Amazon may owe you money without you even knowing it…
See, if you’re an Amazon FBA seller who stores inventory at an Amazon warehouse there’s a good chance some of your stock has been lost or damaged in recent months and you’re eligible for reimbursement of the value of that stock.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get reimbursed by Amazon for these losses.
That’s where a tool like Refund Genie from Helium 10 comes in. In this article, we’ll discuss how much money Amazon might owe you, and how you can quickly claim it back.
Does Amazon owe you money?
The first question for FBA sellers to ask is if you are actually owed money. If your Amazon business is making more than a few sales each month the answer is likely yes.
Amazon moves stock between fulfilment centers all the time and as a result of the many moving parts in the process, there can be mistakes made with regards to Amazon sellers’ FBA inventory.
Here are the reasons why Amazon might owe you money.
First up, they lost it! When transferring between warehouses, or between locations in the warehouse somehow a unit (or more) of your inventory has been lost and is unable to be found again.
Unfortunately, missing inventory is a relatively common occurrence. As Amazon has grown so large in recent years the logistics operation has become more and more complex making it easy for small amounts of inventory to slip through the crack.
Inventory can be damaged at a number of stages in the process. Of course, there’s the obvious example of inventory damages happening in Amazon fulfilment centers.
Amazon employees can drop a carton, something falls off a shelf… it easily happens. This kind of damage should be reimbursed by Amazon.
Inventory can also be damaged en route to customers. Given the self-imposed pressure on Amazon to continue to deliver faster more efficient shipping times, there can be a lot of rushing, hustling, and bustling.
This can cause some human error and lead to drops, scrapes, and squashing that results in damaged inventory.
Customer returns are an expected part of selling online. But many Amazon FBA sellers assume that they have to take the hit for every one of these returns when in fact they may be eligible for some Amazon FBA reimbursement claims.
Here are some scenarios where you may be due an Amazon reimbursement:
- Returned Not Refunded after 45 Days – The customer got a refund, but never returned the item
- Returns Reimbursement – The Amazon FBA reimbursement was never paid out
- Wrong Item Returned – A customer returns the wrong item which was then accepted by Amazon
- Damaged Returns – Product was returned but then damaged
- Return After 60 Days – A customer was a longer window to return the item
- Return Overcharge – The customer was refunded more than they had actually paid
Amazon has certain timeframes within which you can claim these FBA reimbursements and so it’s important that you follow the steps in this article to claim them on a regular basis.
Given how much Amazon favors the customer in return situations you’re likely owed a lot more than you realize.
Destroyed and disposed inventory
Here’s another area mistakes can occur. Inventory can be incorrectly deemed as due for disposal and done so without your permission.
You may or may not receive a notification about this so it is essential you have a regular routine of using something like Refund Genie to claim this money back.
Overcharges in Amazon fees
Finally, Amazon can at times change the size and weight settings of your product. They regularly check the metrics for products to ensure settings are accurate and they are charging the correct fees.
But again, this is an area where mistakes can be made leading to FBA fee errors. Sellers should keep on top of any changes being made and file a claim to get back any previously overcharged FBA fees.
How can I reclaim the money Amazon owes me?
Given the number of possible scenarios that result in Amazon owing you money, it’s highly recommended that an Amazon seller put in place a regular process of submitting claims for FBA reimbursements due to lost or damaged items.
For most sellers, a monthly routine of submitting these Amazon reimbursement claims is the best balance. Here are your options when it comes to reclaiming the money potentially owed to you.
Do it yourself
The first and obvious solution is for Amazon sellers to manage this process themselves. If you’re just starting out, or are low on funds, this could be a way to get the process started. To find the information you need, navigate to Reports > Fulfillment > Inventory Ledger.
This report will summarise all inventory movements including the categories mentioned above that you will be able to make an Amazon FBA reimbursement claim for. You can also use the inventory adjustments report to claim Amazon FBA reimbursements.
