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7
MINUTE READ TIME
Published
March 26, 2024
|
Chelsea Cohen
|
Trends & Insights

Breaking Down the 2024 Amazon Reimbursement Policy Updates

Breaking Down the 2024 Amazon Reimbursement Policy Updates

Table of Contents

With the latest wave of changes to the Amazon reimbursement policy, sellers are in for some adjustments. These include an increased claim window for lost or damaged inventory, new requirements for filing claims for incorrect fees, and enhanced customer support for FBA reimbursements.

This blog post aims to shed light on the significance of these updates, emphasizing that staying current with policy changes is essential for you to ensure you are not missing out on potential reimbursements or operating under outdated reimbursement limits, which could significantly impact your bottom line.

Let’s delve into the details to help you handle and capitalize on these Amazon reimbursement policy updates.

RELATED: Faster Amazon Reimbursement for Sellers
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How Far Back Does Amazon Reimbursement Policy Apply?

Amazon’s reimbursement policies may vary, and the applicable timeframes for filing reimbursement claims can depend on the specific type of claim. As of this writing, here are some general guidelines:

Lost or Damaged Inventory: Amazon allows sellers to file reimbursement claims for lost or damaged inventory within 18 months from the date of the loss or damage.

Overcharged Fees: If you identify incorrect or overcharged FBA fees (e.g., incorrect item measurements, hence receiving an incorrect billable weight), you should file a refund claim within 90 days. Amazon may then review and address such claims within a reasonable timeframe. More on that later.

RELATED: How To Read an Invoice and Avoid Duplicate Charges

Other Reimbursement Cases: For various reimbursement scenarios, Amazon usually recommends that sellers file claims:

  • Within 9 months for shipment to Amazon reimbursements. Amazon's reimbursement policy for shipments involves paying you for lost or damaged inventory during the shipping process to Amazon fulfillment centers (FCs). If your products are damaged or lost in transit to an Amazon FC, you may be eligible for reimbursement. To initiate the reimbursement process, you need to file a claim with Amazon and provide necessary documentation, such as shipment details, proof of the loss or damage, and relevant invoices. Amazon will review the claim, and if approved, reimburse the seller for the value of the lost or damaged items. It’s important to adhere to Amazon’s reimbursement policies and provide accurate and complete information when filing a claim. 
  • Within 18 months for fulfillment center operation reimbursements. The Amazon Damaged Goods Reimbursement Policy is designed to compensate you for items that are damaged or lost during the fulfillment process. When you experience such issues, you can file a reimbursement claim with Amazon. The process typically involves providing evidence of the damage or loss, such as images or other supporting documentation. Amazon reviews the claim and, if approved, reimburses you for the value of the damaged or lost items. 
  • Between 60 days and 18 months for Amazon customer return reimbursement policy. This policy enables you to seek compensation for items returned by customers to Amazon fulfillment centers. If Amazon fails to process a return within 45 days or loses the item during the return process, automatic reimbursement is triggered. Sellers can also manually request reimbursement if they dispute the condition assessment or suspect an error. This is done through Amazon Seller Central, where sellers may need to provide evidence to support their claim. Amazon reviews these requests and, if valid, reimburses the seller accordingly. Regular monitoring of return and reimbursement reports is advised to prevent potential losses due to unprocessed returns or inaccuracies in assessments. 
  • Between 14 days and 18 months for removal claims. Items that have been lost or damaged during the removal process conducted by Amazon or a carrier designated by Amazon may be eligible for a removal claim. And to address grading disputes, submit all claims within a 30-day period following the delivery of the removal order to the designated return address.
  • Within 9 months for FBA shipping label claims (e.g., unused labels for Amazon-partnered carrier shipments)

Note that Amazon’s policies can change. It’s best to refer to the most current and accurate information available on Amazon Seller Central or contact Amazon Seller Support for the latest details on reimbursement policies and timeframes.

RELATED: 6 Causes of Amazon Unfulfillable Inventory and How to Fix Them

Recent Amazon Reimbursement Policy Updates

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Amazon has introduced some updates to its FBA Reimbursement Policy, impacting the way sellers address issues related to lost or damaged inventory, navigate fee discrepancies, and engage with customer support for reimbursement concerns.

Staying informed about these recent updates is essential for you to optimize your financial goals and streamline your FBA operations effectively.

Longer Claim Window for Lost or Damaged Inventory

Prior to this update, sellers were given a 12-month window to submit claims for lost or damaged inventory. However, Amazon has recently extended this timeframe to 18 months.

