Inventory Being "Stolen" From My Account After Receiving


#5

Even though it’s a ton of work, at least I know it’s happening now and I can try to stay on top of it.

I am POSITIVE this is happening to other sellers and they don’t know it. From day one, that was my biggest complaint to Amazon. This doesn’t show on any of the inventory adjustment reports…so how was I supposed to know that it was happening?

Since Amazon wasn’t initiating reimbursements, and I didn’t know about it, I would have lost this inventory forever. My reimbursements have now topped $10,000 due to this single adjustment. That money would’ve been lost had I not caught it.

I have suggested, begged and demanded that Amazon notify a seller when “CLOSED” shipments, previously reported as “received in full”, have inventory removed from them. If a closed shipment is modified, it should revert back to “receiving” so a seller can view, reconcile and initiate investigations. They agree that it’s a good idea, but the functionality is not currently available.

Ryan


#6

I have opened DOZENS of cases, if not hundreds. That’s why I’m posting. What’s happening has to stop, and nothing is being done.

I do review my shipments as they are received. THAT IS MY GRIPE! They are received in full and closed!!! Only later (sometimes hours, sometimes days or even a week later), Amazon goes back in and adjusts quantities out of my stock under the Shipment ID. For that reason, it’s nearly impossible to track this, and that’s why I’m so concerned and upset.

To Amazon’s credit, when I do discover these discrepancies, they are quick to respond and almost always offer reimbursement without much resistance.

Of course I’m happy to be reimbursed, but I’d truthfully rather have my inventory!!! Something feels “wrong” about reporting shortages and getting reimbursed over and over again. I have this sneaking feeling that eventually Amazon is going to start blaming me for the issues.

We ship exclusively to one fulfillment center (AVP1).

Like I mentioned above, we do a high quantity of outbound shipments every week, and maybe 5% are having this issue.

I’m sure Amazon is not “stealing” my inventory, and that this is the result of improperly trained warehouse employees (in fact, that was confirmed to me several months ago when I forced one of these cases up the ladder, demanding answers). Essentially, they explained that the “inbound shipment receiving discrepancy” adjustment was necessary for warehouse use (when the accidentally scan an item twice and must made an adjustment), but was being mis-used.

I can’t believe more sellers aren’t seeing the same thing…or maybe they just haven’t caught it yet!

Ryan


#7

The same thing happens to me at FTW1 (Texas distribution center). I send a shipment and everything is received as full and then closed. You would think that they scanned everything in and it was all there. But then like you said after a few days pieces start to go missing.

What I think is happening is that they are not counting the units when they receive them and just add the units to your account. Then they are received once they are distributed to their fullfillment centers. If they get lost in transit on their part they take it out of your shipment. I think they are hoping that you do not realize their mistake. If you notice they never give you a hard time when you contact seller support on the missing units.

I love it when they request documentation when you reconcile. You scan in all your invoices and a minute later you receive a email that they confirm that they lost your items. They said after thoroughly researching your invoices. It took them less than a minute to do that? I do not think so.


#8

Its happening to me right now! There are only 3 items that I question. I had inventory yesterday, 1 is already out of stock and the other 2 are less inventory than I had yesterday. They are not listed under orders and there are no items reserved. When I generated a daily inventory report it shows up as what I should have had.

Kim


#9

just watch this report and open a case for evry mines

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/ssof/reports/search.html#orderAscending=&recordType=INVENTORY_RECEIPT&noResultType=&merchantSku=&fnSku=&FnSkuXORMSku=&reimbursementId=&orderId=&genericOrderId=&asin=&shipmentId=&problemType=ALL_DEFECT_TYPES&hazmatStatus=&inventoryEventTransactionType=&inventoryAdjustmentReasonGroup=&eventDateOption=1&fromDate=mm%2Fdd%2Fyyyy&toDate=mm%2Fdd%2Fyyyy&startDate=&endDate=&fromMonth=1&fromYear=2016&toMonth=1&toYear=2016&startMonth=&startYear=&endMonth=&endYear=


#10

Just an FYI - I have had inventory stolen from me as well. I took pictures and videos of some rare expensive books that I shipped in to be fulfilled via FBA. I had them all shrinkwrapped etc and properly packaged. That shipment - most of the books were "lost"They were unable to find the items and they investigated and determined that the FBA center screwed up so they issued a credit for the items they lost. A few weeks later, these items were “Found” and the credit was reversed. I have a full time job I opened my store to pay for my chemotherapy treatments.

