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Published
December 5, 2023
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Shannon Curley
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For Your Business

Maximize Gains and Minimize Hassle With Amazon Reimbursement Services

Maximize Gains and Minimize Hassle With Amazon Reimbursement Services

Table of Contents

If you’re an Amazon seller, there’s a good chance you’re leaving money on the table. Too many things can go wrong with your fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) shipments, including inventory mishandling, customer order discrepancies, or even product destruction. In any of these scenarios, you’re entitled to a reimbursement.

The catch?

Amazon doesn’t automatically rectify these errors and issue FBA reimbursements. Instead, the onus is on you to identify mistakes and initiate the claims process.

Here’s the kicker: Most sellers, caught up in the daily grind, simply don’t have the time to sift through the intricacies of their Seller Central account, let alone document these issues. But if you’re not paying close attention, you’re likely letting money slip through the cracks.

Enter Amazon reimbursement service providers who are fully equipped to recover funds from errors, lost inventory, and damaged goods. Teaming up with a reimbursement expert is a surefire way to optimize profits.

Don’t be part of the majority losing out. It’s time to take control of what’s rightfully yours.

3 Types of Money Movement on Amazon

In the context of Amazon seller accounts, reimbursements, refunds, and cost recovery are related terms, but they refer to different processes and concepts. Here’s what they each mean.

Refunds

Refunds on Amazon occur when a customer returns a product and the seller issues a reimbursement to the customer for the purchase, typically for the item’s purchase price. After the seller initiates the refund, Amazon deducts the refunded amount from the seller’s account balance.

Amazon Reimbursements

This refers to the process in which Amazon compensates sellers for various issues or discrepancies in their transactions, which include lost or damaged inventory.

Sellers can manually request reimbursements for eligible cases through their seller account, or they can use Amazon reimbursement services like Seller Investigators to automate and streamline the claims process.

Designed for third-party (3P) sellers, Seller Investigators gives you a free audit to explore potential reimbursements without any obligations. The team meticulously reviews your inventory, including products, orders, returns, and shipments eligible for reimbursement.

Then, they give you a transparent report for tracking recovered amounts. The final step is simple: You get paid directly into your Amazon FBA account(s).

Cost Recovery

Recovery often refers to the process of reclaiming funds owed to sellers, whether through reimbursements or other means. It can also involve identifying and claiming reimbursements for overbillings, shortages, or chargeback fees.

First-party (1P) Amazon vendors typically encounter these transaction errors, as they have a different relationship to Amazon than 3P sellers do.

1P vendors operate through Amazon Vendor Central, for example, so they sell products to Amazon as wholesale suppliers and negotiate terms for pricing and shipping. This more integrated dynamic means they communicate directly with Amazon’s retail team to address concerns and reconcile issues through Amazon Vendor Central — typically without using an external recovery service.

Taking Back What You’re Owed

Whether you’re a 1P vendor or a 3P seller, you can’t always count on Amazon to handle your products perfectly. Transaction errors can happen due to:

Inventory discrepancies.
Overbilling or shortages occur when Amazon’s system inaccurately bills you for more or fewer units than you actually shipped or received, resulting in discrepancies in your inventory tracking system.

Pricing and promotions.
Pricing calculation errors can also lead to overbilling, and chargebacks might occur if there are discrepancies in promotional funding, advertising, or other negotiated terms.

Data entry errors.
Incorrect quantities, prices, or other transaction details can also result in overbilling or chargeback fees for errors related to negotiated terms.

Shipping and receiving issues.
Receiving record errors at Amazon’s fulfillment centers can lead to overbillings or shortages, affecting the accuracy of invoiced quantities.

Communication gaps.
Chargebacks may occur if there are discrepancies in communication between you and Amazon that cause misunderstandings or misinterpretations of terms.

To ensure higher chances of recovering unclaimed funds, it’s best to combine your own manual efforts with Amazon’s FBA reimbursement tools and third-party cost recovery services like chargeguard.

An innovative platform featuring powerful reporting tools, actionable insights, and in-depth root cause analyses, chargeguard excels at identifying and instigating disputes on behalf of clients. Chargeguard’s strategic approach results in a remarkable average recovery of around 70% of incurred fees, and the service empowers businesses to redirect these reclaimed funds toward their ongoing growth initiatives.

Related: Freight Forwarder Fees Checklist: How To Read an Invoice and Avoid Duplicate Charges

How To Check for Unclaimed Amazon Reimbursements

While it might seem like a hassle to go through the reimbursement process, it can actually be quite simple. Follow these steps to find — and take — the reimbursement money that’s just sitting on the table.

Hand using a marker to select a checkbox from a yes or no checklist.

1. Identify Reimbursement Type

Amazon makes all kinds of mistakes that they reimburse sellers for, including:

  • Lost or damaged inventory, to which they owe sellers for the value of the item.
  • Customer return or refund issues, such as a missing or damaged returned item.
  • Overcharged fees that occur from calculation errors.
  • Fulfillment center errors during receiving, storing, or shipping processes.
  • Destroyed inventory fees that happen when Amazon mistakenly destroys a product.
  • Promotional credits and discounts that Amazon fails to properly apply.

While Amazon has automated processes to detect some of these issues, sellers should be proactive to ensure that they claim all eligible reimbursements.

Related: Amazon Reimbursements: A Seller’s Guide to Getting Paid Faster

2. Check if Your Item Is Eligible for Reimbursement

To check if an item is eligible for Amazon reimbursement, head to your Amazon Seller Central account and follow these steps.

