With profit margins being so tight, you don’t want to waste any money on unnecessary expenses. Due to the massive volume of transactions taking place every day on Amazon, one unnecessary expense that nearly all sellers face is misappropriated or erroneous Amazon FBA fees.
Why you need to regularly check for Amazon FBA reimbursements
Amazon isn’t out to get you (as far as we know). They intend to create an ecosystem for third party sellers with completely predictable fees and no surprises. Everything you’ll be charged is spelled out clearly in their policy.
But mistakes happen, and that’s why you have to be on the lookout. Here are the three most common mistakes:
These are the most common opportunities for reimbursements simply because these things happen the most often. Think about the number of returns processed daily and the amount of inbound and outbound shipments, and you can understand why.
The claim submission process
Let’s say that 100 units of your inventory have been misplaced. (With Amazon warehouses upwards of 1 million square feet, misplaced inventory is another common issue.)
What do you do next? What’s the process for notifying Amazon that the inventory you sent in isn’t showing in your account?
The claim submission process isn’t particularly complicated. What’s more challenging is finding the errors in the first place. Unlike the majority of Amazon FBA issues, misplaced inventory is something that sellers can often spot themselves, because they typically track that an inbound shipment was properly received and allocated, and it’s easy to see if it wasn’t.
Wait the appropriate amount of time before contacting Amazon. The inventory must be missing for 30 consecutive days.
- Send an email to Seller Support with the SKUs you sent in, the date they were sent, the approximate date they should have been received, the confirmation number from the partnered carrier, your average sales price for the item and the average sales price across all sellers for the ASIN.
- Wait an appropriate amount of time to receive the reimbursement. Before following up with Amazon, it’s wise to wait about three weeks for them to process your claim.
The actual submission process is fairly simple. You need to be patient and thorough. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting reimbursed.
How to optimize your claims, for a higher chance of reimbursement
What can you do to get Amazon’s support team to handle your claim quickly and fairly?
- Be certain that you actually have discovered an error – Don’t be tempted to send in a claim because you “think” something is wrong. You should be 95-100% certain that you’ve found a discrepancy. The reports where you can begin hunting for issues are Manage Orders, Inventory Adjustments, Inventory Event Detail, Removal Order Detail, Received Inventory and Daily Inventory.
- Submit claims in a timely manner – With misplaced inventory and several other issues, you need to wait to allow Amazon time to reimburse you according to their policy (typically within 30 days). On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long. Depending on the issue, you have 12 months or 18 months to request a reimbursement. So don’t let these pile up and go forgotten.
- Combine recent requests into one claim – When you find several issues at once, submit them all in one claim. Don’t hit Amazon with multiple claims. You have to consider their support team and how to make it easier on them to give you back money. It’s much better for you to communicate with one support rep than to go back and forth with several, who are all looking into your account at the same time.
- Never duplicate or submit the same claim twice – This is a big mistake that sellers make when they want their money back (and they want it yesterday). Don’t be tempted. It absolutely won’t help. This is also why it’s not recommended to submit claims with an automated software (only use a service that makes use of software to find issues, but that always submits claims manually).
- Include all information in one place – As best you can, include all relevant information in your initial claim. Support reps are busy, and they’re more than happy to deny your claim because it lacks information. You need to know what’s required for nearly 20 different claim types and provide all of the information upfront.
- Share what actions you took to discover or reconcile the issue – Most sellers skip this step, and that’s where they go wrong. When writing your claim, detail how you discovered the issue, and what reports you reconciled to double-check that the issue had not been resolved, and how long you’ve waited before submitting the claim. When you do this, the support rep can immediately see that this is a quality claim. It’s not just a quick request for money, it’s a full picture of the issue at hand and including what was done in order to prevent making the request in the first place. See the difference? It’s huge! And, as such, this makes all in the difference in how your Seller Support rep will respond to you.
Get Amazon FBA reimbursements handled for you
Submitting claims is simple. Optimizing them requires an attention to detail and a proactive attitude. But as for finding the errors—that’s incredibly complex. Some sellers spend hours a week hunting for issues by reconciling Excel reports that they export from Seller Central. Others code their own error-tracking database with coding languages like Java or MySQL. However, the overwhelming majority sellers find that their time is better spent growing their businesses.
With over 5000 sellers using our service, Refunds Manager is the top-rated solution for Amazon FBA reimbursements.
We invite you to read the reviews for our winning combination of software and service—we find issues that the human eye can’t, and your dedicated account manager manually submits claims. Sign up with no monthly fees or long term commitments.
This is guest blog authored by Refunds Manager. Refunds Manager helps successful sellers remain profitable on Amazon. Refunds Manager is the only Amazon FBA refunds service that handles claims manually and personally to get you more money back from Amazon. Learn why we’re the top rated solution for Amazon FBA reimbursements and sign up at RefundsManager.com.