The Fundamentals of Amazon Reimbursement

May 7, 2021
Written by Nicasio Co III
Amazon Reimbursement

A saying goes like this: “Business is business.” Another says, “Every penny counts.”

These two quotations are most applicable when we talk about Amazon reimbursement. Despite the process being complicated, you would not want to skip taking back the money Amazon owes you because these are still your hard-earned funds. You could lose a significant amount if you do not process your reimbursements.

If you are new on Amazon or you have been selling on the platform for quite some time but have never tried the Amazon reimbursement program, then this is the article for you. We’ll explain to you all the details you need to know for successful reimbursement.

Reimbursement is the process of getting the money Amazon owes you because of any mistakes, concerns, and damages during the fulfillment process. In the program, you will be compensated in cash, the item will be replaced, or Amazon will offer other replacement methods. 

Eligibility

To become eligible for the program, you need to satisfy the following conditions from Amazon:

  1. The inventory you sent to Amazon is accurate. Ensure that the details and quantity you inputted on Seller Central will be the same as the items arriving in fulfillment centers. 
  2. Your products were in perfect working condition when you shipped them to Amazon warehouses.
  3. Make sure that you follow all Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) policies and requirements.
  4. Ensure that the loss/damaging of items are not due to your request or Amazon’s compliance with internal rules on disposing of items.
  5. Your account is not suspended. 

Once you are sure you satisfy all these, then you can confidently file a reimbursement case. 

5 Instances to Avail Amazon Reimbursement

  1. Amazon damaged or lost your items.

Did you know that in 2018, 73% of all sellers in the United States and 65% of Amazon business owners in Canada use FBA? You can imagine how an Amazon warehouse looks like: everywhere you look, there are millions of packages and products to deliver. 

In this situation, losing or damaging an item is frequent. Also, moving your products from one place and one cargo to another increases the probability of damage. 

The good thing is Amazon takes accountability when the reason for the loss of or damage to the item is on their end. They will replace your stock according to the calculation of their value. Just note that for a single unit, the maximum reimbursement you can get is USD 5,000. Hence, for more expensive items, having third-party insurance is better. 

  1. Amazon charged you more than they should. 

When selling on Amazon and aiming for the cheapest way to deliver your goods, the first thing you should look into is the proper and efficient packaging of your products. Make sure that your shipments do not cross the next package size, in which case you’ll have to pay more. 

What if, despite careful packing, you are still charged higher because of Amazon’s measurement mistakes? In this case, you can request a remeasurement. When a discrepancy is found, you can file a claim. 

Additionally, fees differ depending on the item’s product category and its storage length in fulfillment centers. Make sure you are charged with the correct corresponding fees. 

  1. Amazon sent more items to the customer than what was ordered.

What a lucky buyer! They only ordered one product, but when it arrived, they got triple the number of units they ordered. Amazon will also be lucky if you do not see this discrepancy in your inventory because they will not need to pay you back. 

Unluckily for you, you just gave away two items for free. Clients may return the mistakenly sent items; however, this does not always happen. 

  1. Amazon refunded or replaced the client’s order without getting the item in return.

You and Amazon have a common goal of making sure customers always have seamless transactions. Hence, refund and product replacement requests are immediately processed because of valid claims from the customer. 

Quick action on customer concerns is an excellent practice. However, ensure that the item is returned after the refund or the replacement. If not and if it is an oversight on Amazon’s part, then you should be reimbursed for that. 

  1. Amazon did not add returned items to your inventory. 

If there are cases when customers do not return the products they are supposed to return, there are also responsible buyers who take time to give back what they are supposed to. However, it becomes a problem when these returned items are not added back to your inventory.

Regardless of whether the items are still sellable or not, they need to be listed on your inventory. Otherwise, Amazon needs to pay you for that lost item.

4 Ways to Make the Process Easier

There are four different ways to process your case. Your choice will determine the answer to the question, “How long does it take to get reimbursed from Amazon?” 

Take into consideration your allotted budget for reimbursement when choosing your reimbursement method. You’ll want your cases tackled immediately and get the money Amazon owes you, so your appeals should be accurate and followed up timely.

