Takeaways from Amazon’s 2020 SMB Report

Interested in Amazon’s 2020 small and medium-sized business (SMB) report but only want the pertinent facts? Check out the highlights from Amazon’s SMB report here!

Third-party Sellers

Third-party sellers account for more than half of Amazon’s unit sales. The following data is for the period from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020.

  • 3P sellers sold more than 3.4 billion products
    • An increase from 2.7 billion products last year
  • 3P sales amount to 6,500+ products per minute
    • This number is up from 4,000 products per minute from 2018
  • American 3P sellers averaged $160,000 in sales
    • Up from $100,000 year over year
  • 20% more American 3P sellers passed $1 million in sales from the last report
  • Amazon works with more than 2 million partners, including sellers, developers, authors, and delivery partners
    • Up from 1.9 million from the 2019 SMB report
  • Amazon Business customers spent over $7 billion
  • SMB exports up to $3.1 billion
    • An increase from $2.4 billion
  • About 3,700 SMBs passed $1 million in sales
  • More than 450,000 sellers worldwide use FBA, with sales growing by 34%

Other interesting data in the report are the states with the most Amazon sellers. 47 states have more than 1,000 sellers. 26 states have more than 5,000 sellers. Below are the five states with the most Amazon sellers:

  1. California, with 100,000+ sellers
  2. Florida, with 50,000+ sellers
  3. New York, with about 50,000 sellers
  4. New Jersey, with 20,000+ sellers
  5. Utah, with 70,000+ sellers

Additionally, the 2020 SMB report lists the states with the fastest-growing sellers year over year:

  • Iowa, with 57% growth
  • Washington, with 57% growth
  • Alabama, with 53% growth
  • Virginia, with 50% growth
  • Louisiana, with 49% growth

Other interesting data of note is the hiring of 82,000 last-mile delivery drivers hired through the more than 1,000 Amazon Delivery Service Partners.

What does this data mean? Amazon’s marketplace sales are growing year over year. Combined with a few other factors like Amazon’s investment in and expansion of fulfillment centers, delivery drivers, and other logistical services, Amazon continues to dominate and expand its position in ecommerce.

Other factors, like the worldwide pandemic, have caused major retailers like JC Penney and GNC to declare bankruptcy and reorganize. Whether these retailers will rebound still remains to be seen.

All of these factors mean that Amazon will continue to dominate the online marketplace, and the drastic increase in unit sales per minute is evidence that third-party sellers on Amazon continue to increase their revenues even as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers lose sales as a result of reduced foot traffic and pandemic restrictions.

Ultimately, Amazon’s 2020 SMB report is good news for third-party sellers who are established. With the ongoing pandemic, more and more people are shopping online, and it’s clear that they’re choosing Amazon.

Read our article on Amazon’s 2019 SMB Report.

Automate Custom Transaction Numbers in QuickBooks Online

Learn how to enable automatic custom transaction numbers in QuickBooks Online.

QuickBooks Online users may find an often overlooked option in QuickBooks Online called Custom transaction numbers.

When this option is turned on, QuickBooks Online will allow users to specifically label invoices with their own labels or numbers. However, users can also automate custom invoice numbers by giving QuickBooks Online a starting point and turning off the custom transaction numbers option. Afterward, every new invoice will continue from the initial custom number.

To access this option, go to the Gear icon > Account and settings > Sales. Find custom transaction numbers, and turn it on or off. Make sure to save your changes.

By default, this option may be on for new subscribers, but those who have been using QuickBooks Online for some time may find this option off.

Below are sample invoices. The first image is with Custom transaction numbers turned on. Notice the presence of an Invoice no. field.

Notice by default that QuickBooks Online, for new users, will just start with 1001. The numbering is sequential. With the option turned on, users can specify a unique invoice no. for each document, or if left alone, QuickBooks will automatically populate the field.

This next image is with the custom transaction numbers turned off in QuickBooks Online. Notice the Invoice no. field is now gone. Note that location setting is turned on, which is what the “Store” field is.

What users can do is have QuickBooks Online automatically populate invoices with a naming scheme. To set this up, first turn on Custom transaction numbers in QuickBooks Online. Look at the beginning of the article for where this setting is.

Then create a new invoice. In the Invoice no. field, type in the naming scheme that you want QuickBooks Online to use for future invoices. For our example, we’ll use AMZ-1001 for the first invoice. Save the invoice.

Then go back to the Custom transaction numbers setting in QuickBooks Online and turn it off. Make sure that you save the setting.

After you’ve created the first invoice with the custom name and then turned off the setting, QuickBooks Online will automatically use your custom label for every subsequent invoice.

