Like any business, selling on Amazon is all about cash flow and, like any other business, the object is to keep it flowing in – not out. As well as making sure that orders are paid for, it’s important to check your seller account for errors. As mighty as it may be, even Amazon makes mistakes now and again so checking for errors is a good habit to get into. In the event of errors being made, Amazon’s policy is to refund the seller in certain circumstances but the process can often be complicated and long-winded so we’ve put together the best 7 Amazon seller tools to help you navigate the complexities of Amazon reimbursement.
Three main circumstances in which Amazon will refund a seller
Inventory issues on returns
On occasion, an item that you’ve sold may not live up to the buyer’s expectations. If your settings include a return option, this means that the buyer is able to send the item back to your account and receive a refund of their money, minus postage. This will usually be fairly straightforward – the buyer gets their money back and the item is returned to your selling account, ready to be re-sold. Unfortunately, there are times that, when this happens, the Amazon computer system will make the refund and then mark the item as ‘returned to inventory’ whereas, in reality, the item was not – and may not ever be – received. Needless to say, this policy is confusing and, occasionally frustrating and, you’ll need to keep an eye on your sales and inventory figures to make sure that you’re now losing out.
Lost or damaged product
Goods held and despatched from Amazon’s fulfillment center are the responsibility of Amazon and, as such, so is any loss or damage incurred. Amazon FBA’s policy on loss and damage covers a number of scenarios including product damaged or lost within the fulfilment center, shipments of products lost or damaged via transit to a fulfilment center, products lost or damaged in transit from the fulfilment center to the customer and, product that has been missing from the fulfilment center for more than 30 days.
Unfortunately, loss and damage is inevitable and is simply part and parcel of being an Amazon seller. Often, Amazon will initiate the reimbursement process (usually when product is damaged by an employee) but, as in the other cases above, it is ultimately your responsibility to keep track of your customer orders and your product inventory in order to spot any inconsistencies and report them.
Unfortunately, there are times when the return process doesn’t work as planned due to dishonesty or forgetfulness on the part of the buyer. Sadly, there will always be the odd unscrupulous buyer who completes the returns process but fails to physically send back the product. In an ideal world, the product would need to be received back before a refund is made but, Amazon’s policy does not follow this philosophy. This means that, on occasion, a refund is made to the customer for returning an item which never arrives back into inventory, putting you at a loss. In this instance, you are within your rights to request reimbursement from Amazon if the item is not received back into inventory within a certain time-frame.
Although Amazon’s policy is to reimburse sellers in the circumstances listed above, Amazon’s huge inventory and number of sellers means that the process of requesting and obtaining Amazon reimbursement can be time-consuming and frustrating.
The main reimbursement problems encountered by Amazon sellers include poor customer service, having to wait up to 45 days for reimbursement or updated inventory (meaning missed sales) and, Amazon issuing part returns to customers (usually due to an item not being received within an allotted time), which causes confusion.
Best 7 Tools to handle amazon reimbursement
Although there is no fool-proof method of ensuring that your sales and returns run like clockwork, the following tools can help you to keep track of sales and inventory and, speed up the process of obtaining reimbursement from Amazon in order to get your cash and product back where it belongs – in your Amazon seller account!
Refundsmanager.com is a dedicated Amazon reimbursement resource which claims to secure refunds for Amazon sellers within as little as 48 hours. Amazon sellers log onto the site, sign up and link to their Amazon account, after which Refunds Manager will audit the Amazon seller account, prepare a case file and approach Amazon on the seller’s behalf to secure reimbursement. Refundsmanager.com charges 25% of the reimbursement found and secured, however, some Amazon sellers who used Refundsmanager.com report that they subsequently received notification from Amazon that using a third party to gain reimbursement is forbidden within its policy.
Amzrefund.com is an Amazon seller tool which features Damaged Inventory Accounting and FBA Inventory Reimbursements. Unlike Refundsmanager.com, Amzrefund gives the seller the tools to balance the books on their seller account and then request their own reimbursement. Amzrefund charges only 8% of the reimbursement received and reviewers call it fast and reliable.
FBAauditor.com works in the same way as Refundsmanager.com in that Amazon sellers sync their Amazon seller account and FBAauditor account to allow FBAauditor’s system to scour their seller account in order to identify anomalies. FBAauditor charges 25% of any reimbursement secured for the seller.
Amzsuite.com contains a number of different features for Amazon sellers including the Refund Rescuer and the Inventory Salvager and, at just $79 per month, is one of the more cost effective options for Amazon reimbursement. The Refund Rescuer keeps track of returns and refunds to ensure that you get what you’re owed as quickly and as automatically as possible. The Inventory Salvager keeps its eye on your all important product to check for loss and damage in order to let you request reimbursement as quickly as possible. Reviewers hail Amzsuite as reliable, accurate and good value for money.
www.helium10.com is a whole suite of Amazon seller tools which includes keyword trackers and hijacker alerts among others. The Helium 10 Refund Genie within the suite allows users to locate lost and damaged inventory in order to request reimbursement from Amazon. Refund Genie produces fast, easy to read reports so that sellers can see where discrepancies occur. Although there are five different packages available for Helium 10, only four contain Refund Genie. The A La Carte plan which is a kind of pay as you go plan, has no monthly cost and contains a number of basic features. The Platinum Plan has a monthly cost of $197 and a whole host of features including tracking of up to 2500 keywords and, the Diamond Plan at $297 with keyworking tracking up to 5000. All plans have unlimited Refund Genie use.
Toolsforfba.com is a comprehensive checking tool for lost inventory and reimbursement calculation. The checker tells you precisely how much of your inventory has been lost by Amazon and compares reimbursements received with those that should have been received. The tool also flags cases where a customer was refunded but did not return the item as well as notifying you of incorrectly calculated reimbursements. Amazon five star reviewers say that Toolsforfba.com is an invaluable tool for those with large amounts of inventory to keep track of. Toolsforfba.com is currently on sale at $34.99.
With Rocketrefunds.com, there’s a clue in the name. Offered in three different packages, Rocketrefunds.com is a suite of templates, books and tutorials to help Amazon sellers identify discrepancies and successfully request reimbursement. The most basic of the packages, The Rocket USA Starter at $127 (one time payment) is perfect for low volume sellers looking to keep track of any reimbursements due and features refund templates and step by step guides. At $197, the Rocket USA Pro package includes books, videos, tutorials and membership to a private Facebook group. The comprehensive Rocket USA + UK Pro package at $247 contains all of the above features plus UK guides and tutorials.
When dealing with physical product, there will always be the occasional discrepancy due to either damage or loss but, using one of the above tools can help you to keep track of your inventory and, more importantly, what you may be owed in terms of Amazon reimbursement.