  1. Process your reimbursement on your own.

Amazon Seller Central is complete with all the data you need to analyze how your business is faring. It also has the “Inventory Adjustments” page, where you can access data regarding damaged or lost items. 

If you have the time, skill, and patience, you can master Amazon reimbursement and do this task yourself. Just extract these data and check what Amazon owes you. Self-checking can also save you other costs. 

Make sure to follow the guidelines in filing for damages and loss of items during shipment or while in fulfillment centers, as well as item returns and disposal according to your request or Amazon’s guidelines. 

  1. Invest in a software checker.

If there are tedious tasks you should do and you don’t have time for them, there are Amazon software and tools to help you get the job done. For the reimbursement program, this is also applicable. 

The advantages of this option are the following:

  • There will be minimal errors since codes govern the software. Details about your cases are accurately checked.
  • You save time and energy because the software will do the data gathering, analyzing, and creation of the reimbursement list for you.
  • Your claim can be processed and closed quickly with the software’s help. 
  1. Hire a virtual assistant.

If you have the skill and the software but not the time to process your case, delegate this task to a virtual assistant. 

You can look for experts, or you can train the employee yourself. This way, you can allot fewer hours in dealing with reimbursement reports and just get updates from your virtual assistant regarding the progress of your recompensation. Moreover, if you do the reimbursement process monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, you can hire project-based helpers for this. 

  1. Get all-in services from a third-party agency. 

An Amazon services agency can offer a complete range of all the help you’ll need for your Amazon business, including reimbursement.

Here are the advantages of choosing this option.

  • An Amazon services agency has a team of experts who have years of experience in handling reimbursement claims.
  • With experts doing it for you, you are assured that your reimbursement is done correctly and efficiently.
  • You can also be sure that an Amazon receipt for reimbursement is collected for transparency and documentation. 
  • Amazon can repay or replace your item in no time because the Amazon services agency will have employees following up on your cases religiously. 

Again, your choice depends on your needs. If it is your priority to quickly and correctly get your recompensation, it is better to delegate the task to experts like virtual assistants and agencies. On the other hand, if you want to get to know the ins and outs of Amazon, including reimbursement, it would be best if you do it on your own to learn the process. Investing in reimbursement software also works.

Steps in Filing

Once you have made a choice, you or the person to whom you’ll delegate the task must follow these steps for a successful claiming of your funds.

Step 1: Go to Seller Central and get reports from the Fulfillment and Inventory Adjustments pages.

Step 2: On the Inventory Adjustments page, download all the data you’ll need. If you do your reimbursement monthly, quarterly, or yearly, filter the dates you want to cover.  Amazon allows up to 18 months of data to be downloaded. 

Step 3: After getting an Excel sheet of all the items in your inventory, look for the “Reasons” column. There, you’ll find different adjustment types such as “damaged at Amazon fulfillment center,” “inventory disposed of,” “lost,” “found,” and more! These are your bases on whether you’ll undergo the reimbursement program or not. You may also check here whether you were already reimbursed for the damaged/lost item. 

Step 4: Identify which items are for reimbursement or replacement, and then start the process of opening cases. Having templates for different adjustment reasons will save you time and make your case filing efficient. 

Step 5: Actively monitor and follow up on your reimbursement requests so that you can receive your money faster. With countless transactions occurring daily, you need to make sure that your cases are also given time and attention. 

Key Takeaway

In a nutshell, reimbursement is the process of getting the money Amazon owes you because your items were lost or damaged during the shipping process, in fulfillment centers, and due to customer-related causes. 

This process can be tedious. However, with the right method—whether by doing it yourself, investing in software, or getting help from experts and agencies—you can go through the reimbursement program smoothly. 

Seller Interactive can be your partner agency if you are looking for experts to help you with your needs. We will check your account and data in the last 18 months to see if there are lost and damaged items for which you should be reimbursed. We also have tried and tested ways to know whether you were overcharged with fees. 

Give us a call at 1-800-820-3746 so that we can discuss the details with you.

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