Notice in the image above that the Invoice no. field is now missing. QuickBooks Online has automatically continued using the custom labels for the invoice.

Make sure you’ve deleted the initial invoice if you made up sales or you may get incorrect numbers in your reports.

Having QuickBooks Online automatically use custom transaction numbers that you’ve specified can give you more detail in understanding your reports.

Amazon Prepaid Return Label Enrollment

Amazon will begin enrolling professional sellers into the Prepaid Return Label program on June 15, 2020.

The Prepaid Return Label program will issue prepaid return shipping labels for qualifying returns. Sellers are charged for return shipping.

Many sellers are already participating in this program. Sellers can also self-enroll in the Prepaid Return Label program in the Manage Seller Fulfilled Returns tool.

Sellers who are not part of the program should see a message in their Manage Returns page that reads “Get access to faster returns by taking advantage of the Prepaid Returns Label program.” Click on it to enroll in the program.

What does that mean for sellers?

Amazon will automatically authorize all returns that fall into its returns policy, and Amazon will provide customers with prepaid return shipping labels through the Buy Shipping Services. Seller accounts are charged for the return shipping cost when the label is scanned by the carrier.

As of this time, sellers don’t have the option to specify a carrier or issue their own prepaid labels.

Customer return requests that fall outside of Amazon’s return policies or that are usually exempt from returns are sent to sellers for review.

All returns, including automatically-authorized returns, can still be tracked via the Manage Returns page.

What do sellers need to do to enroll?

Before Professional sellers can enroll in the Prepaid Return Label program, they’ll need to verify and confirm a few settings on their accounts.

  • Set up or verify that the default return address on the account is correct. Amazon requires a US domestic address for returns
  • Make sure return addresses are set if there are multiple marketplaces
  • Ensure that the weight and size information for products are accurate since return shipping costs are calculated with the provided information

What categories are exempt from prepaid returns?

Not every return is automatically allowed. Per Amazon’s policies, some categories are exempted from the prepaid returns program. Those categories are:

  • Amazon Custom
  • Business, Industrial & Scientific Supplies > Professional Dental Supplies
  • Business, Industrial & Scientific Supplies > Professional Medical Supplies
  • Certified Preowned Watches
  • Handmade
  • Sexual Wellness

In addition to the categories above, Amazon allows sellers to request exemptions for SKUs that:

  • have special shipping or handling requirements (like dangerous goods)
  • are non-returnable by law
  • are high-value (greater than $100) items need special shipping (like shipping insurance)
  • are non-physical (like warranties or digital software)

Request exemptions for SKUs in bulk by going to the Return Settings and Return Attribute Overrides link.

Other important information

  • Sellers can still set returnless refunds, and customers who request a refund will get a full refund as soon as they submit their request
  • Sellers are charged only when the customer returns the package to the carrier (when the label is scanned)
  • Sellers can also appeal an Amazon-authorized refund or return if they believe that the refund or return should not have been authorized
    • Reimbursements for customer-damaged products are limited to 50% of the order value of the product
  • Sellers are responsible for filing a claim with the carrier if the return is lost in transit
  • FBM or MFN sellers can unenroll from the Prepaid Return Label program by contacting seller support

For many sellers, this program will streamline customer service and save time. However, returns should still be monitored and claims filed if packages are lost in transit or if products are damaged by customers.

The Prepaid Return Label program will encourage more customers onto Amazon’s marketplace, and easier returns generally eliminate customer obstacles to purchases. Indeed, the ease of returns will likely encourage more customers to shop on Amazon.

Walmart Adds Fulfillment Services for Third-Party Vendors

What is Walmart Fulfillment Services?

If you’ve ever used FBA, then you’ll be familiar with what Walmart is rolling out to its third-party vendors with its Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS.

WFS handles order fulfillment, customer service, and provides sellers with a dashboard to track inventory and other account-related metrics.

Like Amazon’s FBA, Walmart Fulfillment Services, or WFS, will enable third-party sellers to not only gain more visibility on the ecommerce site, but sellers will also be able to streamline their operations for Walmart further.

Those sellers who are expanding out of Amazon and onto other marketplaces will be able to reduce their own warehousing and logistical needs.

Learn more about Walmart Fulfillment Services from their website.

Here are some other benefits of Walmart Fulfillment Services:

  • Improved customer service with faster delivery, easy returns, and good customer service
  • Save money with simple pricing and no hidden fees
  • Track inventory, orders, and shipments with Walmart’s Dashboard
  • Get higher search placement and visibility with Buy Box and Two Day tags, along with more control over item page
  • Streamline returns and omnichannel free and easy returns (return online or at the store)
  • Personalized support from a WFS expert
  • Nationwide coverage with 2-day delivery

Why use WFS?

