I am losing my Sh*t, 'Cause Amazon keeps losing my Sh*t!

I manufacture a single product. I used to let a dealer sell on Amazon, but he played fast and loose with the rules and somehow got the “brand” changed to the name of his amazon store to prevent the specter of “competition” on Amazon when there wasn’t any, so he is no longer selling on Amazon, as he “brand-hijacked” my stuff.

So now, I am an Amazon seller. But they lose about 1/3 of what I send them. I file inquiries, they ask for a packing list, I send them one, and they reimburse me in cash money, so no skin off my nose, but it makes it hard for me to to keep stocking levels up so that delivery times are low.

The 2/3rds of items that they don’t loose take scenic trips around the country to different FCs, so there is some kind of deliberate positioning of inventory in the expectation of sales, but with a product that sells 20-40 units a day, how many thousand units do I have to send to FBA to keep the product “in stock”, and with a reasonable leadtime for all customers but those out in the boonies?

You’d think, based upon sales history for the ASIN, that Amazon could figure out how to pre-provision inventory, but it looks like they are not doing this well at all. Is there a tool to help a seller figure out this? Or is this Amazon’s inefficiency, with the only cure to simply throw a massive amount of inventory at them, and pay the “inventory costs” inherently charged every 15th of the month?

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Without getting specific about what you sell, can you generalize the category?

We’ve shipped hundreds of thousands of units to FBA over the last 4 years and they have lost maybe 200 units.

1800-3600 for the best conversion and Prime Same Day / Overnight.

Customer demand is an always shifting thing. Take your average sales/day and send in 60-90 days worth of inventory and see what sales do.

I’ve sent them several thousand units at a time, and these units sit in “FC Transfer” status for weeks on end, and my “available” count goes to zero, leaving me with (a) lots in “FC Transfer” (b) lots in “FC Processing” and (c ) lots in “Receiving”. The sales go on, so the orders are ahead of Amazon’s ability to simply scan things in (no prep required) and put them in bins. It is a 8oz bottle of a “Home and Garden” product, so the sales do have an ebb and flow, but they had MONTHS to get ready for this, and the bulk of the inventory just sat in “receiving” not being scanned in.

How to get them to “receive” what has been “delivered” promptly?

Are you sending LTL, (Less than Truckload (skids)) or are you sending UPS “partnered shipping” to the FC’s?

We have found LTL does take longer.

Also though Amazon got better since COVID, the last two months they have been very slow. We have items that arrived 3 weeks ago and will not “be available” until July 15th.

Time in the redistribution from receiving FC units to stocking and shipping FC units has been increasing.

No pallets - everything goes as individual cartons via UPS, their “partner”. The shipping is not the issue - UPS gets stuff to Amazon within a few days every time - UPS does their job well. UPS has lost nothing, stuff just disappears once it is “delivered”.

When you send in items you send them to receive centers not the actual FC’s themselves for the most part. This means you will see almost all of your inventory in transit for a while after receipt so you will need to get over the initial wave of inventory movement/transfer based on demand and supply. If you have a few months of inventory on hand in the system, you will see less movement overall as Amazon will only shift things around compared to the large bulk movement of recently received inventory.

I wrote this in a pinch but I hope I explained it enough.

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That’s a really high loss rate.

And remember that reimbursal is at your cost, not retail price, and doesn’t account for associated shipping, storage, and QA expenses. Or packaging, iirc!

So YES, those losses do cost you :grimacing: CORRECTED BELOW

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Wait a second - if they reimburse me the same amount as if the units had been sold, then I am paid just as if they had sold the lost units, and all the various shipping and such are already baked into a “sold” product, so where am I losing any money here?

Don’t I get paid the same for a “sold” unit vs a “lost” unit?

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My understanding is that you are reimbursed for lost units at your cost, not at retail price, but I could be wrong. I’ll tag in folks more knowledgeable with FBA.
@VTR @Tried_Tested @ASV_Vites @Image

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Yes you have to create Missing From Inbound (MFI) cases and you get paid in full minus proceeds per unit. We have getida take care of this for us. Assuming the shipments are closed. If not, then VTR’s assessment is exact.

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" If we elect to reimburse you for a fulfillment center operations claim or a removals claim, we will reimburse you for the estimated proceeds of the sale of that item, unless the item was in an unsellable condition when lost or damaged or when removed from the Amazon fulfillment network. For unsellable items, Amazon will reimburse you at a valuation consistent with the estimated proceeds of the discounted sale of the unit. We may ask you for additional information or documentation to help us determine that discounted value."

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/help/hub/reference/G200213130

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Ya and then when you point out they lost your it-shay in the reports, you will get this non admission of guilt.

“as a gesture of goodwill” = "you caught us but we won’t admit it.

“we have no record of receiving the specific units in question”, except for in our own reports to you that clearly show we received the inventory in question, and even transferred it to another location where it went missing.

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Welp, @packetfire, you were right and I was wrong, as @Tried_Tested and @VTR verified. Very sorry for the scare! Thank you all for the correction.

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We, too, have been well-satisfied with Getida’s performance over the years.

We began using them when Amazon itself hosted a webinar touting their service(s).

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Unfortunately, the answer is maybe.

When I used FBA, long enough ago so storage charges were based on actual size I found that my items chosen for their small size would sell, Amazon would be unable to locate them. Would reimburse me for the lost item.

Then at some time in the future, they would be found, and I would be charged for the amount reimbursed.

So yes you get paid the same, but no you may find that Amazon reclaims their payment.

By the time they raised the storage fees to have a minimum which was meaningful, I had already decided that more inventory was poorly suited for an FC.

I left FBA when they decided to rescind their policy of not charging extra for the storage of single books. Was that in 2015, or 2017, when I removed all of my books from FBA?

FBA used to be a great way to sell cheap books for small profits, and more expensive books for somewhat better profits, but those days are long gone.

I do better offering all of my books on several other bookselling sites.

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