaged.
The FBA Lost and Damaged Inventory Policy covers sellers from these scenarios:
- Items damaged in fulfillment center
- Items declared lost in fulfillment center
- Items that have been missing in fulfillment center for 30 days
- Items lost or damaged in route from fulfillment center to customer
- Inventory shipments that were lost or damaged on their way to a fulfillment center (if using an Amazon partnered carrier)
The Refunds Manager team tracks seller accounts for instances of the above scenarios to make sure you’re reimbursed. In some cases (such as lost inventory shipments), we may write and file the claim, and then later check that the reimbursement was processed. In others, the case is initiated by Amazon, say for example when an employee drops and damages a fragile item.
This is one of those “mistakes happen” sort of cases. The fact is that inventory DOES get lost and it DOES get damaged. So, make sure you’re actually reimbursed in the event of the inevitable. By handling the process for sellers, we save you from hours upon hours spent reviewing your account.
3. Customer never returns an item and the seller is at a loss
Customer returns are a common part of any e-commerce business. Amazon sellers are wise to choose a platform that handles the messy process for them. Entrepreneurs with their own Shopify stores must process customer returns on their own. Amazon sellers simply need to take preventive action to lower their return rates and verify that Amazon is following through on their terms.
As mentioned in the first case, most of the time customers DO return products after initiating the return. But of course, they sometimes forget. If that happens, Amazon is supposed to charge the customer the original price and reimburse you.
But sometimes, Amazon doesn’t follow through. A customer forgets to return an item and still receives the refund, meaning you’re out the cost. If Amazon doesn’t correct the issue within their allotted time, you have a right to request a reimbursement.
It should be no surprise that the three most common FBA refunds have to do with shipping and customer returns since those activities are the bread and butter of Amazon’s business.
Have you struggled to catch these common issues due to being overwhelmed or a lack of time? Refunds Manager covers 19 possible reimbursement scenarios. Our dedicated account managers handle all dealings with Amazon personally to get you back everything that you’re owed. Sign up here today and we’ll start reviewing your account dating back 18 months.
About the Author
Dayana Stockdale is the lead content writer for Refunds Manager. She loves all things software and e-commerce.
Brandon is one of the co-founders, CEO, and main data geek for Seller Labs. He started Seller Labs after finding no other tools that could provide the flexibility needed for his used-book business. He no longer sells online, but now guides Seller Labs as the lead innovator to make sure that our products remain on the cutting edge.