FBA inventory reimbursement guide for sellers

written by GORILLA ROI

What you’ll learn

  • What you can get FBA inventory reimbursements for
  • How to get a inventory reimbursement for your products
  • Do’s and don’ts requesting reimbursements

Amazon reimbursements are becoming a bigger issue for Amazon sellers as Amazon makes a decent number of mistakes.

Let’s go through what you can get reimbursed for because this is something you have to be proactive about.

These mistakes add up. The bigger you are, the more you can get back. I’ve heard stories from 8-9 figure sellers getting back 400-600k every quarter because Amazon loses so much product.

Your FBA inventory reimbursements are not 100% accurate

Amazon automatically reimburses the seller for many things, but a lot falls through the cracks.

Go to our detailed Amazon seller fees guide, search for “reimbursement” and you’ll see the different transactions and categories it falls under.

fba inventory reimbursement
fba inventory reimbursement

There are many issues where lost inventory wasn’t reimbursed, customer returns were refunded but not reimbursed to you, wrong item was sent by the customer reimbursement and so on.

There is a growing number of AMZ reimbursement services that will do the manual work of going through your reports and submitting claims. But they charge a percentage of the amount they recover.

The bigger you are, the more expensive these reimbursement recovery services become.

If you big enough where you have to pay an external service $5000 or more, you might as well hire somebody to do it for you and save money.

This is where you can use Gorilla ROI to pull all your reimbursement data and do it easily in-house for a low flat fee.

Understand the FBA reimbursement policy

First, understand and acknowledge that you won’t get reimbursed for all lost or damaged items.

If a customer returns a product mangled up and used, Amazon likely won’t reimburse you. You need a good enough reason to get the reimbursement.

There are several factors that Amazon will look into before processing a reimbursement claim such as:

  • Seller’s sales history
  • Sales history of the specific ASIN
  • Average FBA selling price on the platform

In the event that there is not enough detail for an item available, Amazon will be the one to put a value on the product using similar items that are currently being sold.

In case a seller requests that the reimbursement to be re-evaluated, additional information will be asked from you such as an invoice or receipt.

Inventory reimbursement policy coverage

  • Misplaced item within the Amazon fulfillment center
  • Items lost or have been damaged during shipping to the fulfillment center by partner carriers.
  • Items damaged while in the custody of the Amazon fulfillment center or customer damaged/ defective products.
  • Items have been lost or been damaged by carriers and distributors that Amazon uses for shipping out to customers.

Reimbursement policy limitations

  • Products sold that do not follow the inventory requirements by Amazon FBA.
  • Prohibited products.
  • Expired products.
  • Items that are defective or are lost or damaged by customers, sellers, and distributors with the exception of mobile phones
  • Small items shipped by partner carriers that have been damaged due to poor packaging.
  • Restricted products that have been damaged or lost during removal order processing.

10 FBA errors you can get reimbursed for

person using ecommerce store on phone

Here are 10 common errors where you can get FBA reimbursements for. If you get an automated canned response from Amazon, resubmit the case to get through to a person who can read it.

1. Products lost or damaged while in the Fulfillment Center (FC)

Accidents can and do happen where employees drop your products, conveyor belts sling it and breaks, robots run over it, or just easily misplaced.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • in one sentence request the reimbursement for lost items that were not reimbursed

2. Inbound shipper damaged or lost your parcel

This works if you ship via the partnered carrier. Easiest if you use UPS because of the partnership with Amazon.

The tracking number ensures that you have proof that the shipment was shipped properly.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • the shipment ID with the missing items
  • description of what is missing, quantity, and request reimbursement

3. Items are being charged at a higher weight or dimension

It is possible that the item you are selling is being charged a higher weight or dimension. This can cost you in the long run but can be reimbursed if there is any discrepancy.

You will only get the reimbursement if Amazon acknowledges it, and even that will take time and will be hard.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • request a cubiscan (remeasure the dimensions and weight)
  • request to receive reimbursement

4. Customers received excess refund

Customers may think that they hit the jackpot when they receive a double refund. Unfortunately, it comes out of your pocket. Not Amazon’s.

This has to be disputed by the seller through transaction reports.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • the transaction ID
  • the amount refunded
  • LPN, photo of the product that seller support may ask for
  • Briefly state the amount refunded, the proper refund that should have gone out, and request a reimbursement for the excess

5. Restocking fee not credited to your seller account

A restocking fee of 20% of the value of the item is usually charged to the seller for returned items belonging to certain categories or are high valued.

Once the item is received at the warehouse then the fee will be credited to you. However, if the item was damaged or lost during delivery, this fee will not be credited to you.