Naturally, I didn’t get the almost 500 dollar payment I had earned they recalled the entire credit They “found” my books Someone bought one of those “lost” books which was mailed in “Used/good condition” I have video proving that there was no writing or highlighting or staining of the pages. This woman was shipped a version of the book the FBA center lost that had highlighting and stained pages. I was livid. They of course basically denied replacing my items and said “prove it” so I sent them the link to the videos and images I took of the inventory before shipping. I have video proof that the book the woman bought and paid a lot for was no where near the shape advertised and wasn’t my bookl

I am in the process of closing my store because of how bad they screwed up. They’re shipping several of these rare books back to me - they removed the shrink wrapping - put large stickers directly on some expensive covers. A book set appraised at 2800.00 was returned to me with what looks like tea stains and it was wrapped in saran wrap - the edges an the spines were beat up.

Amazon refuses to take responsibility and conduct ethical practices. 3 of the books that were “found” weren’t even my originals. I know this because every book that was rare had a specific stamp inside of it. I took before pictures and videos of every book and of the books packed before shipment. 3 of the books i got in the mail today were not the ones I mailed in. I haven’t heard anything but crickets since I sent the video proving that they replaced my books with others. At least one of them was in deplorable condition. The highlighting and marks in the book in question was not obviously some random thing done by a postal worker.

My suggestion - don’t send expensive stuff to FBA they have no idea what they’re doing and you will lose a of money.

e


#11

Ryan, This is happening to me. It is forcing me to close my store which I was running to pay for my chemotherapy treatments


#12

You can look at the shipment contents, inbound, reserved or available. When its in Reserved its because they are transferring the item to another facility and then there is the - which is usually an item still being processed. (bar code- packaging issue- missing etc)

Edited by: Books N Moore on Jan 19, 2016 5:17 AM


#13

Yes it’s been happening since August, 2015. I’m glad more and more people are complaining about this. This is an inventory (and most importantly accounting) nightmare.

I suspect this is happening because of the mountain of receiving errors since July, 2015. FBA warehouses have a quota they need to stay under in terms of reimbursements due to receiving errors. They can defer those errors to a previous date or move quantities around so that they give less reimbursements.

Most people haven’t noticed that when you submit a discrepancy claim, when they come back saying they “found” some or all your inventory. You have to check your previous shipments for that FNSKU. There’s a chance that some of those closed shipments have been adjusted… It’s a rotten practice and shouldn’t be done. Closed is closed… Everybody who is experiencing this needs to report this to Jeff Bezos.

Use the [Inventory Reconciliation|https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/ssof/reports/search.html#orderAscending=&recordType=INVENTORY_RECONCILIATION&noResultType=&merchantSku=&fnSku=&FnSkuXORMSku=&reimbursementId=&orderId=&genericOrderId=&asin=&shipmentId=&problemType=ALL_DEFECT_TYPES&hazmatStatus=&inventoryEventTransactionType=&inventoryAdjustmentReasonGroup=&eventDateOption=30&fromDate=&toDate=&startDate=&endDate=&fromMonth=1&fromYear=2016&toMonth=1&toYear=2016&startMonth=&startYear=&endMonth=&endYear=] report and that’s when the fun really begins.


#14

Have same experience with FTW1…(Prior to shipping there, had good experience with another center)
All shipments received in full…days later, almost in 50% of shipments some quantities changed.
I open cases…most are corrected fast…one had to escelate…still waiting for reply.
This is a systematic problem with FTW1…sometimes they more than double the quantity I ship…(and yes, I also open a case).
When a shipment is received in full, this should be the end of the process for us.
This is the recognition that the entire shipment is OK…if later the items are missing or suddenly they find hundreds of extra units, this is amazon internal issue and they have to correct their process.
Another thing that bothers me is that amazon does not notify the sellers…why should a seller check the shipments weeks after the shipment was closed ??
This practice looks like hiding their mistakes.