Sellers who use FBA know why a fulfillment service can be powerful: it reduces the need for employees to spend time handling support and order fulfillment.

Many sellers look to diversifying their marketplaces so that an incident, like a suspension, on one marketplace won’t drastically affect their business. But one obstacle to Walmart was the need to handle order fulfillment and customer service, aspects of a business that can be extremely labor-intensive and costly.

WFS provides roughly similar benefits to FBA, and just as importantly, WFS will allow sellers with limited warehouse space and technology to expand to a big marketplace like Walmart.

WFS and FBA are very similar in that both programs offer sellers the ability to offload their customer support, allowing Walmart and Amazon to handle customer service (questions, refunds, and returns).

Here are some possible advantages to WFS over FBA:

  • Customers can return their purchases to a Walmart store
    • As of March 2020, there are roughly 4 times more Walmart stores (4,769) than Kohl’s stores (1,158), making returns more convenient for customers
  • Fixed monthly storage fee and fulfillment price based on shipping weight alone (with exceptions for apparel and hazmat items)
  • Customer support for sellers from WFS associates

WFS Restrictions

Like FBA, there are some restrictions for WFS that will turn away some sellers. Those are:

  • Products must ship from within the US
  • No perishable or regulated products
  • Maximum product weight is 30 pounds
  • Maximum product dimensions of 25″ x 20″ x 14″

The biggest of these restrictions is the first one: sellers won’t be able to ship from their factory out of the country straight into Walmart as they can with Amazon. This may help curb some of the rampant listings of Chinese products on Walmart.


Ultimately, sellers on Amazon will find it easier to migrate to an additional platform like Walmart. Previously, the need to handle warehousing, customer support, and other fulfillment logistics made selling on Walmart an obstacle, especially for the millions of smaller Amazon sellers.

Businesses will have to manage two different fulfillment services, so there’s likely room for mistakes and confusion, but once the confusion from adoption is resolved, sellers are likely to increase their sales with less work thanks to WFS.

Sellers who are already using FBA can easily expand to Walmart’s marketplace, and considering how ubiquitous Walmart is in the United States, the appeal to sell on Walmart through WFS will be very strong for all sellers if Walmart can make it work.

What is Amazon Posts?

Amazon Posts allows sellers to use curated photos to motivate and inspire shoppers to engage with brands and products on Amazon.

Posts is Amazon’s answer to social media commerce. If you’ve ever purchased something you saw on Facebook or Instagram, then you’ll be familiar with what Amazon Posts attempts to replicate. Even if you haven’t purchased something through social media, you’ve likely been exposed to its advertising.

Amazon Posts is currently in Beta, and best of all, it’s currently free to participate in!

Sellers who have a focused brand should give Amazon Posts a try. So if you’re selling in beauty, apparel, lifestyle, or other similar categories, Posts may give your brand that extra boost in exposure and sales!

Get started today by going to the Amazon Posts page!

How does Posts work?

Brands that participate in Posts will see a carousel on the product detail page that includes related brand products. Customers who click on an image on the carousel will be brought to the shopping feed.

All the posts on the carousel are shoppable, and customers can get more information about the product with a simple tap.

In addition to the product detail page, Posts will also show up in these areas:

  • Brand-owned detail page
  • Related brand detail page
  • Related post feed
  • Category feed

What sellers get from Posts

Sellers can only benefit from Amazon Posts, though the one drawback is that having an updated, curated brand means that someone will need to actively manage the account.

That means someone will need to take and edit pictures, and actively post, curate, and update the account. Conversely, having an account that isn’t regularly updated may reflect poorly on the brand.

Posts will be a great addition to health, beauty, and lifestyle brands, and it’ll be a good fit for businesses that already have a social media presence. But smaller businesses may want to consider the dangers of having Posts that are outdated or filled with less-than-stellar photos.

Here are some other benefits:

  • Currently free to participate in
  • Access to engagement metrics, views, clicks, and clickthrough rates
  • Publish product-focused content to promote brand

Amazon Posts can be a great addition to brands that already have a social media presence—simply adding another platform doesn’t take that much more effort if all the photos are already in place.

Best yet, Amazon Posts is currently free! Every seller knows how competitive Amazon is. Any small advantage over a competitor can give sellers a boost in sales. Give Posts a try today and see how you can promote your brand and give it an edge!

