Last updated on September 6th, 2023
Written by Mohamed Aden
Imagine putting in your best effort every single day to grow your Amazon business, only to discover that a portion of your earnings hasn’t been credited to you. Even worse, some of your packages have been damaged, stolen, or lost during shipment. Nothing can be more stressful than losing money and resources that could have been your profit.
Luckily, every Amazon seller is now entitled to Amazon reimbursement. But here’s another catch: they won’t notify you if you qualify for this program. Your sole responsibility is to file reimbursement claims to get back what Amazon owes you.
Whether you are new on Amazon or have been selling on the platform for quite some time but have never tried their program, this guide is what you need. We’ll look at various aspects of reimbursement in Amazon and find ways to get your money back.
Let’s put things in perspective. Most Amazon sellers and buyers mix up the terms. “Refunds” and “reimbursements” are not interchangeable when discussing the amount or timing of your money’s return. It’s time to settle on what the two words mean in the Amazon context.
Refunds are the amount the buyers get when they return merchandise. After they request to return an item, they are entitled to get the total purchase price back into their preferred refund method.
Sellers get reimbursements when Amazon compensates for the returned items. Like buyers returning an item for a full refund, a seller must also initiate a request and go through a process before they get what is due to them.
It’s understandable why both parties see refunds and reimbursements as the same thing. That’s because buyers and sellers are affected in different ways whenever there’s a returned item.
What makes them even more confusing is they both occur in the Amazon FBA program. Since one of FBA’s functions is processing customer returns, there can be instances where Amazon may owe the seller or buyer money for specific fulfillment-related issues.
Allow us to give you a brief look at the process on both sides.
Customers must first go through the following steps to get their money back. Here’s how it usually works:
There are cases wherein Amazon instantly refunds the amount. The buyer can follow through on the procedure by returning the item to the Amazon fulfillment center. If the buyer uses a paid method for the return, Amazon will deduct the shipping costs and restocking fees from their refund amount.
These are just some of Amazon’s policies regarding refunds. To know more about the entire refund system, contact Amazon customer service.
As for the merchant's end, the effect of return and refund requests from buyers hits them with a deduction, which they'll have to request for reimbursement. Here's an overview of the process:
Now that we have a general understanding of refunds and reimbursements, let’s dive deeper into a process specifically relevant for FBA sellers—filing for Amazon FBA reimbursements.
FBA businesses must not forget three things:
First, let’s talk about eligibility. Amazon has a strict requirement to determine whether an item is eligible for reimbursement. The item in question must pass the following criteria:
Before you uncover if there are any reimbursement claims you need to process, let’s look at the policy.
Amazon has a reimbursement policy for FBA sellers who experience issues with their inventory. Here are a few of the guidelines to keep in mind.
Note that these rules are for lost or damaged inventory only. You may want to seek a trusted Amazon account manager if you need further help exploring Amazon’s policies.
The following are types of FBA inventory reimbursements, which can take place at any time during the fulfillment process:
Amazon stores and retrieves items upon order placement. Unfortunately, lost inventory can occur due to misplacement or being placed in another seller’s stock, affecting business operations. Given the circumstance, Amazon has no choice but to compensate sellers for every lost unit.
Whenever Amazon employees pick and pack your orders, they do it quickly and efficiently. We can’t blame them because hundreds of orders are fulfilled each day. Add to that, there’s Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping, which they have to get done quickly.
Since Amazon employees must move fast, accidents can happen. These accidents can cause damage to your items, thereby Amazon owing you a reimbursement.
While customer returns may sound common to you, one too many cases is a big problem Amazon sellers and employees face. But you can still make a reimbursement claim for the following reasons:
Despite your utmost care, incorrect order processing can happen. A customer may receive double or triple the number of items they ordered. The sad part is that Amazon will not improve their order accuracy, and customers won’t return the additional items in most of these cases.
Amazon FBA has its pros and cons. One of the disadvantages is the different types of Amazon FBA fees you need to pay, which includes storage, fulfillment, and commission fees.
The fees depend on the category, dimension of the item, and the distance and type of shipping package. In some situations, you are charged the wrong fee. These overcharged fees can add up, and you have the right to claim reimbursement.
Given the scenarios stated above, it’s unsurprising that sellers still have opportunities to bring back what they’ve lost in your business. But everyone must also know Amazon has become more meticulous in processing FBA reimbursement claims to ensure that all requests are legitimate and valid.
Here’s how you can adapt to the FBA reimbursement process.
Review your shipments and inventory adjustment reports regularly. These are the details you need to take note of:
Amazon's Fulfillment Centers are busy places, and accidental damages are more common than you think. As an Amazon FBA seller, you should know what to do if such a case happens to any of your products.
To file for reimbursement:
Use your transaction item ID in the Inventory Adjustments report for damaged items. Use the Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU) for lost items. These two will help you determine if you can file a claim.
You should file a claim within 45 days and not later than 18 months after the customer has filed for a refund or replacement.
Provide your customer order ID and other additional information during the application. Afterward, you have to wait until Amazon approves your claim.
Although filing an Amazon reimbursement claim can be time-consuming, there are ways to streamline the process. The following tips can help you maximize your reimbursements while simplifying your business operations.
Besides optimizing your listings and PPC ad campaigns, your responsibility is to manage your inventory and deliveries. Yes, Amazon FBA is there to assist you, but you must prevent setbacks like lost and damaged inventories by being as organized as you can.
Seller Interactive can be your partner agency if you are looking for the best Amazon experts. We’re here to help you protect your account and maximize your profits with our FBA reimbursement service for Amazon. This way, you won’t spend long hours cross-checking your inventory reports and wondering how long it will take for Amazon to reimburse you.
Free yourself from this burden. Book a Discovery Call today!
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