Results and observations from my experience digging for FBA Reimbursements


#10

Im curious if their “unit returned to inventory” status is correct. I doubt it. Oh well, thats the cost of business on that. The other stuff…terrble.


#11

HBA Seller – I have an idea as to why you’re seeing reimbursements indicated on your reports, but are not finding actual reimbursements.

I was finding the same thing, and my first two cases submitted ended up having almost all of the items rejected because the reimbursement and inventory fulfillment reports are so impossible to understand.

Some of the items that are “reimbursed” are actually just items that are reimbursed with your actual, formerly lost inventory. Now, why they don’t just put it as a code F for Found (like they do a bunch of the time anyway), I’ll never know.

But if you have an item that shows up with an “N” code, that’s their version of a reimbursement, for our purposes here. An N code means “transfer from another owner,” but they tell me that it actually means it’s not from another owner. It’s back from your lost merchandise.

I know, don’t get me started.

Once I matched up all the N’s, it eliminated a whole bunch of potential reimbursements. That’s why I mentioned how important it is to be able to eliminate all the false positives. Those will whittle down the list really quick.

Again, I’ll try to come up with some better details about all this when we get through with the process.


#12

We had someone go through and check and we found 70 orders between 11/1/14 and 6/1/15 that we should have been reimbursed for as the customer didn’t return the item, and we were not.

Once all is said and done we are looking at well over $1000 we are owed by Amazon. This is completely baffling. A company that uses advanced robots to fulfill orders, doesn’t have the automated 45 day reimbursement formula working.


#13

Thank you so much for sharing! it is tons of work, i have to hire an assistant to do the job.


#14

Yes, here is what we did.

We downloaded the full refund report for a certain time period. We also downloaded the Fulfillment return report the same time period + 45 days (being they have 45 days to credit us.

We copied an order # from the refund report and did a search on whether that # showed up on the FBA return report.

If not, we did a transaction search on Amazon to see if there was ever an FBA inventory reimbursement.

If not, we added the order # to the list of orders we will send to Seller Support.

We’ve gone back 14 months and we have found about 110 different orders we need to be reimbursed on.

That % is insane being we are held to a 1% defect rate. Imagine the poor feedback and A-Z’s we would receive if we didn’t refund 10% of the orders that were returned?


#15

I stumbled on the fact that I didn’t receive an “automatic” reimbursement. So, I started digging, and came up with about $2,300 in “missing” reimbursements. It took awhile to figure out what I was actually looking at. Amazon makes things complex for a reason. Once I put the steps together, I spent about 1-1/2 days gathering the numbers.
> The killer at this point is that you are only advised to submit 5 items at a time in a case to request an unpaid reimbursement or a reimbursement re-evaluation. I literally have over 150 line items that need to be submitted. I have been submitting about 4-5 cases at a time and then waiting for those the close before submitting an additional case (or more). I’m concerned that blasting them with a zillion cases at once will cause them to flag my account/freak out (so to speak) over how much $$ I’m attempting to recover. (Even if it’s justified.)
I went after every penny. But didn’t send them all at once. I submitted a few cases every few days.
>
> Funky, did you submit everything at one time? It sounds like your results were similar to what I’m experiencing. I’d appreciate hearing if you submitted in volume because I’d really like to speed this process up if possible.
I submitted them one-at-a time. I put together a draft of the information I included, copied and pasted it into each case, and did the same with the numbers from my spreadsheet.

Funky


#16

Yes.
>I was under the impression we could only go back 18 months. I’d like to think I could go back further though.
At the time I put my program together, in March 2014, there was no restriction. I was able to go back to my first refund in 2010.

Since then, Amazon limited accessing the data to 18-months.

Funky


#17

Maybe they are working the way they should?

Amazon makes things complex for a reason.

The problems in “missing” reimbursements, and “transferring” inventory from other owners were just stumbled upon.

Funky


#18

I’ll say. My procedure is so much easier.

After compiling the data from 2010 to 2014, I spend only a few minutes a week updating it.

Am I missing something?

Funky


#19

Actually, this is the stuff that will get us “suspended.”

Billy in the warehouse is not capable of making that determination.

We’ve been asking Amazon to add an option to our FBA Settings to allow automatic recall of items returned.

Funky


#20

Fantastic! You’re using the procedure I published.

Someone mentioned a 3P company that does it for you. They get a certain percentage of what they recover + monthly fees. But, by the time you get all the information to them, you may as well do it yourself. I also wouldn’t want to give someone that much access to my account.

We’re also in a better position to spot some of the “sleazy” tactics the “scamming” customers use to beat the system; by manipulating multiple purchases/orders for the same SKU. It takes a human to identify those.

Funky


FBA Refunds for items that have not been returned. Reimbursement report?
#21

We sent them a list of 31 orders and they were only able to refund the first 5. We have to send them 5 orders at a time. Its a little annoying being we have over 100 orders we need reimbursement for, but at least they are listening.