The DIY option is generally not the optimal solution over the long term as the data Amazon provides isn’t always as straightforward as you’d like.
It can take some digging and analysis so if you’re not a data expert, or just prefer to spend more of your time on mission-critical tasks then read on for further options.
Hire a VA
You can hire a virtual assistant to help with many aspects in your Amazon business. One such example is manually producing the necessary reports and opening new cases seller support to submit an Amazon FBA reimbursement claim.
Once a standard operating procedure has been set up for this, it can be a relatively hands-off task but of course does mean employing a member of staff, paying wages and signing up for other ongoing commitments.
Use a dedicated Amazon reimbursement service
With a growing number of sellers on the platform, firms have sprung up that recognise there is a need in this area and are providing managed services to claim back moneys owed to you.
Services like GETIDA will take care of the entire process for you. Simply connect your Seller Central account to their software and they will routinely claim this money back for you. The downside of a service like this is they will take a cut from any moneys claimed.
Use Refund Genie by Helium 10
Perhaps the most convenient and cost-effective solution is to use the Helium 10 Refund Genie tool – a somewhat automated FBA reimbursement tool. This is one of the tools in the suite that Helium 10 offers and helps add even more value to the already competitive pricing plans.
How does Refund Genie work?
Refund Genie automates much of the time-consuming process of preparing accurate reports and compiling them to submit FBA reimbursement claims to Amazon. In a few short minutes each month, you can claim back every cent you’re owed by Amazon. Here’s how:
Connect your account
The first step is to ensure your Helium 10 account is connected to your Amazon Seller Central account. Follow the steps inside Helium 10 to sync your accounts so that Refund Genie can track inventory discrepancies and whether you have been reimbursed for them or not.
Run the Refund Genie report
Head to the tools menu inside Helium 10 and open up Refund Genie.
You’ll find one report per marketplace, per account, per month. Each month you can set a task to come and download the latest report. To do that, just click download next to any reports that show amounts of money owed.
Your report will download ready to be submitted to Amazon.
Rename the spreadsheet file
The downloaded file will contain instructions on what to do with the files. You should rename the .csv file along the lines of YOUR BRAND – Lost (or Damaged, whichever the report is) then follow the instructions to open a case.
Open a case with Amazon
Navigate to Help > Get Support > Selling on Amazon and in the text box use a customized version of the text Refund Genie supplies to explain you are looking to be reimbursed for lost inventory.
Next, select either the lost or damaged in warehouse option. If asked to enter a transaction number click the ‘Contact Us’ text below and you will then be able to attach the spreadsheet(s).
How many transactions should I include per case?
Only submit a maximum of 5 spreadsheets at any one time. Submitting any more than that could slow the process down and therefore slow down the money being put back in your seller account. If you keep it under 5 it usually processes very quickly.
How much do Amazon refund?
Amazon won’t refund you the full price of your product. They will refund based on an average selling price over the product’s recent history, minus any fees the normal selling process would incur. These include Amazon referral fees and any Amazon FBA fees.
Will Amazon notify me when I’m owed money?
No, herein lies the problem. Amazon will notify FBA sellers when they actually reimburse you, but claiming the FBA inventory reimbursements is left up to you and this is why having a good monthly reimbursement process is essential to claim back any money owed.
Is Refund Genie the best option?
In our opinion, yes. We use Refund Genie to process our Amazon FBA inventory reimbursement claim every month, have claimed back $100s and all it takes is a few minutes of processing.
It easily saves hours every month leaving you more time to focus on learning how to grow sales on Amazon and is just one of the tools included in the complete Helium 10 suite.
By using Amazon FBA reimbursement tools like Refund Genie instead of a reimbursement service you save the 10-25% commission you might otherwise have to pay. So with this solution, you save both time and a lot of money.
If you want to try Refund Genie for yourself and see just how much you can save, you can get started with a Helium 10 plan with 50% off here today.