Takeaways from Amazon’s 2019 SMB Impact Report

With 2019 at a close, it’s a good time to look back into the impact Amazon had on SMBs. Below is a summary of Amazon’s 2019 Impact on SMB Report.

SMBs continue to choose Amazon to sell their goods over other marketplaces, increasing Amazon’s market share and providing consumers with more choices. Year over year, more and more SMBs choose to sell on Amazon:

  • 2016: 600,000 SMBs
  • 2017: 900,000 SMBs
  • 2018: 1,600,000 SMBs

In 2018, SMBs accounted for over $160 billion in sales, accounting for more than half of Amazon’s overall sales. For 2018, these SMBs had significant sales:

  • More than 200,000 SMBs had sales of over $100,000
  • More than 50,000 SMBs had sales of over $500,000
  • More than 25,000 SMBs had sales of over $1,000,000

More than one billion dollars was loaned to SMBs to help support their Amazon stores.

But what does all of this mean for sellers? Amazon’s report includes these benefits:

  • US-based sellers had on average $90,000 in sales
  • US-based sellers more than doubled their export sales using FBA

This large growth in both Amazon’s distribution centers, fast delivery, and SMBs choosing Amazon over other platforms means that SMBs now sell on average 4,000 items per minute!

The most popular categories for SMBs are:

  • Health & Personal Care
  • Home
  • Beauty

The top ten states with the fastest-growing SMBs are:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Nebraska
  3. Maine
  4. Texas
  5. Indiana
  6. Colorado
  7. North Dakota
  8. Vermont
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Missouri

Amazon has also grown in other ways. Amazon delivery vans have likely become more and more common on the streets. And people keep in touch with Amazon-related news may recall Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program, which advertised $100,000 earnings when it first launched.

Other areas of growth include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kindle Direct Publishing, and Alexa development.

Amazon is still growing, and it seems like a new distribution center is being built every month. What this expansion shows is Amazon’s plan to reduce delivery times and continue to grow its share of the online market sales.

Updated Amazon Seller Fees February 18, 2020

A lot has changed for Amazon in 2019. More warehouses, new delivery services, and one-day delivery are just three of those exciting changes. Starting on February 18, 2020, Amazon is changing its fee structure for Amazon sellers as well.

Read our handy summary of these fee changes and about the new and exciting FBA New Selection program!

Referral Fees

  • Shoes, Handbags, and Sunglasses fee drops from 18% to 15% for items with a total sales price above $75.00
  • Outdoor furniture fee drops from 15% to 10% for any portion of sales above $200
  • Personal care appliances to be consolidated into Health & Personal Care category, dropping the fee from 15% to 8% for items with a total sales price of $10 or less
  • Activewear will be charged the same fees as Clothing & Accessories at 17%
  • Ring accessories to be consolidated into the Amazon Device Accessories category and charged a fee of 45%
  • Amazon Business to have one referral fee rate per category, so items above $1,000 will have the same rate as items less than $1,000

Fulfillment Fees

Core fulfillment fees are going to be increased by an average of 3-4% across the board.

Screenshot of new fees for Amazon FBA starting on February 18, 2020

Other changes to fulfillment fees are below:

  • Clothing will no longer have the $0.40 per unit charge
  • Small & light fee will now have a single per-unit fee by weight instead of separate order handling, pick and pack, and weight fees
  • FBA Label Service for Small and Light items will be $0.10 per unit
  • No long-term storage fees for small and light items in fulfillment centers for 181-365 days
  • Small and Light will now have the same standard long-term FBA storage fees (more than 365 days), so $0.15 per unit instead of $0.50 per unit
  • Small and LIght will have the same standard FBA disposal and removal fees

Introducing FBA New Selection

New to FBA for 2020 is the FBA New Selection program. This program allows sellers to enroll new-to-Amazon ASINs for fee reductions and other benefits.

Sellers must opt-in before they’re qualified to take advantage of this new program.

Benefits sellers will receive from this program:

  • Fee waivers for up to 500 new-to-Amazon ASINs
  • Free monthly storage for the first 50 units of each parent ASIN in the 90 days after the first unit is received at the fulfillment center
  • Free removals of the first 50 units within 180 days
  • Free returns processing for five product categories in bold below
    • Apparel; Shoes, Handbags, & Accessories; Jewelry; Luggage; and Watches will have their returns processing fees waived for the first 50 units of each parent ASIN
    • Returned items must be received within 120 days from when the inventory was first received
  • $100 inbound transportation discount for new FBA sellers through the Amazon Partnered Carrier program

Who is eligible?

