Did you know that some Amazon fulfillment centers can have more than 1,500 members of staff? With so much warehousing spacing and multiple warehouse types it is inevitable that mistakes will be made with your inventory. When they are, do you know how to get your money back?
To begin, you need to know the types of seller refunds available. Read on as we discuss the different types of Amazon reimbursements that you may encounter.
The meaning of 'reimbursement' is to pay back someone who has lost or spent money.
Reimbursement audits and administration should be a smooth process, though even in companies as organized as Amazon mistakes can occur. This may mean you do not automatically get reimbursed and therefore you will have to prompt Amazon yourself.
For people who sell a lot this task can be tough. It involves pouring over inventory reports, cross-referencing with customer orders, and notes from delivery carriers.
Amazon's policy is that whenever an item is lost or damaged with a partner carrier, their warehouse, or on behalf of them, then they will replace the item or reimburse. This must be done within 30 days. If it is not resolved in this time, you can file a claim.
With such a vast supply chain, lost inventory can occur in a number of places. It could be upon entry into the Amazon warehouse or during the shipping process. The technology could be at fault, with items being placed in other seller's accounts or codes sending it to the wrong place.
It can be extremely frustrating after you have spent time working on ordering, inventory, and marketing your product. Check your Amazon reconciliation reports regularly to see what has gone in and out over the last 18 months. Due to the scale of Amazon's operation, this is a regular occurrence and should happen as often as possible, and no less than every month. Smaller accounts can get by with two months. Larger accounts could be as often as every few days.
With so much movement in the process, it is inevitable that items will get damaged. It may happen in the warehouse itself as items are being stored or moved. It could also happen on delivery to the customer, or during the return process. Or via an Amazon carrier.
In all instances the fault is not the sellers and a reimbursement is more than justified! You can find a Damaged Inventory report within Seller Central to track damaged orders.
Customer returns are one of the most common reimbursement issues. However, they can also be one of the most complex. This is because many people are not aware that they are eligible, and it does not occur on every item.
Returns after 60 days are when a customer has been granted a return exception. This goes beyond the normal window in which they can return an item.
The wrong item returned is when a customer sent an item back but it was the wrong one. If Amazon accepted it, the fault is with them.
Return overcharge is when a customer got more refunded than they actually paid. Damaged returns are when an item is broken after it has been returned. Finally, the simplest is returns reimbursement, which is when reimbursement was never paid out.
When you get inventory, it gets sent to an Amazon FBA warehouse. However, there are issues that can occur on transportation and arrival. This can prove troublesome for a large or small business.
Units could go missing. For one reason or another, Amazon may lose them or not scan in all of the stock. The inbound carrier may also lose or damage some of your stock.
Finally, you may notice a discrepancy. It may show as Amazon receiving the correct amount, then a lower amount appears on the inventory when it closes.
It may seem unbelievable, but Amazon has the right to destroy your stock. They don't even need to give permission. Very often, it happens because a customer returns something that is not fit for resale.
Counter this by keeping constant track of your inventory. Amazon should reimburse you when this occurs.
However, the reimbursement may not come through in some cases. As well as looking for mistakes in payment, you will also need to check that they come through on time.
With so many fees, the management of them can get complex. Storage, shipping, and commission are just a few. As such, it can be easy for errors in payment to occur.
One very common fee errors is for the weight and dimensions of a package. Amazon takes its own weight and measurements as well as the ones provided by your manufacturer. They may decide it is a bigger package than you believe, and you will have to submit evidence contrary to their claim.
Other fees will be dependent upon the category. You may have an item in the wrong place and be charged a higher commission fee because of it.
The amount will also depend on how long you have had the item stored. If you find something has been miscategorized and weighed wrong over a long period, the fees can mount up.
Order quantity errors are often the ones that go unnoticed. They most commonly happen when customers receive more items than they asked for, and don't send the excess back. Amazon has no idea about the error, so you must figure it out.
Once again, you need to keep track of your orders and inventory. Look for any drops in items of multiple units, and then check the order that goes with them.
Undetected Amazon reimbursements will cut into your profit margins. Keep a regular check on stock and inventory, and file claims as soon as they are noticed. This may result in quite large refunds for your business.
One way to keep track of this is with Legacy Seller. We analyze your entire inventory and don't stop until we recover owed funds. Click here to see our FBA reimbursements process and see how you can benefit.