5 ways Amazon sellers can get more from Amazon
There are several ways Amazon sellers can get more of their money back from Amazon.
Many sellers don’t look into the details of their Amazon business. So long as they get a large payment every settlement, they trust that their accounts are in order.
But that’s not always the case. In fact, many sellers are likely owed hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in reimbursements for damages or mistakes.
These mistakes can include lost or damaged items at an FBA warehouse or some mistaken charge on a refund.
We’ll go over other areas sellers can look into to reclaim or get the money they are owed back from Amazon.
If you sell B2B on Amazon Business, then chances are you haven’t changed the default payment option.
While not a reimbursement, business order payments can help with cash flow.
It’s common for businesses to have Net 30 terms on Amazon, and some may even have Net 90 terms. While you can get more money through sales to businesses, you won’t receive the proceeds from some sales for at least 30 days. This can seriously restrict cash flow for many sellers.
The default payment option for business orders is that the latest you can be paid is 7 days after the invoice due date. That can mean up to 97 days before sellers are finally paid by businesses with Net 90 terms.
Instead, you can change your business payment setting so that you’re paid immediately after the order is shipped. It’ll cost you an additional 1.5% transaction fee.
View the linked article above for step-by-step instructions on changing your payment options for business orders.
If you need the cash flow, then an additional 1.5% fee isn’t much considering 90 days is enough time for one inventory turnover.
If you’re not filing SAFE-T claims for reimbursements on fraudulent returns, then you’re losing money on refund fees, your cost of the product, and possibly shipping expenses, not to mention the labor involved.
Many sellers avoid filing reimbursement claims because they feel like they won’t receive the reimbursement, or they don’t know that they can request a reimbursement.
But filing claims to receive reimbursement for fraudulent returns has another benefit: it alerts Amazon to customers who abuse return policies. Amazon has been known to ban customers for just this reason.
Read our article here for how to associate order IDs with Amazon FBA returns.
By filing legitimate and well-researched reimbursement claims, you can help yourself, other sellers on the marketplace, and all other Amazon customers. Additional expenses like shrinkage are usually passed onto customers in the form of higher prices.
Check your refunds and returns reports to see if there are any discrepancies like refunds with no returns, and inspect your returns to see if there is any fraud.
Scammers have gone as far as swapping out the insides of electronics in order to bypass inspection.
Amazon sometimes gets the dimensions of products wrong. When this happens, you’ll pay more for FBA fulfillment fees.
Requirements for small standard-sized products are:
Any packaged item with its longest side 15 inches or less, its shortest side 0.75 inch or less, and its median side 12 inches or less.
It’s $2.41 for products 10 ounces or less and $2.48 for products between 10 – 16 ounces.
The next tier is large at $3.19 for products that are 10 ounces or less.
If your product exceeds those requirements by a little bit, then look into ways you can redesign your product or packaging so that they can take advantage of the lower rates.
Alternatively, confirm that you’re being charged the correct FBA fees and request reimbursements and scans for products that should belong to a lower size tier. Even a 7¢ difference adds up quickly if you’re selling thousands of items a month.
Be sure to check the product dimensions on the listings to make sure they’re correct as well.
New sellers sometimes enter the wrong dimensions when creating listings, and these dimensions can result in very high FBA fulfillment fees.
There are numerous instances where you can and should request reimbursements from Amazon.
You’ll want to do the research and be prepared with all the information necessary so that you can expedite the reimbursement process.
This includes having invoices from your suppliers, pictures showing damage, shipping weights, and transaction IDs.
Look into your fulfillment reports and see if any of the cases below apply to you. If so, you can request a reimbursement from Amazon.
These are only the more common reimbursement cases and by no means is this a complete list.
- Missing or damaged products during inbound receiving
- If you constantly have damaged products, consider how you’re packaging your inbound shipments or product packaging
- Customer refunded but failed to return products
- This does not apply if you have returnless refunds enabled
- Missing or damaged inventory at fulfillment centers
- View your inventory reports for more detailed information
- You were charged for the entire refund even though the customer refunded your one item on the order
- For example, a customer ordered your product at $20 and a few other products totaling $100 and you had $100 deducted from your account instead of $20
Check out our article on Amazon reimbursement services or tools that can help. Be wary about having automatic submissions, as some sellers have been suspended for submitting too many unsupported reimbursement claims.
Be sure to research any potential reimbursement claims before you submit them.
Keep in mind that Amazon sometimes reimburses you with cash only to take back the cash when they later find the product. In these cases, you’ll see a reimbursement reversal on your settlement.
In 2019, Amazon changed the way it handles its long-term storage fees (LTSF). Now you’re only charged LTSF if your product has been at fulfillment centers for more than 365 days.
Products in the small and light program still have LTSF for 181-365 days and a higher rate after 365 days.
If those products aren’t selling, then you’ll want to create removal orders to avoid higher fees.
Amazon usually has free inventory removal days every year, so you won’t have to pay the 50¢ per-item return fee.
If you’re not careful, storage fees can accumulate to a point where they far exceed the cost of the item. Sellers who sell used books may be more vulnerable to this since some books can take longer to sell.
If you take advantage of free inventory removals, there’s usually a waiting period before you can send those products back to the fulfillment centers.
The waiting period can be as long as 3 months (if you remove your inventory during the promotional period before Q4).
Whether you sell a few products a month or a few thousand products a month, reviewing your Amazon account for unusual fees and reimbursements is worthwhile.
For bigger sellers, someone who handles reverse logistics and monitors accounts for potential reimbursement cases can easily recover enough funds to make the position worthwhile.
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