  • Sellers with an Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score of 400 or higher
  • Sellers who have no storage limit

What is eligible?

  • Small standard and large standard-sized items are eligible
  • Parent ASINs must be new to Amazon
  • ASINs in media not eligible
  • Used items not eligible

Other information about FBA New Selection

  • Begins April 1, 2020
  • Only first 50 units of each eligible ASIN qualify for fee waivers
  • Only the first 500 new-to-Amazon ASINs qualify for the fee wavers, but this limit is reset every year on April 1
  • Available only to Professional sellers

Fee increases aren’t really surprising to veteran Amazon sellers who are accustomed to annual, and sometimes semi-annual, changes to Amazon’s fee structure.

The biggest benefit will be to sellers who are participating in the Small & Light program, which has been drastically simplified with consolidated and reduced fees.

Amazon’s FBA New Selection program also looks interesting, as it encourages sellers to continue to introduce new products, which will be great for Amazon and customers.

Be prepared for these changes to Amazon’s fee structure starting on February 18, 2020!

Import Inventory into QuickBooks Online with Inventory Sheet

Learn how to import your inventory into QuickBooks Online using a sample inventory sheet that you can download from your company.

Learn what each column means and how to set up your inventory properly the first time. Also learn what some mistakes some users make when they first set up the sheet, along with some helpful tips for Amazon sellers!

Where to download the sample inventory sheet from QuickBooks Online

Before you can import inventory into QuickBooks Online, you’ll need to make sure that you have inventory tracking enabled. That means that subscribers must have at least the QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced subscriptions.

If you have a lower subscription, you’ll have to upgrade to be able to take advantage of inventory tracking.

Don’t want to use a sheet? Read our article on setting up inventory in QuickBooks Online for Amazon sellers for more advice.

To turn on the option, go to the Gear icon > Company Settings. Then click on Sales, and under Products and Services, turn on “Track quantity and price/rate” and “Track inventory quantity on hand.”

Once you’ve enabled these options, you can now download a sheet from QuickBooks Online to fill out so that you can import inventory.

To download the sample inventory sheet, click on Sales. Under New, click on the dropdown arrow, and then click on Import. On the next screen, you can download the form to edit and upload.

Once you download the form, open it up using Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or any other spreadsheet application you use (LibreOffice or OpenOffice, for example).

Understand QuickBooks Online PnS (Products and Services) Sample Inventory Sheet

We’ll go through each column and discuss what to put in each one. Where relevant, we’ll offer some advice to keep your books more organized. Below is the sheet—close-ups are provided below.

The fields in the sample sheet correspond to the fields on the inventory or service items when you first create them. The form is below for reference.

Here’s a closeup of the first half of the sheet:

Product/Service Name – This field is required and unique—meaning only one Product or Service can ever have this name.

If you’re integrating your inventory with any other app, then changing the name may cause errors with that app.

If you’re an Amazon seller, we highly recommend that you set the QBO Name field to the same as whatever your Amazon SKU is. That’s because the Amazon SKU, like the QuickBooks Name, does not change.

Below is a reference. To keep things the same, we’d recommend that sellers use “SS_Spoon” in QBO for the Name field. That way, unique identifiers from Amazon and QuickBooks Online match.

Otherwise, whatever you decide to use for your Inventory Name, you’ll want to maintain a naming standard or consistency. Too often, sellers will just type anything into this field, and then as the business grows and others add to their product list, their entire inventory database can become very messy.

Then it becomes a mess to rename and redo everything; in some cases, renaming won’t be feasible. So think carefully about how you want to name your inventory.

Sales Description – This field is optional. This is where sellers would normally put the Product Name, or title, from Amazon. This field will automatically populate on the invoices whenever you select the product or service for documents. While it’s not necessary, it may be helpful if you don’t have descriptive item Names/SKUs.

If you’re optimizing your product title, then you may want to consider populating this field later if you want to maintain more precise and consistent records.

SKU – The SKU field is optional in QuickBooks Online. This part usually confuses many sellers since SKUs remain static or unique for most retailers. That means you can have multiple products in QBO that all share the same SKU.

If you sell on Amazon, we highly recommend you use your product’s ASIN here. That way, you can easily search by Amazon SKU or ASIN in QBO.

Type – This field is required. You can put either Inventory, Service, or Noninventory in this field. Most sellers would put Inventory here. If you’re uploading services and non-inventory, you may want separate sheets for those to keep them organized, or have a different section for services and noninventory so that they’re all grouped together.

Sales Price / Rate – This field is optional. You may want to leave this field blank so that users entering in transactions are forced to enter the correct price here.

