- Identify Customer Returns Eligible for Reimbursement
- Identify Inventory Lost in Amazon Warehouses
- Get Reimbursed for Inventory Damaged in Amazon Warehouses
- Request Reimbursement for Inbound Shipment Discrepancies
- Request Reimbursement for FBA Fee Miscalculations
- Wrapping Up
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Getting Amazon Reimbursement as a seller can seem like an uphill battle at times. However, Amazon does have policies in place to reimburse sellers in certain situations, such as customer returns, lost inventory, and fees charged in error. Taking the time to understand Amazon’s reimbursement policies and follow the proper procedures can help sellers recoup significant costs.
In this guide, we’ll overview 5 key strategies Amazon sellers can use to get Amazon Reimbursement. Whether you’re dealing with customer refunds, warehouse damages, or simply fees that were miscalculated, you can leverage Amazon’s systems to request reimbursements. The key is knowing what to look for, which reports to use, and how to submit detailed reimbursement requests.
Getting Amazon Reimbursement requires some work, but it can be well worth the effort. Each successful reimbursement request puts money directly back into your pocket. Over time, paying close attention to reimbursement opportunities can contribute significantly to your bottom line. Even recovering a few hundred dollars here and there on customer returns or damaged inventory adds up.
By following the steps in this guide, you’ll understand exactly how to identify situations where Amazon owes you money. We’ll walk through the step-by-step processes for requesting customer return reimbursements, lost inventory reimbursements, damage reimbursements, shipment discrepancy reimbursements, and FBA fee miscalculation reimbursements. With the right system in place, you can automate much of the reimbursement identification process.
Let’s get started with strategy #1 for getting your hard-earned money back from Amazon!
Identify Customer Returns Eligible for Amazon Reimbursement
When a customer initiates a return with Amazon, the process happens quickly – Amazon issues the refund to the customer right away and charges the seller, before the item has even been shipped back by the customer.
This becomes an opportunity for reimbursement when the customer never ends up returning the item. After 60 days, if the item is still not received at the Amazon warehouse, Amazon’s policy is to reverse the refund to the customer and reimburse the seller.
However, Amazon doesn’t always follow through reliably on reimbursing sellers in this situation. By carefully reviewing your seller account transaction history, you can identify customer returns that were never received by Amazon’s warehouses. If it has been over 60 days, and Amazon has not reimbursed you for those transactions, you are owed money.
To identify these transactions, you’ll need to download and comb through two reports from Seller Central:
- Payments Transaction View Report – This will list all transactions involving refunds issued to customers. Filter the report for refunds to isolate customer returns.
- FBA Customer Returns Report – This report shows all returned items received back at Amazon’s warehouses.
Compare the two reports and look for refund transactions that do not have a corresponding return received by Amazon within 60 days of the refund date. For any transactions that meet this criteria, you can request for Amazon Reimbursement.
For example, you may see a refund transaction from 6 months ago for Order ID #234 for a $50 item, but that order ID does not show up on the FBA Customer Returns Report. This means Amazon refunded the customer $50 but never received the item back. You should request reimbursement for Order ID #234.
Doing this manually can be tedious and time consuming. Many sellers use reimbursement tracking tools that automate the process of identifying eligible customer return reimbursements. But following the steps manually provides insight into how Amazon’s reimbursement system works.
The key is comparing the refunds report vs. returns report to pinpoint transactions where Amazon has not yet reimbursed you for refunded orders never received back in their warehouse. By identifying these and submitting detailed reimbursement requests, you can recover lost profits from invalid refunds.
Identify Inventory Lost in Amazon Warehouses
Amazon’s FBA program promises to handle fulfillment and storage of your inventory. But mistakes happen, and occasionally inventory gets lost or damaged within Amazon’s warehouses. When this occurs, Amazon’s policy is to investigate and reimburse sellers for the lost items.
Your first step is identifying lost inventory. There are two main ways to do this:
- Use Amazon’s Inventory Ledger Report – This details any adjustments made to your inventory for items lost or damaged. Filter for “loss” or “damage” to see impacted ASINs.
- Use a inventory tracking tool – Software can compare your shipped inventory to
Amazon’s received quantity and flag any discrepancies. This automates identification of losses.
For example, you ship 500 units of a product to Amazon FBA. But when checking the Inventory Ledger Report, you notice Amazon only shows 400 units received and a -100 adjustment for loss. This means 100 units were lost in Amazon’s warehouse.
Once you’ve identified lost inventory, submit a reimbursement request to Seller Support. You’ll need to provide the order ID or shipment ID associated with the original inbound shipment of the missing units.
An inventory tracking tool can compile a list of identified losses across all of your shipments and automatically submit reimbursement requests.
Make sure to request reimbursement for lost inventory within 60 days of identifying the discrepancy. Provide as much detail as possible on the units you shipped versus what Amazon received. The more information you submit, the easier it is for Amazon to validate the loss and process the reimbursement.
Following up quickly on lost inventory is key to recovering profits you otherwise miss out on due to errors in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Regularly check for discrepancies between what you ship to FBA and Amazon’s received quantity, and submit reimbursement requests for anything that appears lost. This helps you maximize reimbursements and not leave money on the table.