Request for reimbursement if the item was received at the warehouse but Amazon did not credit the fee to your account.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • the transaction ID or order ID
  • Request the fee to be reimbursed

6. Missing item after it was returned

One of the most common errors where you have to check yourself. Too many scam shoppers will buy a product, take what they want, and return the rest.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • photos of the LPN and box
  • photo of the return order that is legible
  • photo of the return label barcode on the product
  • Request a refund because an item was missing from the product

7. Inventory not checked in

If you have missing items checked in, you are eligible for reimbursements.

The standard method is to use the reconcile open from the Manage FBA Shipment page.

  • Open up the shipment that received less than what was sent
  • Click the “Reconcile” tab
  • If the shipment is past the eligible date, submit the request

8. Overcharging fees or commissions

This is the official Amazon page for commissions.

The average range for commissions is between 8% to 15%. The really high commissions are special categories that most people don’t sell in.

An incorrectly classified product could take a chunk out of your profit. This doesn’t happen frequently, but if it does, do the following.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • confirm the category it is being listed under
  • state the proper category it should be in
  • request to receive reimbursement for the difference in referral fees and commissions

9. Returned item damaged by Amazon or its partner carrier

In the event that Amazon or its partner carrier damaged the product returned by the customer, request an FBA inventory reimbursement. If you sell big and heavy items, this will happen frequently.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • the shipment ID with the missing items
  • description of what is missing, quantity, and request reimbursement

10. Customer refunded for non-returned item

This is another common reason mistake where you end up giving money away for free.

This happens when a customer was refunded but the item was not returned.

Submit a case and include:

  • the ASIN and FNSKU
  • the Amazon link to the listing
  • the order ID
  • description of what is missing, quantity, and request reimbursement

Amazon inventory reimbursements take time and energy

Filing a claim for reimbursements can be a long process since you will need to figure out where the errors are in your account.

If you don’t have a process, it will take a long time initially until you figure things out.

Reports to search for issues include:

  • Inventory Adjustments
  • Manage Orders
  • Inventory Event Detail
  • Daily Inventory Reports
  • Received Inventory
  • Removal Order Detail

For example, if you check your Inventory Adjustments report, and there are items that are labeled as “Damaged at Amazon Fulfillment Center”, there should be an indication that the same unit is labeled as “Transferred to holding account”. If the item is not labeled as such, then you already have a discrepancy that you can get reimbursed for. You will need to search reports prior to filing for any claims.

Take note of all discrepancies

As much as you would like to file for a reimbursement claim as soon as you spot an error on Amazon’s part, there is a waiting period.

Set a time every 2 weeks or once a month to go through it all. Otherwise, Amazon will reject all your submitted cases.

Better yet, use our automated data system to easily track and analyze your FBA reimbursement and detailed transactions in one place.

Do’s and Don’ts of submitting reimbursement claim cases

Do’s

  • Be clear and concise when writing an email regarding your claims. If it is multiple issues, list them down with an explanation for each.
  • Create templates for your reimbursement claims so you can use them in the future.
  • Be cordial in your email and write professionally.
  • Follow up on your ticket periodically. Remember that Amazon has a time frame when answering emails.

Don’ts

  • Do not rush into sending claims. Practice caution when dealing with Amazon as any mistake on your part can get your account suspended.
  • Do not use automated tools for collecting Amazon reimbursement.
  • Do not open too many cases as this can lead you to a warning or account suspension.

How long does it take to get an FBA inventory reimbursement?

Majority of cases, Amazon will automatically issue the refund. It can easily take around 30-45 days depending on the issue and case.

Sometimes, you will end up gritting your teeth and fighting with seller support because no one bothers reading the message.

Overseas seller support performance metric is based on how quickly they can close a ticket – NOT how well the ticket was solved.

In case an inbound shipment goes missing, you will have to wait a full thirty days before filing a claim. On the other hand, if there is an issue with the number of inbound shipment, such as when you shipped out 90 items, and a few have gone missing, you can file for reimbursement after 25 days.

Since discrepancies or issues with your products aren’t easily detected on your own, the FBA inventory reimbursement policy states that you can file claims within 18 months.

There are exceptions to the rule, however, such as when Amazon received fewer items than what you have stated on your inbound shipment. For the rest, the 18-month rule will still apply which gives you ample time to go over your reports to see if everything is in order.

After you have filed a claim in Amazon, it will take two to three days before you get a response. It may be that they will start the reimbursement process, or they will request additional details or documentation.

If your claim has been approved with the amount agreed upon based on your sales history, the amount will be credited to your account within 2 to 3 days.

What is Gorilla ROI?

Gorilla ROI automatically pulls Amazon data into Google sheets for you to make sense of the data without the inconvenience of manually downloading, sorting and updating spreadsheets.

Learn how you can centralize your data and use it to increase your ROI.

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