Any value you put here will automatically populate when creating transactions. Since prices change often when it comes to ecommerce, you may want to leave it blank.

If you’re using SellerZen to automate your Amazon to QuickBooks Online integration, then we’ll automatically enter the price the item sold for on the transaction.

Taxable – By default, QuickBooks Online will mark Products as Taxable. If they’re not taxable, then you should enter “No” in this field.

Income Account – By default, QuickBooks Online will use the Sales of Product Income account for all sales proceeds from this item.

If you have a different account, then it’s important that you select that here.

For instance, if you have two Amazon seller accounts, and you’re tracking both accounts on the same QuickBooks Online company, then you may want to consider having two separate sales of product income account—one for each seller account.

This allows for better reporting so that you can see sales from each account rather than having both lumped into one sales account.

Some sellers may use separate sales of product income accounts to track different brands, product lines, etc.

You can have SellerZen use different accounts if you’re using our platform to automatically synchronize your Amazon seller accounts with QuickBooks Online.

Here’s a closeup of the second half of the PnS sheet:

Purchase Description – This field is optional. Some sellers may want to put the manufacturer’s description here or just notes regarding the item.

Purchase Cost – This field is optional. QuickBooks Online doesn’t really use this field to calculate your COGS or purchase cost. In the absence of any number, QuickBooks will refer to this field.

Your actual purchase cost will be determined through your POs, Bills, or other documents you use to purchase the item.

Learn more about why Cost of Goods Sold may be zero or missing from your reports.

Expense Account – This field is required. The default account is the Cost of Goods Sold account. If you’re using a different Income Account, then consider using a different Expense Account as well.

Quantity on Hand – This field is required. Many sellers are tempted to put their actual quantity on hand here. But if you’re setting up your company for the first time, you’ll want to put zero.

Then use vendor documents like POs, Bills, or Expenses to record inventory purchases. This way, QuickBooks Online will accurately track costs. Make sure your dates are correct, as QuickBooks Online uses FIFO.

Reorder Point – This field is optional. This will let you know when you should reorder a particular product.

Inventory Asset Account – This field is required. You may want to change this if you’re changing the Income and Expense accounts.

Quantity as-of Date – This field is required. This date is important because QuickBooks Online uses this date as a limit; you won’t be able to backdate a transaction to a date before the as-of date of the product.

If you’re setting up your company for the first time, then you’ll want to use a date that precedes your first sale. Some sellers make the mistake of using a current date, and that will just result in errors when employees try to enter earlier transactions.

Even if you make a mistake, you can re-upload the form to update your list of inventory. Just select the fields you want to change. We’ll go over this in the next section.

Importing your inventory sheet into QuickBooks Online

Once you’re ready with the sheet, it’s time to upload it to your QuickBooks Online. Warning: make sure that everything on the sheet is correctly formatted. The dates should be in MM/DD/YYYY format.

The first row will be ignored, but everything after that will be imported. Delete the yellow warning on the first column that starts with “Do not import this file as is…”

You’ll want to avoid re-importing to update items, as that can sometimes cause confusion and errors.

Here’s a completed row for the inventory sheet. Note that the first row, containing the labels, will not be imported.

Let’s go ahead and upload this sheet into QuickBooks Online and get the product created.

Go back to Sales > Products and Services > Import (under the New dropdown menu). Click on Browse and select the sheet you’ve just created.

Click on Next on the bottom right of the screen.

Verify that all of the fields that have data in them are selected so that QuickBooks Online will import those settings.

If you changed the labels, you’ll have to select them again on the next screen to map your labels to the correct QuickBooks Online labels. For instance, if you renamed the Product/Service Name label to “Inventory Name,” then you’ll need to select “Inventory Name” so that QuickBooks Online knows the two labels are the same.

Click next once you’ve verified all the labels are correctly mapped. If you’ve used the same sheet you downloaded without editing the column labels, then you should be fine.

On this screen, you can verify and make any final changes to your products or services before you start the import. If you notice a lot of mistakes, it’s better to cancel the import, fix the mistakes on the sheet, and then go through the process again.

Otherwise, if you have just a few mistakes, fix them on this screen and start the import by clicking on Import on the bottom right of the screen.

And here we have the new product in QuickBooks Online that we’ve imported.

If you missed a column, then you can re-import and overwrite some of the values you previously entered, but this process can be tricky.

Sometimes, QuickBooks Online will overwrite the values with the updated ones on the sheet, while other times the process will complete with no updates even if you’ve checked the “Overwrite all values” option.