Get Reimbursed for Inventory Damaged in Amazon Warehouses
In addition to inventory that is lost, sometimes products get damaged while being handled and stored in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. When this happens, Amazon’s policy is to investigate and reimburse sellers for the damaged goods. Follow these steps to identify damages and request reimbursement:
- Download the FBA Inventory Ledger report from Seller Central. Apply these filters:
- Set report to “Detailed” view
- Filter by “Adjustment” event type
- Scan the report and look for adjustments with a description of “Warehouse Damage”
- This indicates units of your inventory were damaged while in FBA custody
- Compile a list of any reference IDs or order IDs showing warehouse damage adjustments
- Double check that the damaged units are not already reimbursed by looking at the Reimbursement report
- If units show as damaged but no reimbursement, you can request payment
- Prepare reimbursement requests with the reference IDs of all damaged inventory
- You can submit up to 25 reference IDs per case
- Provide screenshots of the damage adjustments from the Inventory Ledger
For example, you may notice 5 units of a product with Reference ID XYZ456 were damaged. The Inventory Ledger shows an adjustment of -5 with reason “Warehouse Damage.” However, the Reimbursement report does not show any payment for this Reference ID. You would want to compile XYZ456 and any other eligible damaged units into a reimbursement case.
Make sure to request reimbursement for damaged goods within 60 days of identifying the damage. The faster you act, the more likely Amazon will accept responsibility and provide payment. Leverage tools to automate compiling lists of damaged inventory across all FBA shipments to streamline this process.
Staying on top of warehouse damage reimbursements helps you maximize recovery of costs on inventory harmed while Amazon had custody. Don’t let profits slip away unnecessarily by leaving damage reimbursements on the table.
Request Amazon Reimbursement for Inbound Shipment Discrepancies
When you send inventory to Amazon FBA, there can sometimes be a discrepancy between the quantity you shipped and what Amazon receives. If fewer units arrive at Amazon than you sent, you can request reimbursement for the missing inventory. Follow these steps:
- Review your inbound shipments in Seller Central to check for discrepancies
- Compare units shipped to units received and look for mismatches
- For any shipments showing fewer units received than sent, select “Request missing inventory reimbursement”
- Provide the required documentation:
- Your original supplier invoice showing quantity purchased
- The carrier documents proving quantity shipped
- Submit the reimbursement request within 60 days of the shipment receipt date
- The faster you act, the better chance Amazon will cover the loss
For example, your records show you shipped 500 units of an item to Amazon FBA. But the inbound shipment shows Amazon only received 450 units. There is a 50 unit discrepancy.
You would gather the original supplier invoice showing you purchased 500 units, as well as the shipping carrier delivery documents. Submit these to Amazon along with a request to reimburse the missing 50 units.
Make sure to closely track inbound shipments and submit discrepancy reimbursement requests as soon as possible after identifying an issue. Amazon gives sellers a 60 day window to submit this paperwork. Work quickly to provide the necessary proof to validate your claim so you can recover profits on missing inventory.
Leveraging tools to automatically flag and track shipment discrepancies can help streamline this process. Consistently monitoring for shipment errors and requesting amazon reimbursement helps you maximize cost recovery. Don’t leave money on the table that rightfully belongs in your pocket.
Request Amazon Reimbursement for FBA Fee Miscalculations
Amazon charges various FBA fees for storing, handling, and shipping your products. These fees are based on factors like product size and weight. Sometimes Amazon’s calculations are incorrect, resulting in overcharged FBA fees.
When you spot FBA fee overcharges, you can request amazon reimbursement by following these steps:
- Download the FBA Fee Preview report from Seller Central to review estimated fees
- Compare the estimated fees to actual fees charged on transactions
- Look for discrepancies where actual fees exceed the estimate
- Obtain the product IDs being overcharged – this is usually due to dimension errors
- Open a Seller Support case requesting FBA fee adjustment
- Explain the fee overcharge and provide documentation
- List the product IDs with incorrect dimensions or weights
For example, you notice the FBA monthly storage fees charged are much higher than the estimate reports. Upon investigating, you see the issue is for Product ID XYZ789.
The FBA fee preview report estimates a standard storage fee based on the product size you provided. However, the fees actually charged on orders are at the oversized rate.
You would open a case requesting a fee adjustment and explain that the dimensions seem to be incorrect in Amazon’s system for XYZ789. You ask them to re-measure the product and correct the fees going forward.
It’s important to watch for FBA fee discrepancies regularly and request re-evaluation any time you spot potential errors. This helps recover lost profits from fees overcharged. Automating the process of comparing estimated vs. actual fees makes it easier to identify issues.
With rigorous tracking and swift action on fee adjustment requests, you can maximize amazon reimbursement of unfair FBA fees. Don’t leave money on the table that can be recovered with some persistent follow up.
Getting Amazon Reimbursement as a seller may seem daunting, but taking advantage of Amazon’s policies can help you recover costs and lost profits. With the right systems in place, you can automate much of the amazon reimbursement identification and submission process.
The key strategies we covered were identifying amazon reimbursement for:
- Customer returns never sent back to Amazon
- Inventory lost in Amazon’s warehouses
- Inventory damaged in Amazon’s warehouses
- Inbound shipment discrepancies
- Incorrect FBA fee calculations
By diligently monitoring your inventory and transactions for these amazon reimbursement opportunities, you can greatly reduce unnecessary lost profits. Submit detailed reimbursement requests as soon as you identify issues to increase your chances of a successful payout.
Don’t leave money on the table that rightfully belongs in your pocket. Consistently pursuing amazon reimbursement helps improve your bottom line and scale your Amazon business. The small amounts recouped on individual issues can add up to tens of thousands in recovered revenue annually.
Now that you understand the major amazon reimbursement processes, you can keep a close eye on your Amazon seller account. Leverage automation and tools to streamline finding amazon reimbursement opportunities. With a sound system in place, you can divert significant funds back into growing your business and driving more sales.
Stay vigilant, act quickly on identified issues, and keep pushing Amazon for the Amazon Reimbursement you deserve. This additional cash flow can help take your ecommerce business to the next level.