  • After logging into your Amazon Seller Central Account, go to Reports, then Fulfillment, then Payments/Payments Reports, and finally Reimbursement or Transaction Reports.
  • Drill down into specific orders and inventory details to check for any discrepancies. Look for situations such as lost or damaged inventory, customer returns, or fulfillment center errors.
  • Before filing a claim, check if your product meets the following eligibility criteria:
Amazon reimbursement eligibility criteria

3. Determine How Much Money Amazon Owes You

There are two ways you can do this. First, you can check the Inventory Adjustment report in Seller Central, which shows the history of your inventory adjustments in response to issues such as disposition changes, misplaced inventory, found inventory, and ownership corrections.

Or, you can examine the Transaction Details or Reimbursement Report, which detail any reimbursements or fee calculations issued by Amazon.

Also, be sure to verify any customer returns against your records. If Amazon issued a refund without receiving the returned item, for example, you may be eligible for reimbursement. Ensure that the return reasons and conditions align with the actual state of the returned items.

4. Get Your Money Back

If your item is eligible under Amazon’s reimbursement policy and they haven’t automatically reimbursed you, you can file a claim yourself. The filing process varies depending on where in the fulfillment process your item is lost or damaged. Here are some options:

To speed things up, consider using Amazon’s automated tools within Seller Central to help identify and request reimbursements in minutes. Explore features like the Automated Reimbursements tool to see if there are any eligible cases.

Better yet, let the pros do it for you. Work with an external Amazon reimbursement service that can automatically analyze your account for potential reimbursement opportunities. Services like chargeguard and Seller Investigators specialize in identifying and claiming reimbursements on behalf of sellers.

But beware: Not all reimbursement service providers are created alike. While many charge a percentage of the recovered amount — usually between 25% to 40% — a select few opt for a fixed fee structure. Choose wisely to ensure you get the most value from your Amazon reimbursement and recovery partner.

If you have specific concerns or believe that an item is eligible for reimbursement, you can reach out to Amazon Seller Support for assistance. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the specific order or issue.

How To Handle a Denied Claim

If Amazon denies your FBA reimbursement claim, don't be discouraged. Follow these steps to swiftly address the situation:

  1. Review the denial reason.
    Understanding why your claim was rejected is crucial for taking appropriate action.
  2. Gather additional evidence.
    If the denial was due to insufficient documentation, gather any additional information that supports your claim, including shipment records, photographs, or customer communications.
  3. Check Amazon’s policies.
    Familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines related to the type of claim you filed.
  4. Contact Seller Support.
    Explain the situation, provide additional evidence, and seek clarification on the denial. Use the "Case Log" feature to keep track of your communication.
  5. Escalate the issue.
    Request a review by a higher-level support team through the “Case Log” or via Seller Support if the initial response doesn’t resolve the matter. 
  6. Use Amazon’s forums.
    Visit Amazon Seller Forums to seek advice from experienced sellers who may have faced similar issues. They can offer insights into navigating the reimbursement process and dealing with claim denials.
  7. Refile the claim.
    If you believe your claim was wrongly denied and you have additional supporting documentation, consider refiling the claim. Ensure you provide all necessary information accurately.
  8. Seek professional help.
    Partner with an Amazon reimbursement service to get guidance on handling your claim.

Remember that Amazon’s policies and procedures can change, so it’s essential to stay informed and adapt your approach accordingly. By being proactive and persistent, you can increase your chances of successfully resolving a denied reimbursement claim.

Related: Why Amazon’s New Reimbursement Policy Will Anger FBA Sellers

Top Strategies for Successful FBA Reimbursement Claims

Person holding a piece of paper by laptop and smiling

Successful reimbursement claims often require a combination of vigilance, documentation, and understanding of Amazon's policies. But there are a few tried-and-true strategies to increase your chances of receiving the reimbursements to which you are entitled.

Document everything.
Maintain accurate records, including shipment and transaction details, to support your reimbursement claims.

Keep an eye on your seller account.
Regularly monitor your Amazon seller account for any anomalies and address them promptly to ensure fair compensation for any financial losses.

Track customer returns.
Stay vigilant with customer returns on Amazon, and always verify processing and fees. If discrepancies arise, quickly file a reimbursement claim for return processing fees.

Verify your FBA fee calculations against the published schedule.
If you find overcharged fees, file a reimbursement claim for correction and repayment.

Ensure that your product listings are accurate and detailed.
Misclassifications or inaccuracies can lead to reimbursement situations. By optimizing your listings, you reduce the likelihood of errors and returns.

Ensure your team is well-versed in Amazon’s reimbursement policies.
This collective knowledge can improve your overall reimbursement success rate.

Be persistent.
If Amazon denies your reimbursement claim or doesn’t process it in a timely manner, don’t hesitate to follow up.

Automate the Claims Process With Amazon Reimbursement Services

Many sellers unknowingly miss out on FBA reimbursements, leaving potential profits untapped. But the emergence of Amazon reimbursement service providers offers sellers a straightforward way to recover funds from errors and optimize profits effortlessly.

Get your money back without the filing fuss by using a service like Seller Investigators or chargeguard, which can file and track your claims on your behalf. And use an inventory management system like SoStocked to track inventory movements and identify discrepancies that might lead to reimbursements.

The winning combination? A mixture of manual efforts, Amazon’s FBA tools, and a top reimbursement service in your corner. To access all the tools you’ll need for success on Amazon, check out Carbon6’s suite of solutions.

Related: 6 Causes of Amazon Unfulfillable Inventory and How to Fix Them, Smart Profit Recovery and Optimization Techniques

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