You’ll want to do your best to make sure that all the values are correct to save yourself the headache here. If the “Overwrite” option doesn’t work, you’ll have to manually edit all of your products to the correct value.


That’s it! The sample product and services sheet from QuickBooks Online may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a fairly quick process since many of the fields will stay the same. For instance, you’re likely to use the same information for the Taxable, Accounts, and Type.

As for the Name, Sales Description, and SKU fields, you’re likely to copy and paste the information from wherever you currently keep your inventory information. Most marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, will allow you to download a spreadsheet of your inventory, making this process a bit less frustrating.

Learn more about inventory tracking from QuickBooks Online.

Like this article about QuickBooks Online? Read other helpful articles below.

Understand your Amazon Inventory Adjustment Report

Many Amazon FBA sellers never look at their inventory adjustment report. While Amazon’s automated system does a pretty good job at keeping inventory reconciled, it’s not a perfect system. If you ignore the report, then you could be giving up a lot of money.

Handling fulfillment for millions of sellers is no easy task. Even small businesses sometimes have trouble keeping track of their inventory. So it’s no surprise that some inventory gets lost or damaged because of Amazon’s size and processes.

Most FBA sellers understand how to reconcile their inbound shipments with what Amazon receives. But many sellers ignore the inventory movements that take place once Amazon has received the inventory.

If you’ve never taken a look at your inventory adjustments, then consider taking some time to look through at least one report on a popular SKU to make sure that Amazon has reimbursed you for all of the items they’ve damaged or lost.

To access this report, go to Reports > Fulfillment > Inventory Adjustment.

Below is an example of an inventory report. Notice the various movements.

Understanding Amazon's FBA Inventory Reconciliation Report

Let’s go over what this report means. The first column shows quantity into or out of your stock. So a -1 means one unit out of your inventory. Conversely, a 1 means one unit into your inventory.

The second column provides a description of the adjustment.

The third column tells you the disposition of the unit. The image above is fairly simple in that there aren’t any complex issues.

Looking at the report above, you should notice that there are -4 units out of your stock for “Inventory misplaced” and +3 units for “Inventory found.”

Let’s assume that this report is complete. This report shows that Amazon lost 4 units but only found 3. The result is that Amazon owes you 1 unit or the cash value of that 1 unit.

While this reimbursement is usually automatic, there are likely instances where Amazon has failed to reimburse you. You can find reimbursements on your fulfillment reports. This report will tell you whether you’ve been reimbursed with a unit or with cash. Search for the Merchant SKU using a wider date range to capture late reimbursements.

Reimbursements for warehouse lost or damaged units can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks since lost units may be found a week later.

In the image below, we see that Amazon has reimbursed the seller with cash. These reimbursements usually take place 30-45 days after the inventory has been lost or damaged by Amazon.

In instances where Amazon reimburses sellers with cash, they may claw back that cash reimbursement and instead return a unit. These reversals show up on the settlement as clawbacks or reimbursement reversals.

Amazon to QuickBooks Online Accounting: Recording Reimbursements

You can reconcile your inventory by counting the number of units misplaced and compare that to the number of units found. Then take a look at your reimbursement report to see if Amazon has reimbursed you for the discrepancy. If not, then you should open a claim for reimbursement with the proof you’ve gathered.

Make sure that the date ranges are accurate, and avoid requesting reimbursements for recently lost items since those may be found soon. Doing so will only increase your work for no gain since Amazon will likely reverse the cash reimbursement.

But your inventory reports are not going to be as “clean” or simple as the one provided above. You’ll likely see various descriptions and dispositions on the report, making reconciling your Amazon inventory that much more difficult.

See the image below for a more complex report.

Understanding Amazon's FBA Inventory Reconciliation Report

In this new image, we see a much more complex inventory report. In the third column, we now see Unsellable, Customer Damaged, and Warehouse Damaged.

Here’s a link to Amazon’s page for understanding the various codes on your Inventory Adjustment report.

In this more complex report, there are 2 units misplaced, but only 1 is found, resulting in -1 change to your inventory. If Amazon hasn’t already reimbursed you for it, you could open a claim for the 1 missing inventory.

There are also a few different Dispositions in the report. Unsellable means that inventory is likely placed back into your unfulfillable inventory. This is the inventory that you either remove or dispose of—if you do nothing, then Amazon automatically disposes of the inventory after 30 days.

Customer damaged returns can be problematic if you’re selling large-ticket items like furniture or consumer electronics. That’s because some customers may swap out, damage, or even “rent” their purchases for a few weeks.

