Amazon Owes You? Get a Refund with These Amazon Reimbursement Tips

July 10, 2021
Written by Kevin Wong
amazon reimbursement

As much as you want your Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business to run without a hitch, setbacks—whether minor or not—are unavoidable. After all, starting a business is a risk. One of the risks you may encounter is Amazon reimbursement. Trust us—you don't want to deal with this.

Still, it is better to know what to do if Amazon owes you. In this article, we're going to talk about the methods to monitor your account and how to refund on Amazon.

What is Amazon reimbursement?

Let's first discuss its connection with FBA. FBA helps sellers in their storage, picking, packing, and shipping needs. FBA also provides customer service and handles the removal and return of the products. 

According to statistics, 66% of the 10,000 biggest earners on Amazon use FBA. It sounds like a promising business model that first-time sellers would wish to sign up for. Who doesn't want to have some of their fulfillment tasks taken off their shoulders?

However, as mentioned above, one of the functions of this fulfillment network is processing customer returns. It is where the game of reimbursement begins. For instance, a customer requests a refund and returns the item. If Amazon loses or damages the item during its transportation back to the fulfillment center, you will be eligible for reimbursement.

Besides lost and damaged items, there are several circumstances in which you can get reimbursement.

When are you eligible for reimbursement?

Before you agree with the FBA policies and requirements, you should read them from start to finish and read between the lines. They state there the following circumstances in which you're eligible to reimburse:

  • The customer doesn't return the item to an Amazon fulfillment center within 45 days despite getting a refund.
  • If the customer returns it within the timeframe specified, Amazon will then inspect its condition. If the returned item is unsellable, Amazon will reimburse you if it is their fault.

But wait: there's more! You can also file an Amazon reimbursement claim given the following issues:

  1. The customer receives a refund for more units than what they've paid initially. 
  2. Amazon fails to credit the returned item to your inventory.
  3. All this time, Amazon has charged you a dimension or weight fee higher than the original cost of the category you're currently enrolled in.
  4. Amazon accidentally deducts some items on your stock after shipment closes.
  5. Amazon fails to credit the returned and scanned items to your FBA account.
  6. Amazon or a carrier damages your returned items while in transit.
  7. Amazon overcharges the commission fees.
  8. In Amazon's return report, your refund doesn't show up.
  9. You didn't receive the 20% restocking fee which the customer paid for.

Before you uncover if there are any reimbursement claims you need to process, let's have a quick overview of their policy to know your limitations.

Amazon FBA reimbursement policy

Sometimes a reimbursement request doesn't always convert to cash. There are instances where they only replace the item. 

Here are the factors Amazon considers to determine if they owe you reimbursement.

  • Your entire sales history
  • The sales history of the Amazon Standard Identification Number with an issue
  • Amazon's average FBA selling price

Now, here are the things you should consider before filing a reimbursement claim.

  1. Re-evaluation of your request requires additional information such as receipts or invoices.
  2. If Amazon later finds the lost inventory or discovers they reimbursed you erroneously, they may replace the item or reverse the credit from your account.
  3. The reimbursement amount for a returned item will not exceed $5000. If the value of the returned item exceeds $5000, Amazon advises buying third-party insurance.
  4. You will not get a refund for prohibited items, expired items, and items that don't meet FBA inventory requirements.
  5. Amazon will not entertain requests with insufficient information.
  6. Amazon doesn't allow the submission of multiple requests at the same time.

Take note that these policies are for lost and damaged inventory only. Amazon also has the right to dispose of or resell the item that they reimbursed for you. You may want to seek a trusted Amazon account manager to handle your reimbursement problems.

How to monitor your account for reimbursements?

Are you now ready to play detective? You must always watch your back when you're selling on Amazon, or you will never know if you have lost money because of Amazon's shortcomings.

This article will only discuss the two most common reimbursement issues sellers encounter. The first is for destroyed, lost, and damaged inventory. The second is for when the customer doesn’t return the refunded item. 

Finding lost, damaged, and destroyed inventory

Finding lost damaged and destroyed Amazon inventory

Here's the meaning of each code:

CodeReason group
6, 7, E, H, K, UDamaged
DInventory disposed of
5, MLost

Are you still with us? Great! Now, let's try tracking unreturned but refunded items.

Finding refunded items that were never returned

Check your email first if Amazon sent you a refund notification. Make it a habit to organize these refund notification emails in a single folder. Proceed to do the following instructions to check if the item is returned or reimbursed:

Finding refunded items that were never returned

In the Status column, check if the reason is "Unit returned to inventory" or "Reimbursed." Another method is looking into the Inventory Event Detail report under Inventory on the left-side menu. Generate the report by using the Merchant SKU. The Transaction Type should be “Customer Returns,” and the Quantity column's value should be a positive number.

How long does it take for Amazon to refund?

Hold up! We did say Amazon has a timeframe for returns. So don't get too excited to file a claim right away. The good thing about Amazon is they have a sense of accountability. If you deserve a reimbursement, they will grant it to you automatically, no questions asked. 

For unreturned but refunded items, Amazon gives the customer up to 30 days to return the item. If within 45 days of the return request the item doesn't arrive at the fulfillment center, Amazon will automatically give you a refund.

For damaged or lost items, you may submit a claim within 18 months of the damage or loss date. However, you can't get a refund for items damaged by the customer. 

How to refund on Amazon

Haven't you received your well-deserved refund yet? Here's how to file a reimbursement claim.

  1. Open a case by clicking the Help link at the upper right corner on the Seller Central.
  2. Click Contact Us at the bottom of the small window.
  3. On the left side, select Selling on Amazon > Fulfillment by Amazon > FBA Issue.
  4. On the right side of the screen, click Something Else.
  5. Choose the Email tab.
  6. Enter your message in the Please describe your issue text field.
  7. Attach a .csv file containing the items you want to reimburse.
  8. Read and review carefully the details you've entered before hitting Send.

Usually, it will take 12 hours until they get back to you. If your reimbursement request is approved, your refund will appear in your account within 4–5 business days.

Conclusion

Amazon reimbursement is a complicated and lengthy process that requires constant monitoring of your inventory and orders. On top of that, you must have expert negotiation skills to explain your side in a clear, concise, and effective manner. 

It also helps to have a thorough understanding of Amazon's policies and fees to support your case. If you want to avoid losing reimbursements due to a lack of time and resources, you can use the help of a third-party Amazon account manager like Seller Interactive.

Do you have a hard time getting the money Amazon owes you? Seller Interactive has a team of expert Amazon consultants who know the ins and outs of Amazon reimbursement. For inquiries, email [email protected].  

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