Multiple Reimbursements: How Long Does It Take for Amazon to Refund?

September 25, 2020
Written by Ken Zhou

While checking the Inventory Reports, you've noticed an abnormal number of lost and damaged items courtesy of Amazon and Amazon-partnered carriers. As per their policy, Amazon should automatically reimburse you because of this. However, for some strange reason, they forgot about it. So, you've taken matters into your own hands and sent multiple reimbursement requests in one day. Now, you’re left wondering how long does it take for Amazon to refund? After a few days, finally, you've received a letter from Amazon Seller Support stating that they--removed your selling privileges! 

What on Earth happened?!

Does Amazon have new restrictions on reimbursement requests for lost and damaged items? Let us find out, shall we?

How does Amazon's reimbursement policy work?

You're still entitled to a refund if ever an Amazon-partnered carrier or someone in the fulfillment center messes with your inventory, according to the FBA policies and requirements.

Amazon may either replace the item or reimburse you. The reimbursement amount is based on several factors such as overall sales history, average FBA selling price, and the ASIN sales history.

If ever Amazon finds the lost item, they can either dispose or enlist it for sale on the Amazon Warehouse Deals. However, they might issue a reimbursement reversal wherein they will debit the refund from your account.

Amazon will not cover FBA prohibited items, expired items, and damaged items because of inadequate packaging. If the damage is done by customers, sellers, or distributors, Amazon will not reimburse it.

How to refund on Amazon?

Since you can still reimburse lost and damaged items, you need to recall how you requested a refund. Did you miss a step or perhaps do something wrong? Here's a short guide on how to refund on Amazon:

1. Log in to your Seller Central account and click the Help link.

2. Go to Contact Us > Selling on Amazon > Fulfillment by Amazon > FBA Issue > Something Else.

3. Select the Email tab.

4. In the “Please describe your issue text” field, explain in detail the issue.

5. Attach the .csv file, which contains the items subject to reimbursement.

6. Review your request carefully and then hit Send.

Now, the waiting game begins.

How long does it take for Amazon to refund?

In normal circumstances, Amazon will reply within 12 hours. However, it takes 4-5 business days for the refund to be processed for approved reimbursement requests.

You might be thinking, 4-5 business days seems too long, maybe I can send multiple reimbursement requests in one go

Sad to say, this is the reason why Amazon suspended your account.

The Limitations section of Amazon's reimbursement policy states that they will not honor insufficiently researched or premature requests. Moreover, they prohibit the submission of multiple reimbursement requests in a short period.

Source: Screengrab from Amazon.com

If you do this, you will get a suspension notice like this one:

Other than thinking of how long does it take for Amazon to refund, you need first to solve how to reinstate your account, which is an urgent matter because you only have a maximum of 17 days to submit a viable plan. Or you can kiss Amazon marketplace goodbye.

How to reinstate a suspended Amazon account?

Don't worry, we've got you covered. First, you have to stay calm and rational. It is impossible, especially at times like this. However, it would do you more harm than good if you argue with Amazon. This is the proper way to reinstate your account:

1. Be polite and professional.

2. Submit an appeal letter containing the following:

  • The root cause of the problem
  • Your Plan of Action (POA)
  • Your preventive measures or solutions

3. Acknowledge your mistake and apologize for it.

4. Don't blame Amazon in the letter.

5. Be as transparent as possible.

6. Don't alter any documents or records.

How long does Amazon suspension last?

Unfortunately, you have to wait--again--for weeks or a month. During this waiting period, you must be patient and avoid sending status requests. 

If you failed on your first try and Amazon requests for more documentation, reply immediately, or you will lose the chance to get reinstated and reimbursed.

There's a possibility that you will communicate with Amazon back and forth. It is alright as long as they're allowing you to lift your account suspension.

How to prevent account suspension due to reimbursement violation

Lesson learned: never send multiple reimbursement requests in a short time. 

Luckily, this case is preventable, and you should start by revisiting your Amazon product launch checklist. If you're a new seller, take note of this.

On your Amazon product launch checklist, there’s a step you’ve taken for granted or didn’t plan carefully, and it is no other than the FBA packaging and prep requirements. What is it? The "how to deliver products" section, specifically, the FBA inventory requirements.

Under the packaging and prep requirements, follow the instructions on how to secure your products to avoid damage. For example, breakable or fragile items must be wrapped individually in Polyethylene foam sheeting and make sure it can pass the 3-foot drop test.

Yet, there are instances that Amazon is at fault because of mishandling of items and inventory. So go ahead and get the refund you deserve as per Amazon’s guidelines.

In Closing

Being an Amazon seller is a full-time job. Besides optimizing your listings and PPC ad campaigns, it is your responsibility to manage your inventory and deliveries. Yes, Amazon FBA is there to assist you, but you must prevent setbacks like lost and damaged inventories. If you want to free yourself from this burden, search for a reliable Amazon reimbursement company to handle your affairs. This way, you won't spend long hours cross-checking your inventory reports. More importantly, you will not spend hours wondering how long does it take for Amazon to refund or reimburse you.

Do you have pending reimbursements that need to be processed ASAP? Let Seller Interactive handle this for you. We have a team of expert Amazon consultants that know how to refund on Amazon cost-effectively. For inquiries, email [email protected]

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