In the past, Amazon was pretty good about reimbursing sellers for returns that were damaged by customers. But that’s not the case today. Now, sellers are responsible for charging restocking fees, and many reimbursements have to be dealt with through SAFE-T claims.

Sometimes, customers will mark that their purchases are defective in order to get free return shipping and avoid restocking fees. When this happens, you may see “Defective” as the reason, but upon receipt, the warehouse worker may mark the unit as Sellable, returning the unit to your Sellable inventory.

That’s great news except when the unit was actually defective, or the unit was carefully swapped out with a lower quality, model, or counterfeit unit. Then the next customer who purchases your item will also be a victim of fraud.

Customers who receive defective items or obviously used or fraudulent items are more likely to leave negative seller feedback and product reviews. Since most customers don’t leave reviews, even one negative feedback or review can really impact sales.

What can you do to improve your bottom line for your Amazon business?

  • Have all returns for complex products sent back to you instead of being inspected by an Amazon fulfillment worker—only you know how your product should look and work
  • Set automatic removals for your seller account so that you can inspect all returns
  • Include a periodic review of your inventory adjustment reports, inbound shipment reports, and reimbursement reports to understand what’s going on with your inventory at the fulfillment centers
  • Reconcile your inventory and open any claims for units that were lost or damaged by Amazon and not reimbursed
  • Look into writing a restocking fee into your seller policies so that you can minimize fraud
  • File SAFE-T claims for eligible cases—even if it may not be worthwhile, a valid SAFE-T claim against a customer may allow Amazon to track serial scammers

Anyone can create an individual selling account and sell on Amazon. And many people can even start selling professionally but to be successful on Amazon, you’ll have to be more efficient than other sellers to give yourself that competitive edge.

That means you’re streamlining your business processes and making sure that you hold Amazon accountable for any inventory they’ve lost or damaged. After all, that’s what part of your fees are for.

Like this article and want to read other articles about Amazon?

Reset or Erase your new QuickBooks Online Company

Learn how to reset or erase your QuickBooks Online company (started fewer than 60 days ago) so that you can start over from scratch setting up your company.

Many users who are new to QuickBooks Online or bookkeeping for their small business may find that one month in, they’ve set up their QuickBooks Online company incorrectly.

Rather than go back and manually reverse every transaction, it may be easier to just purge, or erase, everything and start over. Keep the following two warnings in mind:

Your QuickBooks Online company must be fewer than 60 days old.

You’ll lose everything that you’ve entered into your company, including customers, transactions, and accounts.

If it has been more than 60 days, you’ll need to start a new QuickBooks Online company instead. Contact QuickBooks Online about your subscription (if you have one) or cancel and resubscribe to the new company.

Setting up your QuickBooks Online company for Amazon? Check out our article for a list of tips and advice. You’ll also find a link to our comprehensive guide for accounting for the most common Amazon transactions on that page.

How to Reset or Erase your QuickBooks Online Company

To reset your company, log into the QuickBooks Online company that you want to erase. Remember, your QuickBooks Online company must be fewer than 60 days old in order to be able to reset or purge.

  • Make sure you’re on the homepage or dashboard for your QuickBooks Online company
    • It may look like this: https://c13.qbo.intuit.com/app/homepage
  • Add /purgecompany to the end of the URL above
  • Read the warning and type “YES” in the box and click on OK
  • Follow the prompts to complete the purge
    • If you’re connecting any apps, you may want to wait 24 hours for the purge to complete on the backend

Simply click on Dashboard on the left navigation menu to go back to your homepage for QuickBooks Online.

Then add “/purgecompany” to the end of the URL and follow the prompts to completely erase your QuickBooks Online company. Remember: you will lose all data, so make sure you have everything you need exported and saved.

You should receive a verification prompt after. Type in YES and then click on OK. Your company will be reset and everything erased.

That’s it! Now set up your QuickBooks Online company the way you want!

Cancel Subscription if You Can’t Purge Your Company

If you no longer want to use QuickBooks Online or your company is older than 60 days, make sure you cancel your subscription before you start a new one.

  • Click on Gear Icon > Accounts and Settings
  • Go to Billing & Subscription
  • Click on Cancel Subscription

To cancel your subscription, go to your settings through the Gear icon and then Account and Settings.

Gear Icon Account and Settings

Click on Billing & Subscription and then Cancel subscription. Follow the prompts to confirm and complete your cancellation.

If you’re starting a new company, you can simply sign up for a new company using the same email address. Your old companies will remain attached to your email address for a year before it drops off, so you’ll have plenty of time to access any data you may need from them.

Like this article and want to read more helpful articles about QuickBooks Online? Check out the following articles below: