How to Handle Amazon FBA Reimbursement Like a Pro

April 23, 2021
Written by Nicasio Co III
amazon fba reimbursement

One of the most overlooked tasks of online sellers is Amazon FBA reimbursement monitoring. In a perfect world, Amazon should reimburse you automatically without your intervention. But it’s not always the case. This is where you’ll need to revisit your inventory to check for discrepancies—mistakes caused by Amazon, Amazon-partnered carriers, an FBA customer order, or a combination of these.

How will you know if Amazon owes you money? And once you do, what would be the next step? In this article, let's discuss how Amazon reimbursement works and how to file a claim.

How does the Amazon FBA reimbursement policy work?

If ever an item gets lost or damaged at an Amazon warehouse, by an Amazon-partnered courier, or on behalf of Amazon, the e-commerce giant will either replace it with a new item of the same FNSKU) or reimburse you.

After such discrepancies, Amazon must take action within 30 days. If Amazon fails to reimburse you, you may file a claim.

Who are eligible for Amazon reimbursement? 

Amazon has laid a strict requirement to determine whether an item is eligible for reimbursement or not. The item in question must pass the following criteria:

  • It should be registered in Amazon FBA at the moment it is damaged or lost.
  • It must comply with the FBA product requirements and restrictions.
  • It must adhere to the FBA inventory requirements.
  • The shipping plan that you've submitted states the exact items and quantities.
  • It is not pending for disposal as per your request.
  • It was not discarded at your request.
  • Amazon themselves didn't dispose of the item, considering they have the right to do so.
  • It is not a defective item.
  • The customer didn't cause damage to the item.
  • Make sure that your selling account is in normal status before filing a claim.

5 Types of Reimbursements on Amazon FBA

Here are the five main categories of reimbursements, which are based on what stage the item was lost or damaged during the fulfillment process:

Shipment to Amazon 

Several problems could happen while your inventory is being sent to an Amazon fulfillment center. For some reason, not all items were scanned or received by Amazon. Perhaps some of your inventory was accidentally misplaced or lost by the inbound carrier. Another issue you may encounter is a mysteriously deducted stock after shipment closes.

Fulfillment center operations 

Amazon fulfillment center processes and arranges mass volume of items daily. No wonder items get lost or damaged. Perhaps a picker takes an item from a "bin" to check it and returns it into an incorrect bin unknowingly. An Amazon employee must have worked too hastily in order to fulfill hundreds of orders. In the process, they may have damaged a couple of items.

FBA customer returns

These are the most common Amazon FBA reimbursement claims, courtesy of Amazon or your customer. Amazon may have forgotten to refund the restocking fee back to you. Another instance is when a customer refunds not for one but two units. The customer may have forgotten to return the product after receiving the correct refund or the replacement item. Or Amazon failed to add the returned item back to your inventory after receiving it from the customer.

Removals

These are items damaged or lost by Amazon or an Amazon-supported carrier while it was being removed from a fulfillment center and sent to your returns shipping address. 

Weight and dimensions

Amazon may have assigned an inaccurate weight or dimension on your item as they run it under a Cubiscan. This may result in significantly higher fees.

When this happens, you can request Amazon to re-measure your item. However, you must ensure the item is eligible for re-measurement. There are two criteria that Amazon checks: (1) the item wasn't re-measured twice in the past 60 days in the Amazon warehouse and (2) there is an existing inventory for that item in the fulfillment center.

How to file an Amazon FBA reimbursement claim

In the past, you only needed to open a claim via the Contact Us page in your selling account, explain the issue, provide the items you want to reimburse, and hit send to submit it. However, Amazon has become, let's say, more meticulous when it comes to FBA reimbursement claims.

Amazon will consider your claim if and only if you've followed the instructions based on the FBA reimbursement category. This condition is stated in the Amazon FBA inventory reimbursement policy.

Take shipments to Amazon claims, for example. You must use the Reconcile tab to open a claim for lost units. For damaged units, you need to submit a claim through the Contact Us page in Seller Central.

You must also provide details like proof of inventory ownership, Amazon shipment ID, proof of delivery, and any additional information as requested by Amazon. Ensure that you file a claim within nine months after the confirmed schedule of shipment delivery to an Amazon facility.

Take note that this method is for shipment to Amazon claims only. You must read their policy guidelines carefully to follow the given process per category.

5 Amazon reimbursement tips

Here are the tips that you should keep in mind in regard to filing a reimbursement on Amazon:

  • Be wary of FBA seller reimbursement systems because Amazon may not like automated and bot-like responses. 
  • Create a template per category since reimbursement is a continuous and repetitive process.
  • Send status requests at regular intervals to make sure that Amazon acknowledges your claim.
  • Take into account that filing multiple claims at one go makes you a candidate for account suspension.
  • Don't file premature or insufficiently researched claims to avoid being subjected to account action, or worse, suspension.

Key takeaways

As an Amazon seller, it is not enough that you only focus on the selling and marketing part of the job. Always monitor your inventory and orders to make sure everything is fine and dandy and you’re not missing any earnings because of lost and damaged items. You must stay vigilant to protect your account and get back your hard-earned money through Amazon FBA reimbursement. 

Are you looking for a premium FBA reimbursement service? Seller Interactive consists of experienced Amazon consultants willing to help you with your Amazon FBA reimbursement concerns. Please email us at [email protected] or [email protected] today.

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