This extension grants sellers an extra 6 months to initiate a claim and secure reimbursement for any lost or damaged inventory. It’s crucial to be aware of the updated timeline and make certain that your claim is filed within the extended period to optimize the likelihood of receiving the reimbursement you deserve.

New Requirements for Filing Claims for Incorrect Charges

Amazon has updated its criteria for submitting claims associated with incorrect fees. Sellers are now obliged to provide more comprehensive details while initiating a claim, precisely pinpointing the specific FBA fees deemed as incorrect.

This heightened requirement aims to streamline the claims processing for Amazon, fostering efficiency and accuracy. Sellers are advised to compile all pertinent documentation, including fee breakdowns and invoices, to substantiate their claims thoroughly and articulate the observed discrepancies clearly when filing for incorrect fees.

Examples of Overcharged Fees

Overcharged FBA fees can occur in various ways, including misclassifying products, incorrect weight or dimensions, fulfillment errors, and miscalculations by Amazon’s automated systems. 

For instance, if Amazon mistakenly charges fees for a standard-size item as oversized or miscalculates the weight, you might end up paying higher fees than necessary. Additionally, fulfillment errors that result in incorrect shipments or missing items may lead to overcharged fees.

Staying vigilant and regularly reviewing fee breakdowns can help you identify and rectify instances of overcharged FBA fees.

Employing automated software for fee tracking and claims poses risks, as Amazon disapproves of low-quality automated claims. Opt for cost recovery service providers like chargeguard, blending software and manual auditing, compliant with Amazon’s TOS, ensuring accurate and effective claims submission.

PRO TIP

Enhanced Customer Support for FBA Reimbursements

Amazon has implemented improvements to its customer support services for FBA reimbursements. A specialized FBA Reimbursement Support team is now available to sellers, accessible through both email and phone channels. This dedicated team assists sellers with any questions or concerns, offering guidance and support throughout the reimbursement process. 

Should sellers encounter challenges or seek clarification regarding their reimbursement claims, Amazon encourages them to promptly contact the FBA Reimbursement Support team for help.

It’s no secret that sellers often express dissatisfaction with Amazon’s customer support due to issues such as automated responses, difficulties in interpreting policies, delayed response times, inconsistency, and challenges in escalation. No wonder some sellers opt to hire third-party customer support providers like SellerAssist to free up their time so that they can focus on more important aspects of their business. SellerAssist is your solution for addressing concerns related to Policy Compliance, Voice of the Customer, IPI, and Customer Feedback, thereby streamlining your problem-solving process and enhancing your overall seller experience.

PRO TIP

How to Expedite Profit Recovery?

Person holding pencil near laptop computer

For a faster Amazon reimbursement process, consider following these tips:

  • Audit Your Account Regularly: Regularly audit your Amazon account for potential reimbursement opportunities. This includes checking for lost or damaged inventory, overcharged fees, and other discrepancies.
  • Utilize Automation Tools: Leverage Amazon’s automation tools to streamline the claims process. These tools can efficiently identify discrepancies and file claims on your behalf.
  • Keep Yourself in the Loop: Stay informed about Amazon’s reimbursement policies and updates. Understanding the guidelines will help you identify valid reimbursement opportunities and ensure compliance.
  • Timely Filing of Claims: File reimbursement claims promptly. As discussed above, Amazon has specific timelines for filing claims, so adhering to these deadlines increases the chances of successful recovery.
  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of your inventory, transactions, and fees. Accurate documentation will serve as crucial evidence when filing reimbursement claims.
  • Monitor Account Health: Regularly monitor your account health metrics on Amazon Seller Central. This helps you proactively address any issues that may impact your eligibility for reimbursements.
  • Hire the pros: Consider hiring service providers with expertise in navigating Amazon's complex claims system like Seller Investigators for reimbursement and chargeguard for cost recovery. They can optimize the recovery process and ensure you receive the maximum amount owed.

By incorporating these practices, you can expedite your Amazon reimbursement process and recover funds efficiently.

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Timely and Effortless Amazon Reimbursement

While Amazon proves advantageous for numerous sellers, occasional errors are inevitable despite the platform’s efforts to streamline the process. It is critical to consistently monitor the accuracy of fees charged by Amazon and keep track of reimbursement opportunities. Keeping up to date with Amazon Reimbursement Policy, employing effective methods, and relying on automation tools can empower you to reclaim significant amounts of money from Amazon.

RELATED: Updates to Amazon Return, Refund, and Reimbursement Policy

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