Edited by: SHAHAR on Jan 19, 2016 11:25 AM


#15

Hi Sorry I was a new seller. Who is Jeff Bezos? Do you have contact info for this person? Thank you.


#16

Yes, my biggest gripe of all is that “closed means closed”.

If an inbound shipment EVER differs from what the seller reports, that shipment MUST be immediately reconciled so that both parties can agree and confirm what was present in the box. This should happen very rarely, and when it does, it should be reconciled with pin-perfect accuracy. Accidents do happen on both sides, so the system is in place to work this out.

But when Amazon marks a shipment as “CLOSED”, they are confirming that everything was received as indicated by the seller. To go back and alter the contents of what was received, and NOT change the status of the shipment, is incredibly deceptive. I don’t think that’s their intention, but it’s circumventing the process for identifying and reconciling inventory quantities.

I have demanded an immediate policy change and update, but have been told the functionality doesn’t exist yet.

Ryan

Edited by: Sure Thing Sales on Jan 22, 2016 9:30 AM


#17

Your post is logical, and this is how it should be.
I think that amazon breaks it own rules…
This is from their help section…“How Amazon Receives and Stores Your Inventory”…
This is a quote: "Your inventory is generally scanned and made available for sale within three business days of being received at a fulfillment center. You can track the status of your shipment in the Shipping Queue with the status cycling through In Transit, Delivered, Checked-In, Receiving and finally Closed."
Do you see the “finally closed” ?
My shipments are scanned in full and closed…and days later…hundreds of units are added ,or suddenly missing…
Someone(s) inside amazon breaks amazon’s own process…what could be the reason ?


#18

First of all my apologies for necroing the thread.

As a new seller trying to decide which items to FBA and which to fullfill myself, this is incredibly helpful information.

When a $2800 rare book set is returned with coffee stains, my first thought isn’t co-mingled inventory, because there won’t be that much to co-mingle, but that some person on minimum wage was curious to see the rubies and emeralds they assumed it must be covered in. Then some other dufus rests their coffee mug on it while trying to find out why the first dufus is on an unscheduled break. Coffee stains suggest management to me.

Then there is the issue of silently reopening closed shipments. My partner works in logistics for a large multinational. If they sent a case of product somewhere and the receiving location tunneled into the SAP software weeks later and silently reduced the amount they have to account and pay for - my partner and the whole team would be on the next plane over there to bash some… er… conduct some ‘retraining’, and the FBI might not be far behind.

That is, this seems to me to fall significantly short of reasonable business practice, to the extent that it might well negate any contract. They damaged it, lost it, whatever, they can make it good. Standard practice - but to cover their mistakes in secret and offload the loss and the accounting nightmare on to the supplier?? That’s no accident. And it is not the work of an expert in shipping logistics, IT or law either.

Being under pressure to keep stock shrinkage to a minimum in your reports does not permit outright theft, so they can pay for the accounting nightmare as well as the missing stock, and a bit extra so they remember not to do it again. At least that’s what a judge would say.

If your business model depends on friendly relations with Amazon, you might not want to annoy them to the extent of suing, but you do need to make sure the people at the top know exactly why you are deleting any shipment that thinks it is going to the dufus’ warehouse.

What you need to know is at what level within Amazon was the decision taken to do this. That’s where I’d start. Names. Is every warehouse hiding stock shrinkage by rewriting history or just the worst? At some level people are busy polishing their CV’s because when they told their boss hiding losses this way was sure to be found out in the end, they were ignored.

The people authorizing refunds for missing stock will know exactly who the problem is. As this person is exposing Amazon to huge liability issues, they need to go. The sooner the better IMO.

Edited by: konCret on Mar 4, 2016 8:28 AM


#19

You raised 2 issues:

  1. The rare book set…not every item is good for FBA…
  2. The issue of shrinkage, adjusting inventory after closing a shipment…Try to escelate each case of shrinkage…open a case as suggestion…someday, someone will notice the problem.
    Try to be optimistic…

#20

Reminds me of the time I got a painting back from the restorer then my cleaner stacked a whole load of freshly washed laundry right on top of it.