We’ve recouped about $85 from those 5 orders. We are looking at nearly $1500 of money owed to us.

Thank you so much for this thread. We had no idea how much money we were indeed losing when these “automatic reimbursements” don’t hit after 45 days.


#22

You’re very welcome.

I found it to be an “eye opening” experience.

In my spreadsheet, I grey out the items returned. If I recalled the item and it was returned in the same condition it left, I turn those to green. The ones that aren’t, I change those lines to red.

This makes it easy to spot check just for those returns every few days.

When I open a request for reimbursement, I add the Case ID and the date I opened it. Then, check back to make sure it was processed. I don’t stumble through the Reimbursements Report. The customers order number is right there in the spreadsheet, so I just copy and paste it into Payments > Transaction View. It’s a lot easier to read.

You’ll come up with what works best for you. I’m glad I was able to help.

Best wishes…

Funky


#23

Hello Funky,

You have been more than helpful to many people including myself with your post and replies. I am sure everyone appreciates you for it. Thank you.

Have you heard anything about Inventory Lab. I read someone say that this program calculates what you should have in reibursements for you. For about $500 a year it is not that bad if it does.

Thank you


#24

You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.

There are some that use Inventory Lab, Sara and Red Wing are two that I know of.

I’d been putting it off, but last night I reviewed my refunds vs. returns. I found an alarming number (just about 1/2) of the items refunded were not returned to FBA, nor did I receive reimbursement for them.

I opened 6-cases with Seller Support; totaling $89.83. The entire process took me about 45-minutes, and I went back to January 1st.

After studying refunds vs. returns, I find some customers are really “slimy.” They’ve figured out how to place orders for multiples the same product; return some and purchase more, then return one. They slipped under the “radar” and got away with free toys.

Inventory Lab would not have picked these up, and neither did Amazon’s reimbursement process. It took a “human” to figure it out.

I wish you the best…

Funky


#25

The saga is continuing … I’m still submitting cases every day, and still coming up with money Amazon has somehow “forgotten” to reimburse us for. That’s a kind way of saying it I guess. Who knows. The more I find, the more frustrated I become, even though that sounds contradictory in many ways.

Going into this, I expected that the majority of the missing reimbursements would be found in the form of orders that were refunded to buyers but that the buyers never actually returned. In reality, that’s made up a very small portion of what we’ve uncovered so far.

The majority of the money is coming from reimbursements on LOST or DAMAGED FBA items that simply were NEVER reimbursed at all. They just slipped through Amazon’s cracks. And all the while, I’ve been assuming (trusting) that these were being automatically reimbursed as they’re supposed to.

I’m methodically opening case after case, with anywhere from 5-8 items in each, keeping on average about 5 cases open at a time in various stages of processing. I’m not having any trouble getting the items reimbursed, unless you consider the fact that they are completely ripping us off on the reimbursements, which I mentioned in my opening post was the issue that was making me the most frustrated.

They have taken a hard-line approach to only giving us the default $25 or $50 on almost any item that is over $50. And that includes dozens upon dozens of items in the $250-$400 range that they lost or damaged at FBA. Worst of all, I’ve provided mountains of sales history on the very same sku’s, showing a sales history that validates the obvious reimbursement which should be issued. But somehow, they’re using their “established reimbursement policy” to effectively fail to pay us back for their errors.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were to walk into a store and flat out break a $400 vase, I’d certainly expect that I’d be responsible to pay the seller for what they lost as a result. But somehow, Amazon manages to destroy our merchandise, and not take any responsibility beyond the blanket default amount. Of course, they keep asking for invoices, which only further allows them to give us not a dime more than what we paid our vendors for the items. So much for all the work we put into it up to the point Billy dropped it in the warehouse.

I’ll continue to update this as I go, but suffice it to say there are millions of dollars out there that Amazon has managed to sweep under the rug but should instead be in sellers’ bank accounts.


#26

OK, now you’ve got me started.

I already have all Inventory Adjustments in a spreadsheet, going back to 10/28/2011. I’m updating it now, and I’ll see what I turn up.

I do have all my invoices.

Funky


#27

Funky, Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! i already use your method to catch the refunds that were not returned…Would you recommend what is the easiest way to catch damaged or lost good at FBA warehouse?


#28

This is truly shocking how much money we are loosing.Thank you so much for sharing, your posts are encouraging but I don’t have a man power to chase every transaction.I wonder if Inventory Lab would do the job, would this program be able to catch damaged and lost items too? How do you find for which damaged and lost items you weren’t reimbursed for?


#29

Same here, just submitted 5 cases this morning, they asking for receipts over 1 years old, hard to catch up :frowning: got 1000. $ so far. Over 30 expensive coats still missing. Horrible