To her it was just “a picture”. like a photo or Dogs Playing Snooker or something. It never occurred to me there was anyone in the world who didn’t recognise a Post Impressionist original. Because I’m an idiot.

So, this could also be customer fraud? They buy it in nice condition and return the shabby copy they previously bought. Yet the Prove It and the Crickets speaks volumes. I think if AZ could say this was customer fraud, they would.

Crickets suggests to me someone in the warehouse is supplementing their minimum wage. It would be interesting to look for recent sales of this item elsewhere, perhaps on Ebay, and see how far away from the Amazon warehouse in question it shipped from. The distinctive stamping should be mentioned and will help with the search.

So, obvious question I suppose, but has anyone shipped an electronic tracking device to the Dallas warehouse and ‘accidentally’ left it switched on? If 5% of things go missing, selling trackers on AZ might be a nice sideline. Sooner or later when some stock goes missing, you’ll have your answer.

Edited by: konCret on Mar 4, 2016 9:19 AM

Edited by: konCret on Mar 4, 2016 9:20 AM


#21

Koncret,
If I was trying to decide which items to send to FBA, one important variable is the value of the item. High value items like the $2800 are very rarely appropriate for FBA. Amazon tells you upfront, that they are not going to check returns for internal damage, switcheroos, incorrect repackaging, etc. Since the incidence of these behaviors increases dramatically with the increase in value, FBA is rarely appropriate for high value items.

Edited by: george the wonder frog on Mar 4, 2016 11:45 AM


#22

A few things…since we are talking about two different topics.

1 - I would NEVER send a one-of-a-kind, rare item to FBA. There are too many risk factors, the biggest of which would be consumer fraud, damage in handling or shipping, etc. Especially one with a high dollar value like $2800. It’s just not appropriate for FBA. No one spending three thousand dollars on something really needs free two-day shipping.

2 - The missing inventory…

I have never once considering employee theft of my items, and I truly think that has nothing to do with it. We ship to many different fulfillment centers and have not found this to be an issue that’s warehouse-specific. 95% of what we send in is bulk quantities, so that may have something to do with it.

This is more of a procedural issue. From what I understand, the warehouse employees have a function they can use to “reverse” a mis-scan. Let’s say you send in 12 of something, and they accident scan in 13. They can immediately un-scan that item, and mark it as “correction for inbound shipment receiving discrepancy”. That’s the adjustment being used days later.

I suspect employees are using that adjustment when they simply can’t find the items that were scanned in originally. The adjustment is being used in error, and thus far, Amazon hasn’t figured out a way to get warehouse employees to comply.

In all fairness…Amazon has reimbursed me EVERY SINGLE TIME I contested missing inventory. My gripe was with the lack of notification that it was happening.

Furthermore, I have had items go missing that later show up as “Sold and Shipped by Amazon”. Due to our close relationship with the manufacturer, I know for a fact that Amazon is not buying these items directly. This is solid proof that Amazon is “stealing” my inventory. Is it intentional? I truly don’t know, but I doubt it. I think, quite simply, they are finding inventory in the warehouse that does not belong to anyone (previously I had been reimbursed), so they just decide to sell it themselves.

Yes, this makes inventory management a nightmare, and almost impossible to track. But that’s not going to prevent me from continuing to use FBA.

OUR CURRENT SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM:
(Note: This is not a fix, but rather a method of preventing loss!!!)
We are using the “Received Inventory” report to help mitigate the losses (found under Reports, Fulfillment, Inventory). We run the report once monthly, sort by QTY received, delete all the items that are received as positive numbers, then go through any negative received numbers one by one. Some of these are legitimate adjustments, but many are unjust removals that must be fought and reimbursed individually.

Ryan


#23

Thanks, that’s really helpful :confused:

As long as they reimburse you for missing product they sell, I’d be OK with it.

So… before you discovered this, did they ever sell and ship missing product they seemed to have no plan to reimburse you for?


#24

I’ve also had similar issue with receiving discrepancies. Sometimes they credit me with more units than I shipped. I’ve started photographing the boxes as they’re being packed.

I think a class-action lawsuit is an inevitability if they can’t fix the receiving issues. I’m not leading the charge, just reading the handwriting on the wall.